Medical

Using Light To Treat Mucositis and Help Wounds Heal

Arrays of LEDs would generate biostimulatory radiation. A continuing program of research and development is focusing on the use of controlled illumination by light-emitting diodes (LEDs) to treat mucositis and to accelerate healing of wounds. The basic idea is to illuminate the affected area of a patient with light of an intensity, duration, and wavelength (or combination of wavelengths) chosen to produce a therapeutic effect while generating only a minimal amount of heat.

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Improved Measurement of B22 of Macromolecules in a Flow Cell

Invention helps researchers understand conditions that affect protein crystallization. An improved apparatus has been invented for use in determining the osmotic second virial coefficient of macromolecules in solution. In a typical intended application, the macromolecules would be, more specifically, protein molecules, and the protein solution would be pumped through a flow cell to investigate the physical and chemical conditions that affect crystallization of the protein in question.

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Validating Requirements for Surgical Spinal Implants With Finite Element Analysis

Vertebral body replacement devices require thorough analysis and engineering testing to ensure their safety. When Spinal USA, a manufacturer and distributor of advanced surgical spinal products, designed a new series of spinal implants called vertebral body replacement (VBR) devices, they needed to meet United States Food and Drug Administration (FDA) requirements for physical laboratory testing in order to obtain approval for use. Designed to be inserted by a surgeon into a patient’s spine during a spinal fusion procedure, the VBR devices required thorough engineering testing to ensure that they were safe and effective. In order to meet the FDA requirements, Spinal USA contracted Saba Metallurgical and Plant Engineering Services (SMPES) to perform finite element analysis (FEA) of the various VBR designs using ALGOR FEA software to virtually predict the behavior of the VBR designs under the required test conditions. Through a combination of computer simulation and physical laboratory tests of prototypes, the VBR devices obtained FDA approval.

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Benchtop Detection of Proteins

This process is relatively rapid and simple. A process, and a benchtop-scale apparatus for implementing the process, have been developed to detect proteins associated with specific microbes in water. The process and apparatus may also be useful for detection of proteins in other, more complex liquids. There may be numerous potential applications, including monitoring lakes and streams for contamination, testing of blood and other bodily fluids in medical laboratories, and testing for microbial contamination of liquids in restaurants and industrial food-processing facilities. A sample can be prepared and analyzed by use of this process and apparatus within minutes, whereas an equivalent analysis performed by use of other processes and equipment can often take hours to days.

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Recombinant Collagenlike Proteins

These proteins can be tailored to have specific biological properties. A group of collagenlike recombinant proteins containing high densities of biologically active sites has been invented. The method used to express these proteins is similar to a method of expressing recombinant procollagens and collagens described in U. S. Patent 5,593,859, “Synthesis of human procollagens and collagens in recombinant DNA systems.”

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Remote Sensing of Parasitic Nematodes in Plants

A method and apparatus for remote sensing of parasitic nematodes in plants, now undergoing development, is based on measurement of visible and infrared spectral reflectances of fields where the plants are growing. Initial development efforts have been concentrated on detecting reniform nematodes (Rotylenchulus reniformis) in cotton plants, because of the economic importance of cotton crops.

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Two Devices for Removing Sludge From Bioreactor Wastewater

These devices can operate continuously and are self-cleaning. Two devices — a magnetic separator and a special filter denoted a self-regenerating separator (SRS) — have been developed for separating sludge from the stream of wastewater from a bioreactor. These devices were originally intended for use in microgravity, but have also been demonstrated to function in normal Earth gravity.

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