Health, Medicine, & Biotechnology

Preserving Phase for Bionic Implants by Rearranging a Signal’s Components

A method uses basic mathematical theories to provide original phase information and improve end-user perception experience in users of cochlear and other bionic implants.

Any signal can be decomposed into components of sinusoids. This pioneer technique expands the theory of interchangeability of phase and a shift of time (or a shift of another variable). It faithfully preserves phase information by mathematically rearranging the signal’s component to another time or place and assigns all the processed components a single user-defined phase. Since reconstructing the processed single-phase components highly approximates the original signal, this fundamental method can be widely used in fields that require phase preservation by single-phase stimulation, such as bionic implants (e.g., cochlear implants and retinal implants), and areas that need to preserve phase reliably and make all signal components share one universal phase.

Posted in: Briefs, MDB, Briefs, Bio-Medical, Implants & Prosthetics, Medical, Communication protocols, Wireless communication systems, Prostheses and implants
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Thermographic Printing Using Organic Silver Salts

Light-sensitive and light-insensitive materials generate black and white images by the use of heat; no ink is required.

The materials presented allow the writing on a single sheet of these materials without ink, but only by heat, thereby revealing a black and white image. This process is called thermographic writing or printing.

Posted in: Briefs, MDB, Briefs, Coatings & Adhesives, Materials, Bio-Medical, Diagnostics, Medical, Heat treatment, Materials properties
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Retractor System for Abdominal Surgery

The operating field can be increased or decreased using one hand to move the retractor hooks.

Adjusting abdominal clamps to open up a larger operating field during surgery typically requires the use of two hands: one hand to unscrew the clamp, and the other hand to pull the clamp to increase the operating field. Furthermore, one hand has to retain the clamp in position while the other is used to fasten the tension screw. This can be inconvenient during a surgical procedure when the surgeon may only have one hand available. If this happens during an emergency and one of the surgeon’s hands is occupied, assistance is required to move the retraction hook to a new position. Due to limited space around the operating table, this is particularly difficult when the retraction hook needs to be moved in the direction of where the surgeon stands.

Posted in: Briefs, MDB, Briefs, Mechanical Components, Bio-Medical, Medical, Medical equipment and supplies, Surgical procedures
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Repeatable, Low-Cost UV Assembly of Biosensors

UV spot curing system ensures greater accuracy for automated and manual manufacturing of biosensors.

A biosensor is an analytical device that converts a biological response into an electrical signal. It is increasingly being used as a cost-effective diagnostic tool that offers the capability to render efficient, easy-to-use, and accurate diagnosis. While technological advances in biosensors are allowing this technology to cater to an extensive range of applications in a number of fields, such as industrial and environmental testing, the largest applications have been in the healthcare sector, including glucose detection, pregnancy testing, blood testing, breath analyzers, and cancer diagnosis.

Posted in: Briefs, MDB, Briefs, Manufacturing & Prototyping, Coatings & Adhesives, Materials, Bio-Medical, Medical, Patient Monitoring, Sensors, Sensors and actuators, Biological sciences, Assembling
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Tethered Endoscope for Photographing the Esophagus

Unlike conventional endoscopes and camera pills, the system does not require an expensive external support system, batteries, memory, or processing electronics.

Conventional endoscopes are the “gold standard” for investigating and evaluating mucosal disease of the esophagus. Free-swimming camera pills are large because they must carry camera, batteries, memory, illumination, and some level of image processing power on board. A typical camera pill may measure 11 x 26 mm and may be priced at $1500 per pill — and the pill is not reusable. Camera pills are difficult if not impossible to steer from outside the body. Both camera pills and conventional endoscopes require an expensive external support system. Camera pills may not return information for over 24 hours, until the body eliminates them.

Posted in: Briefs, MDB, Briefs, Bio-Medical, Diagnostics, Medical, Patient Monitoring, Downsizing, Imaging and visualization, Diagnosis, Medical equipment and supplies, Product development
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Isolation of the 'Paenibacillus phoenicis', a Spore-Forming Bacterium

A microorganism was isolated from the surfaces of the cleanroom facility in which the Phoenix lander was assembled. The isolated bacterial strain was subjected to a comprehensive polyphasic analysis to characterize its taxonomic position. Both phenotypic and phylogenetic analyses clearly indicate that this isolate belongs to the genus Paenibacillus and represents a novel species.

Posted in: Briefs, MDB, Briefs, Imaging, Bio-Medical, Medical, Patient Monitoring, Bacteria, Spacecraft
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Cell Radiation Experiment System

Cells can be irradiated under conditions that approximate those in living tissues.

The cell radiation experiment system (CRES) is a perfused-cell culture apparatus, within which cells from humans or other animals can (1) be maintained in homeostasis while (2) being exposed to ionizing radiation during controlled intervals and (3) being monitored to determine the effects of radiation and the repair of radiation damage. The CRES can be used, for example, to determine effects of drug, radiation, and combined drug and radiation treatments on both normal and tumor cells. The CRES can also be used to analyze the effects of radiosensitive or radioprotectant drugs on cells subjected to radiation. The knowledge gained by use of the CRES is expected to contribute to the development of better cancer treatments and of better protection for astronauts, medical-equipment operators, and nuclear-power-plant workers, and others exposed frequently to ionizing radiation.

Posted in: Briefs, MDB, TSP, Briefs, TSP, Imaging, Bio-Medical, Medical, Patient Monitoring, Human factors, Radiation, Radiation protection, Test equipment and instrumentation, Test procedures
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Monolithically Integrated, Mechanically Resilient Carbon-Based Probes for Scanning Probe Microscopy

These probes can be used in medical applications for bacteria or protein imaging.

Scanning probe microscopy (SPM) is an important tool for performing measurements at the nanoscale in imaging bacteria or proteins in biology, as well as in the electronics industry. An essential element of SPM is a sharp, stable tip that possesses a small radius of curvature to enhance spatial resolution. Existing techniques for forming such tips are not ideal. High-aspect-ratio, monolithically integrated, as-grown carbon nanofibers (CNFs) have been formed that show promise for SPM applications by overcoming the limitations present in wet chemical and separate substrate etching processes.

Posted in: Briefs, MDB, Briefs, Imaging, Bio-Medical, Diagnostics, Medical, Microscopy, Bacteria, Nanotechnology
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2010 Create the Future Design Contest Medical Category Winner

(Winner of an HP Workstation)

IDEA Enhanced Pulse Oximetry

Rodrigo Teixeira, Alton Reich, and Stephen MalinHuntsville, AL

Stroke volume, or how much volume of blood the heart pumps with each beat, demonstrates the organ’s efficiency and health, but the performance is often measured invasively using a Swan-Ganz catheter or ultrasound echocardiography. IDEA Enhanced Pulse Oximetry technology, however, measures light absorption by blood as it pulses. By analyzing the light pulses’ shape and evolutions, the technology gathers information about the patient’s cardiovascular system, including stroke volume and cardiac output. The Intelligent Data Extraction Algorithm, or IDEATM, analyzes noisy pulse signals and interprets them in a real-time physiological context.

Posted in: Articles, Medical, Mathematical models, Sensors and actuators, Cardiovascular system, Medical equipment and supplies
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Ultra-High-Molecular-Weight Polyethylene Technology for Minimally Invasive Devices

Ultra-thin film and fiber are suitable for implantable cardiovascular devices.

Ultra-high-molecular-weight polyethylene (UHMWPE) has been used for decades as a biomaterial in joint replacements. Recently, this technology was refined to serve the needs of minimally invasive surgical applications, particularly cardiovascular implants. UHMWPE fiber can be shaped into a range of textile constructions, including braids and woven tubes, while the film can be used as a very thin barrier or cover. As such, the medical-grade UHMWPE film and fiber are suitable for enhancing the design of various implantable cardiovascular devices, including stent grafts and covered stents.

Posted in: Briefs, MDB, Briefs, Coatings & Adhesives, Materials, Bio-Medical, Implants & Prosthetics, Medical, Cardiovascular system, Prostheses and implants, Fibers, Polymers
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