Health, Medicine, & Biotechnology

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.

Posted in: Medical, Briefs

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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.”

Posted in: Medical, Briefs, TSP

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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.

Posted in: Medical, Briefs

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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.

Posted in: Medical, Briefs

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Portable Unit for Metabolic Analysis

Respiratory signals can be temporally resolved within respiratory cycles. The Portable Unit for Metabolic Analysis (PUMA) is an instrument that measures several quantities indicative of human metabolic function. Specifically, this instrument makes time-resolved measurements of temperature, pressure, flow, and the partial pressures of oxygen and carbon dioxide in breath during both inhalation and exhalation.

Posted in: Medical, Briefs

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Advanced Resistive Exercise Device

A number of different exercises can be performed on one machine. The advanced resistive exercise device (ARED), now at the prototype stage of development, is a versatile machine that can be used to perform different customized exercises for which, heretofore, it has been necessary to use different machines. Conceived as a means of helping astronauts and others to maintain muscle and bone strength and endurance in low-gravity environments, the ARED could also prove advantageous in terrestrial settings (e.g., health clubs and military training facilities) in which many users are exercising simultaneously and there is heavy demand for use of exercise machines.

Posted in: Bio-Medical, Medical, Briefs

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Rapid Engineering of Three-Dimensional, Multicellular Tissues With Polymeric Scaffolds

Engineered tissues could be grown in weeks or days instead of months. A process has been developed for the rapid tissue engineering of multicellular- tissue-equivalent assemblies by the controlled enzymatic degradation of polymeric beads in a low-fluid- shear bioreactor. In this process, the porous polymeric beads serve as temporary scaffolds to support the assemblies of cells in a tissuelike 3D configuration during the critical initial growth phases of attachment of anchorage-dependent cells, aggregation of the cells, and formation of a 3D extracellular matrix. Once the cells are assembled into a 3D array and enmeshed in a structural supportive 3D extracellular matrix (ECM), the polymeric scaffolds can be degraded in the low-fluid-shear environment of the NASA-designed bioreactor. The natural 3D tissuelike assembly, devoid of any artificial support structure, is maintained in the low-shear bioreactor environment by the newly formed natural cellular/ECM. The elimination of the artificial scaffold allows normal tissue structure and function.

Posted in: Medical, Briefs

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