Health, Medicine, & Biotechnology

Neuroprosthetics and Solutions for Restoring Sensorimotor Functions

A new class of prosthetic devices looks, feels, and functions like natural limbs.

Advances in body armor and life-saving technology have increased survival rates of severely injured military personnel. Unfortunately, the survivors of improvised explosive devices are often left with amputations and/or spinal cord injuries. The increase in amputations and paralysis among military personnel requires significant advances in prosthetics and functional electrical stimulation (FES) systems so that the soldiers can return to the field or to productive civilian lives.

Posted in: Briefs, MDB, TSP, Briefs, TSP, Coatings & Adhesives, Materials, Bio-Medical, Implants & Prosthetics, Medical
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Implantable Microsystems for Anatomical Rewiring of Brain Circuitry

This implantable device technology improves long-term functional recovery after a traumatic brain injury.

It has been demonstrated that after a stroke-like lesion in the cerebral cortex of non-human primates, the remaining intact tissue undergoes extensive neuro-physiological and neuroanatomical remodeling. The ability of cortical areas remote from the infarct to form new cortico-cortical connections over long distances between the frontal and parietal lobes has been demonstrated. It is likely that these novel connections play a role in functional recovery after cortical injury.

Posted in: Briefs, MDB, TSP, Briefs, TSP, Bio-Medical, Implants & Prosthetics, Medical, Rehabilitation & Physical Therapy, Diseases, Nervous system, Prostheses and implants, Head injuries
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Use of Recombinant Factor VIIa for Control of Combat-Related Hemorrhage

Recombinant rFVIIa may have a damage-control role, quickly arresting blood loss until the casualty can be evacuated to a hospital.

Blood loss is a major cause of death among combat casualties, accounting for nearly half of all deaths on the battlefield. The great majority of these deaths is due to intracavitary hemorrhage that cannot be controlled by traditional methods such as tourniquets or pressure dressings. Surgery remains the best method for controlling this type of hemorrhage and preventing death, although methods are needed to control bleeding until patients can get surgical intervention.

Posted in: MDB, Briefs, TSP, Bio-Medical, Drug Delivery, Medical, Fluids and secretions, Medical equipment and supplies, Injuries, Military vehicles and equipment, Rescue and emergency vehicles and equipment
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Biotic-Abiotic Interface Between the Body and an Artificial Limb

A modified titanium construct and specially machined surface increase adherence of tissue to a prosthetic limb.

Because of its high mechanical properties, chemical stability, and biocompatibility, titanium is a commonly used material in dental and orthopedic applications. Its excellent biocompatibility allows titanium implants to be directly anchored to bone, or osseo-integrated. The conventional prosthetic replacement in amputees is a stump-socket design, which transfers forces through the prosthetic to an external contact point on the patient. Such a design results in non-uniform distribution of pressure, and can lead to pain, infection, and necrosis of the soft tissues at the point of contact.

Posted in: MDB, Briefs, TSP, Coatings & Adhesives, Materials, Bio-Medical, Implants & Prosthetics, Medical, Prostheses and implants, Materials properties, Titanium, Biomechanics
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RF Device for Acquiring Images of the Human Body

This portable, simple system using a ring-shaped antenna array and planar circuit technology can serve as security in airports, mass transit locations, and power plants.

A safe, non-invasive method for forming images through clothing of large groups of people, in order to search for concealed weapons either made of metal or not, has been developed. A millimeter wavelength scanner designed in a unique, ring-shaped configuration can obtain a full 360° image of the body with a resolution of less than a millimeter in only a few seconds. Millimeter waves readily penetrate normal clothing, but are highly reflected by the human body and concealed objects. Millimeter wave signals are non-ionizing and are harmless to human tissues when used at low power levels.

Posted in: MDB, Briefs, TSP, Bio-Medical, Diagnostics, Medical, Antennas, Imaging and visualization, Integrated circuits, Security systems, Sensors and actuators, Human factors
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Rugged-Duty Actuator Enhances State-of-the-Art Pool/Spa Lift

The benefits of aquatic physical therapy and rehabilitation for those who have difficulty with weightbearing activities due to arthritis or injury, or those who are overweight, have long been known. There is also a significant population of wheelchairbound and disabled persons who use pools and spas for recreation or therapeutic purposes. A dilemma for these individuals is how to get in and out of the pool or spa safely.

Posted in: Application Briefs, Rehabilitation & Physical Therapy, Sensors and actuators, Medical, health, and wellness
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Controlling Devices Using the Ear as an Output Source

This method creates a hands-free way of controlling devices such as medical equipment, wheelchairs, computers, and cell phones.

Current methods of device control include joysticks, which involve using one or both hands, external microphones that are cumbersome and pick up ambient noise, and external arrays that are also cumbersome and can restrict a user’s movement. Additionally, the external microphone and array options do not provide a high level of accuracy in certain situations.

Posted in: Briefs, MDB, Briefs, Bio-Medical, Medical, Motion Control, Electronic control systems, Medical equipment and supplies, Noise
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Wireless Patient Monitoring Based on Personal Area Networks

This system can integrate with devices such as blood pressure meters and electrocardiograms.

The Wireless Patient Monitoring System deploys the Zigbee standard to create a Personal Area Network (a wireless network with a coverage area of around 10 m) that is capable of integrating into the same wireless network used by monitoring systems such as an electrocardiogram, pulse oxymeter, blood pressure sensor, and glucometer. The patient monitor also includes a gateway device for data encapsulation and transmission to the back-end systems via Ethernet, WiFi, and GSM/GPRS/UMTS connections. This gateway device also encompasses a Java applet for data presentation over an LCD touchscreen. For increased integration and interoperability features, the system also supports Bluetooth connectivity. The system supports up to 4 devices transmitting at the same time, and is powered with a rechargeable battery.

Posted in: Briefs, MDB, Briefs, Bio-Medical, Medical, Patient Monitoring, Software, Data acquisition and handling, Data exchange, Wireless communication systems, Diagnosis, Medical equipment and supplies, Physical examination
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Particle Distribution on Webs or Cloths

This technology provides the ability to uniformly distribute and attach particulate matter onto fibrous composite sheet or web materials.

This technology provides a methodology and products that are formed from fibrous substrates or film-like surfaces by uniform impregnation with a particulate that is subsequently firmly attached. The extremely uniform distribution of the particulate is accomplished by 1) electrically charging a fibrous matrix with individual exposed surfaces to create a uniform distribution of charged sites; 2) applying particulates to this matrix so that particulates adhere at the charged sites; and 3) the particulates are attached to the individual fibers within the substrate by firm non-transient bonding.

Posted in: Briefs, MDB, Briefs, Manufacturing & Prototyping, Coatings & Adhesives, Materials, Bio-Medical, Medical, Medical equipment and supplies, Fabrics, Fibers, Materials properties
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Apparatus for Cold, Pressurized Biogeochemical Experiments

Bacteria are grown under conditions imitating those at ocean depths.

A laboratory apparatus has been devised as a means of studying plausible biogeochemical reactions under high-pressure, low-temperature aqueous, anaerobic conditions like those conjectured to prevail in a liquid water ocean on Europa (the fourth largest moon of the planet Jupiter). The experiments to be performed by use of this apparatus are intended to enhance understanding of how life (if any) could originate and evolve in the Europa ocean environment. Inasmuch as terrestrial barophilic, psychrophilic organisms that thrive under anaerobic conditions are used in the experiments, the experiments may also contribute to terrestrial biogeochemistry.

Posted in: Briefs, MDB, Briefs, Imaging, Bio-Medical, Medical, Biological sciences, Test equipment and instrumentation
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