Health, Medicine, & Biotechnology

Retinal Light Processing Using Carbon Nanotubes

This chip can be used as an electrical or optical sensor for the retina. Ames Research Center, Moffett Field, California NASA has patented a new technology called the Vision Chip, an implantable device that has the potential to restore or supplement visual function in a diseased or damaged retina. This technology could benefit millions of people in the US and globally who suffer from degenerative diseases of the eye’s retina such as age-related macular degeneration (AMD), retinitis pigmentosa (RP), and, in some cases, diabetic retinopathy. The Vision Chip is targeted to treat AMD and other degenerative diseases of the retina by replacing a compromised retinal photoreceptor system with an array of equivalent external photoreceptors and carbon nanotube (CNT) “towers” (bundles of CNTs) that provide a pathway to transmit signals from the external photoreceptors to an active layer of retina.

Posted in: Briefs, Medical

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Rapid Polymer Sequencer

Maximum resolution will be improved at least 100-fold compared to biological ion-channel measurements. Ames Research Center, Moffett Field, California Solid-state, nanopore-based analysis of nucleic acid polymers is the only technique that can determine information content in single molecules of genetic material at the speed of 1 subunit per microsecond. Because individual molecules are counted, the output is intrinsically quantitative. The nanopore approach is more generalized than any other method, and in principle may be used to analyze any polymer molecule, including proteins. The approach to the development of a solid-state nanopore device is novel in the use of nanofabrication, nanoelectric components, and high-speed signal acquisition.

Posted in: Briefs, Medical

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High-Density, Homogenous Bacterial Spore Distributions on Test Surfaces

This method uses polycarbonate membrane to transfer spores onto a mirror surface. NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory, Pasadena, California Thus far, spore transfer had been successful from the polycarbonate membrane onto stainless steel, aluminum, and to some extent, glass. In order to image the endospores under an ESEM (environmental scanning electron microscope), the spores were transferred onto a 4-mm-diameter, mirror-polished, stainless steel ESEM tab. For the spectroscopic and irradiation procedures in the Planetary Ice Group, it has also been necessary to transfer a highly concentrated, homogenous layer of spores onto a 1/2- or 1-in. (≈1.3- or 2.5-cm) aluminum mirror. Various other methods have been developed and tested for statistical spore deposition and transfer, but transfer was previously prone to uneven coverage due to poor contact, as well as visible microdroplets from over-saturation of the backing filter contact or non-homogeneity on a larger scale. A complete, reproducible method follows to avoid these issues and ensure quantitative predictions and uniformity.

Posted in: Briefs, Medical

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Team Game and Simulation Control

Langley Research Center, Hampton, Virginia This technology is an offshoot of LaRC-developed technologies using physiological measures for assessing pilot stress, sustained attention, engagement, and awareness in a laboratory flight simulation environment. The technology allows modulation of player inputs to a video game or simulation from a user interface device based on the player’s psychophysiological state. It exploits current wireless motion-sensing technologies to utilize physiological signals for input modulation. These signals include, but are not limited to, heart rate, muscle tension, and brain wave activity. The invention is a technology for training teams to maintain functional states that are conducive to effective performance of manual tasks such as flight control, by physiologically modulating operator input devices to simulations. The invention also permits individuals who are physically challenged to participate in electronic game play by collaborating with a player who is able to manipulate controls that the challenged player cannot, and enables individuals with different skill sets and interests (physiological self-control vs. physical performance skills) to join together in rewarding game play. Besides gaming, this technology has application in athletic training and mind-body medicine.

Posted in: Briefs, TSP, Medical

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CRP Aptamers to Bone-Specific Alkaline Phosphatase (BAP)

Lyndon B. Johnson Space Center, Houston, Texas In order to detect and quantify bone-specific alkaline phosphatase (BAP) in a human biological sample, a binding agent (molecule) that specifically recognizes BAP in a sample is typically required. This binding agent can then be used in numerous assays/instruments to enable the detection and quantification of BAP.

Posted in: Briefs, TSP, Medical

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Inkjet Technology Prints 'Soft Robot' Circuits

A new potential manufacturing approach from Purdue University researchers harnesses inkjet printing to create devices made of liquid alloys. The resulting stretchable electronics are compatible with soft machines, such as robots that must squeeze through small spaces, or wearable electronics.

Posted in: News, News, Surgical Robotics/Instruments

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Coupling

C-Flex Bearing Co. (Frankfort, NY) offers a Super Plastic torsional damping coupling that stabilizes high-precision systems by dampening transient torque variations. The patented design offers high-torque loads with zero backlash for positioning in industries such as medical, packaging, and semiconductor. The standard flexible coupling is made up of two high-strength aluminum ends with glass-impregnated polyamide flexures. They are available with both set screws and “No Mark” steel clamp bushings. English and metric versions are available. Bore sizes range from 0.125" to 1.25", and 4 mm to 32 mm. Lattice and servo styles are available in both the Super Plastic and all stainless steel versions. For Free Info Visit http://info.hotims.com/55588-310

Posted in: Products, Manufacturing & Prototyping, Joining & Assembly, Medical, Motion Control, Packaging, Semiconductors & ICs

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