Health, Medicine, & Biotechnology

Electron Beam Writer Enables Microfabrication

Integrated electronics could activate prosthetics. The new electron beam writer housed in the cleanroom facility at the Qualcomm Institute, previously the UCSD division of the California Institute of Telecommunications and Information Technology, is important for two major areas of research by Shadi Dayeh, PhD, an electrical and computer engineering professor. He is developing next-generation, nanoscale transistors for integrated electronics. At the same time, he is working to develop neural probes that can extract electrical signals from brain cells and transmit the information to a prosthetic device or computer. To achieve this level of signal extraction or manipulation requires tiny sensors spaced very closely together for the highest resolution and signal acquisition. Enter the new electron beam writer. (See Figure 1)

Posted in: Biosensors, Electronics, Implants & Prosthetics, Optics/Photonics, Bio-Medical, Briefs, Briefs, Electronics, Implants & Prosthetics, Patient Monitoring

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Enabling Microliquid Chromatography by Microbead Packing of Microchannels

The microbead packing is the critical element required in the success of onchip microfabrication of critical microfluidic components for in-situ analysis and detection of chiral amino acids. In order for microliquid chromatography to occur, there must be a stationary phase medium within the microchannel that interacts with the analytes present within flowing fluid. The stationary phase media are the microbeads packed by the process discussed in this work. The purpose of the microliquid chromatography is to provide a lightweight, low-volume, and lowpower element to separate amino acids and their chiral partners efficiently to understand better the origin of life.

Posted in: Imaging & Diagnostics, Materials / Adhesives / Coatings, Monitoring & Testing, Optics/Photonics, Bio-Medical, Briefs, TSP, Briefs, TSP, Diagnostics, Fluid Handling, Measuring Instruments

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Heart Pump with Behind-the-Ear Power Connector

One-third of patients with heart pumps develop infection at abdominal connection. Cardiac surgeons and cardiologists at the University of Maryland Heart Center are part of a multi-center clinical trial evaluating the efficacy of powering heart pumps through a skull-based connector behind the ear. The pumps, called left ventricular assist devices (LVADs), support the heart’s main pumping chamber, the left ventricle. LVADs are implanted in the chest and powered with external batteries. Typically, these devices, which are used for patients with severe heart failure, are powered through an electrical cord connected at the abdomen, where potentially deadly infections can develop.

Posted in: Drug Delivery & Dispensing, Electronics, Implants & Prosthetics, Bio-Medical, Briefs, Briefs, Electronic Components, Electronics, Power Management, Power Supplies, Implants & Prosthetics, Patient Monitoring, Fluid Handling, Power Transmission

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Robotic Exoskeleton Vastly Improves Quality of Life

Worldwide an estimated 185 million people use a wheelchair daily. A company based in Auckland, New Zealand, has developed an innovative robotic technology that helps people with mobility impairment get back on their feet— the Rex Bionics robotic exoskeleton. Its integrated maxon motors help to ensure smooth limb movement.

Posted in: Biosensors, Implants & Prosthetics, Mechanical Components, Rehabilitation & Physical Therapy, Features, Articles, Electronics, Power Management, Power Supplies, Implants & Prosthetics, Orthopedics, Rehabilitation & Physical Therapy, Motors & Drives, Positioning Equipment, Power Transmission

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Sterilization of Bioresorbable Polymers

Sterilization method should be considered during the design phase. Bioresorbable polymers for medical devices encompass a broad class of materials with two of the more common materials being poly(L-lactic acid) and poly(lactic-co-glycolic acid). Some terminal sterilization processes may result in changes in materials properties, thereby significantly impacting the functional behavior of bioresorbable implants. Matching a terminal sterilization method to a bioresorbable implant requires the materials properties of the device to be considered as part of the product development process. Currently, there are several types of terminal sterilization processes in use for these polymers, including gamma radiation, e-beam radiation, and ethylene oxide (EtO). Steri lization with nitrogen dioxide (NO2) gas provides a room-temperature alternative that should be considered for this class of materials.

Posted in: Custom & Contract Manufacturing, Implants & Prosthetics, Materials / Adhesives / Coatings, Monitoring & Testing, Packaging, Bio-Medical, Briefs, Briefs, Coatings & Adhesives, Composites, Plastics, Implants & Prosthetics

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Laser Marking for ID and Traceability Within the Medical Industry

Laser marking provides easy and effective labeling for medical devices. The use of lasers to mark surgical instruments has become of greater significance, however, the parameters used in these applications are not always fully appreciated. The medical industry, in particular, has utilized laser technology primarily to mark, weld, and cut medical devices for years. Lasers address the need for microscopic applications: to cut widths measurable in microns, spot welds with heat affected zones barely visible to the unaided eye, and highly resolved biocompatible markings that enable traceability of instruments and implants. In common with other industries, medical devices and pharmaceutical businesses turn to lasers for a one-step, fast, flexible, permanent, and a highly automated marking process.

Posted in: Custom & Contract Manufacturing, Optics/Photonics, Packaging, Bio-Medical, Briefs, Briefs, FDA Compliance/Regulatory Affairs, Fiber Optics, Lasers & Laser Systems

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FRET-Aptamer Assays for Bone Marker Assessment, C-Telopeptide, Creatinine, and Vitamin D

Applications include assessment of osteoporosis, and aptamer assays for veterinary analytes, infectious disease, food- and water-borne pathogens, and chemical/biological threats. Astronauts lose 1.0 to 1.5% of their bone mass per month on long-duration spaceflights. NASA wishes to monitor the bone loss onboard spacecraft to develop nutritional and exercise countermeasures, and make adjustments during long space missions. On Earth, the same technology could be used to monitor osteoporosis and its therapy.

Posted in: Bio-Medical, Briefs

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