Health, Medicine, & Biotechnology

Detection of Only Viable Bacterial Spores Using a Live/Dead Indicator in Mixed Populations

This technology can be used by the food and pharmaceutical industries to validate sterility and quality. This method uses a photoaffinity label that recognizes DNA and can be used to distinguish populations of bacterial cells from bacterial spores without the use of heat shocking during conventional culture, and live from dead bacterial spores using molecular-based methods.

Posted in: Bio-Medical, Briefs

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Rapid Detection of Herpes Viruses for Clinical Applications

There are eight herpes viruses that infect humans, causing a wide range of diseases resulting in considerable morbidity and associated costs. Varicella zoster virus (VZV) is a human herpes virus that causes chickenpox in children and shingles in adults. Approximately 1,000,000 new cases of shingles occur each year; post-herpetic neuralgia (PHN) follows shingles in 100,000 to 200,000 people annually. PHN is characterized by debilitating, nearly unbearable pain for weeks, months, and even years. The onset of shingles is characterized by pain, followed by the zoster rash, leading to blisters and severe pain. The problem is that in the early stages, shingles can be difficult to diagnose; chickenpox in adults can be equally difficult to diagnose. As a result, both diseases can be misdiagnosed (false positive/negative).

Posted in: Bio-Medical, Briefs, Data Acquisition

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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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