Health, Medicine, & Biotechnology

Using Spider Silk, Surgeon Hits a Nerve

Christine Radtke, a Professor for Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery at Austria’s MedUni Vienna/Vienna General Hospital, has 21 spiders. The silk obtained from the Tanzanian golden orb-weavers offers Radtke and her team a valuable material to repair nerve and tissue.

Posted in: News, News, Materials, Implants & Prosthetics
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Graphene-Based Sensor for Improved Evaluation, Diagnosis, and Treatment of Asthma

This device detects and measures inflammation in the lungs.

Asthma, which causes inflammation of the airway and obstructs airflow, affects about 300 million people worldwide. Symptoms include coughing, wheezing, shortness of breath, and chest tightness. Other serious lung ailments include chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), which encompasses emphysema and chronic bronchitis.

Posted in: Briefs, Medical, Sensors and actuators, Sensors and actuators, Diagnosis, Diseases, Fluids and secretions, Medical equipment and supplies, Nanotechnology
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Artificial “Wrist” Enables Design of Wearable Blood Pressure Monitors

This wearable device monitors blood pressure continuously, 24 hours a day.

Unfortunately, blood pressure (BP) measurements currently require the use of a cuff that temporarily stops blood flow. A wearable BP “watch” using today’s technology would squeeze the wrist every few minutes, making it impractical to use. A better method might gauge subtle pressure changes at the surface of the skin above one of the main wrist arteries — the radial artery — without regularly cutting off circulation. But before this new technology can be developed, there is a need to understand what the pressure inside a blood vessel looks like on the surface of the skin. This requires a physical model that can be used to test wearable devices in a laboratory.

Posted in: Briefs, Medical, Sensors and actuators, Sensors and actuators, Body regions, Medical equipment and supplies, Physical examination, Product development, Anthropometric test devices
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Digital-to-Analog Transformation and Reconstruction of ECG Data

This technology allows rapid, automated, second interpretation of 12-lead ECG data.

The innovators at NASA Johnson Space Center have developed a new method and device for specialized digital-to-analog conversion (DAC) and reconstruction of multichannel electrocardiograms (ECGs), including 12-lead ECGs. Current devices do not have the functionality that allows for the transmission of stored digital ECG data collected from one manufacturer’s ECG machine to another for an automated second opinion. With this technology, the physician has the opportunity to compare results by transferring the ECG data to another ECG machine — regardless of location — when a patient’s results are difficult to interpret for a second opinion. The technology also allows for the use of less expensive 12-lead ECG front ends or analog-to-digital conversion (ADC) hardware that is advantageous when in remote locations or with patients who are mobile during research studies. The digital-to-analog transformation and reconstruction of ECG data technology is available for licensing.

Posted in: Briefs, Medical, Computer software / hardware, Computer software and hardware, Data acquisition and handling, Data exchange, Computer software / hardware, Computer software and hardware, Data acquisition and handling, Data exchange, Cardiovascular system, Medical equipment and supplies
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Miniaturized Chemical Detectors for Point-of-Care Diagnosis

Applications include disease biomarkers and diagnostics, monitoring wound health for infections, and exposure to bacteria, viruses, and toxins.

This chemical detector, based on a miniaturized, pulse-discharged ionization detector (mini-PDID), makes it possible to diagnose illnesses by identifying volatile organic compounds (VOCs) associated with certain diseases and infections on a patient’s breath, or in the headspace of biological fluids.

Posted in: Briefs, Medical, Sensors and actuators, Sensors and actuators, Diagnosis, Diseases, Fluids and secretions, Medical equipment and supplies, Chemicals
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Handheld Laser Probe Detects Cancer in Real Time

An optical probe that detects cancerous brain cells in real time is impressive enough. Scientists in Montreal say they’ve developed one that is “infallible.”

Posted in: News, News, Diagnostics, Medical, Patient Monitoring, Fiber Optics, Optics, Detectors
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Wearable System Guides Visually Impaired Users

A new wearable system from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology will help blind users navigate through indoor environments.

Posted in: MDB, News, News, Imaging, Sensors
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Tech Briefs Q&A: Bringing Bioprinting to Life

A team from Northwestern University created bioprosthetic ovaries that ultimately led to the restoration of hormone production and fertility in mice.

Posted in: News, News, Implants & Prosthetics
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What’s New on TechBriefs.com: Asteroid Detection, Blood-Pressure Monitoring, and Breaking the ‘Bandwidth Bottleneck’

Did you know that a 1-kilometer-wide asteroid flew past the Earth this month? Or that a chip-scale device provides broader bandwidth instantaneously to more users? Or that a new "Bold Band" offers a wearable way to monitor blood pressure? Make sure you've seen the latest stories on TechBriefs.com.

Posted in: News, Aerospace, Imaging, Patient Monitoring, Photonics
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Creating the Future: Wearable Bands Offer Continuous Blood-Pressure Measurement

The pneumatic cuff, a device traditionally used to measure blood pressure, has had a prominent place in doctors' offices for more than a century. As part of a year-long fellowship at Northwestern University, two clinicians and two engineers teamed up to develop a new way of measuring blood pressure: cuffless, wearable wristbands.

Posted in: News, News, Medical, Patient Monitoring
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