Health, Medicine, & Biotechnology

PMA-PhyloChip DNA Microarray To Elucidate Viable Microbial Community Structure

This technology has applications in pharmaceutical and medical equipment manufacturing, and food processing.

Since the Viking missions in the mid- 1970s, traditional culture-based methods have been used for microbial enumeration by various NASA programs. Viable microbes are of particular concern for spacecraft cleanliness, for forward contamination of extraterrestrial bodies (proliferation of microbes), and for crew health/safety (viable pathogenic microbes). However, a “true” estimation of viable microbial population and differentiation from their dead cells using the most sensitive molecular methods is a challenge, because of the stability of DNA from dead cells.

Posted in: Briefs, Bio-Medical, Medical, Bacteria, Biomaterials, Test equipment and instrumentation, Spacecraft

Going ‘Digital’ Simplifies Medical Device Inspection

At various times throughout the manufacturing process, medical device and orthopaedic implant manufacturers need to carry out a wide range of inspections and measurements of the parts that they produce. Operators in the orthopaedic industry, for example, may check hip stems against a template many times during the grinding and polishing process. Like many manufacturers across a wide range of industries, they have traditionally used optical comparators to check parts directly on the shop floor.

Posted in: Articles, Medical, Measurements, Medical equipment and supplies, Prostheses and implants, Quality control, Quality control, Inspections

Wireless Foot Switch Design Considerations

Key selection factors for OEMs to consider include wireless protocol selection, battery selection, operating-voltage and space constraints, and wireless receiver location.

Wireless foot switches for the control of medical devices are gaining acceptance and growing in popularity — prompting OEMs to design medical equipment for use with a wireless foot switch or to accept a wireless foot switch as a pre-sale or post-sale option.

Posted in: Briefs, MDB, Briefs, Bio-Medical, Medical, Motion Control, Switches, Wireless communication systems, Switches, Wireless communication systems, Human machine interface (HMI), Medical equipment and supplies

Spatially-Invariant Vector Quantization for Image Analysis

A new software tool aims to make computer-aided tissue analysis faster, more accurate, and more consistent.

Researchers at the University of Michigan Health System and their colleagues have developed a software tool that aims to make the detection of abnormalities in cell and tissue samples faster, more accurate, and more consistent. The technique, known as Spatially-Invariant Vector Quantization (SIVQ), can pinpoint cancer cells and other critical features from digital images made from tissue slides.

Posted in: Briefs, MDB, Briefs, Imaging, Bio-Medical, Diagnostics, Medical, Software, Computer software / hardware, Computer software and hardware, Imaging, Imaging and visualization, Computer software / hardware, Computer software and hardware, Imaging, Imaging and visualization, Diseases, Medical equipment and supplies, Biomaterials, Test equipment and instrumentation

Benefits of Polypropylene Availability

Among other advantages, a new resin offers an attractive option for manufacturers seeking to move toward animal-derivative-free materials.

Material selection plays an important role in the design of a medical device or bioprocessing system. It can improve end-user satisfaction, product reliability, and manufacturability of the device, as well as simplify the 510(k) application process. Various certifications such as animal-derivative-free, USP Class VI, and ISO 10993-5 are just a few of those desired by medical device manufacturers and biopharmaceutical companies. As a result, Value Plastics, a Nordson company, has chosen to mold a large variety of its connectors with a new polypropylene resin in order to better fulfill customer needs and expectations. This material, manufactured by Flint Hills Resources, is represented by part numbers ending in “-6005.” This technical brief will explain the multiple benefits to manufacturers who incorporate this resin into their end products.

Posted in: Briefs, MDB, Briefs, Coatings & Adhesives, Materials, Bio-Medical, Drug Delivery, Medical, Medical equipment and supplies

Medical Category Winner

XVIVO Organ Perfusion System

Chris Jaynes, Tom Taccini, and Tim Klug,
XVIVO Perfusion,
Englewood, CO

In the United States, only 15% of available donor lungs are transplanted into critical recipients due to the associated damage to the organs from the traumatic death event. The XVIVO Perfusion System (XPS) is a mobile intensive care unit that can repair damaged organs ex vivo (out of the donor’s body) for successful transplantation into a waiting recipient.

Posted in: Articles, Medical, Design processes, Medical equipment and supplies, Product development

Breakthrough in Preventing Food-borne Illnesses Wins $20,000 Grand Prize in Global Design Contest

"Create the Future" Design Contest sponsored by PTC®, COMSOL, and Tech Briefs Media attracts over 900 innovative product ideas from engineers and students in 50 countries.

New York, NY – A new invention could protect millions from contracting food-borne illnesses. The αScreen is a portable, rapid pathogen screener that could allow screening of up to 100% of food produced in processing plants, before it is delivered to the consumer. αScreen is highly accurate, can detect as low as a single bacteria, and is approximately 50 times less expensive than the established, currently used detection methods.

Monika Weber of New Haven, CT, a graduate student at Yale University, is the team leader on this design project. She and a select team of students at Yale University’s School of Engineering and Applied Science are responsible for the advancement of the design. Monika spent two years working on preliminary projects in bio-detection before the design for the αScreen was finalized.

Posted in: Articles, Medical, Bacteria, Diseases, Medical, health, and wellness, Safety testing and procedures

Cytometer on a Chip

Analyses could be performed rapidly in compact instruments using disposable chips.

A cytometer now under development exploits spatial sorting of sampled cells on a microarray chip followed by use of grating- coupled surface-plasmon-resonance imaging (GCSPRI) to detect the sorted cells. This cytometer on a chip is a prototype of contemplated future miniature cytometers that would be suitable for rapidly identifying pathogens and other cells of interest in both field and laboratory applications and that would be attractive as alternatives to conventional flow cytometers.

Posted in: Briefs, Bio-Medical, Medical, Imaging, Imaging and visualization, Imaging, Imaging and visualization, Biological sciences

Benefits of a Fully Digital Comparator for Inspection of Orthopedic Implants

This system offers advantages over traditional optical comparators, including the ability for multiple operators to compare parts to the CAD file at any one time.

Manufacturers of orthopedic implants take great care to ensure that their products are of the highest quality. One way they do this is by performing numerous inspection operations at various stages throughout the manufacturing process. These have great value — however, they also represent considerable expense. Until recently, implant manufacturers reaped only a small fraction of the potential benefits of these efforts mainly because, in the end, few records of the inspection operations remained. Those that did exist were of poor and irregular quality. This is reasonable, considering in-process inspections are performed on the shop floor by system operators, whose primary function is to manufacture parts. Most inspection records consisted of a few checkmarks on a paper report indicating that the required inspection had indeed been performed successfully. These records do not do justice to industry-wide, high-quality standards.

Posted in: Briefs, MDB, Briefs, Imaging, Bio-Medical, Implants & Prosthetics, Medical, Prostheses and implants, Data management, Quality assurance, Quality assurance, Inspections

Tryptophan Fluorescence of Ocular Lens Protein for Early Diagnosis of Cataracts

Findings could spur the development of a clinically useful, non-invasive tool sensitive enough to detect, diagnose, and monitor lens change earlier than current methods.

Cataracts are the leading cause of blindness worldwide; they affect more than 20 million people and result in ~1.3 million operations annually in the United States. Current methods of cataract detection are based on subjective observation of lens opacity by Rayleigh light scattering using a slit lamp. These methods are not sensitive enough to reveal structural changes on a molecular level; they can only reveal defects once their size becomes comparable with the optical wavelength (400-600 nm). This occurs at a very late stage of cataract development.

Posted in: Briefs, MDB, Briefs, Bio-Medical, Diagnostics, Medical, Photonics, Optics, Optics, Body regions, Diagnosis, Medical equipment and supplies

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