Health, Medicine, & Biotechnology

High-Performance Micro-Porous Fluoropolymer Plastics for Critical Applications

ePTFE, a non-woven, open pore fluoropolymer plastic, is suitable for the critical demands of medical applications and other industries.

Polytetrafluoroethylene (PTFE) is a fully fluorinated polymer with exceptional chemical and physical properties: excellent chemical resistance, high temperature stability, good dielectric and nonstick properties and exceptional resistance to degeneration under severe conditions.

Posted in: Briefs, MDB, Briefs, Coatings & Adhesives, Materials, Bio-Medical, Medical, Chemicals, Heat resistant materials, Materials properties, Plastics

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, MDB, TSP, Briefs, TSP, Bio-Medical, Medical, Patient Monitoring, Integrated circuits, Integrated circuits, Diagnosis, Materials identification

Enabling Disabled Persons To Gain Access to Digital Media

A report describes the first phase in an effort to enhance the NaviGaze software to enable profoundly disabled persons to operate computers. (Running on a Windows-based computer equipped with a video camera aimed at the user’s head, the original NaviGaze software processes the user’s head movements and eye blinks into cursor movements and mouse clicks to enable hands-free control of the computer.) To accommodate large variations in movement capabilities among disabled individuals, one of the enhancements was the addition of a graphical user interface for selection of parameters that affect the way the software interacts with the computer and tracks the user’s movements. Tracking algorithms were improved to reduce sensitivity to rotations and reduce the likelihood of tracking the wrong features. Visual feedback to the user was improved to provide an indication of the state of the computer system. It was found that users can quickly learn to use the enhanced software, performing single clicks, double clicks, and drags within minutes of first use. Available programs that could increase the usability of NaviGaze were identified. One of these enables entry of text by using NaviGaze as a mouse to select keys on a virtual keyboard.

Posted in: Briefs, TSP, Bio-Medical, Medical, Computer software / hardware, Computer software and hardware, Computer software / hardware, Computer software and hardware, Diseases, Human machine interface (HMI), Kinematics

Microgravity-Enhanced Stem Cell Selection

This method provides rapid selection and proliferation of stem cells using a hydrofocusing bioreactor.

Stem cells, both embryonic and adult, promise to revolutionize the practice of medicine in the future. In order to realize this potential, a number of hurdles must be overcome. Most importantly, the signaling mechanisms necessary to control the differentiation of stem cells into tissues of interest remain to be elucidated, and much of the present research on stem cells is focused on this goal. Nevertheless, it will also be essential to achieve large-scale expansion and, in many cases, assemble cells in 3D as transplantable tissues. To this end, microgravity analog bioreactors can play a significant role.

Posted in: Briefs, MDB, TSP, Briefs, TSP, Bio-Medical, Medical, Biological sciences, Medical equipment and supplies, Identification

Diagnosis and Treatment of Neurological Disorders by Millimeter-Wave Stimulation

These techniques enable new treatments for neurological disorders and dysfunction.

Increasingly, millimeter waves are being employed for telecomm, radar, and imaging applications. To date in the U.S, however, very few investigations on the impact of this radiation on biological systems at the cellular level have been undertaken. In the beginning, to examine the impact of millimeter waves on cellular processes, researchers discovered that cell membrane depolarization may be triggered by low levels of integrated power at these high frequencies. Such a situation could be used to advantage in the direct stimulation of neuronal cells for applications in neuroprosthetics and diagnosing or treating neurological disorders.

Posted in: Briefs, MDB, Briefs, Bio-Medical, Medical, Diagnosis, Nervous system

Tear-Based Glucose Sensor for Diabetes Monitoring

Diabetic control typically requires daily monitoring of blood glucose levels. This involves finger pricking 2–10 times a day in order to obtain a sample for assay. Many find the finger prick tedious or painful and fall into noncompliance. Others may also dislike the assorted “paraphernalia” that must be carried around. Research into the “next-tech” for diabetes care has led many researchers to investigate tear glucose sensing as an alternative. As promising as many of these devices are, they are many years from market. Here the development of a near market tear glucose sensor is reported.

Posted in: Briefs, MDB, Briefs, Bio-Medical, Medical, Patient Monitoring, Sensors, Sensors and actuators, Sensors and actuators, Diseases, Fluids and secretions, Medical equipment and supplies, Test equipment and instrumentation

Maintaining Sterility Assurance Level in Medical Device Design

To avoid costly interruptions later on, sterility assurance should be placed at the forefront of the design process.

A medical device undergoing design and classified as sterile will be confronted with various obstacles, not the least of which is how to determine and maintain its proposed Sterility Assurance Level (SAL) as it approaches its ultimate goal: delivery to market.

Posted in: Briefs, MDB, Briefs, Manufacturing & Prototyping, Bio-Medical, Medical, Bacteria, Medical equipment and supplies, Risk management, Fabrication, Safety regulations and standards

Electrocardiography (ECG) Necklace

Wearable monitoring system uses an ultra-low-power application-specific integrated circuit and a beat-to-beat detection algorithm to measure cardiac activity.

Integrated wearable monitoring systems based on body area networks (BANs) enable continuous, reliable, and long-term monitoring of physio- and biological signals on the move, leading to wearable health solutions for next-generation healthcare, wellness, and lifestyle. An electrocardiography (ECG) necklace has been developed to target the simultaneous monitoring of cardiac and physical activity in everyday life situations.

Posted in: Briefs, MDB, Briefs, Electronics, Electronics & Computers, Bio-Medical, Medical, Patient Monitoring, Electronic equipment, Electronic equipment, Cardiovascular system, Medical equipment and supplies

Utilizing Machine Vision Engines for Advanced Quality Control and Object Detection

Advanced object and feature recognition eliminates the need for physical probing or fixed sensors.

Incorporating machine vision engines into an OEM system with automated handling provides a wide range of benefits to the manufacturer. Machine vision engines are self-contained vision systems that include the optics, lighting, image sensor, electronics, and software to enable standalone “intelligent” decision-making using vision software. Machine vision engines are also much more compact than traditional industrial machine vision systems, which makes them more appropriate for integration into OEM systems with limited space.

Posted in: Briefs, MDB, Briefs, Imaging, Manufacturing & Prototyping, Bio-Medical, Medical, Photonics, Optics, Sensors and actuators, Optics, Sensors and actuators, Automation, Quality control, Quality control

Experimental Walking Assist Device With Body Weight Support System

This technology is designed for users who, though capable of walking on their own, would benefit from a reduction of load on their leg muscles and joints.

An experimental walking assist device has been developed to help support body weight and reduce the load on the user’s legs while walking, going up and down stairs, and in a semi-crouching position. The device reduces the load on leg muscles and joints (in the hip, knees, and ankles) by supporting a portion of the person’s body weight. It features a simple structure consisting of seat, frame, and shoes, and the user can put it on by simply wearing the shoes and lifting the seat into position. Moreover, a mechanism that directs the assisting force toward the user’s center of gravity and the ability to control the assist force in concert with the movement of the legs make it possible for the device to provide natural assistance in various postures and motions.

Posted in: Briefs, MDB, Briefs, Electronics, Electronics & Computers, Bio-Medical, Medical, Rehabilitation & Physical Therapy, Ergonomics, Kinematics, Medical equipment and supplies

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