Health, Medicine, & Biotechnology

2010 Create the Future Design Contest Medical Category Winner

(Winner of an HP Workstation)

IDEA Enhanced Pulse Oximetry

Rodrigo Teixeira, Alton Reich, and Stephen Malin
Huntsville, AL

Stroke volume, or how much volume of blood the heart pumps with each beat, demonstrates the organ’s efficiency and health, but the performance is often measured invasively using a Swan-Ganz catheter or ultrasound echocardiography. IDEA Enhanced Pulse Oximetry technology, however, measures light absorption by blood as it pulses. By analyzing the light pulses’ shape and evolutions, the technology gathers information about the patient’s cardiovascular system, including stroke volume and cardiac output. The Intelligent Data Extraction Algorithm, or IDEATM, analyzes noisy pulse signals and interprets them in a real-time physiological context.

Posted in: Articles, Medical, Mathematical models, Sensors and actuators, Sensors and actuators, Cardiovascular system, Medical equipment and supplies
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Ultra-High-Molecular-Weight Polyethylene Technology for Minimally Invasive Devices

Ultra-thin film and fiber are suitable for implantable cardiovascular devices.

Ultra-high-molecular-weight polyethylene (UHMWPE) has been used for decades as a biomaterial in joint replacements. Recently, this technology was refined to serve the needs of minimally invasive surgical applications, particularly cardiovascular implants. UHMWPE fiber can be shaped into a range of textile constructions, including braids and woven tubes, while the film can be used as a very thin barrier or cover. As such, the medical-grade UHMWPE film and fiber are suitable for enhancing the design of various implantable cardiovascular devices, including stent grafts and covered stents.

Posted in: Briefs, MDB, Briefs, Coatings & Adhesives, Materials, Bio-Medical, Implants & Prosthetics, Medical, Cardiovascular system, Prostheses and implants, Fibers, Polymers
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Circulatory Assist Pump for Implantable Artificial Heart Device

This ventricular-assist pump can be used before and after surgery.

When a patient’s heart disease cannot be treated, heart transplantation is required, but only a few people can receive transplants. These rare opportunities for transplantation have created a demand for artificial hearts.

Posted in: Briefs, MDB, Briefs, Mechanical Components, Bio-Medical, Medical, Cardiovascular system, Prostheses and implants, Pumps
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Ultrasonic Echo Probe With Measurement of Contact Pressure Distribution

This probe can measure tissue inside living bodies non-invasively using a thin-film piezoelectric pressure sensor.

This ultrasonic echo apparatus can measure tissue inside living bodies, non-invasively. The developed probe has a film-like piezoelectric sensor installed on the contact surface of an ordinary medical ultrasonic probe, and it can measure the contact pressure distribution between the probe and living bodies. Since it can measure, with an ultrasonic echo image, the deformation of living bodies when a probe is pressed against them dynamically, it can calculate the distribution of mechanical impedance within living bodies by using information on contact pressure at the contact surface.

Posted in: Features, MDB, Briefs, Bio-Medical, Medical, Sensors, Measurements, Sensors and actuators, Sensors and actuators, Medical equipment and supplies, Acoustics, Acoustics
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Modifying Polyethylene Oxide for Melt-Processability

Water-soluble packaging, disposable articles, and transdermal patches are possible applications for products made using water-soluble PEO.

Generally, high-molecular-weight polyethylene oxide (PEO) can present processing challenges due to its high melt viscosity and poor melt drawability; it can be difficult to form into fine-gauge film or small-diameter fibers. There is the alternative technology of solution casting, which has occasionally been utilized to cast thin films; however, solution casting may not always be practical for large-scale, economically viable film production.

Posted in: Briefs, MDB, Briefs, Coatings & Adhesives, Materials, Bio-Medical, Medical, Casting, Materials properties, Resins
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Topical Compositions and Glove for Protection and Shielding Against Radiation Exposure

These technologies have applications in military, nuclear energy, and emergency preparedness.

Over the past several decades, there has been a proliferation of medical diagnostic and treatment devices that involve the use of X-rays, beta rays, gamma rays, and radioactive isotopes. In addition, there has been recent concern regarding possible radiation exposure from nuclear weapons and terrorist attacks on nuclear facilities. Thus, there is a need for devices that can protect areas of the body that may be exposed to damaging radiation without hindering the user’s dexterity or loss of touch sensation.

Posted in: Briefs, MDB, Briefs, Coatings & Adhesives, Materials, Bio-Medical, Medical, Patient Monitoring, Medical equipment and supplies, Protective clothing, Radiation protection
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Digital Microfluidics Sample Analyzer

Combined innovations enable portable analyzers for medical diagnostics, bioterrorism pathogen detection, and food supply analysis.

Three innovations address the needs of the medical world with regard to microfluidic manipulation and testing of physiological samples in ways that can benefit point-of-care needs for patients such as premature infants, for which drawing of blood for continuous tests can be life-threatening in their own right, and for expedited results. A chip with sample injection elements, reservoirs (and waste), droplet formation structures, fluidic pathways, mixing areas, and optical detection sites, was fabricated to test the various components of the microfluidic platform, both individually and in integrated fashion. The droplet control system permits a user to control droplet microactuator system functions, such as droplet operations and detector operations. Also, the programming system allows a user to develop software routines for controlling droplet microactuator system functions, such as droplet operations and detector operations.

Posted in: Briefs, MDB, Briefs, Coatings & Adhesives, Materials, Bio-Medical, Diagnostics, Medical, Patient Monitoring, Software, Microelectricmechanical device, Microelectromechanical devices, Sensors and actuators, Microelectricmechanical device, Microelectromechanical devices, Sensors and actuators, Diagnosis, Medical equipment and supplies, Product development, Test equipment and instrumentation
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Process to Selectively Distinguish Viable From Non-Viable Bacterial Cells

The combination of ethidium monoazide (EMA) and post-fragmentation, randomly primed DNA amplification technologies will enhance the analytical capability to discern viable from non-viable bacterial cells in spacecraft-related samples. Intercalating agents have been widely used since the inception of molecular biology to stain and visualize nucleic acids. Only recently, intercalating agents such as EMA have been exploited to selectively distinguish viable from dead bacterial cells.

Posted in: Briefs, MDB, Briefs, Bio-Medical, Medical, Bacteria, Test procedures, Spacecraft
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Radiation Protection Using Carbon Nanotube Derivatives

This technology can be used in clinical oncology and in nuclear disaster response.

BHA and BHT are well-known food preservatives that are excellent radical scavengers. These compounds, attached to single-walled carbon nanotubes (SWNTs), could serve as excellent radical traps. The amino-BHT groups can be associated with SWNTs that have carbolyxic acid groups via acid-base association or via covalent association.

Posted in: Briefs, Bio-Medical, Medical, Biological sciences, Human factors, Nanomaterials, Radiation protection
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Orthotic Dynamically Adjusts to Changes in Foot Structure and Movement

This orthotic insert mimics the experience of walking in wet sand.

Kinesthotic© orthotics are made to adapt to the foot by replicating, within footwear, an explicit quality of beach-sand surface dynamics on whatever surface the footwear is used. The resulting support complies with the biomechanically sound and functional supportive principles and demands of each foot. The proprietary semi-fluid One-MinuteFit© molding composite is hermetically sealed within the Kinesthotic retaining envelope aligned on top of the pre-molded dynamic molding chassis.

Posted in: Briefs, MDB, Briefs, Bio-Medical, Medical, Rehabilitation & Physical Therapy, Medical equipment and supplies, Molding, Biomechanics
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