Special Coverage

Transducer-Actuator Systems for On-Machine Measurements and Automatic Part Alignment
Wide-Area Surveillance Using HD LWIR Uncooled Sensors
Heavy Lift Wing in Ground (WIG) Cargo Flying Boat
Technique Provides Security for Multi-Robot Systems
Bringing New Vision to Laser Material Processing Systems
NASA Tests Lasers’ Ability to Transmit Data from Space
Converting from Hydraulic Cylinders to Electric Actuators
Automating Optimization and Design Tasks Across Disciplines
Vibration Tables Shake Up Aerospace and Car Testing
Supercomputer Cooling System Uses Refrigerant to Replace Water

Retractor System for Abdominal Surgery

The operating field can be increased or decreased using one hand to move the retractor hooks.

Adjusting abdominal clamps to open up a larger operating field during surgery typically requires the use of two hands: one hand to unscrew the clamp, and the other hand to pull the clamp to increase the operating field. Furthermore, one hand has to retain the clamp in position while the other is used to fasten the tension screw. This can be inconvenient during a surgical procedure when the surgeon may only have one hand available. If this happens during an emergency and one of the surgeon’s hands is occupied, assistance is required to move the retraction hook to a new position. Due to limited space around the operating table, this is particularly difficult when the retraction hook needs to be moved in the direction of where the surgeon stands.

Posted in: Briefs, MDB, Briefs, Mechanical Components, Bio-Medical, Medical, Medical equipment and supplies, Surgical procedures
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Repeatable, Low-Cost UV Assembly of Biosensors

UV spot curing system ensures greater accuracy for automated and manual manufacturing of biosensors.

A biosensor is an analytical device that converts a biological response into an electrical signal. It is increasingly being used as a cost-effective diagnostic tool that offers the capability to render efficient, easy-to-use, and accurate diagnosis. While technological advances in biosensors are allowing this technology to cater to an extensive range of applications in a number of fields, such as industrial and environmental testing, the largest applications have been in the healthcare sector, including glucose detection, pregnancy testing, blood testing, breath analyzers, and cancer diagnosis.

Posted in: Briefs, MDB, Briefs, Manufacturing & Prototyping, Coatings & Adhesives, Materials, Bio-Medical, Medical, Patient Monitoring, Sensors, Sensors and actuators, Sensors and actuators, Biological sciences, Assembling
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Tethered Endoscope for Photographing the Esophagus

Unlike conventional endoscopes and camera pills, the system does not require an expensive external support system, batteries, memory, or processing electronics.

Conventional endoscopes are the “gold standard” for investigating and evaluating mucosal disease of the esophagus. Free-swimming camera pills are large because they must carry camera, batteries, memory, illumination, and some level of image processing power on board. A typical camera pill may measure 11 x 26 mm and may be priced at $1500 per pill — and the pill is not reusable. Camera pills are difficult if not impossible to steer from outside the body. Both camera pills and conventional endoscopes require an expensive external support system. Camera pills may not return information for over 24 hours, until the body eliminates them.

Posted in: Briefs, MDB, Briefs, Bio-Medical, Diagnostics, Medical, Patient Monitoring, Downsizing, Imaging, Imaging and visualization, Imaging, Imaging and visualization, Diagnosis, Medical equipment and supplies, Product development
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Isolation of the 'Paenibacillus phoenicis', a Spore-Forming Bacterium

A microorganism was isolated from the surfaces of the cleanroom facility in which the Phoenix lander was assembled. The isolated bacterial strain was subjected to a comprehensive polyphasic analysis to characterize its taxonomic position. Both phenotypic and phylogenetic analyses clearly indicate that this isolate belongs to the genus Paenibacillus and represents a novel species.

Posted in: Briefs, MDB, Briefs, Imaging, Bio-Medical, Medical, Patient Monitoring, Bacteria, Spacecraft
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Cell Radiation Experiment System

Cells can be irradiated under conditions that approximate those in living tissues.

The cell radiation experiment system (CRES) is a perfused-cell culture apparatus, within which cells from humans or other animals can (1) be maintained in homeostasis while (2) being exposed to ionizing radiation during controlled intervals and (3) being monitored to determine the effects of radiation and the repair of radiation damage. The CRES can be used, for example, to determine effects of drug, radiation, and combined drug and radiation treatments on both normal and tumor cells. The CRES can also be used to analyze the effects of radiosensitive or radioprotectant drugs on cells subjected to radiation. The knowledge gained by use of the CRES is expected to contribute to the development of better cancer treatments and of better protection for astronauts, medical-equipment operators, and nuclear-power-plant workers, and others exposed frequently to ionizing radiation.

Posted in: Briefs, MDB, TSP, Briefs, TSP, Imaging, Bio-Medical, Medical, Patient Monitoring, Human factors, Radiation, Radiation protection, Test equipment and instrumentation, Test procedures
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Monolithically Integrated, Mechanically Resilient Carbon-Based Probes for Scanning Probe Microscopy

These probes can be used in medical applications for bacteria or protein imaging.

Scanning probe microscopy (SPM) is an important tool for performing measurements at the nanoscale in imaging bacteria or proteins in biology, as well as in the electronics industry. An essential element of SPM is a sharp, stable tip that possesses a small radius of curvature to enhance spatial resolution. Existing techniques for forming such tips are not ideal. High-aspect-ratio, monolithically integrated, as-grown carbon nanofibers (CNFs) have been formed that show promise for SPM applications by overcoming the limitations present in wet chemical and separate substrate etching processes.

Posted in: Briefs, MDB, Briefs, Imaging, Bio-Medical, Diagnostics, Medical, Microscopy, Microscopy, Bacteria, Nanotechnology
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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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