Benefits of a Fully Digital Comparator for Inspection of Orthopedic Implants

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

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

Versatile, Ceramic, Metering Pumps for Medical Applications

From R&D in the laboratory to production process control, from disposable component assembly to OEM diagnostic instrumentation, a broad array of medical and medical support applications rely on precise dispensing or metering of fluids. But just as diverse as the applications are the varieties of fluids, their chemical and physical characteristics, and the specific application parameters. It could then be concluded that fluid control components, including pumps, need to have the flexibility to handle many different fluids and applications.

Posted in: Briefs, MDB, Briefs, Manufacturing & Prototyping, Bio-Medical, Drug Delivery, Medical, Medical equipment and supplies, Diagnostics, Ceramics

Tissue Photolithography

Tissue lithography will enable physicians and researchers to obtain macromolecules with high purity (>90 percent) from desired cells in conventionally processed, clinical tissues by simply annotating the desired cells on a computer screen. After identifying the desired cells, a suitable lithography mask will be generated to protect the contents of the desired cells while allowing destruction of all undesired cells by irradiation with ultraviolet light. The DNA from the protected cells can be used in a number of downstream applications including DNA sequencing. The purity (i.e., macromolecules isolated form specific cell types) of such specimens will greatly enhance the value and information of downstream applications.

Posted in: Briefs, TSP, Bio-Medical, Medical, Biological sciences, Medical equipment and supplies, Fabrication, Radiation

External Cooling Coupled to Reduced Extremity Pressure Device

Although suited astronauts are currently cooled with a Liquid Cooled Ventilation Garment (LCVG), which can remove up to 85 percent of body heat, their effectiveness is limited because cooling must penetrate layers of skin, muscle, fat, bone, and tissue to reach the bloodstream, where its effect is prominent. Vasoconstriction further reduces the effectiveness by limiting arterial flow when exposed to cold (the frostbite response), resulting in a time constant on the order of 20 minutes from application to maximum effect. This delay can be crucial in severe exposure to hypo- or hyper-thermic conditions, compromising homeostasis.

Posted in: Briefs, TSP, Bio-Medical, Medical, Body regions, Cooling, Spacesuits

Method for Impeding Degradation of Porous Silicon Structures

This invention relates to surface modification of porosified silicon (pSi) structures with poly(alkylene) glycols for the purpose of controlled degradation of the silicon matrix and tailored release of encapsulated substances for biomedical applications. The pSi structures are currently used in diverse biomedical applications including bio-molecular screening, optical bio-sensoring, and drug delivery by means of injectable/orally administered carriers and implantable devices.

Posted in: Briefs, Bio-Medical, Medical, Biological sciences, Medical equipment and supplies, Prostheses and implants, Pharmaceuticals, Silicon alloys

Improved Devices for Collecting Sweat for Chemical Analysis

Improved devices have been proposed for collecting sweat for biochemical analysis — especially for determination of the concentration of Ca2+ ions in sweat as a measure of loss of Ca from bones. Unlike commercially available sweat-collection patches used previously in monitoring osteoporosis and in qualitative screening for some drugs, the proposed devices would not allow evaporation of the volatile chemical components (mostly water) of sweat. Moreover, the proposed devices would be designed to enable determination of the volumes of collected sweat. From these volumes and the quantities of Ca2+ and/or other analytes as determined by other means summarized below, one could determine the concentrations of the analytes in sweat.

Posted in: Briefs, Bio-Medical, Medical, Medical equipment and supplies, Diagnostics, Calcium, Elastomers

Method and Apparatus for Forming Nanodroplets

This innovation uses partially miscible fluids to form nano- and microdroplets in a microfluidic droplet generator system.

Posted in: Briefs, Bio-Medical, Medical, Nanotechnology

Rapid Detection of the Varicella Zoster Virus in Saliva

Varicella zoster virus (VZV) causes chicken pox on first exposure (usually in children), and reactivates from latency causing shingles (usually in adults). Shingles can be extremely painful, causing nerve damage, organ damage, and blindness in some cases. The virus can be life-threatening in immune-compromised individuals. The virus is very difficult to culture for diagnosis, requiring a week or longer.

Posted in: Briefs, Bio-Medical, Medical, Diagnosis, Diseases, Fluids and secretions

Pulse Oximeter for Mobile Phone Platforms

Pulse oximetry non-invasively measures blood oxygen saturation (SpO2) and heart rate using a photo sensor to track the amount of absorbed light emitted by a red and infra-red LED. It allows for the rapid diagnosis of hypoxemia (low blood oxygen levels), which is difficult to identify clinically until the blood turns blue (a late sign). Since becoming the standard of care during anesthesia in the early 1980s, pulse oximetry has extended throughout much of the hospital, greatly improving patient safety due to early detection of clinical deterioration. This can rescue a patient from the permanent effects of lack of oxygen, such as brain damage or death.

Posted in: Briefs, MDB, Briefs, Bio-Medical, Diagnostics, Medical, Patient Monitoring, Sensors and actuators, Sensors and actuators, Medical equipment and supplies

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