Special Coverage

NASA Supercomputer Simulations Reveal 'Noisy' Aerodynamics
Robotic Gripper Cleans Up Space Debris
Soft Robot “Walks” on Any Terrain
Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency
Using Microwaves to Produce High-Quality Graphene
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

Rugged-Duty Actuator Enhances State-of-the-Art Pool/Spa Lift

The benefits of aquatic physical therapy and rehabilitation for those who have difficulty with weightbearing activities due to arthritis or injury, or those who are overweight, have long been known. There is also a significant population of wheelchairbound and disabled persons who use pools and spas for recreation or therapeutic purposes. A dilemma for these individuals is how to get in and out of the pool or spa safely.

Posted in: Application Briefs, Rehabilitation & Physical Therapy, Sensors and actuators, Sensors and actuators, Medical, health, and wellness
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Controlling Devices Using the Ear as an Output Source

Current methods of device control include joysticks, which involve using one or both hands, external microphones that are cumbersome and pick up ambient noise, and external arrays that are also cumbersome and can restrict a user’s movement. Additionally, the external microphone and array options do not provide a high level of accuracy in certain situations.

Posted in: Briefs, MDB, Briefs, Bio-Medical, Medical, Motion Control, Electronic control systems, Electronic control systems, Medical equipment and supplies, Noise, Noise
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Wireless Patient Monitoring Based on Personal Area Networks

The Wireless Patient Monitoring System deploys the Zigbee standard to create a Personal Area Network (a wireless network with a coverage area of around 10 m) that is capable of integrating into the same wireless network used by monitoring systems such as an electrocardiogram, pulse oxymeter, blood pressure sensor, and glucometer. The patient monitor also includes a gateway device for data encapsulation and transmission to the back-end systems via Ethernet, WiFi, and GSM/GPRS/UMTS connections. This gateway device also encompasses a Java applet for data presentation over an LCD touchscreen. For increased integration and interoperability features, the system also supports Bluetooth connectivity. The system supports up to 4 devices transmitting at the same time, and is powered with a rechargeable battery.

Posted in: Briefs, MDB, Briefs, Bio-Medical, Medical, Patient Monitoring, Software, Data acquisition and handling, Data exchange, Wireless communication systems, Data acquisition and handling, Data exchange, Wireless communication systems, Diagnosis, Medical equipment and supplies, Physical examination
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Particle Distribution on Webs or Cloths

This technology provides a methodology and products that are formed from fibrous substrates or film-like surfaces by uniform impregnation with a particulate that is subsequently firmly attached. The extremely uniform distribution of the particulate is accomplished by 1) electrically charging a fibrous matrix with individual exposed surfaces to create a uniform distribution of charged sites; 2) applying particulates to this matrix so that particulates adhere at the charged sites; and 3) the particulates are attached to the individual fibers within the substrate by firm non-transient bonding.

Posted in: Briefs, MDB, Briefs, Manufacturing & Prototyping, Coatings & Adhesives, Materials, Bio-Medical, Medical, Medical equipment and supplies, Fabrics, Fibers, Materials properties
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Apparatus for Cold, Pressurized Biogeochemical Experiments

A laboratory apparatus has been devised as a means of studying plausible biogeochemical reactions under high-pressure, low-temperature aqueous, anaerobic conditions like those conjectured to prevail in a liquid water ocean on Europa (the fourth largest moon of the planet Jupiter). The experiments to be performed by use of this apparatus are intended to enhance understanding of how life (if any) could originate and evolve in the Europa ocean environment. Inasmuch as terrestrial barophilic, psychrophilic organisms that thrive under anaerobic conditions are used in the experiments, the experiments may also contribute to terrestrial biogeochemistry.

Posted in: Briefs, MDB, Briefs, Imaging, Bio-Medical, Medical, Biological sciences, Test equipment and instrumentation
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Hollow Radiopaque Bioactive Microspheres Carry Drugs in Embolization Procedures

The number of applications of synthetic biomaterials continues to expand. However, the imaging of injected biomaterials is important to control the treatment procedure in real time, to avoid complications, and to assess therapeutic success. Embolization is the obstruction of the blood flow in a vessel that can be an effective treatment for tumors in hepatocellular carcinoma or for uterine fibroids. By combining this embolization therapy with a localized drug delivery, the treatment can even be more effective. The material that is currently used is not radiopaque and can therefore cause difficulties for the interventional radiologist during placement of the embolic. Therefore, hollow, drug-carrying microspheres were made radiopaque.

Posted in: Briefs, MDB, Briefs, Coatings & Adhesives, Materials, Bio-Medical, Drug Delivery, Medical, Diseases, Biomaterials, Pharmaceuticals, Polymers
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Isolation of Resistance-Bearing Microorganisms

Strategies were explored for inactivating resistance-bearing microorganisms, focusing on a new species (Bacillus horneckii sp. nov.) discovered on the surfaces of the Kennedy Space Center cleanroom facility in which the Phoenix lander was assembled. Two strains that belong to this novel species were isolated and subjected to a comprehensive, polyphasic analysis to characterize their taxonomic position.

Posted in: Briefs, MDB, Briefs, Imaging, Bio-Medical, Medical, Bacteria, Biological sciences, Radiation
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Growing B Lymphocytes in a Three-Dimensional Culture System

A three-dimensional (3D) culture system for growing long-lived B lymphocytes has been invented. The capabilities afforded by the system can be expected to expand the range of options for immunological research and related activities, including testing of immunogenicity of vaccine candidates in vitro, generation of human monoclonal antibodies, and immunotherapy.

Posted in: Briefs, MDB, Briefs, Imaging, Bio-Medical, Medical, Biological sciences, Test equipment and instrumentation
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Liquid Cooling/Warming Garment

The NASA liquid cooling/ventilating garment (LCVG) currently in use was developed over 40 years ago. With the commencement of a greater number of extra-vehicular activity (EVA) procedures with the construction of the International Space Station, problems of astronaut comfort, as well as the reduction of the consumption of energy, became more salient.

Posted in: Briefs, MDB, Briefs, Coatings & Adhesives, Materials, Bio-Medical, Medical, Patient Monitoring, Human factors, Spacesuits
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Tissuelike 3D Assemblies of Human Broncho-Epithelial Cells

Three-dimensional (3D) tissuelike assemblies (TLAs) of human bronchoepithelial (HBE) cells have been developed for use in in vitro research on infection of humans by respiratory viruses. The 2D monolayer HBE cell cultures heretofore used in such research lack the complex cell structures and interactions characteristic of in vivo tissues and, consequently, do not adequately emulate the infection dynamics of in-vivo microbial adhesion and invasion. In contrast, the 3D HBE TLAs are characterized by more-realistic reproductions of the geometrical and functional complexity, differentiation of cells, cell-to-cell interactions, and cell-to-matrix interactions characteristic of human respiratory epithelia. Hence, the 3D HBE TLAs are expected to make it possible to perform at least some of the research in vitro under more-realistic conditions, without need to infect human subjects.

Posted in: Briefs, MDB, TSP, Briefs, TSP, Coatings & Adhesives, Materials, Bio-Medical, Medical, Scale models, Anatomy, Biological sciences, Diseases, Test equipment and instrumentation
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