An artificial, working brain smaller than a grain of rice, a heart on a stick the size of a micro SD card, and many more “organ chips” could help doctors peer into the inner workings of the human body. Today DARPA and the FDA announced a new $70 million program called Tissue Chip for Drug Testing, aiming to study the micro-environments of various human organs without ever using a scalpel.
Whether you’re at the doctor’s office or taking medicine at home, future injections could be a lot less painful with this new gadget developed at MIT. Instead of a sterile metal point penetrating your skin, it fires a jet of medicine through your skin at the speed of sound.
Electronic tattoos promise to help people monitor health in all kinds of ways, from heart rates to blood sugar and more. Now here’s one that can monitor your tooth-brushing skills. A tooth-based sensor can detect different types bacteria in your saliva that can cause a variety of health problems.
Implantable medical devices will eventually dispense drugs, get rid of blood clots and perform micro-surgeries inside our bodies, but powering them could be problematic. If the point is to have minimally invasive gadgets keeping tabs on our health, cutting patients open to swap out their batteries is not an ideal situation.
In the future, implantable computerized dispensaries will replace trips to the pharmacy or doctor’s office, automatically leaching drugs into the blood from medical devices embedded in our bodies. These small wireless chips promise to reduce pain and inconvenience, and they’ll ensure that patients get exactly the amount of drugs they need, all at the push of a button.
Working with support of the Bill & Medlinda Gates Foundation’s Grand Challenge to develop field-worthy point-of-care diagnostics for the developing world, a couple of Cornell researchers are mashing up their individual inventions to create a handheld pathogen detector that can quickly diagnose pathogens ranging from chlamydia and tuberculosis to HIV.
Your favorite hip-hop artist could save a life someday — or at least control a person’s bladder — through the power of heavy bass beats, according to new research. Acoustic waves from rap music shudder through your body with ease, and can readily power a new implantable medical device.
A Texas company has received FDA clearance for a new kind of medical device aimed at reducing incision-site infections that result from surgical procedures. But rather than battling microorganisms with pharmaceutical cocktails or some kind of post-surgical treatment, Nimbic Systems’ Air Barrier System (ABS) keeps surgical sites free of bacteria and other bugs by creating a cocoon of purified air around the incision site for the duration of the surgery.
Labs-on-a-chip are useful tools for diagnosing diseases, but most can only pick out one or two sickness signatures amid an array of symptoms. The X Prize Foundation, responsible for innovation challenges in anything from spacecraft to oil spills, wants an all-purpose mobile device that can diagnose a patient better than a doctor. A tricorder!
By Caitlin Kearney
Posted 04.28.2011 at 10:08 am 3 Comments
More than 325,000 Americans die every year from sudden cardiac arrest, but two simple CPR devices could reduce that number by 10,000. According to a study published in The Lancet this winter, the ResQPump, which is used for chest compressions, and the ResQPOD, which prevents too much air from entering the lungs during CPR, could increase certain cardiac-arrest victims’ chances of survival by 50 percent.
Those long periods of lying completely still inside that intimidating MRI tube may soon be a thing of the past. Employing some tricky math and some heavy-duty computing power, researchers at the Max Planck Institute in Göttingen have developed a new MRI method that renders images in just one-fiftieth of a second, fast enough to capture organs and joints "live" for the first time.
People get tattoos for all kinds of reason, such as conveying their appreciation for Japanese calligraphy or to let others at the gym know their biceps are rugged like barbed wire. But a team of MIT researchers have found a higher calling for tattoo tech: using a nanoparticle ink to monitor glucose levels in the bloodstream.
So-called keyhole surgery techniques have come a long way in recent decades, but a lack of dexterity and freedom of movement means sometimes surgeons can’t get the job done, and that means they have to go in the old fashioned way: Straight through the breastbone.
Glaucoma is a tricky ailment to manage; rather than being a single disease, it's actually a cluster of diseases with various manifestations that, taken as a whole, are the second leading cause of blindness. But medical microtechnology firm Sensimed has engineered a sensor-laden contact lens that glaucoma sufferers can wear around-the-clock, helping doctors not only manage the potentially debilitating disease, but also learn more about how the mysterious condition works.
Five amazing, clean technologies that will set us free, in this month's energy-focused issue. Also: how to build a better bomb detector, the robotic toys that are raising your children, a human catapult, the world's smallest arcade, and much more.