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.
By Spencer WoodmanPosted 03.26.2012 at 10:16 am 16 Comments
Since 1990, doctors have been regularly treating cancer patients using proton beams, which work similarly to radiation. Proton therapy is more precise, however, causing less harm to healthy surrounding tissues. Unfortunately, generating a proton beam requires a particle-accelerator facility that’s the size of an airplane hangar and costs more than $100 million to build. Thus, proton-beam therapy remains a rarity, with only 37 working facilities worldwide, 10 of which are located in the U.S. Just 10,000 people were treated last year, less than 5 percent of suitable patients.
A European octogenarian is the recipient of the first-ever 3-D printed jawbone, made of titanium powder that was sintered together one layer at a time. The recipient regained her ability to speak a few hours after the surgery, Belgian doctors said Monday. It could pave the way for a new wave of 3-D printed body parts — maybe not full organs yet, but certainly bones or joints.
Private companies and hospital researchers are increasingly making strides toward developing an artificial pancreas, supplanting insulin injections and pinpricks for patients with diabetes. Such a system would mimic the functions of a healthy pancreas, delivering insulin and monitoring blood sugar according to a computer’s careful calculations.
While covering the inventions of the year this week, we came across another project that may well deserve a gold star. Four seniors at Colorado State University have produced a shock-absorbent backpack, called the neonatal transport incubator, designed to reduce infant deaths by helping safely piggyback sick babies to medical facilities.
Creating an adhesive that can bond together bones has long presented researchers with some sticky problems. Many glues will not adhere to slick, wet surfaces, and those that do still tend to dissolve into the surrounding liquid. When setting shattered bones, surgeons instead must turn to metal screws and plates, a less-than-optimal process that often involves multiple surgeries and the lasting effects of metal implements inside the body. But researchers in Utah may have found the key to creating bone-setting glue, in a tiny, sandcastle-building aquatic worm.
Skin does more than look good (or, in my case, get covered in pimples and easily burned by the sun). It also protects the body from infection, dehydration, and a generally hostile world. As a result, victims of burns and skin diseases face serious problems beyond the obvious issues of pain and aesthetics.
For years, doctors have tried use synthetic skin for grafts and repairs, but the process to create that synthetic skin has always been expensive and time-consuming.
Now, a team from Germany's Fraunhofer-Gesellschaft science institute have created a way to mass-produce artificial skin, complete with blood vessels, that can be used for grafts, plastic surgery, or even cosmetics testing.
Is it the size of the wave or the motion of the ocean? That debate may never be settled, but a new study out of Italy suggests penile extender claims may not be as “short” on truth as widely assumed. Not something that concerns you, Mr. Well-Endowed? Well, considering the average American’s erectile length (5 inches) is well shy of the French (6.2 inches), Germans (5.6 inches), Italians (5.9 inches), Mexicans (5.8 inches), Chileans (5.5 inches) and Columbians (5.4 inches), consider it a matter of national pride.