Two scientists at the Thomas E. Starzl Transplantation Institute at the University of Pittsburgh discussed the state of xenotransplantation--the use of cells, organs, or tissue from one animal in another--in a review in The Lancet. In that review, they touch on the history of one particular subject: pig-to-human transplants. Their conclusion? Clinical trials of pig-to-human transplants could begin in just a few years.
A new heat-sensitive gel and glue combo is a major step forward for cardiovascular surgery, enabling blood vessels to be reconnected without puncturing them with a needle and thread. It represents the biggest change to vascular suturing in 100 years, according to Stanford University Medical Center researchers.
This month in amazing medical procedures, it’s all about Europe. Last week we learned that a pan-European team of researchers and doctors have successfully pulled off the first transplant of a synthetic organ grown from the patient’s own stem cells.
The Da Vinci robot, a remotely-controlled tool for surgeons, is capable of performing all-robotics surgery, but sometimes we like to see it tackle delicate, everyday, non-medical tasks to see just how amazingly dextrous it is. That might mean folding a tiny paper airplane, or, in this case, lacing a football. We always thought football needed more robots (it only has the one, right? That dancing one on Fox broadcasts?).
By Jennie Walters
Posted 04.01.2011 at 4:23 pm 10 Comments
The da Vinci robot, renowned for its prostate surgery skill, can also fly planes. Well, paper ones anyway. With Dr. James Porter of Seattle's Swedish Medical Center guiding its tiny robotic arms through the process, da Vinci successfully folds and flies a miniature paper airplane in this video.
A 25-year-old father from Fort Worth, Texas, received a new face in a 15-hour procedure last week, Brigham and Women’s Hospital announced Monday. Dallas Wiens is the first American to receive a full facial transplant.
A new type of endoscope with a super-small camera on its end could yield cheap, disposable scopes for peering inside your body. The camera is about the size of a grain of kosher salt, and its designers say it's the smallest camera ever.
Surgical robots might allow precise operation in tiny places our unwieldy human hands can't go, but using those robots removes the surgeon's valuable sense of touch. At the University of Washington, a group of engineering students decided to use a hacked Microsoft Kinect to give that sense back.
There’s too much guesswork in cancer surgery. Although a tumor is usually a different color or density than the healthy tissue around it, stray cancer cells near the tumor often blend in, so surgeons carve out an extra fraction of an inch surrounding it. But if post-op tests prove that the extracted tissue has cancer cells on its edge, another round of surgery is required. This happens frequently: About 20 percent of breast-cancer patients need a second surgery because of lingering cancer cells.
I’m not sure I would trust robots named McSleepy and DaVinci to knock me out and cut me open, but that’s what one brave soul just did, when he had his prostate removed at McGill University Health Centre for the world’s first all-robotic surgery.
In the near future, wounds may be treated with a flash of light. A process called photochemical tissue bonding can replace conventional stitches, staples and glues in repairing skin wounds and even reconnecting nerves and blood vessels.
Researchers at Massachusetts General Hospital, working with funds from the Air Force Office of Scientific Research, recently completed a pilot study to determine the effectiveness of light bonding compared to traditional stitches. The study involved patients who had skin lesions removed and needed stitches.
The screws used by doctors to repair broken bones and torn ligaments enable recovery from a wide range of injuries. Unfortunately, they also leave holes in bones, require secondary surgery for removal, and make going through airport security a real pain. But by crafting the screws from a special designed composite of polymer and mineral, researchers at Germany's Fraunhofer Institute have managed to solve all those problems in one fell swoop.
Physicians usually rely on surgery or drugs to bust blood clots in the brain that might otherwise cause a stroke, but sound waves might provide a third noninvasive choice. U.S. researchers have begun testing an Israeli ultrasound device to see whether it may prove accurate enough to break up a clot without causing collateral damage in the brain, Technology Review reports.
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.