Chemical annoblasts can be used to deliver molecules, proteins, and DNA into living cells, says new research from Georgia Tech.
Carbon nanoparticles are activated by bursts of laser light trigger the tiny blasts, which open holes in cell membranes just long enough to admit therapeutic agents contained in the surrounding fluid.  By adjusting laser exposure, the researchers administered a small-molecule marker compound to 90 percent of targeted cells – while keeping more than 90% of the cells alive.

August 17th, 2010
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The Federal Communications Commission and FDA signed a memorandum of understanding (MOU), agreeing that that the agencies will work together to create an efficient regulatory structure for wireless-enabled medical devices and services. The agreement has a five-year sunset provision built into it.
The FCC and FDA have four key goals for the collaboration, as follows:

  • Further enhance information sharing efforts in order to further ensure the safety and efficacy of medical devices.
  • Improve the efficiency of the agencies’ regulatory processes in areas where their jurisdiction overlaps, such as with respect to various medical devices that utilize broadband and wireless technology.
  • Promote efficient utilization of tools and expertise for product analysis, validation, and risk identification.
  • Build infrastructure and processes that meet the common needs for evaluating broadband and wireless enabled medical...
July 27th, 2010
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A medical-device company in North Carolina and bariatric surgeon Dr. Brian B. Quebbemann of Newport Beach, CA, have teamed up for weight-loss surgery requiring just one incision, reports the Orange County Register.
The operation marks the first time a surgeon has used a Spider surgical tool for this form of bariatric surgery. The Spider system by TransEnterix Inc. enables operation through the belly button, using a tool containing working arms that unfold inside the patient. The operation is called vertical sleeve gastrectomy. It is used most frequently used to treat severely obese patients and is an alternative to gastric bypass and Lap-Band operations.
The device has previously been used for Lap-Band placement, colon surgery, and for kidney and gallbladder removals. The vertical-sleeve operation was performed at the Advanced Surgical Partners Surgery Center in Costa Mesa.

July 20th, 2010
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Michelson Diagnostics has developed a probe suitable for imaging soft tissue for use with its VivoSight Multi-Beam optical coherence tomography (OCT) imaging system. The probe enables in vivo imaging of oral and gynecological tissue.

The VivoSight Multi-Beam OCT system provides sub-surface cross-sectional images at a resolution that is higher than ultrasound, CT, or MRI, as well as deeper and wider than is possible with confocal microscopy. The Soft Tissue Probe provides real time, in vivo images at better than 7.5 µm lateral resolution. It is 9 cm long and provides both 2-D and 3-D images over a 5 x 5 mm area. For sterile applications, the probe is used with a disposable transparent sheath, which covers the probe, handle, and upper connecting cable.

Ex vivo trials on excised oral tissue have shown that Multi-Beam OCT can visualize structures such as the epidermal / dermal junction and areas of cellular crowding...

May 25th, 2010
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Amir Weizman of NiTi Surgical Solutions (Netanya, Israel) presented his company’s work on the BowelRing device that is used in compression anastomosis. The device enables a sutureless surgical procedure designed to connect tissues in the digestive system.

Two spring leaves are used to compress tissue from both structures, inducing necrosis. Leak tightness and homeostasis is key to the first stage of the process. As healing progresses, tissue thickness is reduced and a decreasing force is applied. Force should steadily decrease in order to avoid untimely cutting of the tissue, but it must continue until new cells build the connection.

To design the device, researchers employed superelastic NiTi and worked to find a way to optimize the geometry of the leaves. The team employed finite element analysis (FEA) to gain control of the different stages in the force-displacement profile. Regulating the spring’s mechanical behavior, says Weizman, enables...
May 17th, 2010
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Iowa State University is hosting the Midwest Biopolymers and Biocomposites Workshop on May 11.

The workshop begins at 8 a.m. and concludes at 5 p.m. in the Memorial Union on the Iowa State campus. The workshop brings together researchers and technicians, engineers and designers working for companies developing products from plant components. The products, such as biopolymers, biocomposites or bioadhesives, have the potential to turn a wide range of feedstocks, from corn to coconut fibers, into products that could reduce the nation’s dependence on foreign oil. However, the variety of feedstocks increases the challenge of converting them into products.

More information is available at: www.biocom.iastate.edu/workshop

The workshop is sponsored by Iowa State’s Center for Crops Utilization Research, Biopolymers and Biocomposites Research Team, Bioeconomy Initiative, Institute for...

April 27th, 2010
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By tweaking a few things on a a regular inkjet printer, researchers at Wake Forest University (Winston-Salem, NC) have designed a bioprinter that can spray skin cells onto burns to protect the wounds. A laser takes a reading of the wound's shape and size to create a layer of healing skin cells that are applied with precision. The sprayed cells were created by dissolving human skin cells from pieces of skin, then separating and purifying the cell types. The researchers placed the cells in a nutritious solution to make them multiply. In two layers, the bioprinter applied fibroblasts and keratinocytes to form the protective outer skin layer. So far the device has been tested on mice, and the researchers plan on eventually seeking FDA approval to test it on humans. During testing, the mouse completely closed within three weeks. The sprayed cells integrated into the surrounding skin, hair follicles, and sebaceous glands. 

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April 8th, 2010
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A new collagen-based biomaterial is set to launch in Europe this year. It has been specifically developed by TiGenix to stimulate rapid regenerative repair of damaged joint surfaces.

One of the challenges for this biomaterial was creating a surgical applicator to deliver the resorbable scaffold into circular cavities that have been prepared to remove damaged cartilage or an underlying bone defect.

To solve this problem, 42Technology engineering team deveoped an easy-to-manufacture applicator that compresses and delivers a cylindrical implant of the porous material. It is created from six molded components that can be shared between different-sized applicators.

To operate, a flexible, self-aligning...

April 7th, 2010
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A water filter system could pave the way for emergency intravenous (IV) operations to help sick astronauts in space, reports Space.com. The IV device will be tested by NASA during the next space shuttle flight, set to launch Monday on the space shuttle Discovery.

The device is designed to filter out microscopic contaminants from drinking water to produce a fluid sterile enough for IVs in case they are needed in a medical emergency in space. If successful, it could also be used by the  military in remote field operations, on submarines and ships, as well as in medical relief efforts, researchers from NASA's Glenn Research Center (Cleveland) said.

"Project Clearwater," resulted in intravenous fluid generation (IVGEN) water filter. "IV fluid production anytime, anywhere, has great medical benefit on the ground as well as in space,...

April 6th, 2010
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TechTrends: The Quest for Innovation

What does it mean to be innovative? How can medical device manufacturers adopt innovation programs to create successful products? This FREE Webcast seeks to provide answers by exploring available innovation models that are currently in use in this and other industries. Experts provide the latest ideas in developing and creating medical devices using such models. They also explore avoiding common pitfalls and how to implement an innovation model into a busy lifecycle...

March 26th, 2010
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