tech

Helping Mice Mate: 3D Printing Ovarian Envelopes

Northwestern University researchers have tested various 3d printing techniques to discover the angles at which ovarian follicles will optimally interact with their scaffolds to increase ovary survival. 30º and 60º angles apparently provide better protection and vascularization than 90º angles. The results have been harnessed to create a prosthetic implant that is meant to help restore fertility. Sterile mice implanted with these new follicle-infused scaffolds were able to reproduce through natural mating processes. The hope for the future of this research is to provide renewed fertility to female cancer patients rendered sterile by their therapies. The ovarian bioprosthesis may also hold the key to restoring and/or improving hormone production, which has many applications, including enabling young patients to proceed naturally through puberty. Click here to review the publication in the journal Nature Communications. Below is the foreword: Emerging additive manufacturing techniques enable investigation of the effects of pore geometry on cell behavior and function. Here, we 3D print microporous hydrogel scaffolds to test how varying pore geometry, accomplished by manipulating the advancing angle between printed layers, affects the survival of ovarian follicles. 30° and 60° scaffolds provide corners that surround follicles on multiple sides while 90° scaffolds have an open porosity that limits follicle–scaffold interaction. As the amount of scaffold interaction increases, follicle spreading is limited and survival increases. Follicle-seeded scaffolds become highly vascularized and ovarian function is fully...

What The Most Futuristic Hospitals Have That Others Don’t

Technology has certainly made great advancements in medicine, and our friends at GapMedics provide a glimpse into the most futuristic hospitals in the world. Featured on the list are: University of Missouri Health System: University Hospital in Columbia, Missouri; Hackensack University Medical Center in Hackensack, New Jersey; Wooridul Spine Hospital in Seoul, South Korea; Vale Hospital in Hensol, South Wales, United Kingdom; and Asklepios Klinik Barmbek in Hamberg, Germany. Many leading hospitals are already making profound changes and improvements that could not even have been imagined a decade ago. Science and technology working together are bringing hope and progress to patients and medical staff alike. In this infographic, we take a look at some of the most futuristic hospitals in the world, where state of the art equipment and high tech medical care is advancing healthcare across the world. What does the future of hospitals look? Some are incredibly optimistic, with hospitals developing more specialized technologies and groups to optimize their systems and to tread as many patients as possible. Even in 2015, we saw developments in prosthetics. Futurism reported that by 2030, hospitals may be a thing of the past: Predictions from the co-chair of the World Economic Forum’s Future Council, Melanie Walker, say we’ll soon enter a post-hospital world due to advances in personalized medicine, health monitoring, and nanotechnology. New and evolving technologies in medical science convince Walker we’ll live...

Can Smartphones Sequence DNA?

Featured From The Doctor’s Channel   Video: Source   Molecular analysis of biological samples is typically outsourced to well-equipped (and cost-intensive) laboratories. However, there are times when sample diagnosis and DNA sequencing is needed quickly, needed in a remote location, or both. For this reason, Professor Mats Nilsson of Stockholm Universitet, Uppsala Universitet, and SciLifelab has led research on creating a smartphone compatible device for rapid, cost-effective molecular analysis.   The 3d-printed smartphone attachment uses a specialized lens and two LED lights to perform its microscopy. One of the first use-cases that Prof. Nilsson envisions for the technology is identifying antibiotic resistance in tuberculosis in developing countries. When the device becomes widely available, it’s estimated that it will cost less than $500.   Click here to read the paper published in the journal Nature Communications.   Featured Image:...

Diagnosing Genetic Disorders with Facial Recognition Technology

With advancing technology, you can see a doctor from home using FaceTime or send a pic of your mole for a cancer diagnosis. And now, the same technology that automatically tags your photos on Facebook can help doctors diagnose rare genetic diseases.   Facial recognition technology dates all the way back to 1964, when computer programmers starting teaching their computers how to recognize human faces. Early operations could process about 40 pictures an hour in an attempt to match similar features using coordinates between pupils, outside corners of the eyes, hairline, etc. Early attempts struggled to cope with variations from photo to photo if the subject wasn’t posed in exactly the same position. In the mid-2000s, the Face Recognition Grand Challenge was sponsored by the FBI and Department of Homeland Security, among others, to bring attention and innovation to facial recognition technology.   Image: Source   Now, researchers at the National Human Genome Research Institute (NHGRI) have produced software that uses facial recognition technology to help diagnose DiGeorge syndrome. A rare genetic disease, DiGeorge syndrome is caused by a defect in chromosome 22. Although its effects vary from person to person, the syndrome can result in cleft palate, low calcium levels, heart defects and a weakened immune system. There is no cure, but early interventions can improve the patient’s outlook through relevant treatments.   The breakthrough is particularly important...

Contact Lenses With Biosensors Could Change Glucose Monitoring

Diabetes has been a huge problem in the U.S. in recent years, and those inflicted have a very difficult time managing their blood glucose levels. Glucose monitoring is typically done with devices that measure glucose in blood drops. Not only is this procedure uncomfortable, but it is also difficult to get diabetic patients to comply to regular visits to their physician to get the procedure done.   What if you could monitor your patient’s glucose levels with…contact lenses? And have the data sent to your smartphone? Yes, that’s right. Contact lenses embedded with transparent biosensors could allow doctors and patients to monitor glucose levels without the invasive prick-and-test approach.   Image: Source   Gregory S. Herman, PhD developed a compound composed of indium gallium zinc oxide (IGZO), a semiconductor used in displays on TVs, smartphones, and tablets. Herman investigated in this technology’s biomedical applications.   He speculated that bio-sensing contact lenses could provide several benefits, including: – Reducing the risk of diabetes-related health problems – Eliminating painful continuous glucose monitoring systems – Improving compliance in patients – Increasing speed of detection and gathering of data   To test his idea, Herman and his colleagues used a biosensor with a transparent sheet of IGZO transistors and glucose oxidase, an enzyme that catalyzes the oxidation of glucose to gluconic acid…aka breaks down glucose. “As a result, the pH level in the...

Major Advancements in Brain-to-Computer Interface for Paralyzed Individuals

Featured From The Doctor’s Channel   Video: Source   Over the last two and a half years, Stanford University researchers have been developing and improving a brain-computer interface (BCI) that allows paralyzed individuals to input data into a computer using only their brainwaves (via implant). Recently, one patient with a spinal cord injury, and two patients with amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (Lou Gehrig’s disease) have been able to enter up to 39 characters per minute (translating to about 8 words per minute) using the technology.   Krishna Shenoy, PhD, one of the senior co-authors of the paper published in eLife, says “This study reports the highest speed and accuracy, by a factor of three, over what’s been shown before.” Dr. Shenoy has been working on BCI development since the early 2000s and has spent the last two years working on this project with Chethan Pandarinath, PhD, and postdoctoral scholar Paul Nuyujukian, MD, PhD. “These high-performing BCI algorithms’ use in human clinical trials demonstrates the potential for this class of technology to restore communication to people with paralysis,” according to Nuyujukian.   It is important to note that this “typing” performance was achieved without any kind of autocorrection software.   Click here to read the quoted article published in Stanford Medicine‘s News Center.   Featured Image:...

Low-Tech Has Major Impact on Laparoscopic Surgery

What is laparoscopic surgery? Laparoscopic surgery, also referred o as minimally invasive surgery (MIS), describes the performance of surgical procedures with the assistance of a video camera and several thin instruments.   Image: Source   Thanks to researchers and small business entrepreneurs, surgeons now have access to a new type of low-tech instrument to perform these complex, minimally invasive procedures. This technology provides more dexterity, precision, and intuitive control than traditional instruments. It’s also simpler to use, requires less training, AND is less expensive.   Watch the video below to see it in action!   Video: Source James Geiger, MD, professor of surgery at University of Michigan, and his colleague, professor of engineering, Shorya Awtar, have developed a low-tech, and relatively inexpensive surgical tool that increases the precision of a surgeon’s hand, arm, and wrist movements during minimally invasive surgery (MIS). The FlexDex platform is designed to improve the accuracy of multiple endoscopic and laparoscopic tools. The innovations in parallel kinematics, virtual center of rotation, and flexure mechanisms comes from research teams at the Precision Systems Design Lab at the University of Michigan.   Featured From: The Doctor’s Channel   Featured Image:...