Microinnovation: what paper towels have to teach us about medtech

How can you double the efficiency of a paper towel? Turns out you don’t need to reformulate or make the paper thicker. Instead, you find a simple concept that offers users a new way to think about the product. That’s what happened when paper towel manufacturers began producing the half-sized sheet. Roger Smith thinks the

Non-invasive cell probing offers new insight into disease progression

Massachusetts Institute of Technology engineers have figured out a way to assess the mechanical properties of a cell using simple observation. Usually, cells have to be probed with expensive instruments like atomic force microscopes and optical tweezers to determine the mechanical properties of a cell. Those methods make direct and invasive contact with the cells. The

4 ways wearables will transform healthcare’s future

Wearable technology is moving beyond consumer-grade health and wellness devices – the daily step counters and heart rate trackers offered by the likes of Apple, Fitbit and Garmin. “They’re convenient, small, portable and inexpensive, but you don’t use consumer items for life and death,” said Dr. Arthur Combs, chief medical officer at flexible electronics company MC10

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7 diagnostic devices to boost healthcare in the developing world

The World Health Organization estimates that a quarter of death and disease globally is caused by hazards and environmental burdens in developing countries with little to no access to preventative care and diagnostic devices. Since developing countries are poor agricultural regions that are still becoming economically and socially advanced, it is harder for doctors to

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This spit-powered battery could expand diagnostics in developing countries

A new battery developed by Binghamton University can be activated using spit and used in places where normal batteries can’t be used. Binghamton University electrical and computer science assistant professor Seokheun Choi has spent the last five years developing micro-power sources that can be used in resource-limited regions for diagnostic biosensors. Choi has previously developed

Could crystal-based electronics enable medtech innovation?

New crystal-based electronics – in which a laser etches electronic circuitry into a crystal – could enable better electrical interfaces between implantable medical devices and biological tissue, according to the lead researcher behind the technology. “Electrical conductivity affects how cells adhere to a substrate. By optically defining highly conductive regions on the crystal, cells could

How WiFi could monitor sleep disorders

Monitoring sleep disorders could be as easy as measuring the radio waves around a patient through WiFi, according to new research from Massachusetts Institute of Technology and Massachusetts General Hospital. Traditionally, physicians measure sleep disorders through electrodes or other sensors attached to a patient. The new method, however, is a device that uses an advanced

This new nanochip technology can reprogram human cells

Ohio State University researchers have developed a nanochip technology that they say can create any cell type for treatment within the human body. The new technology, called Tissue Nanotransfection (TNT), can repair injured tissue and restore the function of aging tissue like organs, blood vessels and nerve cells. “By using our novel nanochip technology, injured

Electrical fields can heal brain damage: Here’s how

Electrical fields can guide neural stem cells into a specific location to repair brain damage, according to new research from the University of California at Davis. Min Zhao, a researcher at UC Davis, studies how electric fields can guide wound healing. His previous research has shown that electric fields are able to attract cells into

3D printing is possible in water: why you should care

Can you 3D print in water? According to researchers at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem’s Center for Nanoscience and Nanotechnology, you can. The Israeli researchers have developed a photoinitiator for 3D printing in water. 3D printing structures in water has always been challenging due to a lack of water soluble molecules known as photoinitiators —

9 battery and power source advances you need to know

In the drive toward tinier implantable medical devices and wearable health sensors, battery and power source technology has been a major stumbling block. As experts noted in a discussion about battery technology during DeviceTalks Minnesota in June, battery innovation in the field is especially slow. Going too fast has its risks, too. Case in point

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7 ways neurostimulation could make our lives better

Neurostimulation is being used for a lot of different things that go beyond motor disorders and diseases. Neurostimulation is used to stimulate certain parts of the brain’s nervous system. It can be invasive with implants or it can be non-invasive with electrode-filled caps and ear clips. The neurostimulation market was worth an estimated $1.9 billion

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5 innovative medical devices designed by students

The Industrial Designers Society of America (IDSA) just released its list of the 2017 IDEA award-winning designed products. The winners in the medical device category included several interesting devices. But what really caught our eye was the Student Designs category, which featured several noteworthy medical innovations. These devices were interesting because of their focus on

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How MRI can power mini-robots inside the body for targeted treatment

Scientists at the University of Houston and Houston Methodist Hospital are harnessing the power of magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) to drive mini-robots through the body for targeted treatment. The researchers are developing control algorithms, imaging technology, ultrafast computational methods and human-machine immersion methods that could enable the steering of dozens or even thousands of tiny millimeter-sized

Electronic organs-on-chips non-invasively measure cell health

It’s possible to embed electrodes onto organs-on-chips to noninvasively monitor tissue health and differentiation, according to new research from Harvard University. Researchers are using organs-on-chips more frequently to study human organs and tissues. They offer a better approach to testing drugs because they can mimic blood flow, mechanical microenvironment and how different tissues are able