Finding hope in small things
Two long years into the COVID-19 pandemic, with so much – and so many – lost to this virus, it helps to look for hope wherever we can.
Like flowers budding in spring, encouraging signs are slowly emerging. Vaccination levels are climbing every day in the U.S. and abroad, testing capacity continues to expand and new therapies are increasingly available.
There’s no victory parade yet, and there might never be. But each small step in the right direction lets us incrementally reclaim pieces of our pre-pandemic life. How sweet it will be to greet friends and colleagues we haven’t seen in a long time when we safely return to our in-person live events, starting with DeviceTalks Boston May 10–11.
This edition of Medical Design & Outsourcing is full of inspiring innovation where it’s all about small: miniaturization.
In the following pages, experts at Mayo Clinic share their adventures in microscale 3D printing and its huge potential for the practice of medicine as their engineering unit tackles problems in support of researchers and clinicians across their organization. You’ll also hear from Ilika about the millimeter-scale batteries that will power smarter, more compact rechargeable devices of the future.
Senior Editor Danielle Kirsh reports on some big catheter advances designed to navigate tiny spaces like Abbott’s Amplatzer Piccolo Occluder device, designed specifically to be implanted in premature newborns without open-heart surgery.
Associate Editor Sean Whooley offers the latest on diabetes tech like a small, smart insulin pen cap that tells patients exactly how much of the drug they need.
Pharma Editor Brian Buntz takes us down to the molecular level, looking at potential applications for mRNA-based therapies following mRNA vaccines for COVID. Researchers are testing the use of mRNA to fight cancer, cardiac fibrosis, HIV, influenza and other diseases caused by bacteria and viruses.
Then meet Torrey Smith and the founding team of Endiatx, an early-stage startup that has developed a swallowable, wirelessly controlled robot that transmits live video as it swims inside the stomach. PillBot started with a prototype that was about the size of a large burrito or a 24 oz. aluminum can, and one day could become an even smaller remote surgical platform allowing for diagnosis and treatment without setting foot in a hospital.
And if you’re still hungry for more about miniaturization, head to devicetalks.com for our March 22 DeviceTalks Tuesdays webcast with Isometric Micro Molding CEO Donna Bibber, who will discuss challenges and solutions for miniaturization in medical devices.
Please enjoy this edition of Medical Design & Outsourcing, and take some time to appreciate the small things.
– Jim Hammerand, Managing Editor