Robotic spine surgery is getting a real-time image guide boost

For the first time, surgeons at Johns Hopkins Hospital were able to harness real-time image guidance during a robotic spine surgery procedure to insert screws into a patient’s spine. The process offers a marked improvement over the accuracy of placement compared with other image-guided procedures. Dr. Nicholas Theodore – professor of neurosurgery at the Johns Hopkins University

These nanosponges remove sepsis-causing bacteria from the bloodstream

California researchers have created a nanosponge that is designed to absorb and remove molecules that are known to cause sepsis. Researchers from the University of California at San Diego created macrophage nanosponges that are wrapped in the cell membranes of macrophages and can safely absorb and remove sepsis-causing molecules from the bloodstream. So far, the

3D printing and cryogenics could create new potential for artificial organs

Researchers at Imperial College London have developed a technique to replicate biological structures using cryogenics and 3D printing. The research is a first from the university to create structure that are soft enough to replicate the mechanical properties of organs like the brain and lungs. The 3D printing technique could create replica organs and assist

This startup is bringing vision care to developing countries

PlenOptika, an MIT startup, has developed a portable autorefractor device that measures refractive errors of the eye and is able to estimate prescriptions in 10 seconds, bringing vision care to less accessible areas. The device, known as QuickSee, is more cost-effective than current technology and is currently on the market in India. “People at the

Tiny hair-like fibers help create interconnections between brain regions

MIT researchers have used a single flexible fiber about the size of human hair to deliver optical, electrical and chemical signals back and forth into the brain to create an improved way of learning about the functions and interconnections of different brain regions. The fibers replicate the softness and flexibility of brain tissue which allows

How noninvasive brainwave technology improved PTSD in veterans

A noninvasive brainwave mirroring technology recently showed potential in reducing symptoms of post-traumatic stress disorder in military personnel, according to a study from Wake Forest Baptist Medical Center. The U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs reports that PTSD affects about 11-20% of Operations Iraqi Freedom and and Enduring Freedom veterans, 12% of Gulf War veterans and

These lab-grown blood vessel replacements could benefit dialysis patients

University of Minnesota researchers have developed a blood vessel replacement made of biological materials in a lab. The lab-grown vessels have no living cells at implantation and could be used as a graft for kidney dialysis patients. The lab-engineered blood vessel replacement is the first non synthetic, decellularized graft that is repopulated with cells using

This test can detect when your body is fighting a virus

A test that measures the RNA or protein molecules in human cells is also able to detect when your body is fighting a viral infection from respiratory symptoms, according to Yale researchers. The test involves a nasal swab and could be a faster and cheaper way to diagnose respiratory viral illnesses. “It’s a simpler test

How smartphones can remotely monitor chemotherapy patients

University of Pittsburgh research has recently shown that smartphone sensors coupled with a specifically-developed algorithm could detect worsening symptoms in chemotherapy patients. The sensors offer a way for cancer patients to be remotely monitored. The sensors and algorithm can detect objective changes in patient behavior to determine if symptoms are getting worse. Indications of worsening

Electric currents could create new cancer therapies

Researchers in Switzerland and Taiwan are using electric currents to map the distribution of biomolecules in cancer cells to give doctors a better understanding of which therapies would be most effective for treating cancer. Traditionally, fluorescent markers are used to gather spatial information about cancer cells to targeted therapies. École Polytechnique Fédérale de Lausanne and

This orthopedic implant was originally designed for NASA

A patient at the Rambam Medical Center in Israel was recently implanted with a polymer-made ballast that was originally designed for NASA. Roxana Smarsky has a disease that causes the head of her femur to contract. She recently had to have orthopedic surgery to replace her hip that was worn and causing pain because of

How blocking an immune system response could improve heart attack survival

California researchers have discovered that the immune system’s response after a heart attack plays a significant role in what happens following a heart attack. Following a heart attack, heart cells begin to die, causing the immune system to send immune cells into the dead tissue to clear debris and start stabilizing the heart wall. University

Researchers create ultrasound-sensor powered prosthetic hand with individual digit control

Researchers are one step closer to creating a prosthetic hand that allows users to have full control over each finger, according to a new report from Georgia Tech. Researchers at the university say they have created an ultrasonic sensor which allows amputees to control individual fingers on a prosthetic hand, with enough sensitivity to play

These artificial heart muscle patches can repair dead heart muscles

A team of biomedical engineers have developed a fully functioning artificial human heart muscle that can be used as a patch to repair dead heart muscle. Duke University biomedical engineers developed the patch to be used in human patients who have previously suffered a heart attack. “Right now, virtually all existing therapies are aimed at

This artificial cartilage is made using material from bulletproof vests

The same Kevlar material that is used to make bulletproof vests, jackets and gloves now has the potential to make artificial cartilage that could be implanted in the body. Kevlartilage – a material developed at the University of Michigan and Jiangnan University – can withstand just as much force as the cartilage in the human