Tag: Medical Technology

Mapping out cancer’s movements

Cancer researchers struggle to identify tumor cells that are interspersed within nonmalignant tissues because tumor cells exploit the tissue environment and monopolize available resources to continue growing. Researchers attribute cancer cell’s ability to use cell signaling and metabolic pathways that override normal cell growth restrictions to complicated chemical exchanges between tissue and tumor cells. A

Bioengineers use magnetic force to manage pain: Early work demonstrates promise of ‘mechanoceuticals’

UCLA bioengineers have demonstrated that a gel-like material containing tiny magnetic particles could be used to manage chronic pain from disease or injury. Broadly, the study demonstrates the promising use of biomechanical forces that push and pull on cells to treat disease. “Much of mainstream modern medicine centers on using pharmaceuticals to make chemical or

Wearable devices: Useful medical insights or just more data? A new review looks at the booming industry of measuring ‘every breath you take and every move you make’

Wearable devices are increasingly bought to track and measure health and sports performance: from the number of steps walked each day to a person’s metabolic efficiency, from the quality of brain function to the quantity of oxygen inhaled while asleep. But the truth is we know very little about how well these sensors and machines

A 3-D model of a human heart ventricle: Bioengineers build a scale model of a heart ventricle that beats, survives for months in the lab

Harvard University researchers have bioengineered a three-dimensional model of a human left heart ventricle that could be used to study diseases, test drugs and develop patient-specific treatments for heart conditions such as arrhythmia. The tissue is engineered with a nanofiber scaffold seeded with human heart cells. The scaffold acts like a 3D template, guiding the

New patch boosts brightness in medical diagnostic tests

Fluorescence-based biosensing and bioimaging technologies are widely used in research and clinical settings to detect and image various biological species of interest. While fluorescence-based detection and imaging techniques are convenient to use, they suffer from poor sensitivity. For example, when a patient carries low levels of antigens in the blood or urine, the fluorescent signal

‘Smart stent’ detects narrowing of arteries

For every three individuals who have had a stent implanted to keep clogged arteries open and prevent a heart attack, at least one will experience restenosis — the renewed narrowing of the artery due to plaque buildup or scarring — which can lead to additional complications. Now, a team led by UBC electrical and computer

Calcium-based MRI sensor enables more sensitive brain imaging: System detects direct signals of neural activity; could reveal patterns underlying behavior

MIT neuroscientists have developed a new magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) sensor that allows them to monitor neural activity deep within the brain by tracking calcium ions. Because calcium ions are directly linked to neuronal firing — unlike the changes in blood flow detected by other types of MRI, which provide an indirect signal — this

Pill for breast cancer diagnosis may outperform mammograms

As many as one in three women treated for breast cancer undergo unnecessary procedures, but a new method for diagnosing it could do a better job distinguishing between benign and aggressive tumors. Researchers at the University of Michigan are developing a pill that makes tumors light up when exposed to infrared light, and they have

Smart phone as a faster infection detector: Portable reader is nearly perfect in finding 12 common viral and bacterial diseases

Washington State University researchers have developed a low-cost, portable laboratory on a phone that works nearly as well as clinical laboratories to detect common viral and bacterial infections. The work could lead to faster and lower-cost lab results for fast-moving viral and bacterial epidemics, especially in rural or lower-resource regions where laboratory equipment and medical

Organoids created from patients’ bladder cancers could guide treatment: Custom 3-D mini-tumors mimic individual patient’s cancer

Columbia University Irving Medical Center (CUIMC) and NewYork-Presbyterian researchers have created patient-specific bladder cancer organoids that mimic many of the characteristics of actual tumors. The use of organoids, tiny 3-D spheres derived from a patient’s own tumor, may be useful in the future to guide treatment of patients. The study was published today in the

Monitor detects dangerously low white blood cell levels: Technology could help prevent life-threatening infections in patients receiving chemotherapy

One of the major side effects of chemotherapy is a sharp drop in white blood cells, which leaves patients vulnerable to dangerous infections. MIT researchers have now developed a portable device that could be used to monitor patients’ white blood cell levels at home, without taking blood samples. Such a device could prevent thousands of