Archive for December 16th, 2011

OraSure Technologies Subsidiary, DNA Genotek Receives FDA 510(k) Clearance for Oragene(R) Dx Collection Device

OraSure Technologies Subsidiary, DNA Genotek Receives FDA 510(k) Clearance for Oragene(R) Dx Collection Device

DNA Genotek, a subsidiary of OraSure Technologies, received FDA clearance to market the Oragene Dx saliva DNA collection device. According to the company this is the first 510(k) approval for a DNA collection and stabilization device.Oragene Dx DNA Collection Device

The device promises reliable collection of DNA samples and the ability to use it to transport and store the samples for an extended time period.

  • Painless, non-invasive collection
  • Median A260/280 of 1.7‡
  • Easy collection and transportation
  • Oragene•Dx/saliva samples are stable for long-term room temperature storage
  • Standardized tube format
  • Oragene•Dx solution is bacteriostatic

DNA Genotek’s lead product line, Oragene, provides an all-in-one system for the collection, stabilization, and transportation of DNA from saliva. The product is currently used by thousands of academic and research customers in over 100 countries worldwide. Oragene provides substantial advantages over traditional DNA collection methods such as blood or buccal swabs. These include the reliable collection of high quality DNA samples using a simple, non-invasive method and the ability to transport and store collected samples for extended periods at ambient temperatures.

Securing FDA 510(k) clearance of Oragene•Dx ensures that clinical diagnostic and personalized medicine test providers can now experience the benefits of Oragene using a family of products cleared for use by the FDA. This FDA clearance will provide added flexibility to diagnostic customers who wish to offer their patients the non-invasive, reliable and easy-to-use Oragene•Dx saliva sample collection device as an alternative to invasive blood collection. In addition, the FDA 510(k) clearance of Oragene•Dx will enable molecular diagnostic test manufacturers to streamline their own regulatory submissions and potentially broaden market accessibility for their genetic tests.

“We have responded to our customers’ requests to integrate the utility and performance of Oragene with an FDA cleared status,” said Ian Curry, President of DNA Genotek Inc. “The 510(k) clearance of Oragene•Dx should enhance patient access to genetic testing by offering proven, easy-to-use, non-invasive sample collection and stabilization. The clearance further demonstrates our longstanding commitment to produce high quality products that meet the demands of our customers.”OraSure Technologies is a leader in the development, manufacture and distribution of oral fluid diagnostic and collection devices and other technologies designed to detect or diagnose critical medical conditions. Its innovative products include rapid tests for the detection of antibodies to HIV and HCV at the point of care and testing solutions for detecting various drugs of abuse. In addition, through its wholly-owned subsidiary, DNA Genotek Inc., the Company also is a leading provider of oral fluid sample collection, stabilization and preparation products for molecular diagnostic applications. OraSure’s portfolio of products is sold globally to various clinical laboratories, hospitals, clinics, community-based organizations and other public health organizations, research and academic institutions, distributors, government agencies, physicians’ offices, and commercial and industrial entities. The Company’s products enable healthcare providers to deliver critical information to patients, empowering them to make decisions to improve and protect their health. For more information on OraSure Technologies

Source:http://medgadget.com/2011/12/oragene-dx-dna-collection-device-gets-fda-clearance.html,http://www.globenewswire.com/newsroom/news.html?d=240238

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Video game players advancing genetic research

Video game players advancing genetic research

A sequence alignment is a way of arranging the sequences of D.N.A, R.N.A or protein to identify regions of similarity. These similarities may be consequences of functional, structural, or evolutionary relationships between the sequences. From such an alignment, biologists may infer shared evolutionary origins, identify functionally important sites, and illustrate mutation events. More importantly, biologists can trace the source of certain genetic diseases.

Traditionally, multiple sequence alignment algorithms use computationally complex heuristics to align the sequences. Unfortunately, the use of heuristics do not guarantee global optimization as it would be prohibitively computationally expensive to achieve an optimal alignment…

…Humans have evolved to recognize patterns and solve visual problems efficiently. By abstracting multiple sequence alignment to manipulating patterns consisting of coloured shapes, we have adapted the problem to benefit from human capabilities. By taking data which has already been aligned by a heuristic algorithm, we allow the user to optimize where the algorithm may have failed.

Last week the researchers released the results computed from the Phylo solutions collected over the last year, together with an improved version of Phylo for mobile devices. The game currently has over 17,000 registered users and since it was launched in November of last year, the researchers have received more than 350,000 solutions to sequence alignment problems.

Thousands of video game players have helped significantly advance our understanding of the genetic basis of diseases such as Alzheimer’s, diabetes and cancer over the past year. They are the users of a web-based video game developed by Dr. Jérôme Waldispuhl of the McGill School of Computer Science and collaborator Mathieu Blanchette. Phylo is designed to allow casual game players to contribute to scientific research by arranging multiple sequences of coloured blocks that represent human DNA. By looking at the similarities and differences between these DNA sequences, scientists are able to gain new insight into a variety of genetically-based diseases.

The researchers are releasing the results computed from the solutions collected over the last year today, together with an improved version of Phylo for tablets.

Over the past year, Phylo’s 17,000 registered users have been able to simply play the game for fun or choose to help decode a particular genetic disease. “A lot of people said they enjoyed playing a game which could help to trace the origin of a specific disease like epilepsy,” said Waldispuhl. “There’s a lot of excitement in the idea of playing a game and contributing to science at the same time,” Blanchette agreed. ”It’s guilt-free playing; now you can tell yourself it’s not just wasted time.”

Waldispuhl and his students came up with the idea of using a video game to solve the problem of DNA multiple sequence alignment because it is a task that is difficult for computers to do well. “There are some calculations that the human brain does more efficiently than any computer can. Recognizing and sorting visual patterns fall in that category,” explained Waldispuhl. “Computers are best at handling large amounts of messy data, but where we require high accuracy, we need humans. In this case, the genomes we’re analyzing have already been pre-aligned by computers, but there are parts of it that are misaligned. Our goal is to identify these parts and transform the task of aligning them into a puzzle people will want to sort out.”

So far, it has been working very well. Since the game was launched in November 2010, the researchers have received more than 350,000 solutions to alignment sequence problems. “Phylo has contributed to improving our understanding of the regulation of 521 genes involved in a variety of diseases. It also confirms that difficult computational problems can be embedded in a casual game that can easily be played by people without any scientific training,” Waldispuhl said. “What we’re doing here is different from classical citizen science approaches. We aren’t substituting humans for computers or asking them to compete with the machines. They are working together. It’s a synergy of humans and machines that helps to solve one of the most fundamental biological problems.”

Source:http://medgadget.com/2011/12/online-video-game-helps-to-solve-genetic-origins-of-diseases.html,http://www.mcgill.ca/newsroom/news/item/?item_id=212750

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Grant to Fund Development of New Imaging Equipment

Grant to Fund Development of New Imaging Equipment

Researchers at the University of Arizona College of Engineering received a grant to develop a new medical imaging technology to detect tumors and pathogens. The method is based on the terahertz block of the electromagnetic spectrum. The scarcely researched terahertz band lies between microwave and optical and all these spectral frequencies can be used for imaging. Although terahertz radiation can penetrate many different materials, including clothing, but not metal, it does not do ionizing damage to cell tissues and DNA like X-rays.

The custom-made spectral imager will emit electromagnetic radiation and analyze how the spectra are absorbed and reflected by various materials, such as cell tissues and chemical compounds. No instrument with the spectral imager’s proposed capabilities currently exists. It will enable scientists and engineers to expand the frontiers of research in areas such as medical imaging of tumors and pathogens and detection of specific chemicals such as explosives.

“It will be a unique instrument in an area that is really starting to grow. There are jobs now being created in the terahertz area because people are interested in systems such these imaging devices.breast-cancer

You get some depth of penetration with terahertz, for example into skin and through clothes. You can’t do that with visible light. We’ll be sending out these terahertz signals and receiving signals back and trying to interpret them.”

One possible application for a terahertz spectral imager is in skin cancer surgery. Determining the extent of a melanoma can be difficult when using harmful X-rays. Similarly, the instrument development team is interested in using terahertz waves to detect the presence in cells of disease-causing pathogens such as bacteria and viruses. Different bugs have different spectral signatures.

No instrument with the spectral imager’s proposed capabilities currently exists at any university. It will enable scientists and engineers to expand the frontiers of research in areas such as medical imaging of tumors and pathogens, detection of specific chemicals such as explosives, and the study of metamaterials, which are engineered materials that do not occur in nature.

The principal investigator for the three-year project, professor of electrical and computer engineering Richard Ziolkowski, expects the imager to attract high-tech industries and high-caliber researchers to UA.

“It will be a unique instrument in an area that is really starting to grow,” Ziolkowski said. “There are jobs now being created in the terahertz area because people are interested in systems such these imaging devices.”

Terahertz radiation is part of the electromagnetic spectrum, just like light, radio waves and X-rays. The scarcely researched terahertz band lies between microwave and optical frequencies and is known as the “terahertz gap.” All these spectral frequencies can be used for imaging: For instance, astronomers use light and radio telescopes to study the emission spectra of celestial phenomena, and doctors use X-rays to see deep into body tissue.

Although terahertz radiation can penetrate many different materials, including clothing, but not metal, it does not damage cell tissue and DNA like X-rays. Many of the imagers in airports use terahertz waves.

“You get some depth of penetration with terahertz, for example into skin and through clothes,” Ziolkowski said. “You can’t do that with visible light.”

The terahertz spectral imager is thus an ideal tool for peering into various materials to see what lies beneath. All matter – whether in space, your body or your baggage – has a unique “spectral signature” or specific pattern of scattering and reflecting any electromagnetic waves directed at it.

“We’ll be sending out these terahertz signals and receiving signals back and trying to interpret them,” Ziolkowski said.

One possible application for a terahertz spectral imager is in skin cancer surgery. “One of the questions with melanomas,” Ziolkowski said, “is how far has the cancer extended around what you actually see?”

Determining the extent of a melanoma can be difficult when using harmful X-rays is not an option. “You can see it with terahertz,” he said.

Similarly, the instrument development team is interested in using terahertz waves to detect the presence in cells of disease-causing pathogens such as bacteria and viruses. Different bugs have different spectral signatures, Ziolkowski said.

Product control in the pharmaceutical industry could also benefit from terahertz spectral imaging. “A lot of pills now are time-release, and the thickness of the capsules is important for that time release,” Ziolkowski said. “You can actually see the thickness of the pill casings with terahertz.”

He said quality engineers can also examine computer chips and electronic circuits the same way to determine whether there are breaks in the circuits or whether layers and other components are the right depth.

Ziolkowski also expects a lot of interest from security agencies because various kinds of explosives have their own terahertz signatures. Thanks to the uniqueness of spectral signatures, the list of applications for a terahertz imager is virtually limitless. One application area is metamaterials, which are engineered materials with unique properties desired for specific physics and engineering applications.

Some of the metamaterials being researched by Ziolkowski, for example, will be integrated into the imager because of the way they emit terahertz waves when hit by pulses of laser light. The objective is to create an efficient and reliable terahertz beam that can be directed into the materials under investigation.

Source:http://medgadget.com/2011/12/university-of-arizona-receives-grant-to-develop-a-new-terahertz-spectral-imager.html,http://uanews.org/node/43536

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Treatment in a Human Lymphoma Xenograft Model

Treatment in a Human Lymphoma Xenograft Model

Researchers from Millennium Pharmaceuticals have demonstrated significant accuracy and dynamic sensitivity of Cerenkov Luminescence Imaging (CLI) against conventional PET imaging techniques. CLI is an emerging imaging modality similar to bio-luminescence imaging which is being investigated as a more rapid, lower-cost alternative to PET for preclinical drug discovery applications. CLI captures visible protons emitted byCerenkov Radiation, the phenomenon responsible for the bluish glow often seen in nuclear reactors and the inspiration forDr. Manhattan’s Blueish Appearance.

The research, which was published in The Journal of Nuclear Medicine, demonstrated a very high correlation between CLI and PET imaging analyses of radio-pharmaceutical (F-FDG) uptake in an in vivo preclinical anti-tumor study. dr-manhattan

Cerenkov luminescence imaging (CLI) is an emerging imaging technique that combines aspects of both optical and nuclear imaging fields. The ability to fully evaluate the correlation and sensitivity of CLI to PET is critical to progress this technique further for use in high-throughput screening of pharmaceutical compounds. To achieve this milestone, it must first be established that CLI data correlate to PET data in an in vivo preclinical antitumor study. We used MLN4924, a phase 2 oncology therapeutic, which targets and inhibits the NEDD8-activating enzyme pathway involved in the ubiquitin–proteasome system. We compared the efficacious effects of MLN4924 using PET and Cerenkov luminescence image values in the same animals.

The frequency spectrum of Cherenkov radiation by a particle is given by the Frank–Tamm formula. Unlike fluorescence or emission spectrathat have characteristic spectral peaks, Cherenkov radiation is continuous. Around the visible spectrum, the relative intensity per unit frequency is approximately proportional to the frequency. That is, higher frequencies (shorter wavelengths) are more intense in Cherenkov radiation. This is why visible Cherenkov radiation is observed to be brilliant blue. In fact, most Cherenkov radiation is in the ultravioletspectrum—it is only with sufficiently accelerated charges that it even becomes visible; the sensitivity of the human eye peaks at green, and is very low in the violet portion of the spectrum.

There is a cut-off frequency above which the equation cos θ = 1 / (nβ) cannot be satisfied. Since the refractive index is a function of frequency (and hence wavelength), the intensity does not continue increasing at ever shorter wavelengths even for ultra-relativistic particles (where v/capproaches 1). At X-ray frequencies, the refractive index becomes less than unity (note that in media the phase velocity may exceed cwithout violating relativity) and hence no X-ray emission (or shorter wavelength emissions such as gamma rays) would be observed. However, X-rays can be generated at special frequencies just below those corresponding to core electronic transitions in a material, as the index of refraction is often greater than 1 just below a resonance frequency (see Kramers-Kronig relation and anomalous dispersion).

As in sonic booms and bow shocks, the angle of the shock cone is directly related to the velocity of the disruption. The Cherenkov angle is zero at the threshold velocity for the emission of Cherenkov radiation. The angle takes on a maximum as the particle speed approaches the speed of light. Hence, observed angles of incidence can be used to compute the direction and speed of a Cherenkov radiation-producing charge.

Source:http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cherenkov_radiation,http://medgadget.com/2011/12/why-dr-manhattans-skin-tone-is-great-for-drug-discovery.html

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Microsulis Medical’s ablation device used in first microwave assisted robotic liver resection

Microsulis Medical’s ablation device used in first microwave assisted robotic liver resection

Microsulis Medical is reporting that its Acculis microwave thermal ablation system has been successfully integrated with the da Vinci robotic surgical system and used to perform a minimally invasive hepatectomy.

The Acculis Accu2i pMTA applicator delivers microwave energy at 2.45 GHz while pumping cooling fluid through the applicator needle to keep the device within operating temperatures.acculis-accu2i-applicator

Some details about the procedure:

The patient, a 60-year-old female, presented with a liver lesion measuring 3.5cm. Dr Legaspi used the da Vinci’s state-of-the-art robotic technology to operate through tiny incisions in the patient’s abdomen. Using intra-operative ultrasound and direct visual guidance he located the target coagulation zones and used the da Vinci system to place the Accu2i pMTA along the line he intended to cut in order to minimise blood loss. In total he conducted six 120 watt, two minute burns.

Dr Legaspi then proceeded to cut out the lesion with minimal blood loss while carrying out three further two minute burns at 180 watts. At the end of the operation the removed tissue measured approximately 5.5cm, providing an excellent margin, and the collection canister was empty, with only trace amounts of blood in the suction tubing. In total, the patient was in theatre for two and half hours.

Microsulis is a medical device developer specialising in minimally invasive microwave technology for the coagulation, or destruction, of soft tissue. Clinicians have successfully used the company’s devices to coagulate tissue in the liver, lung, kidney and bone.
The recent hepatectomy involving the da Vinci Surgical System and Accu2i pMTA was carried out by Dr Adrian Legaspi, MD, at Mount Sinai Medical Center, Florida.
The patient, a 60-year-old female, presented with a liver lesion measuring 3.5cm. Dr Legaspi used the da Vinci’s state-of-the-art robotic technology to operate through tiny incisions in the patient’s abdomen. Using intra-operative ultrasound and direct visual guidance he located the target coagulation zones and used the da Vinci system to place the Accu2i pMTA along the line he intended to cut in order to minimise blood loss. In total he conducted six 120 watt, two minute burns.
Dr Legaspi then proceeded to cut out the lesion with minimal blood loss while carrying out three further two minute burns at 180 watts. At the end of the operation the removed tissue measured approximately 5.5cm, providing an excellent margin, and the collection canister was empty, with only trace amounts of blood in the suction tubing. In total, the patient was in theatre for two and half hours.
After the case Dr Legaspi said: “I feel that the capability of pre-coagulation with microwave ablation for robotic surgery is going to help reduce operative time and improve patient outcomes.”
Stuart McIntyre, Chief Executive of Microsulis Medical Ltd, said: “We are delighted that the versatility of the Accu2i pMTA applicator has been highlighted as part of this technologically advanced, minimally invasive procedure.”
The Accu2i pMTA applicator – part of the Acculis Microwave Tissue Ablation (MTA) system – is the most powerful soft tissue ablation product available, combining extreme ease of use with the widest range of clinical applications. It is a single high power, high frequency 2.45GHz, saline-cooled needle that is between three to 10 times faster than other devices. It can coagulate tissue masses of up to 5.6cm in size in just six minutes.
Mount Sinai Medical Center is the largest private independent teaching hospital in South Florida and has used Microsulis Medical’s Acculis MTA system since April 2011.
Dr Legaspi is working on a full write up of this liver resection case for publication in the near future.
Microsulis’ microwave tissue ablation devices have been used in more than 100 hospitals world-wide.

Source:http://medgadget.com/2011/12/microsulis-microwave-thermal-ablation-system-now-used-in-robotic-liver-resection.html,http://www.microsulis.com/content.php?page=news&i=72.

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Gene therapy achieves early success against hereditary bleeding disorder

Gene therapy achieves early success against hereditary bleeding disorder

Hemophilia is a rare blood-clotting disease famously known for afflicting the royal families throughout Europe. One type, Hemophilia B, also called Christmas disease after Stephen Christmas, the first patient described with it, is caused by a defect in the eponymous gene on the X chromosome that leads to less than 1 percent of normal expression of Factor IX (FIX), an important blood clotting factor. Hence patients, who are usually male because they only have one X chromosome, require regular intravenous transfusions of Factor IX to prevent internal bleeding, or hemorrhage. These injections cost an individual patient about $300,000 a year, which may add up to around $20 million over a lifetime.

That may soon change due to a “landmark” study published this weekend in the New England Journal of Medicine. An international research team led by scientists at the University College London successfully used gene therapy (adeno-associated viral vectors) to replace the defective or missing copy of the FIX gene in a small cohort of patients, prompting the New York Times to write that Hemophilia B may be “the first well-known disease to appear treatable by gene therapy, a technique with a 20-year record of almost unbroken failure.” The viral vector used by the team inserted the replacement gene into the liver cells of the hemophiliac patients, carefully avoiding the chromosomes to reduce the risk of inducing cancerous mutations, and induced physiologically relevant expression of the coagulation factor up to 22 months post-therapy. As the authors summarize in NEJM:hemophilia-B-gene-therapy

The development and widespread use of clotting factor concentrates for the treatment of hemophilia in the early 1970s dramatically improved the life expectancy for patients with the disease. Subsequent development of recombinant clotting factor concentrates has improved their safety profile, but there remains a strong interest in treatment strategies that would eliminate the need for long-term intravenous infusions and that would be available to the hemophilia population throughout the world. This study documents a critical step toward that goal and shows that sustained therapeutic expression of a transferred factor IX gene can be achieved in humans. The increase in FIX levels in our study participants was roughly dose-dependent, with the high dose of the vector scAAV2/8-LP1-hFIX (2×1012 vg per kilogram) mediating peak expression at 8 to 12% of normal levels. After peripheral-vein administration of scAAV2/8-LP1-hFIXco, four of the six participants were able to stop using prophylaxis with FIX concentrate without having spontaneous hemorrhage, even when they undertook activities that had provoked bleeding in the past. For the other two participants, the interval between prophylactic FIX concentrate injections was extended, but prophylaxis was not completely discontinued…

In summary, we have found that a single peripheral-vein infusion of our scAAV2/8-LP1-hFIXco vector consistently leads to long-term expression of the FIX transgene at therapeutic levels, without acute or long-lasting toxicity in patients with severe hemophilia B. Immune-mediated, AAV-capsid–induced elevations in aminotransferase levels remain a concern, but our data suggest that this process may be controlled by a short course of glucocorticoids, without loss of transgene expression. Follow-up of larger numbers of patients for longer periods of time is necessary to fully define the benefits and risks and to optimize dosing. However, this gene-therapy approach, even with the associated risk of transient hepatic dysfunction, has the potential to convert the severe bleeding phenotype into a mild form of the disease or to reverse it entirely.

Study of gene therapy developed at UCL and St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital offers first proof adults with haemophilia B benefit from treatment, reducing need for injections with clotting factor to prevent bleeds.

Symptoms improved significantly in adults with the bleeding disorder haemophilia B following a single treatment with gene therapy developed by researchers at St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital in Memphis, US and demonstrated to be safe in a clinical trial conducted by UCL.

The findings of the six-person study mark the first proof that gene therapy can reduce disabling, painful bleeding episodes in patients with the inherited blood disorder. Results of the Phase I study appear online ahead of print today in the New England Journal of Medicine. The research is also scheduled to be presented on 11 December at the 53rd annual meeting of the American Society of Hematology in San Diego, US.

Four study participants stopped receiving protein injections to prevent bleeding episodes after undergoing the therapy and have not suffered spontaneous bleeding. Several have also participated in marathons and other activities that would have been difficult prior to gene therapy. The study participants were all treated at the Royal Free Hospital in London under the care of Professor Edward Tuddenham, a pioneer in the field of blood coagulation and a study co-author.

“The first patient has been followed for the longest time, and his levels have remained at 2% for more than 18 months. These results are highly encouraging and support continued research. More patients are scheduled to be enrolled in future trials scheduled to begin later this year,” Davidoff said.

One of the participants who received the highest dose of the vector underwent successful, short-term steroid treatment after his liver enzymes rose slightly after the vector infusion. The rise signalled mild liver damage. The volunteer remained otherwise healthy, his Factor IX levels remain above pre-infusion levels and his liver enzymes have returned to normal. Liver enzymes also rose slightly, but remained in the normal range, for the other participant who received the highest dose of the vector. The participant also received a short course of steroids.

Researchers believe an immune response targeting the vector triggered the elevated enzyme levels. A similar response was reported in earlier gene therapy trials conducted by other investigators using a different vector.

The vector used in this study was produced at the Good Manufacturing Practices (GMP) facility on the St. Jude campus. The GMP operates under government-approved manufacturing guidelines and produces highly specialized medicines, vaccines and other products that pharmaceutical companies are reluctant to pursue. The vector can also now be produced in a similar facility at UCL.

The research was funded in part by The Katharine Dormandy Trust, Medical Research Council, Wellcome Trust, NHS Blood and Transplant and the UCLH/UCL National Institute for Health Research Biomedical Research Centre, all in the UK. In the US, the research was funded by the National Institutes of Health, the Assisi Foundation of Memphis and ALSAC.

Source: http://www.ucl.ac.uk/news/news-articles/1112/111209-haemophilia-gene-therapy-study,http://medgadget.com/2011/12/hope-for-hemophiliacs-gene-therapy-stops-the-bleeding.html

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A “Fantastic Voyage” Through the Body — with Precision Control

A “Fantastic Voyage” Through the Body — with Precision Control

Capsular endoscopy of the GI tract has its advantages, but since the swallowed capsule moves randomly through the intestines, there’s absolutely no control of where the eye of the device is pointing at. Now researchers from Tel Aviv University and Brigham and Women’s Hospital are using a 3T MRI machine to both power and propel a new capsule they invented. The tail of the device that provides the motive force is made of copper and a flexible polymer.

So far the technology has been tested in a water tank and the researchers believe the power produced is sufficient to navigate the capsule inside the stomach.  This technology is reminiscent of the magnetically guided capsule project between Siemens and Olympus (see flashbacks below), but that one was different in that the capsule doesn’t use a propeller of any sort but is directly moved around by the magnetic field.

We have found that an approximately 20 mm long, 5 mm wide swimming tail is capable of producing 0.21 mN propulsive force in water when driven by a 20 Hz signal providing 0.85 mW power and the tail located within the homogeneous field of a 3 T MRI scanner. We also analyze the parallel operation of the swimming mechanism and the scanner imaging. We characterize the size of artifacts caused by the propulsion system. We show that while the magnetic micro swimmer is propelling the capsule endoscope, the operator can locate the capsule on the image of an interventional scene without being obscured by significant artifacts. Although this swimming method does not scale down favorably, the high magnetic field of the MRI allows self propulsion speed on the order of several millimeter per second and can propel an endoscopic capsule in the stomach.TAU-capsule

Endoscopes — small cameras or optic fibres that are usually attached to flexible tubing designed to investigate the interior of the body — can be dangerously invasive. Procedures often require sedative medications and some recovery time.

According to Dr. Gabor Kosa of TAU’sSchool of Mechanical Engineering, the project is inspired by an endoscopic capsule designed for use in the small intestine. But unlike the existing capsule, which travels at random and snaps pictures every half second to give doctors an overall view of the intestines, the new “wireless” capsules will use the magnetic field of a magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) machine and electronic signals manipulated by those operating the capsule to forge a more precise and deliberate path.

It’s a less invasive and more accurate way for doctors to get an important look at the digestive tract, where difficult-to-diagnose tumors or wounds may be hidden, or allow for treatments such as biopsies or local drug delivery. The technology, which was recently reported in Biomedical Microdevices, was developed in collaboration with Peter Jakab, an engineer from the Surgical Planning Laboratory at Brigham and Women’s Hospital in Boston, affiliated with Harvard Medical School.

Source:http://medgadget.com/2011/12/swallowable-endoscope-capsule-guided-by-mri.html,http://www.aftau.org/site/News2?page=NewsArticle&id=15697

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