Archive for October, 2012

Page 1 of 2312345...1020...Last »

Researchers Report Progress in Development of Proton Radiography

Researchers Report Progress in Development of Proton Radiography

Researchers Report Progress in Development of Proton Radiography

New imaging technology being developed to guide treatment planning in proton cancer therapy

By Tim Stephens

color-coded-hand-300.jpg

In this image based on proton radiography of a hand phantom, colors represent the summed-up proton-stopping power in terms of water-equivalent thickness, showing the varying thickness of the hand and clear structural details. (Images courtesy of H. Sadrozinski)

proton-radiograph.jpg

Proton radiograph of a hand phantom.

Researchers developing a new medical imaging technology that uses protons instead of x-rays presented the first proton radiographic image of a hand this week at a medical imaging conference in Southern California.

The image echoes one of the most famous images in the history of medical science: Wilhelm Roentgen’s 1895 x-ray image of his wife’s hand titled “Hand mit Ringen” (“hand with ring”). Nowadays, experimenting on one’s spouse is frowned upon, so the proton imaging team used a radiographic hand phantom (an anatomical model of a hand with the same radiographic properties). They imaged it with protons from the medical proton synchrotron at Loma Linda University Medical Center (LLUMC).

“This first image demonstrates the new promise of proton imaging, which is now within reach of becoming a new, potentially low-dose medical imaging modality,” said Hartmut Sadrozinski, a research physicist at the Santa Cruz Institute for Particle Physics (SCIPP) at UC Santa Cruz. “Our ultimate goal is to do proton computed tomography and reconstruct the images in three dimensions, like an x-ray CT scan.”

The interdisciplinary team working on this project includes physicists and students at UC Santa Cruz, medical researchers and doctors at Loma Linda University, and computer scientists at California State University, San Bernardino. They presented their findings at the 2012 IEEE Nuclear Science Symposium and Medical Imaging Conference in Anaheim in a poster presentation on October 29 and in an invited talk by Dr. Reinhard Schulte from LLUMC, “A status update on proton imaging for applications in medicine,” on October 30.

The proton imaging project is motivated by the increasing use of proton beams in cancer therapy. In proton therapy, powerful doses of radiation can be delivered directly to a tumor with little damage to surrounding healthy tissue. To do this, an image of the proton “stopping power” of the tissues is needed to guide the cancer treatment planning. This is achieved today by essentially translating x-ray images into proton stopping-power images, which compromises the accuracy of the images for proton treatment planning.

“The goal of our research is to generate these proton CT images directly, allowing more precise treatment planning,” Sadrozinski said.

Like Roentgen’s x-ray image, the proton image of the hand phantom clearly shows details of the bone structure. Unlike x-rays, however, protons also show the soft tissue of the hand in more detail, which reflects differences in how the two forms of radiation interact with tissues. Whereas x-rays get absorbed preferentially by bones and show them much more clearly than the surrounding soft tissue, protons get slowed down or stopped by bone only 50 percent more than by soft tissue.

In addition to the progress in image reconstruction reported at the meeting, the researchers are developing innovations in detector technology that they will incorporate into future prototypes of the proton CT scanner.

The work was performed by UCSC graduate student Tia Plautz, undergraduate students Celeste Leary, Andrew Plumb, and David Steinberg, and LLUMC researcher Robert F. Hurley (a graduate of the UCSC Physics Department). Grants from the National Institutes of Health and the National Science Foundation fund the work at the Santa Cruz Institute for Particle Physics, Loma Linda University and California State University San Bernardino. The researchers used mathematical algorithms and computer software developed in part by researchers at LLUMC, the University of Haifa (Israel), the University of Wollongong (Australia), and Stanford University (U.S.). The proton imaging detectors were built at UC Santa Cruz and Northern Illinois University with support from the Department of Defense and the Department of Radiation Medicine at LLUMC.

This research in proton CT is supported by the National Institute of Biomedical Imaging and Bioengineering (award number R01EB013118), the U.S. Department of Defense Prostate Cancer Research Program (award number W81XWH-12-1-0122), and the United States-Israel Binational Science Foundation (award number 2009012).

Proton therapy is continuing to be adopted in elite cancer centers as an option over traditional focused beam radiotherapy. Protons fired at different energies from particle accelerators can be made to stop and ablate precisely the tumor tissue being targeted. The trick is to map out in advance the “stopping power” of the tissue on the way to the tumor. Currently CT scans are used to create these maps, but tissue attenuates X-rays much differently than it does speeding protons, so there’s much room for improvement.

Researchers from UC Santa Cruz, Loma Linda University, and California State University, San Bernardino have developed a technique that uses a proton accelerator to create stopping power maps. They’re currently in early stages of this research, but they’re working toward true proton computed tomography that may one day be a new 3D imaging modality along side MR and X-ray CT.

From UC Santa Cruz:

They presented their findings at the 2012 IEEE Nuclear Science Symposium and Medical Imaging Conference in Anaheim in a poster presentation on October 29 and in an invited talk by Dr. Reinhard Schulte from LLUMC, “A status update on proton imaging for applications in medicine,” on October 30.

Like Roentgen’s x-ray image, the proton image of the hand phantom clearly shows details of the bone structure. Unlike x-rays, however, protons also show the soft tissue of the hand in more detail, which reflects differences in how the two forms of radiation interact with tissues. Whereas x-rays get absorbed preferentially by bones and show them much more clearly than the surrounding soft tissue, protons get slowed down or stopped by bone only 50 percent more than by soft tissue.

In addition to the progress in image reconstruction reported at the meeting, the researchers are developing innovations in detector technology that they will incorporate into future prototypes of the proton CT scanner.

Source : http://news.ucsc.edu/2012/10/proton-radiography.html

Full story

New Bandages Peel Off Without Tugging on Sensitive Skin

New Bandages Peel Off Without Tugging on Sensitive Skin

New Bandages Peel Off Without Tugging on Sensitive Skin

Ripping off a Band-Aid may sting for a few seconds, but the pain is usually quickly forgotten. However, for newborns’ sensitive skin, tearing off any kind of adhesive can pose a serious risk.

Newborns lack an epidermis — the tough outermost layer of skin — so medical tape used to secure respirators or monitoring devices critical for the survival of premature babies can wreak havoc: Every year, more than 1.5 million people suffer scarring and skin irritation from medical tape, and the majority of those are infants or elderly people, who also have fragile skin.

“This is just a huge unmet need,” says Jeffrey Karp, an associate professor of medicine at Harvard Medical School and co-director of the Center for Regenerative Therapeutics at Brigham and Women’s Hospital.

Bryan Laulicht, a postdoc in MIT’s Institute for Medical Engineering and Science, and MIT Institute Professor Robert Langer have now joined Karp in developing a new type of medical tape that can be removed without damaging delicate skin. The new tape could be produced by adapting current adhesive-manufacturing systems, according to the researchers.

Although originally designed for infants, the tape could also be useful for elderly patients. The new adhesive is described this week in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.

Quick release

Starting in 2006, the Institute for Pediatric Innovation (IPI) surveyed doctors and nurses in neonatal intensive care units on their greatest needs. One of the biggest problems, according to the clinicians, was injury caused by adhesives when medical devices are removed.

“When you take the tape off, you take the skin off,” says Don Lombardi, CEO of the IPI. “It’s very painful, obviously, and it scars them. Some end up with months of aftercare for lesions on their skin due to the tape.”

Using research funding from Children’s Medical Ventures, a subsidiary of Philips, the IPI asked the researchers at MIT and Brigham and Women’s to work on a new design for easily removable tape.

Like most other tape, medical tape has an adhesive side, which sticks to the skin, and a backing, which is non-sticky and gives the tape its strength and resistance to being pulled off.

Working with input from clinicians at Children’s Mercy Hospital in Kansas City, and additional funding from the National Institutes of Health, the research team came up with a new tape that incorporates a third layer, sandwiched between the adhesive and the backing. This quick-release middle layer allows easy removal of the backing, without pulling any skin off.

Previous efforts have focused on making weaker adhesives. However, while they are less damaging to skin, those adhesives don’t hold devices securely enough. The new tape incorporates existing adhesive and backing materials, ensuring that it is still strong and sticky.

A standard medical tape backing is made of a thin sheet of polymer such as polyethylene terephthalate (PET). To create the new middle layer, the researchers coated the side that contacts the adhesive with a thin layer of silicone, forming what is called a release liner. This liner is very similar to the strips of slick paper that you have to peel from a Band-Aid before putting it on your skin.

The researchers found that adding this layer alone made it too easy for the tape to be pulled off, so they etched grid lines into the silicone with a laser, exposing some of the PET backing. The PET sticks to the adhesive layer more strongly, so the researchers can control the adhesiveness of the release liner by altering how much of the PET is revealed by the grid lines.

“It’s a good example of using materials science and engineering to create new and hopefully better medical products,” Langer says.

In tests on paper, and on other model surfaces, the researchers showed that the tape remains securely in place until you try to rip it off, and then it will quickly detach, leaving most of the adhesive strip behind. This stickiness can be eliminated by sprinkling baby powder on it, which will cover it up until the adhesive naturally wears away.

“You end up with just a very fine coating of powder,” Laulicht says. “But when the residual powder has been washed off, you can go ahead and place another adhesive on top immediately, and it sticks just as well as if you had stuck it directly onto the skin.”

Scaling up

Because the adhesive and the backing are made from materials already used in medical tapes, it should be a straightforward process to scale up the manufacturing of the new tape, the researchers say.

“All of the processes are already in place: to place the adhesive layer, to place release liners onto surfaces, and to assemble the adhesive,” Karp says. “We really see this as a solution that can be rapidly translated to the clinic, to immediately reduce complications from adhesives in neonates.”

Kahp-Yang Suh, an associate professor of mechanical engineering at Seoul National University, says the new material could offer great benefits. “What is innovative here is to create a dual functional adhesive interface, while generating no skin irritation upon detachment. Also, the ability to control peeling force via release-layer micropatterning will offer a versatile route to other types of adhesives,” says Suh, who was not part of the research team.

The researchers have filed for a patent on the new tape and are now working to secure regulatory approval for safety tests on human adults.

Medical tape that provides secure fixation of life-sustaining and -monitoring devices with quick, easy, damage-free removal represents a longstanding unmet medical need in neonatal care. During removal of current medical tapes, crack propagation occurs at the adhesive–skin interface, which is also the interface responsible for device fixation. By designing quick-release medical tape to undergo crack propagation between the backing and adhesive layers, we decouple removal and device fixation, enabling dual functionality. We created an ordered adhesive/antiadhesive composite intermediary layer between the medical tape backing and adhesive for which we achieve tunable peel removal force, while maintaining high shear adhesion to secure medical devices. We elucidate the relationship between the spatial ordering of adhesive and antiadhesive regions to create a fully tunable system that achieves strong device fixation and quick, easy, damage-free device removal. We also described ways of neutralizing the residual adhesive on the skin and have observed that thick continuous films of adhesive are easier to remove than the thin islands associated with residual adhesive left by current medical tapes.

neonatal injury

We’ve all experienced the unpleasant feeling of removing stuck-on bandages. If you have sensitive or hairy skin it can be particularly painful, but for some patients it’s an even more acute problem. Infants, for example, who have yet to develop the epidermis layer of their skin can be particularly susceptible to injury from bandages.

Researchers from MIT and Harvard Medical School took on the challenge of creating a gentler bandage. Their first step was realizing that the adhesive can be left on the skin as long as the bandage itself is removed. To actually implement the separation of the bandage from the adhesive they introduced an intermediate layer of silicone that peels off the adhesive. Once removed, the glue left on the skin can be gently washed off or allowed to pop off on its own.

Some details from the article abstract in Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences:

During removal of current medical tapes, crack propagation occurs at the adhesive–skin interface, which is also the interface responsible for device fixation. By designing quick-release medical tape to undergo crack propagation between the backing and adhesive layers, we decouple removal and device fixation, enabling dual functionality. We created an ordered adhesive/antiadhesive composite intermediary layer between the medical tape backing and adhesive for which we achieve tunable peel removal force, while maintaining high shear adhesion to secure medical devices. We elucidate the relationship between the spatial ordering of adhesive and antiadhesive regions to create a fully tunable system that achieves strong device fixation and quick, easy, damage-free device removal. We also described ways of neutralizing the residual adhesive on the skin and have observed that thick continuous films of adhesive are easier to remove than the thin islands associated with residual adhesive left by current medical tapes.

Source : http://web.mit.edu/newsoffice/2012/new-medical-tape-for-sensitive-skin-1029.html

Full story

C8 Non-Invasive Optical Glucose Monitor System Cleared for Sale in Europe

C8 Non-Invasive Optical Glucose Monitor System Cleared for Sale in Europe

C8 Non-Invasive Optical Glucose Monitor System Cleared for Sale in Europe

A new non-invasive continuous glucose monitor is approved for marketing in Europe

C8 MediSensors, Inc. (http://www.c8medisensors.com) has today announced it received CE Mark approval for its Optical Glucose Monitor System, allowing the device, a new non-invasive continuous glucose monitor (nCGM), to be marketed in Europe.

(Logo: http://photos.prnewswire.com/prnh/20121024/567690 )

The comprehensive, 10-year Diabetes Control and Complications Trial (DCCT) clearly demonstrated that individuals with type 1 diabetes who kept blood glucose levels as close to normal as possible for as long as possible had less chance of developing disease-related complications. The DCCT found that the risk of eye disease was reduced by 76%, kidney disease by 50% and nerve disease by 60%.[1]Since that time, other studies have confirmed the importance of tight glycaemic control with minimal glucose excursions in reducing disease-related complications not only in type 1 diabetes, but also in type 2.[2-6] In addition, a large number of studies have shown that continuous glucose monitors (CGM) can improve glycaemic control with reduced risk of hypoglycaemia.[7-19]

CGMs are adjunct devices that are intended to complement finger stick blood glucose tests. Traditional CGMs rely on a needle sensor inserted under the skin, which can cause pain or discomfort, and pose a risk of infection.[20] In contrast, the C8 MediSensors Optical Glucose Monitor System harnesses the power of light to measure glucose levels. Using Raman spectroscopy, a beam of light is shone into the skin and the resulting vibrations of glucose molecules are measured to give a glucose reading; all achieved via a small, pain-free portable monitor, discreetly worn under clothes against the skin.

For added convenience these readings are stored and sent wirelessly to the user’s smartphone for glucose readings at a glance, providing the wearer with a continuous picture of glucose dynamics throughout the day. A good understanding of glucose levels is invaluable in managing diabetes and improving patient outcomes.[1]In clinical studies, the C8 MediSensors monitor was found to have accuracy comparable to earlier versions of invasive CGMs when those systems were first introduced, but with less pain and less risk of infection.

“C8 MediSensors was co-founded by a father trying to help his son living with diabetes, and as a company, we remain dedicated to helping those with the disease,” said Paul Zygielbaum, CEO of C8 MediSensors. “CE Mark approval is a landmark step for this unique technology. Our team is hugely excited to be working to make nCGM and the Optical Glucose Monitor System available throughout Europe.”

The C8 MediSensors Optical Glucose Monitor System will initially be available for purchase online via the C8 MediSensors website, http://www.c8medisensors.com.

The C8 MediSensors Optical Glucose Monitor System is an adjunct device. It is contraindicated in pregnancy and for those under 18 years of age, as well as in individuals with very light or very dark skin tones, peripheral vascular disease or individuals who smoke.

-ends-

Notes to editors:

About C8 MediSensors

C8 MediSensors is the leader in non-invasive continuous glucose monitoring. Headquartered in San Jose CA, C8 MediSensors’ breakthrough patent-protected technology gives people with diabetes a continuous view of their glucose levels, without the pain, inconvenience and high cost of invasive continuous glucose monitoring. Visit http://www.c8medisensors.com.

Additional background information on ‘Diabetes and continuous glucose monitoring’ and ‘C8 MediSensors and the Optical Glucose Monitor’ are available from the European media contacts below.

This document contains forward-looking statements. Any statements contained in this document that are not statements of historical fact may be deemed to be forward-looking statements, including, without limitation, statements relating to the company’s anticipated product sales and financing needs. These forward-looking statements are based upon the company’s current expectations. Actual results could differ materially from these forward-looking statements as a result of certain factors, including, without limitation, risks associated with market conditions, customer demand for the product, and risks and uncertainties associated with the company’s business and finances in general. You are cautioned not to place undue reliance on these forward-looking statements, which speak only as of the date of this document. The company does not undertake any obligation to update any forward-looking statements as a result of new information, future events, changed assumptions or otherwise.

People with diabetes long for a glucose monitor that is accurate, continuous, non-invasive, and non-intrusive. Our goals focus on improving health, quality of life, and reducing risks of long-term diabetes-related complications by minimizing glucose variability.

Our optical technology provides continuous glucose monitoring that we believe can help people with diabetes achieve better glycemic control without the complexity, inconvenience, and pain of current invasive methods.

C8 MediSensors, a San Jose, California company, maybe making a bit of history by receiving the European CE Mark for their Optical Glucose Monitor System. The firm’s sensor uses Raman spectroscopy to non-invasively detect glucose in blood by shining light through the skin and detecting changes in the returning spectrum.

Once the sensor is attached to the skin it sends out regular readings wirelessly over Bluetooth to a smartphone, allowing for tight glycemic control and near instant alerts when glucose levels go outside preset parameters. It’s currently compatible with Android phones and an iOS app is expected to be available next year.

From the product page:

The C8 MediSensors monitor does not require constant recalibration to maintain sensor accuracy. Except for periodic baseline reference measurements, there is no need for ongoing finger sticks to constantly recalibrate the C8 MediSensors monitor. After being removed and put back on, the monitor will resume measuring glucose – no recalibration or sensor replacement required.

Our technique involves shining a monochromatic light source into the skin and detecting the scattered light. The colors generated by Raman scattering are very specific to the exact chemical structure of the molecules in the sample. The molecules’ various shapes, sizes, atoms, and types of chemical bonds will generate unique Raman spectra, a unique Raman “fingerprint” that can be used to non-invasively read and measure glucose.

Source : http://www.prnewswire.com/news-releases/c8-medisensors-gains-ce-mark-approval-for-the-c8-medisensors-optical-glucose-monitortm-system-for-people-with-diabetes-175821951.html

Full story

Inspired by Segway Scooter, Vanderbilt Exoskeleton Gets Paralyzed on Their Legs

Inspired by Segway Scooter, Vanderbilt Exoskeleton Gets Paralyzed on Their Legs

The dream of regaining the ability to stand up and walk has come closer to reality for people paralyzed below the waist who thought they would never take another step.

A team of engineers at Vanderbilt University’s Center for Intelligent Mechatronics has developed a powered exoskeleton that enables people with severe spinal cord injuries to stand, walk, sit and climb stairs. Its light weight, compact size and modular design promise to provide users with an unprecedented degree of independence.

The university has several patents pending on the design and Parker Hannifin Corporation – a global leader in motion and control technologies – has signed an exclusive licensing agreement to develop a commercial version of the device, which it plans on introducing in 2014.

Parker-Hannifin design concept for the commercial version of the exoskeleton.

Parker-Hannifin design concept for the commercial version of the exoskeleton. (Courtesy of Parker-Hannifin)

According to the National Spinal Cord Injury Statistical Center, somewhere between 236,000 to 327,000 people in the U.S. are living with serious spinal cord injuries. About 155,000 have paraplegia. The average age at injury is 41 and the estimated lifetime cost when it happens to a person of 50 ranges from $1.1 million to $2.5 million.

Until recently “wearable robots” were the stuff of science fiction. In the last 10 years, however, advances in robotics, microelectronics, battery and electric motor technologies advanced to the point where it has become practical to develop exoskeletons to aid people with disabilities. In fact, two companies – Argo Medical Technologies Ltd. in Israel and Ekso Bionics in Berkeley, Calif. – have developed products of this type and are marketing them in the U.S.

These devices act like an external skeleton. They strap in tightly around the torso. Rigid supports are strapped to the legs and extend from the hip to the knee and from the knee to the foot. The hip and knee joints are driven by computer-controlled electric motors powered by advanced batteries. Patients use the powered apparatus with walkers or forearm crutches to maintain their balance.

“You can think of our exoskeleton as a Segway with legs,” said Michael Goldfarb, the H. Fort Flowers Chair in Mechanical Engineering and professor of physical medicine and rehabilitation. “If the person wearing it leans forward, he moves forward. If he leans back and holds that position for a few seconds, he sits down. When he is sitting down, if he leans forward and holds that position for a few seconds, then he stands up.”

Goldfarb developed the system with funding from the National Institutes of Health and with the assistance of research engineer Don Truex, graduate students Hugo Quintero, Spencer Murray and Kevin Ha, and Ryan Farris, a former student who now works for Parker Hannifin.

“My kids have started calling me ‘Ironman,’” said Brian Shaffer, who was completely paralyzed from the waist down in an automobile accident on Christmas night 2010. He has been testing the Vanderbilt apparatus at the Nashville-area satellite facility of the Shepherd Center. Based in Atlanta, Shepherd Center is one the leading hospitals for spinal cord and brain injury rehabilitation in the U.S. and has provided the Vanderbilt engineers with the clinical feedback they need to develop the device.

Brian Shaffer

Brian Shaffer testing the Vanderbilt exoskeleton at Shepherd Center’s satellite facility in Franklin, Tenn. (Joe Howell/Vanderbilt)

“It’s unbelievable to stand up again. It takes concentration to use it at first but, once you catch on, it’s not that hard: The device does all the work. I don’t expect that it will completely replace the wheelchair, but there are some situations, like walking your daughter down the aisle at her wedding or sitting in the bleachers watching your son play football, where it will be priceless,” said Shaffer, who has two sons and two daughters.

“This is an extremely exciting new technology,” said Clare Hartigan, a physical therapist at Shepherd Center who has worked with the Argo, Ekso and Vanderbilt devices. “All three models get people up and walking, which is fantastic.”

According to Hartigan, just getting people out of their wheelchairs and getting their bodies upright regularly can pay major health dividends. People who must rely on a wheelchair to move around can develop serious problems with their urinary, respiratory, cardiovascular and digestive systems, as well as getting osteoporosis, pressure sores, blood clots and other afflictions associated with lack of mobility. The risk for developing these conditions can be reduced considerably by regularly standing, moving and exercising their lower limbs.

The Vanderbilt design has some unique characteristics that have led Hartigan and her colleagues at Shepherd Center to conclude that it has the most promise as a rehabilitative and home device.

None of the exoskeletons have been approved yet for home use. But the Vanderbilt design has some intrinsic advantages. It has a modular design and is lighter and slimmer than the competition. As a result, it can provide its users with an unprecedented degree of independence. Users will be able to transport the compact device on the back of their wheelchair. When they reach a location where they want to walk, they will be able to put on the exoskeleton by themselves without getting out of the wheelchair. When they are done walking, they can sit back down in the same chair and take the device off or keep it on and propel the wheelchair to their next destination.

The Vanderbilt exoskeleton weighs about 27 pounds, nearly half the weight of the other models that weigh around 45 pounds. The other models are also bulkier so most users wearing them cannot fit into a standard-sized wheelchair.

From a rehabilitation perspective the Vanderbilt design also has two potential advantages, Hartigan pointed out:

The amount of robotic assistance adjusts automatically for users who have some muscle control in their legs. This allows them to use their own muscles while walking. When a user is totally paralyzed, the device does all the work. The other designs provide all the power all of the time.

It is the only wearable robot that incorporates a proven rehabilitation technology called functional electrical stimulation. FES applies small electrical pulses to paralyzed muscles, causing them to contract and relax. FES can improve strength in the legs of people with incomplete paraplegia. For complete paraplegics, FES can improve circulation, change bone density and reduce muscle atrophy.

There is also the matter of cost. The price tags of other rehabilitation model exoskeletons have been reported to be as high as $140,000 apiece, plus a hefty annual service fee. Parker Hannifin hasn’t set a price for the Vanderbilt exoskeleton, but Goldfarb is hopeful that its minimalist design combined with Parker Hannifin’s manufacturing capability will translate into a more affordable product. “It would be wonderful if we could get the price down to a level where individuals could afford them and insurance companies would cover them,” he said.

Meanwhile, Hartigan has advice for potential users: “These new devices for walking are here and they are getting better and better. However, a person has to be physically fit to use them. They have to keep their weight below 220 pounds, develop adequate upper body strength to use a walker or forearm crutches and maintain flexibility in their shoulder, hip, knee and ankle joints … which is not that easy when a person has relied on a wheelchair for months or even years.”

This is the first of several posts on companies and technologies featured at the AdvaMed 2012 conference held earlier this week in Boston, MA. At the conference, it was announced that Israeli-founded exoskeleton technology leader, ARGO, has selected Massachusetts as its U.S. headquarters.

ARGO Medical Technologies’ Rewalk exoskeleton, which we have covered recently, enables persons with lower limb disabilities, such as paraplegia, to stand and walk independently without assistance.

According to the ARGO press release:

At the press conference, U.S. Army Veteran Theresa Hannigan demonstrated the ReWalk exoskeleton technology. Hannigan is a former Army Sergeant, who served during the Vietnam era and was left paralyzed two years ago as a result of a progressive autoimmune disease that she contracted while in the Army. Hannigan has been training with the ReWalk at the National Center of Excellence for the Medical Consequences of Spinal Cord Injury at the James J. Peters V.A. Medical Center in Bronx, New York, and is planning to use the exoskeleton on October 20, 2012 to walk a one-mile road race in Lindenhurst, New York, to raise money for the organization “Hope for the Warriors,” which helps U.S. service men and women.”

Source : http://news.vanderbilt.edu/2012/10/exoskeleton/

Full story

Abiliti: A Social Networking Implant for Weight Loss

Abiliti: A Social Networking Implant for Weight Loss

Abiliti: A Social Networking Implant for Weight Loss

The abiliti system is a novel implantable system which helps patients lose weight. Based on the technology in cardiac pacemakers, the abiliti system provides stimulation to the stomach when food or drink is detected. The stimulation enhances the sense of fullness that a patient feels when they eat or drink, helping them to reduce the volume of food ingested.

Katrin Falb, a 33-year-old dietitian in Nuremberg, Germany, has struggled with her weight since her early teens. She’s tried everything from Weight Watchers to acupuncture to keep off the pounds. Now Falb may have found the answer to her woes with a device implanted near her stomach.

Made by IntraPace of Mountain View, Calif., the implant, called Abiliti, is the size of a half-inch stack of business cards and sends electrical pulses to the stomach to make people feel full with smaller meals. It also sends signals to the brain to discourage snacking between meals and late at night. Developed with investments from U.S. medical device makers Boston Scientific (BSX), Johnson & Johnson (JNJ), and others, it has helped Falb lose 51 pounds since her surgery in March 2011. “I work in a hospital kitchen,” says Falb. “If you have food in your sight eight hours a day, you eat a little piece of this, and a piece of that, all day. Nobody controls me. Abiliti is my coach.”

Patients in England, France, Spain, Italy, and Germany are using the device after it received European regulatory approval in January 2011. IntraPace hopes to soon do the same in the U.S., where one in three adults is obese. The potential market could be huge, since obesity raises risks of diabetes and stroke and costs the U.S. $147 billion a year in medical expenses and lost productivity, according to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Still, because of additional safety and efficacy testing required by the Food and Drug Administration, U.S. approval may take several more years, says Philip Schauer, a bariatric surgeon at the Cleveland Clinic.

The IntraPace approach, which uses minimally invasive laparoscopic surgery to implant the device and then relies on wireless data tracking and a social networking support group, is seen by some as having a shot at truly changing eating patterns. “I am quite interested in the approach, which is a holistic one, instead of just one surgery,” says Otello Stampacchia, managing partner of Omega Funds, which also invests in IntraPace. “There is an intrinsic element to the approach which I think does lead to behavioral modification.”

Abiliti, which is also backed by venture capital funds including InCube Ventures and Oxford Bioscience Partners, targets those with a body mass index between 35 and 55 (a score exceeding 30 on this body fat measure is considered obese) who are considering stomach stapling or gastric banding procedures, which still allow patients to eat between meals if the stomach is empty. Abiliti is based on technology used in defibrillators and cardiac pacemakers developed by Medtronic (MDT), where IntraPace Chief Executive Officer Chuck Brynelsen spent 24 years, most recently as vice president of the cardiac surgery technologies business.

Thomas Horbach, a surgeon at Stadtkrankenhaus Schwabach hospital in Germany who serves as the principal independent investigator for Abiliti’s clinical trials, says the device is safer and has fewer side effects than other procedures. Gastric bypass surgery can lead to frequent diarrhea and failure to absorb calcium and iron. Such complications haven’t been observed among Abiliti users, says Horbach, who has no financial ties to IntraPace. He performs about 200 weight-loss surgeries a year.

Doctors use the battery-powered device to program the body to allow only a set number of defined windows for mealtimes, say 20 minutes. At the end of an allowed interval, low-level electrical pulses to the stomach send sensations of fullness to the brain. If a patient tries to snack between meals, a food sensor immediately engages the electrode to remind the brain that the stomach is “full.” Explains Horbach: “We try to reprogram the patient’s overall eating behavior.”

Including the surgical procedure and a replaceable battery that lasts up to five years, the total cost of Falb’s implant, covered by government health insurance, was about €15,000 ($19,000). IntraPace declined to estimate a potential price tag for the U.S. market, where bariatric procedures are typically more expensive. Stomach stapling costs about $25,000 in the U.S., according to Cleveland Clinic’s Schauer. Since such more-invasive procedures are covered by U.S. health insurers, Abiliti, if approved, would probably be considered for coverage as well, he says.

A feature of Abiliti is an accelerometer that records when the patient eats, drinks, and exercises. That data can be wirelessly uploaded to a computer, allowing the patient and doctor to monitor progress. Patients can also join a community of Abiliti users through a social networking site called my.abiliti. They may have the device removed at any time if they feel they no longer need it, or they can keep it for life as long as they have surgery to change the battery.

As many as two-thirds of people on diets regain more weight than they lost within five years, according to an analysis of 31 long-term studies on dieting by researchers at the University of California at Los Angeles. Long-term results from studies on Abiliti are not yet available. But a 12-month survey of 25 participants concluded in March showed an average total loss of 14 kilograms (30.9 pounds) and a 30 percent drop in excess weight, or the amount above ideal body weight based on standard height and weight tables.

The results are similar to those from gastric banding surgery, Horbach says. A randomized trial comparing results from 150 patients using Abiliti for a year with those who underwent gastric banding will be released by next June. Horbach says that trial will be an important part of IntraPace’s application to the FDA.

The bottom line: Johnson & Johnson, Boston Scientific, and venture capital firms backed IntraPace’s device, which can replace major surgery.

IntraPace of Mountain View, CA, have developed an implantable stimulator for keeping hunger at bay. The abiliti system is an implantable gastric stimulator, with some additional activity and stomach monitoring features. It is implanted using minimally invasive laparoscopic surgery and aims to provide obese patients with a BMI between 35 and 55 an alternative to existing weight loss options.

The ability system is designed to minimize the feeling of hunger while trying to encourage longer-term, sustainable weight loss habits such as exercising more frequently and controlling dietary intake. The system also communicates with an on-line portal called my.abiliti which allows patients to review their food consumption and activity levels and share this information with approved peers as a social motivator for weight loss. This approach is described in detail on the Intrapace website:

Once implanted and activated, the abiliti system is designed to detect when a person consumes food or drink. When food or drink is detected, the system delivers a series of low-energy electrical impulses to the stomach intended to create a feeling of fullness. These electrical impulses are customized to the needs of each individual patient. The system also tracks patient activity levels, providing a comprehensive view of food consumption and exercise trends. This information may be used by patients and their healthcare providers to reinforce healthy behaviors and activities that lead to weight loss.

To date the abliti system has received CE marking in England, France, Spain, Italy, and Germany in 2011, but is still awaiting FDA approval in the U.S.. According to a recent Businessweek feature on the system, the total cost of implanting the device in Europe was €15,000 (US$19,500) though a possible U.S. price has not been confirmed by IntraPace. A series of studies investigating the efficacy of the device are due in the coming months. The inbuilt accelerometer for monitoring activity and eating habits is a neat feature and it will be interesting to see if the abiliti system could make a major dent on the front lines of the growing obesity epidemic.

Source : http://www.businessweek.com/articles/2012-09-13/intrapaces-fat-zapping-implant-abiliti

Full story

Veritas Collagen Matrix Gets EU Green Light

Veritas Collagen Matrix Gets EU Green Light

Veritas Collagen Matrix Gets EU Green Light

Company Will Launch Proprietary Soft Tissue Repair Product Into the European Hernia Repair and Breast Reconstruction Markets

ST. PAUL, Minn.–(BUSINESS WIRE)–Oct. 22, 2009– Synovis Life Technologies, Inc. (Nasdaq: SYNO), a leading biomaterial and surgical products company, has received CE Mark approval for its Veritas® Collagen Matrix, allowing the company to sell Veritas in the European hernia repair and breast reconstruction markets. Veritas is an extremely conformable and strong biomaterial which acts as a “scaffold” that allows for rapid repopulation and revascularization by the surrounding host tissue.

“CE Mark approval for these indications is a significant milestone for Veritas. With the addition of the European market for hernia repair and breast reconstruction, we look forward to expanding our presence in the worldwide soft tissue repair market and increasing our international revenue,” said Richard W. Kramp, Synovis Life Technologies president and chief executive officer. “We have already trained our independent distributors in Europe on the advantages of Veritas, and they will immediately start to sell Veritas to the European physician community. The hernia repair and breast reconstruction applications represent large and strong European market opportunities for Synovis.”

Veritas is an exceptionally supple and durable product. In addition to providing strength and flexibility, Veritas avoids acute and chronic infections and unwanted chronic inflammation that occurs frequently in response to the use of synthetic patches. The distinct characteristics of Veritas, which include its pericardial substrate and proprietary processing, offer functional and ease of use advantages over other biological patches.

Synovis launched Veritas into the ventral hernia market in the United States in early 2007 and in the breast reconstruction market in 2008. Revenue for Veritas in the fiscal third quarter ended July 31, 2009 was $2.4 million, an increase of 82 percent from the year-ago period and an increase of 10 percent sequentially from the fiscal 2009 second quarter.

About Synovis Life Technologies

Synovis Life Technologies, Inc., based in St. Paul, Minn., develops, manufactures and markets mechanical and biological products used by several surgical specialties for the repair of soft tissue damaged or destroyed by disease or injury. The company’s products are designed to reduce risks and/or facilitate critical surgeries, improve patient outcomes and reduce healthcare costs. For additional information on Synovis Life Technologies and its products, visit the company’s Web site at www.synovislife.com.

Forward-looking statements contained in this press release are made pursuant to the safe harbor provisions of the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995. The statements can be identified by words such as “should”, “could”, “may”, “will”, “expect”, “believe”, “anticipate”, “estimate”, “continue”, or other similar expressions. Certain important factors that could cause results to differ materially from those anticipated by the forward-looking statements made herein include the timing of product introductions, the ability of our expanding direct sales force to grow revenues, outcomes of clinical and marketing trials as well as regulatory submissions, the number of certain surgical procedures performed, the ability to identify, acquire and successfully integrate suitable acquisition candidates, the cost and outcome of intellectual property litigation, any operational or financial impact of the current global economic downturn, current market conditions affecting its investments and any claims for indemnification related to the sale of the interventional business, as well as the other factors found in the company’s reports to the Securities and Exchange Commission, including our Annual Report on Form 10-K, as amended by Form 10-K/A (Amendment No. 1) for the year ended October 31, 2008.

The right material – Exceptional strength, excellent handling and convenience 1,2

Allows for natural healing – rapidly revascularized and repopulated by surrounding host tissue 2,3

Confidence in your results

Synovis Life Technologies, Inc (St. Paul, MN) is reporting that its Veritas® Collagen Matrix technology is now indicated for prevention of post-operative adhesions. The company’s remodelable collagen material, on the market since 2000, has been used for a variety of applications, from gastric bypass and thoracic surgeries to pelvic floor reconstructions.

Synovis Life Technologies out of St. Paul, Minnesota has received European approval to market its Veritas Collagen Matrix for hernia repair and breast reconstruction procedures. The bovine pericardium derived material is strong, doesn’t need refrigeration, and doesn’t stink like some other competing products.

Features from the product page:

veri343 Veritas Collagen Matrix Gets EU Green Light

Multi-directional collagen fibers

Acellular collagen matrix

Terminally sterilized

Packaged hydrated, ready-to-use, in an inner sterile pouch and an outer non-sterile pouch

Offered in a variety of sizes

Easy to cut and sew

Pre-op steps of rehydration, rinsing and stretching not required

Tissue bank tracking not required as compared to allografts

Compatible with a variety of fixation techniques: suture, staple, tack or other methods

Here’s the product being used during breast reconstruction surgery:

Source : http://phx.corporate-ir.net/phoenix.zhtml?c=103012&p=irol-newsArticle&ID=1345358&highlight=

Full story

AED Location Database Points to Nearest Life Saving Device

AED Location Database Points to Nearest Life Saving Device

AED Location Database Points to Nearest Life Saving Device

Automatic external defibrillators (AED’s) are becoming more common in public places like airports, theaters, and sports stadiums. To be effective, you must quickly find the nearest AED while in an unfamiliar environment, a task that’s not immediately obvious when seconds count. Bertalan Meskó at ScienceRoll is reporting that Lucien Engelen, a technologist at the Radboud University Nijmegen Medical Centre in Holland, has a project to geolocate AEDs, and make the data available for mobile browsers. Additionally, you can use a location aware application like the Layar Reality Browser to pinpoint immediately where the AED is located in your vicinity.

Het UMC St Radboud heeft 12 oktober 2009 deze website AED4.eu gelanceerd met de ambitie om op onafhankelijke wijze alle automatische…

Yes, that’s right, LINDA. magazine and Layar have come together again to augment the popular Dutch women’s magazine. This marks the third time LINDA. has used Layar in its magazine.

Not too long ago, we first introduced our partnership with LINDA. to activate the pages of its print magazine with augmented digital content. Videos, graphics, links to web-shops, social media integration – you name it, it was there! And again just recently, LINDA. was back at it again with its annual L’HOMO issue – using Layar to add interactivity to print.

Now, this May’s issue of LINDA. has even more digital enhancement with Layar. So maybe you’ve noticed a trend.

Hmmm… LINDA. seems to be using Layar in every new issue!

That’s exactly right. The wonderful people at LINDA. have completely integrated Layar into their editorial and publication processes. Now when designing, creating and arranging content for the printed page, LINDA. is also simultaneously considering what digital content they can use to accompany it.

In this issue, LINDA. is helping women slim down into shape just in time for summer and those skimpy bikinis. All sorts of products advertised in the magazine are instantly purchasable with “Buy now!” buttons, and features on women getting into shape have extra images attached to them.

Now that LINDA. is using Layar in every new issue, we’re very excited to see what kind of stuff they come up with! There’s lots to see in this issue, over 50 pages have augments on them, so be sure to take a look!

You can check it all out in the latest issue, which is on newsstands today. Try scanning he example pages after the jump and have a look at the video below to see it in action.

Source : http://www.layar.com/blog/2012/05/16/linda-is-back/

Full story

Lap-Pak, a Student Designed Abdominal Retractor, On Road to Market Realizationlaparotomies

Lap-Pak, a Student Designed Abdominal Retractor, On Road to Market Realizationlaparotomies

Lap-Pak, a Student Designed Abdominal Retractor, On Road to Market Realization

COLUMBIA, Md., Oct. 19 /PRNewswire/ — Seguro Surgical, Inc., a medical device

development company specializing in the commercialization of surgical

instrumentation, today announced that it has acquired, from The Johns Hopkins

University, the global marketing rights to a novel device for use in abdominal

surgery.

Over two million abdominal surgeries (laparotomies) are performed annually in

the United States. Current practice utilizes cotton towels or sponges to

reposition the bowel and allow access to the surgical area. This procedure is

time consuming, presents potential safety risks to patients and can lead to

post-operative complications. Seguro’s “Lap-Pak” device is a flexible,

one-piece, device contoured to enable the rapid and secure re-positioning of

the bowels to expose the surgical site.

The device was developed by surgeons and biomedical engineering students from

the BME undergraduate design course at Johns Hopkins under the leadership of

Robert E. Bristow, M.D., M.B.A., Professor, Director, Kelly Gynecological

Oncology Service and Director, Johns Hopkins Ovarian Cancer Center of

Excellence.

Dr. Steve Kubisen, President and Chief Executive Officer of Seguro, stated,

“We believe that this elegantly simple device will improve the overall

efficiency of laparotomies and generate substantial reductions in overall

healthcare costs. We are very excited to be working with Johns Hopkins and

hope that this will be the first of many collaborative ventures that we

undertake together.”

Seguro is a portfolio company of FirstStage Bioventures LLC, an investment

company which creates value through the licensing, development and ultimate

sale of early stage medical technologies. For more information see the

company’s website at www.segurosurgical.com.

SOURCE Seguro Surgical, Inc.

Steven J. Kubisen, President and CEO of Seguro Surgical, +1-410-772-2295,

skubisen@segurosurgical.com

A device developed by clinicians and students at Johns Hopkins University to move bowels out of the way in laparotomies has been licensed to Seguro Surgical, a Columbia, Maryland company. The Lap-Pak is see-through and flexible, giving you ability to quickly displace the guts without all the towels and sponges and external retractors.

lappak2 Lap Pak, a Student Designed Abdominal Retractor, On Road to Market Realization

The primary goal for Lap-Pak is to reduce bowel packing time by 50%. Use of Lap-pak during laparotomies ensures interoperability with retractors, facilitates monitoring of bowels, and maintains tissue temperature and hydration.

The Lap-Pak device is a one-piece device constructed from a soft and flexible material that is easy to position. It contains a stable body support that evenly distributes pressure. Side and bottom flaps contour against the abdominal walls to prevent movement and allow for varied cavity sizes. The dual top flaps shield the bowels while maintaining visibility of the intestines as well as internal temperature and moisture. The product will be offered in three sizes designed to fit over 80% of adults.

Source : http://www.reuters.com/article/2009/10/19/idUS109991+19-Oct-2009+PRN20091019

Full story

Pureray Ultraviolet Baby Bottle Design Idea

Pureray Ultraviolet Baby Bottle Design Idea

Pureray Ultraviolet Baby Bottle Design Idea

Dubbed “Pureray” by its creators in reference to its completely amazing ultraviolet rays lamp at the base and amplification pipe up the center. Each bottle is stored with a cap which screws off the top, screws on the bottom, and provides ultraviolet light to disinfect any evil viruses or germs one baby formula on the rocks might have. Made for traveling.

Made for travel is always a silly thing to write on a baby gear package because when that kid is small enough to be called a baby, ANYwhere you bring it is going to be considered “travel” for all the items you’ve gotta bring with. And don’t forget the Cheerios.

And that formula! It’s got to be perfect.

The Pureray comes with two bottles in a holster, each one with a cap that converts to an ultraviolet ray projector for the liquid to be held in the bottle. Get your ray on!

Designers: Hwa-yong Shin & Hannah Kim

Ultraviolet light has the capacity to inactivate all kinds of pathogens, and now designers Hwa-yong Shin and Hannah Kim think they have a design for a water bottle that can takes advantage of this killing power.

Source : http://www.yankodesign.com/2009/10/16/ultraviolet-baby-bottle/#yZJvLmkvCjp33cGT.99

Full story

Ultra High Resolution Video Used In Laparoscopic Surgery

Ultra High Resolution Video Used In Laparoscopic Surgery

Ultra High Resolution Video Used In Laparoscopic Surgery

FutureMed executive director Daniel Kraft, MD kicked off Rock Health‘s second Demo Day last week in San Francisco by summarizing some of the most exciting developments that have the potential to improve medicine. Kraft, who is also the inventor of the MarrowMiner, started by looking “back to the future” at his residency in internal medicine and pediatrics at Mass General Hospital in Boston. Kraft had visited the hospital a number of months ago, some fifteen years after his residency, and realized that in many ways, not much had changed.

One of the things that has remained the same is that medicine in practice is still siloed into different specialties. “We are not just a bucket of body parts,” he said. “We are much more complex than that and we are in a new age.”

Although there are countless exciting medical innovations, when you look at the field as a whole, it has not seen the tremendous upheaval exemplified in other aspects of our lives. Over the course of the last decade or so, the way we pay for things, how we read and share the news, take and share photos, for instance, have been completely reinvented and reimagined.

Healthcare would do well to follow this path and ride the exponentially accelerating technologies that have made such innovation based on convergence possible in other aspects of our lives, and, to a certain extent, it is doing that. But much more is possible.

Another aspect of this convergence comes from people. “What is exciting about Rock Health in particular is that it has brought in all of these people who may have not initially been in healthcare and brought them into this really exciting era of convergence,” Kraft said.

Kraft then dove into a whirlwind summary of some of the recent developments that could ultimately have a big impact on medicine. Examples of these include:

Health Datapalooza.

Mobile-based technologies such as the FDA-approved iBGtar.

AliveCor’s iPhone ECG, which Kraft said is “getting close to FDA approval.”

The emergence of AI technology like Watson.

The emergence of new brain-computer interfaces.

Low-cost genomics. “Yesterday I got my exome back from 23 and Me,” Kraft said. “For a thousand dollars.”

The emergence of proteomics.

Synthetic biology, which will give scientists “the ability to do very powerful molecular biology in [their] own garage.” “If we are going to to address some of these huge challenges we have across the healthcare spectrum,” we need the spirit exemplified by the Maker Fair, Kraft said.

Advances in sensing technology and the ability to integrate data from them.

Move to a more towards a preventative paradigm in healthcare.

Augmented reality exemplified by projects such as Google Glass.

New ways of using data. Healthcare needs to learn how to do more with less, as Billy Beane showed in Money Ball.

Engaged e-patients “who are at the top of their data, and can chart it, see it, and share it in new ways.”

Predictive healthcare analytics.

Kraft, who is a pilot and a flight surgeon with the California Air National Guard, explained that there is much that healthcare can learn from aviation. “One of [those lessons] obviously is checklists.” And checklists can be appified.

Another, as the cockpits have shifted from analog to digital, is the fact that pilots now have improved their ability to see data in context. “If you are a pilot, or a physician, or a patient, you want to see that data in context. You want that heads up display so you can see that information that is relevant to you.”

Kraft concluded his talk citing the need to find inspiration to harness such exciting technologies such as these to solve some of the big problems in healthcare.

Our good friend Dr. Steven Palter has just performed the world’s first ultra high definition laparoscopic surgery using the Red One 4K camera. The imagery, at four times the resolution of standard high definition video, was later displayed in all its glory in 3D to the American Society for Reproductive Medicine on a Sony SRXR-220 projector. Using equipment worth over a million dollars, this is truly the clearest view inside the body ever recorded.

palter4k Ultra High Resolution Video Used In Laparoscopic Surgery

As detail and resolution increases surgeons will see and perform better. For this reason I set out to see if images 4 times the resolution ofHD could be obtained through our surgical scopes and if the next generation of Hollywood 4k cameras could be used for surgery. In a pilot project we successfully connected the camera of the future to our surgical scope and obtained the highest resolution surgical images of body ever directly in the procedure.

By increasing resolution to this level we allow the surgeon to be actually immersed in images that surpass the live surgical experience. The resolution approaches that of the human eye but it is combined with 10 fold magnification through the telescopes which operate just inches away from the disease. The progress from regular surgical film technology is like comparing sitting in an HD home theater to watching a video on a cell phone.

sonypro Ultra High Resolution Video Used In Laparoscopic SurgeryAmazingly, the surgeons in the conference were able to visualize the surgery they were watching better than if they had been in the operating room live. If it can transform the immersive experience of the movies with unprecedented realism wouldn’t you want that degree of vision in your surgeon’s hands? By combining unprecedented resolution and magnification the surgical images were beyond what a surgeon would have standing live in the operating room. Those in the audience predicted this technology would further revolutionize minimally invasive surgery as it becomes incorporated into the OR of the future.

Source : http:what-healthcare-needs-convergence-driven-by-exponentially-growing-technologies.html

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...

Full story

Page 1 of 2312345...1020...Last »
Copyright © 2017 Medical Technology & Gadgets Blog MedicalBuy.net. All rights reserved.
Proudly powered by WordPress. Developed by Deluxe Themes