Archive for ‘Orthopedic’

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NeuroMetrix Quell Neurostimulator for Day and Night Use Now Cleared in Europe

NeuroMetrix Quell Neurostimulator for Day and Night Use Now Cleared in Europe

quell

 

Quell, the pain-reducing neurostimulator that can be worn at night from NeuroMetrix, a Waltham, MA firm, received European regulatory approval to be marketed direct to consumers. The device, which we reviewed earlier this year, has the only FDA clearance in the United States to be used by consumers while sleeping to help manage pain. It features an accelerometer that recognizes when patient is in bed and the device adjusts therapy so it doesn’t keep patients awake, and yet disrupts pain signals. The Quell connects to a smartphone or tablet via Bluetooth, and can be controlled wirelessly using its own app.quell_device

It can be wrapped around the back, legs, or arms, to target whichever source of pain needs attention. We tested it ourselves and had a couple folks with chronic pain try it as well. This was certainly not a scientific study and you should really consult with your physician before trying the Quell, but do check out our reviewto get a good idea of this device.

https://youtu.be/1st-ktEmsYMSonar-System-for-blind

Flashbacks: Hands-On With Quell Wearable Pain Relief Device…Quell Smartphone Controlled Pain-Relieving Neurostimulator…More About Quell, NeuroMetrix’s Smartphone-Connected Neurostimulator…

Product page: Quell…

Via: NeuroMetrix…

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Opioids Market to Approach US$ 42,158.8 Million by 2021

The global opioids market is anticipated to exhibit a stable CAGR during the forecast period (2015-2021).

By product type, the global opioids market is segmented into morphine, codeine, fentanyl, meperidine and methadone. Morphine segment was the largest contributor in overall opioids market, accounting for around 36% share in 2014. However, fentanyl segment is expected to register fastest CAGR of 4.7% during the forecast period. Synthetic opioids such as fentanyl, meperidine and methadone have lucrative growth opportunities in opioids market, owing to their potential application in opioid substitution treatment and fewer side effects as compared to natural opioids. By application, the global opioids market is segmented into analgesia, cough suppression, and diarrhea suppression. Analgesia segment comprises numerous conditions namely, anesthesia, surgical pain, injury or trauma, cancer pain and pain arising from diseases. The analgesia segment accounted for around 67% share in overall opioids market in 2014 and is expected to register fastest CAGR of 3.3% during the forecast period.

Global opioids market growth is mainly driven by increasing demand for opioids in non-cancer pain management, rising geriatric populations suffering from terminal conditions, uncontrolled prescription of opioids especially in North America, and increasing healthcare expenditure for post-surgical care. Moreover, increasing the incidence of trauma injuries, raising awareness about palliative care, higher efficacy of synthetic opioids and favorable reimbursement policies for post-operative care are fueling the growth of opioids market, globally. However, chronic side effects associated with long-term consumption, limited availability of opioids in Asia Pacific, Africa and certain countries in Europe, high level of abusive consumption and growing adoption for pain-free surgeries are likely to impede the growth of global opioids market to a certain extent. Also, the over-regulated environment for the commercial use of opioids especially in developing countries such as India and China and lack of awareness for palliative care in these countries is projected to hamper the growth of the opioids market to a large extent.

North America and Europe have been estimated to collectively account for over 85% revenue share of the total opioids market in 2015. Asia-Pacific is projected to be the fastest-growing market, owing to increasing awareness for cancer pain management, a presence of large patient pool suffering from terminal conditions and reformed regulatory guidelines for the prescription of opioids.

Global opioids market report begins with an overview of the global opioids market in terms of value. This section includes the detailed analysis of key trends, drivers and restraints, and opportunities, which are the main factors impelling growth of the opioids market. Impact analysis of key growth drivers and restraints based on the weighted average of each one of these factors in model-based approach is included in the opioids market report. The report provides a scrutinized information on the potential scope of Abuse Deterrent Formulations (ADF) with the help of pipeline analysis to better equip clients with crystal clear decision-making insights.

Request to view Table of Content @ http://www.persistencemarketresearch.com/market-research/opioids-market/toc

Key players operating in the global opioid market include Pfizer Inc., Purdue Pharma, Boehringer Ingelheim, Janssen Pharmaceuticals, Inc., Actavis Plc., Sanofi, Sun Pharmaceutical Industries Ltd., Mallinckrodt Pharmaceuticals, Endo Pharmaceuticals Inc. and Egalet. Companies are majorly focusing on the development of abuse-deterrent formulations, owing to increased abusive consumption of opioids. Companies are also collaborating with local manufacturers to gain maximum market share from their generic products.

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Aspect Imaging Releases Compact Hand and Wrist MRI Machine

Aspect Imaging Releases Compact Hand and Wrist MRI Machine

wristview

 

Aspect Imaging, an Israeli firm, having received U.S. FDA clearance and European CE Mark approval, is releasing its WristView hand and wrist MRI system. Unlike larger MRIs, the WristView doesn’t require any shielding or other special accommodations. Patients can even use their smartphones with one hand while the other one is being imaged.

The machine can be used in smaller clinics and in facilities that would like to take some congestion off of their larger MRIs. Since technicians need less training to use the WristView, it can help with introducing the device to a facility. Exams are easier to perform as the patient simply sticks their arm into the device and the space required is much smaller than a conventional MRI.

Unlike many existing MRIs, the WristView is silent, according to the company. Additionally, it doesn’t use liquid helium nor any other cryogen, therefore requiring less maintenance.

Here’s Aspect Imaging’s promo video for the new WristView:

Product page: WristView MRI…

Via: Aspect Imaging…

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Knee Anesthetic Injection Virtual Reality Trainer Featured At AAHKS

Knee Anesthetic Injection Virtual Reality Trainer Featured At AAHKS

vr

 

During the final phases of a total knee replacement surgeons will sometimes opt to inject some long acting anesthetic around the knee to decrease post-operative pain and improve mobility. Data regarding the efficacy of these injections is a little equivocal, but believers state this is because of variability in injection technique, and may also have to do with the pharmacokinetics of the anesthetic itself.

 

vr-2

vr-2Pacira Pharmaceuticals (Parsippany, NJ) is looking to solve both of these problems by providing EXPAREL, a bupivacaine liposome injectable suspension, a long-acting local anesthetic. To address the variability in injection technique, Pacira featured a virtual reality training module at the recent American Association of Hip and Knee Surgeons (AAHKS) meeting.

The hardware set-up consists of a VR headset in addition to a haptic stylus. The stylus controls a virtual syringe that could be used to inject different areas of the intra-op knee and also different tissue types. At the end of the module feedback is provided in the form of colored heatmaps and an accuracy score.

vr3In addition to the VR module, Pacira at the same time released a module for the surgical training phone/tablet app Touch Surgery, which is available to download for free at this time. The mobile module demonstrates the proper medications and fluids to draw up and distribute into syringes and then walks you through the recommended anatomical areas to inject.

“As a clinician who has experienced first-hand the impact of an enhanced recovery protocol in my total knee arthroplasty patients, I have found the addition of EXPAREL as part of a robust periarticular injection to be instrumental in pain relief and in patients’ postsurgical recovery. I was thrilled to be part of the working group who helped refine and perfect this comprehensive commitment to education that Pacira is making,” said Pacira’s steering committee member Stan Dysart, MD, who is a practicing orthopedic surgeon at Wellstar Kennestone and Pinnacle Orthopaedics in Marietta, GA. “In my own practice, I saw increasingly optimized and replicable outcomes with EXPAREL as I fine-tuned my infiltration technique to include an appropriate volume of solution, the proper multimodal protocol, and a precise injection technique. I am pleased to help share that insight with my colleagues and their patients alike.”

vr3

Via: Pacira Pharmaceuticals…

Product page: EXPAREL…

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Carbon Nanotube Array Opens Door for Terahertz Radiation in Medical Practice

Carbon Nanotube Array Opens Door for Terahertz Radiation in Medical Practice

bioscan

 

 

Terahertz (THz) radiation is used today most prominently for security screening at the airport. It’s the machine you stand in with your hands up as it swings its scanning arms in front and behind you. In medicine, terahertz imaging has the potential to help diagnoze certain types of cancer and to monitor a variety of health parameters to aid in assessment of overall health. Because of the extremely short length of terahertz waves, this imaging modality has a lot of limitations, including shallow penetration into tissues, and that prevents it from being used more widely. Yet, since it’s non-ionising, it’s probably safe and may even replace dangerous X-rays for some applications.

Currently, terahertz imaging is very poor at scanning curved surfaces even though it can peer a few millimeters deep into some tissues. To overcome this, researchers at Tokyo Institute of Technology have developed a flexible and even wearable terahertz scanner that can image curved 3D surfaces such as our skin.

Made of 23 carbon nanotube detectors that work as a unified imaging array, their device can be wrapped around a finger, for example. Because carbon nanotubes are able to absorb a wide range of terahertz radiation, there’s no need for planar antennas.

Here’s one of the researchers behind the new technology explaining how it works:

 

 

From the study abstract in Nature Photonics:

We achieved room-temperature THz detection over a broad frequency band ranging from 0.14 to 39 THz and developed a portable THz scanner. Using this scanner, we performed THz imaging of samples concealed behind opaque objects, breakages and metal impurities of a bent film and multi-view scans of a syringe. We demonstrated a passive biometric THz scan of a human hand. Our results are expected to have considerable implications for non-destructive and non-contact inspections, such as medical examinations for the continuous monitoring of health conditions.

Study in Nature Photonics: A flexible and wearable terahertz scanner…

Via: Tokyo Institute of Technology

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CAREFUSION RECEIVES 510(k) CLEARANCE FOR VERTEBRAL AUGMENTATION SYSTEM

CAREFUSION RECEIVES 510(k) CLEARANCE FOR VERTEBRAL AUGMENTATION SYSTEM

AVAflex® Vertebral Balloon System Enables Targeted Balloon Placement

Jan 30, 2014


SAN DIEGO, Jan. 30, 2014
 – CareFusion (NYSE:CFN), a leading global medical technology company, today announced it recently received 510(k) clearance from the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) for its new AVAflex® Vertebral Balloon System.

The new system is the latest innovation in CareFusion’s AVAmax®Advanced Vertebral Augmentation portfolio. The focus of these products is to provide a minimally invasive solution to treat vertebral compression fractures, while also promoting safety for the patient, physician and staff. The AVAflex Vertebral Balloon System combines the unique features of the AVAflex Curved Vertebral Augmentation Needle and the AVAmax Vertebral Balloon to enable targeted balloon placement across the midline of the vertebral body, followed by targeted cement placement for optimal fill through a single pedicle.

The AVAflex Vertebral Balloon System is in limited commercial release in multiple hospitals across the U.S.

“The ability to steer a balloon through a unipedicular approach cannot be overstated in its simplicity and efficiency,” said Dr. Michael Verdolin of Verdolin Pain Specialists in Chula Vista, Calif. after using the product. “The procedure was faster, with less patient discomfort.”

Dr. Allan Brook, an interventional radiologist with Montefiore Medical Center in Bronx, N.Y. and the first physician to use the new device on the East Coast, said “The unipedicular approach offers a less risky approach to the midline of a vertebral body. Having another tool that places the cavity in the desired location can improve the effectiveness of vertebral augmentation in less time and with less radiation.”

Another physician using the device in limited commercial release, Dr. Langham Gleason, a neurosurgeon with the South Texas Brain and Spine Center in Corpus Christi, Texas, said “The AVAflex Vertebral Balloon System works extremely well to allow bilateral fracture reduction using a unilateral approach. I suspect that placement of bilateral vertebral cannulas will largely fade away in the future.”

CareFusion expects a full commercial launch of the AVAflex Vertebral Balloon System in Spring 2014
.

Source : http://media.carefusion.com/index.php?s=32344&item=136851

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Energy Efficient Ankle Mimicking Powered Prosthetic from Vrije Universiteit Brussel

Energy Efficient Ankle Mimicking Powered Prosthetic from Vrije Universiteit Brussel

Energy Efficient Ankle Mimicking Powered Prosthetic from Vrije Universiteit Brussel

Prosthetic Devices

Within the Robotics & Multibody Mechanics Research Group, great effort is made in the research of energy efficient lower limb prostheses. Several prototypes have been built such as a Powered prosthesis using PPAM (IPPAM), The AMP-Foot 1.0 and 1.1, The AMP-Foot 2.0 and the HEKTA.

AMP-Foot 2.0

Introduction

The Ankle Mimicking Prosthetic (AMP-) Foot 2.0 is an energy efficient powered transtibial prosthesis mimicking non-pathological ankle behaviour. The innovation of this study is to harvest energy from motion while storing energy produced by a low power electric motor. The stored energy is then released with a delay when necessary for push-off thanks to the use of a locking system.

Publications

The AMP-Foot 2.0: Mimicking Intact Ankle Behavior with a Powered Transtibial Prosthesis IEEE International Conference on Biomedical Robotics and Biomechatronics. Pierre Cherelle, Arnout Matthys, Victor Grosu, Bram Vanderborght, Dirk Lefeber

This work is funded by the European Commissions 7th Framework Program as part of the project VIACTORS under grant no. 231554 and Cyberlegs under grant no. 287894.

CYBERLEGs Prosthesis

Introduction

CYBERLEGs, acronym for “The CYBERnetic Lower-Limb Cognitive Ortho-prosthesis”, is a Collaborative Research project funded by the European Commission under the 7th Framework Programme. The Consortium, which is composed of five partners from three different EU Countries, is coordinated by prof. Maria Chiara Carrozza, from The BioRobotics Institute of Scuola Superiore Sant’Anna, Pisa, Italy. The CYBERLEGs project started on February 1, 2012.

Website of the project: www.cyberlegs.eu

Publications

Development of a powered knee-ankle prosthesis for transfemoral amputees (abstract) Flynn Louis, Jimenez Fabian Rene Enrique, Geeroms Joost, Lefeber Dirk, Human Friendly Robotics, issue 2012, 2012

Aknowledgement

This work has been funded by the European Commissions 7th framework Program as part of the project Cyberlegs under grant no. 287894.

HEKTA

Introduction

The main issues with the current transfemoral prostheses are the insufficient ankle plantarflexion resulting in an insufficient push-off and the lack of knee flexion during stance phase. The HEKTA (Harvest Energy from the Knee and Transfer it to the Ankle) is a prototype of a prosthesis that allows a transfemoral amputee to walk overground with a more natural gait pattern. The prototype allows knee flexion during the stance phase and harvests the energy that needs to be dissipated during the swing phase. The energy is transferred to the ankle where it provides an active push off.

Publications

Concept and design of the HEKTA (Harvest Energy from the Knee and Transfer it to the Ankle) transfemoral prosthesis Matthys Arnout, Cherelle Pierre, Van Damme Michael, Vanderborght Bram, Lefeber Dirk from IEEE International Conference on Biomedical Robotics and Biomechatronics, 2012

Aknowledgement

This work has been funded by the European Commisions 7th Framework Program as part of the project VIACTORS under grant no. 231554 and Cyberlegs under grant no. 28789

AMPfoot stands for Ankle Mimicking Prosthetic foot. It is theoretically shown that the AMPfoot establishes the required plantarflexion at push-off, while the energy return is comparable to that seen in the able-bodied. The AMPfoot’s most important property is that it can do this without consuming energy, which is not the case for most state-of-the-art transtibial prostheses. The first prototype of the AMPfoot was preliminary tested; first on an able-bodied subject, then on a transfemoral amputee. Based on the test results a redesign was performed which led to the AMPfoot 1.1. Based on the same principles, the AMPfoot 1.1 has shown a nextended push-off with a significant energy return.

Media

Below-Knee Prosthesis Powered by PPAM

The main goal of this project is to improve the gait pattern of transtibial amputees and try to let their pattern evolve in a more efficient manner by developing an intelligent prosthesis. This prosthesis is actuated by pleated pneumatic artificial muscles. By controlling the air pressure in these muscles, a system with variable compliance is realised. The key advantage of such a system is that the natural step frequency is adjustable related to the movement circumstances. Also shock absorption and intrinsic safety must be mentioned as important advantages.

Research engineers at Vrije Universiteit Brussel have developed a new powered transtibial prosthesis that mimics natural ankle movement and uses energy in an efficient way. Instead of using powerful motors that start and stop with every step, the system continuously runs a little electrical motor that keeps stretching a rubber band, which is in turn used by the foot as a source of motive power.

By lowering the overall energy requirement of prostheses, smaller batteries can be used, bringing the overall weight of the device down. Moreover, smaller, quieter, more efficient motors can also simplify design and implementation.

From a white paper released by the research team:

From biomechanical

data analysis [14], it is known that an intact ankle joint produces energy during walking. To imitate this, an external power source is needed. The main objective of this research is to retrieve as much energy as possible from the gait and to implement an electric actuator with minimized power consumption. The idea behind the AMP-Foot 2.0 is to use a spring, called the plantar flexion (PF) spring, to accumulate energy from the dorsiflexion phase of stance while the actuator is injecting energy into another spring, called the push-off (PO) spring, during the complete stance phase. By using a locking system, the energy stored in the PO spring, before heel off (HO) occurs, is kept into the system and released for push-off. This way it is possible to reduce the actuator’s power and thus its size while providing the full torque needed for propulsion during walking.

Source : http://mech.vub.ac.be/multibody/topics/ProstheticDevices.htm

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Restless Legs 2.0

Restless Legs 2.0

Restless Legs 2.0

Maywa Denki, a Tokyo-based group of artists/musicians/engineers famous for inventing “nonsense machines,” has teamed up with Kamakura-based IT solutions provider Kayac to develop a device that lets users visualize, monitor and control how they shake their restless legs.

The sleek black diamond-shaped contraption — called “Yurex” (yure means “shake” in Japanese) — straps to the thigh. A pair of silver disco ball-shaped sensors measure the leg’s horizontal and vertical vibrations, and a 10-digit LCD counter displays the user’s accumulated leg-shake tally.

When Yurex is connected to a computer’s USB port, special software automatically downloads the data from the device and analyzes the user’s leg-shaking habits and rhythm patterns. The software can also generate a personalized “creative beat pattern” based on leg-shake data obtained while the user is in a state of deep concentration. Then, whenever a boost of creative energy is needed, users can simply jiggle their knees in concert with this beat data to achieve higher brain power.

Yurex –

Yurex is the result of the so-called BBU Project, a collaboration between Maywa Denki and Kayac aimed at developing a marketable product that harnesses the energy of binbo-yusuri, or the constant and rapid up-and-down movement of restless legs often done unconsciously and/or out of habit.

Restless legs are highly frowned upon in Japan — much more so than in other countries — and the Japanese word binbo-yusuri, which literally translates as “poverty shake,” has a very negative ring to it. Incidentally, there are several possible origins for the word. Some suggest it may derive from the fact that a person with a twitchy leg looks like a poor person shivering in the cold. Others link the word’s origins to the tendency of loan sharks to tap their feet impatiently when collecting debts from the poor. Also, in Edo-period Japan, it is said that twitchy legs were a telltale sign that one was being stalked by Binbogami, the god of poverty.

Regardless of the word’s origins, people tend to have a very negative view of binbo-yusuri, and it is often seen as a sign of poor intelligence and social grace.

The developers of Yurex, however, take a different view. They see binbo-yusuri as a sign of concentration and creativity — a reflection of the brain at work. Moreover, they believe this “creative beat” can work in reverse. Shaking your leg in the proper way can increase concentration and creativity, they believe. Yurex is thus designed to work as a barometer of mental activity and as a tool to enhance brain power.

Yurex –

Yurex users are also eligible to participate in a social networking community (yurex.jp), whose members are referred to as “yusletes” (binbo-yusuri athletes). Users can display their binbo-yusuri data on the site and update it automatically each time the Yurex is connected to the computer. In addition to seeing how their binbo-yusuri counts rank in comparison to others, members can find the locations of other active “yusletes” through the site.

Yurex can also be used as a standalone device. With a 10-digit display that can tally up to 10 billion shakes, Yurex is suitable for use as a lifetime leg-shake monitor. For reference, a heavy shaker (like Maywa Denki president Nobumichi Tosa) who jiggles his leg an average of 400 times per minute for 8 hours per day will tally up nearly 5 billion shakes over a 70-year period.

Kayac plans to begin accepting orders for Yurex in January. The initial shipment, scheduled to hit shelves next spring, will be limited to 3,000 units. The price has yet to be announced.

The Pink Tentacle blog is reporting on a group of wacky Japanese artists teaming up with an IT firm to create a device to track restless leg movement and display your personalized “creative beat pattern”.

Here’s more from Pink Tentacle:

yac side Restless Legs 2.0

The sleek black diamond-shaped contraption — called “Yurex” (yure means “shake” in Japanese) — straps to the thigh. A pair of silver disco ball-shaped sensors measure the leg’s horizontal and vertical vibrations, and a 10-digit LCD counter displays the user’s accumulated leg-shake tally.

When Yurex is connected to a computer’s USB port, special software automatically downloads the data from the device and analyzes the user’s leg-shaking habits and rhythm patterns. The software can also generate a personalized “creative beat pattern” based on leg-shake data obtained while the user is in a state of deep concentration. Then, whenever a boost of creative energy is needed, users can simply jiggle their knees in concert with this beat data to achieve higher brain power.

Yurex users are also eligible to participate in a social networking community (yurex.jp), whose members are referred to as “yusletes” (binbo-yusuri athletes). Users can display their binbo-yusuri data on the site and update it automatically each time the Yurex is connected to the computer. In addition to seeing how their binbo-yusuri counts rank in comparison to others, members can find the locations of other active “yusletes” through the site.

Source : http://pinktentacle.com/2008/12/yurex-restless-leg-monitor-by-maywa-denki/

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Amos Winter on The Transformational Power of a New Wheelchair Design

Amos Winter on The Transformational Power of a New Wheelchair Design

Amos Winter on The Transformational Power of a New Wheelchair Design

The classic wheelchair is a well-known device and is very functional for people with basic mobility needs. Using hand propelled wheels is relatively straight-forward, for the most part, for people to go about their daily business. However, in some developing countries where paved streets and sidewalks are in the form of rocky terrain, hills and muddy roads, the basic wheelchair design suddenly starts showing its shortcomings. This observation is what led Amos Winter and his team at MIT to bring from concept to product the Grit Leveraged Freedom chair, a lever powered wheelchair. The rider can adjust the mechanical advantage by moving hands up and down the levers powering the wheelchair, allowing them to easily work in different terrain. In addition, the wheelchair is made from basic bicycle parts allowing for easy maintenance and repair.

We had a chance to ask Benjamin Judge from the team some questions about their product.

Justin Barad, MD, Medgadget: What gave you the idea to come up with this concept?

In 2005 Amos Winter, then a graduate student at MIT, traveled to Tanzania as part of an internship with Whirlwind Wheelchair International, a group that works with wheelchair riders around the world to design appropriate mobility aids. Amos wanted to understand how people who needed wheelchairs got around and how well current wheelchair technology met peoples’ mobility needs. What he quickly learned was that people in wheelchairs often could not travel where they needed to go. Individuals must cope with narrow doorways, steep hills, bumpy, muddy roads and long distances to destinations like school and work. All of these issues make it extremely difficult to get anywhere with a conventional wheelchair. The other existing option in developing countries is the hand-powered tricycle, but it’s too large for indoor use and too heavy to maneuver over rough terrain. Our team set about designing a wheelchair that would allow users to both travel long distances over rough terrain and also navigate indoor spaces. The product should empower users to independently travel where they want to go, allowing them to access resources and employment. And most importantly, it should be affordable.

Like a mountain bike, this new wheelchair had to have a large range of mechanical advantage; a low gear for traveling up hills and through mud and a high gear for traveling on smooth, flat ground. Amos realized that a lever grasped at different positions changes the effective lever length and creates the type of mechanical advantage needed.

Medgadget: What’s the make-up of your team?

The LFC was developed through the MIT Mobility Lab, which Amos created in 2007. The core team joined the project during their studies in MIT’s Department of Mechanical Engineering. The team has collaborated closely with wheelchair manufacturers and riders throughout the development of the LFC, engaging them in the design process. The team recently founded a non-profit, Global Research Innovation and Technology (GRIT), to manage the scale-up and distribution of the LFC. The GRIT team represents the core designers of Mobility Lab technology, all of whom have spent extensive time abroad to develop and field-test the LFC and were all MechE students in Amos’ wheelchair design program. They have 19 years of collective experience working as a team in the space.

Main team members:

Mario Bollini- Second year graduate student in mechanical engineering focusing on robotics in MIT’s Computer Science and Artificial Intelligence Laboratory. Mario has been working on wheelchair technology projects since 2007, developing much of the LFC’s intellectual property. He will be joining GRIT in the summer of 2012 as the Director of Engineering.

Ben Judge- MIT grad student in manufacturing. His SB mechanical engineering thesis on a US LFC design and market viability of the LFC United States and other developed countries. Ben has been leveraging an ongoing relationship with Continuum Design to explore wheelchair concepts and will be establishing collaborations on the project with bicycle and wheelchair component manufacturers as he continues the product development research with the support of the Singapore University of Technology and Design (SUTD).

Tish Scolnik- currently the Executive Director of GRIT, a nonprofit startup that aims to improve the quality of life for people around the world by bridging the gap between innovation in academia and implementation in the real world. She graduated from MIT in 2010 with an SB in Mechanical Engineering and a minor in Applied International Studies. While at MIT she made four trips to East Africa where she worked with local wheelchair technicians to help them improve their designs such they better meet user needs. She has previously worked at the World Bank and the US Department of Health and Human Services.

Amos Winter- founded the Mobility Lab upon his initial survey of wheelchair technology in East Africa. He has authored LFC academic papers and is completing his post-doctoral research and conducting field trials of the LFC in India in 2012. Amos will soon be joining MIT Mechanical Engineering Faculty and will lead a lab focusing on design for highly constrained environments, with a particular focus on emerging markets. He plans to facilitate the transition of his market viable research to be further developed by GRIT.

There are also countless others that have helped in various capacities to keep the LFC project going and now supporting GRIT as it gets off the ground.

Medgadget: What was the biggest obstacle you have faced so far trying to make this concept a reality?

The biggest challenge we are facing is figuring out how to transition the LFC from an academic project to a viable product. In academia, we were rewarded for producing scholarly work, but in order to actually get the LFC into the hands of wheelchair riders across the globe, we need a whole different set of knowledge about manufacturing, intellectual property, distribution networks, and funding mechanisms. The research and development of the LFC was funded through a variety of academic sources, but these are not a viable long-term solution. We’re quickly learning how to run an actual organization; how to manage contracts, solicit donors, and build a strategy. With the founding of GRIT and the transition away from being a student group, we are on the right path, but dealing with growing pains. We currently have enough funding for only one full-time staff person, with other team members pitching in their spare time. We have big ambitions, but require additional funding and more manpower to make it happen. The lead time on grants can be significant, making it difficult to manage short-term cash needs. (We know that having experience struggling to get the LFC project implemented will give us the valueable knowledge in this space to take on new academic spin offs in the future – continuing the GRIT process.

Medgadget: What kind of user feedback have you gotten so far regarding your technology?

The LFC has progressed through four generations of iterative design and we have conducted three rounds of field trials on three continents. In 2009 we tested 6 chairs in East Africa (Kenya, Tanzania and Uganda). After four months of testing, biomechanical performance data was collected from the LFC riders. It illustrated that the chair was superior to existing mobility aids as far as rider efficiency and off-road performance, but still required refinement to be a viable product. The trial subjects identified that the LFC had to be narrower to fit indoors, lighter for transportation and more stable when climbing hills. Through the next year, we worked with community partners and stakeholders, principally with the Transitions Foundation of Guatemala and Antigua, to improve the design and prepare it for another user trial. A lighter, narrower chair was distributed for testing in Guatemala in 2010.

The final, pre-production trial of the LFC was completed in 2011 in India in collaboration with Jaipur Foot, the largest disability group in the world in terms of assistive device distribution. This trial verified the superiority of the LFC outdoors, showing it to be 75% faster than a conventional wheelchair on an average commute. Additionally, the streamlined size made it much easier to navigate indoors, with trial participants ranking it on par with conventional wheelchairs.

In the India trial, rural patients, who were previously using a standard wheelchair, had about 90% (10/11 patients) adoption rate. We saw drastic changes in quality of life, with most of these patients housebound before the LFC and now traveling 2-3km/day. Several have gained employment as a result of being able to travel in the LFC.

Medgadget: What kind of cost difference would there be between your technology and the currently available standard?

The LFC is being manufactured for the same cost as existing products, while offering greater capability. The LFC drivetrain is built from a simple, single-speed assembly of bicycle components. These bike parts are ubiquitous in developing countries, making it easy to maintain and repair the product, and contributing to its low cost.

Currently people have to choose between a hand-powered tricycle and a conventional push-rim wheelchair. The tricycle provides good mobility on long distances of flat terrain, but is too bulky to use indoors. The conventional wheelchair, while useful indoors, is inefficient for outdoor travel. And neither product performs well on hills or rough terrain. These products are typically charity-funded and cost about $150 per chair to the donor.

Of note:

While the LFC was designed for developing world users, many of the features of the LFC are of interest to manual wheelchair users in developed countries, too. US and European users have inquired about the product, citing the need for a versatile off-road device in their lives. In response, we have worked with Design Continuum to coneptualize a version of the LFC for the developed world market—the LFC Sport. Building upon the proven leveraged drivetrain of the original LFC, we are creating a mobility device that meets the unique demands of wheelchair users in developed countries. A US product concept is an interesting example of “trickle-up” engineering, using effective low cost mechanisms to decouples a user’s desire for more effective mobility from their need for insurance subsidy. It may even be offered at a price attractive enough for the user to pay for out-of-pocket as a complementary device. The LFC family would provide mobility for every terrain and every wallet in the world.

wheelchair that’s powered by the user swinging levers back and forth. Here’s Amos Winter from MIT’s engineering team that worked on the chair explaining at TEDxBoston how their idea can transform the lives of thousands of handicapped people living in low income areas of the world.

Source : http://open-minds-exhibition-grit-leveraged-freedom-chair-interview.html

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Veryan BioMimics 3D Stent Helps Maintain Vessel Structure as Legs Move

Veryan BioMimics 3D Stent Helps Maintain Vessel Structure as Legs Move

Veryan BioMimics 3D Stent Helps Maintain Vessel Structure as Legs Move

The BioMimics 3D™ stent features a unique three-dimensional design that mimics the natural

helical geometry of the human vascular system. The intention of the design is to improve

characteristics of blood flow in the stented segment that may confer a vasoprotective effect

and enhance biomechanical performance, with the prospect that kinking, deformation and

consequential vessel trauma during leg flexion may be reduced, compared to a standard

nitinol stent.

CE Mark approval was based on meeting the primary endpoints of the MIMICS study, a

prospective randomised controlled trial comparing the safety and efficacy of the BioMimics 3D

stent with a standard nitinol stent in patients with peripheral artery disease undergoing

femoropopliteal artery intervention. The BioMimics 3D stent demonstrated an excellent safety

profile and promising clinical performance at both 6 and 12 month time points. Follow-up

assessments of patients in the MIMICS study will continue for two years.

Interim data were presented at the VIVA (Vascular InterVentional Advances) meeting in Las

Vegas in October 2012. At six months, all 50 patients that received treatment with the

BioMimics 3D stent were free from clinically-driven target lesion revascularisation (CD TLR),

and there were no deaths or amputations. Of the 36 patients treated with BioMimics 3D stents

who had reached the 12-month follow-up time point, 33(91.7%) remained free from CD TLR,

compared with 18 of the 21 (85.7%) from the control group who reached the same follow-up

time point. The independent core lab has not detected any stent fractures to date in either

treatment group.

“Besides reducing the risk of stent fracture, the unique BioMimics 3D stent architecture has

been shown in preclinical animal studies to transform a laminar flow into a swirling flow, a

phenomenon known to increase wall shear stress, which may mitigate the development of

neointimal hyperproliferation”, commented MIMICS Principal Investigator Professor Thomas

Zeller, University Heart Centre, Freiburg-Bad Krozingen, Germany. “The six–month results of

the trial have proven the safety of the new stent design, and we are eagerly awaiting the

twelve-month patency results where we expect at least a positive performance signal”.

“CE Mark is an important milestone for Veryan. In conjunction with the encouraging data from

the MIMICS study recently presented at the prestigious VIVA conference in Las Vegas, we are

greatly encouraged that the unique geometry of the BioMimics 3D stent will be highly

competitive against conventional straight nitinol stents” added Veryan Chief Executive Chas

Taylor. “We believe the ability to take this differentiated platform technology to market may

contribute significantly to fulfilling the need for more durable clinical outcomes in patients

with PAD undergoing endovascular intervention.”

Following CE Mark approval, Veryan is now preparing plans to commercialise the BioMimics 3D

stent system, both in Europe and other markets where CE Mark approval may expedite the

registration process.

Veryan, a Horsham, UK firm, received European clearance for its BioMimics 3D stent for implantation within the superficial femoral and proximal popliteal (femoropopliteal) arteries in the leg. The stent addresses the problem of vessel kinking due to articulation of the knee and helps blood move through the lumen in a more efficient manner.

BioMimics 3D stent lumen Veryan BioMimics 3D Stent Helps Maintain Vessel Structure as Legs MoveThis is achieved thanks to the stent’s helical structure that conforms more naturally to patients’ arterial geometry under stress and motion.

From Veryan:

CE Mark approval was based on meeting the primary endpoints of the MIMICS study, a prospective randomised controlled trial comparing the safety and efficacy of the BioMimics 3D stent with a standard nitinol stent in patients with peripheral artery disease undergoing femoropopliteal artery intervention. The BioMimics 3D stent demonstrated an excellent safety profile and promising clinical performance at both 6 and 12 month time points. Follow-up assessments of patients in the MIMICS study will continue for two years.

Interim data were presented at the VIVA (Vascular InterVentional Advances) meeting in Las Vegas in October 2012. At six months, all 50 patients that received treatment with the BioMimics 3D stent were free from clinically-driven target lesion revascularisation (CD TLR), and there were no deaths or amputations. Of the 36 patients treated with BioMimics 3D stents who had reached the 12-month follow-up time point, 33(91.7%) remained free from CD TLR, compared with 18 of the 21 (85.7%) from the control group who reached the same follow-up time point. The independent core lab has not detected any stent fractures to date in either treatment group.

Source : http://www.veryanmed.com/sites/all/themes/pdfs/November%202%202012.pdf

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