Tag: Materials

Swiss Scientists Print World’s Smallest Stent

In rare cases, some children, often still in the womb, develop urethral strictures that make it difficult or impossible to empty the bladder. Typically, a surgical procedure is performed to remove the narrowed section of the urethra, with the open ends being sewed together. This is traumatic for the children and can be difficult for […]

Biomaterial Tricks Immune System to Grow New Blood Vessels

Researchers from Harvard’s Wyss Institute have developed a new biomaterial that can activate T cells to promote vascularization of ischemic tissues. Their work demonstrates that the biomaterial results in local blood vessel development, increased perfusion, and new muscle growth after ischemia. Various compounds have been tested to try to imp (Read more...)

Magnetically Controlled Soft Robots to Operate on Human Body

Although a myriad of robots is already used in a variety of industries, including medicine, they’re almost exclusively rigid devices using conventional mechanics. To best work with the pliability of the human body, it may be advantageous for medical robots to be soft and not include gears, motors, and metal cables. Researchers at North Caroli (Read more...)

Ultrasound System to Charge Medical Implants

Batteries power most electric medical implants. Pacemakers, for example, use the same battery for years without recharging, but eventually have to be replaced once the charge starts to run out. There have been numerous attempts to create technology to generate electricity from within the body to power these devices. These have resulted in rather mo (Read more...)

LipoGlo Makes Bad Cholesterol Glow Inside Zebrafish

So-called “bad cholesterol” is a molecular complex of fat and protein. Specifically, the protein is Apolipoprotein-B, or ApoB, and the fat is cholesterol. While ApoB helps fat molecules to move around the blood vasculature, it is also what makes cholesterol stick to vessel walls, forming dangerous plaques that are one of the main causes (Read more...)

Imperceptible Wearable Electronics Only Microns Thin

When we think of wearable electronics, devices such as smartwatches, chest-strap heart monitors, and wrist-worn activity trackers come to mind. In the future, and one that is seemingly not that far away, wearables may look like tattoos that are only microns thick. That may be thanks to researchers from the University of Houston, University of [&hel (Read more...)

3D Printed Cardiac Components

Researchers at Carnegie Mellon University have developed a method to 3D print collagen and cells to form organ components, potentially paving the way for full organ printing in the future. The technique, called Freeform Reversible Embedding of Suspended Hydrogels (FRESH), involves printing collagen layer-by-layer in a bath of support gel, which all (Read more...)

Tiny Robots Aim to Work Inside Our Bodies

If we’re to have robots that work inside our bodies to find and cure diseases, they must be very small. To help make the dreams of futurists a reality, researchers at Georgia Tech have now created a robot that weighs only five milligrams and is no taller than the side of a US penny. The […]

Artificial Protein Switch for Smart Cell Therapies

Researchers from University of California, San Francisco and the University of Washington have developed a new artificial protein switch, dubbed LOCKR. Their work demonstrates that the new switch can be used to control many intracellular processes, including mediating molecular traffic inside a cell, degrading specific proteins, and causing a cell (Read more...)

Using Microparticles to Measure Oxygen in Tissues

The field of tissue engineering is rapidly progressing, in large part thanks to hydrogel scaffolds that provide a comfortable home for new cells. A major issue that researchers bump against is tracking how well oxygen reaches freshly grown cells within such scaffolds, which can indicate how well the new cells are generally functioning. Now, researc (Read more...)

Self-Powered Microrobots Deliver Drugs to Tumors in the Gut

Treating tumors within the GI system is often a difficult challenge, frequently requiring invasive surgery. Scientists at Caltech have now developed self-propelled microrobots that can deliver drugs to precise spots within the intestines, and that can let clinicians monitor and control their activity. Besides drug delivery, the microrobots have the (Read more...)

New Biomaterial Improves Brain Cancer Survival in Rats

Researchers from the University of Nottingham have developed a new biomaterial that delivers chemotherapies to treat brain cancer. Their work demonstrates that their biodegradable paste led to increased survival compared to controls, and that half of all rats in a study were clear of any cancer as confirmed by laboratory tests. This exciting develo (Read more...)

Energy Harvester for the Human Knee to Power Wearable Devices

Researchers from the Chinese University of Hong Kong have developed a device that can harvest energy from the human knee during walking, without a substantial increase in effort for wearers. Their work demonstrates that the device generates up to 1.6 mW of power without significant change in breathing patterns or oxygen consumption by the wearer. [ (Read more...)

Low Power Network for Wireless Body Sensors

As wearable devices multiply and gather ever more data about our bodies, the batteries and wireless networks they rely on can become strained. To give wearables a longer battery life and to allow gigabytes of data to be transmitted at the same time, researchers at the National University of Singapore have developed a new type […]

Thin Microgels Encapsulate and Protect Therapeutic Cells

Cell-based therapies, such as those involving the delivery of stem cells, require a way to encapsulate cells inside a protective package in order for them to not be destroyed and washed out by the body. There have been successful attempts to contain therapeutic cells within hydrogels, but the resulting materials were bulky and could not […]

Super Sensitive Electronic Skin for Prosthetic Devices

Artificial skin with the ability to feel is a major research goal for engineers working on improving prosthetic technology. Researchers in the past have created materials with sensors spread over a few square inches, but these have typically had a number of limitations. One thing that causes many such electronic skins to be impractical is [… (Read more...)