Posts tagged research

It only took 35 years for flesh-eating bacteria to become an infectious terror

All it took for flesh-eating bacteria to go from harmless organisms to gruesome infectious pathogens was four mutations and about 35 years. That’s what an international group of researchers announced today in a study that outside experts are calling the largest bacterial genome paper ever published.

'Heart sock' could replace future implantable defibrillators

Implantable defibrillators and pacemakers have been around since the 1970s, but advances in materials science and 3-D visualization are transforming them from cumbersome life-support tools into streamlined therapies that could be props from Iron Man.

Smart skin patch knows when you need your meds

Researchers from South Korea have laid the groundwork for a dermal patch that not only dispenses medication continuously, but also knows when to stop.

A two-inch long patch made of stretchable nano-material, it can monitor muscle activity and body temperature. Current practical applications for the patch include drug delivery in patients with Parkinson’s disease, where muscle contractions and tremors can trigger medication release.

The researchers hope that in the future, more functions like wireless connectivity for remote monitoring can be achieved as the technology matures. The researchers estimate that the patch will not be ready for consumer use for another five years.

Spray-On Polymer Mats Seal Surgical Incisions

Researchers from the University of Maryland have developed a spray on bio-degradable polymer that can be used to hold surgical incisions closed, sealing and protecting them from the environment.

The film has been tested on pigs for various operations and dissolve away over a 42-day period. Clinical trials and methodology planning are in the works.

Cancer patient's leg kept alive by being attached to arm

Surgeons removed a man’s tumour and rebuilt his body using leg muscles and tissue they had removed and attached to his arm to keep alive.

"It’s not easy for a surgeon to tell a patient that they haven’t done this particular procedure before."

After 120 Years, Doctors Develop New Brain Surgery Technique

A team of surgeons from Johns Hopkins recently came up with a safer, better method of replacing skull fragments after brain surgery. This is good news for anybody who might need a little work done on their noggin in the near future, as doctors have been using the same method since the 1890s.

A team led by Brent Ponce, M.D., orthopaedic surgeon at the University of Alabama at Birmingham School of Medicine, performed one of the first surgeries using virtual augmented reality technology, developed at UAB, and Google Glass—a giant leap for practical telemedicine. 

New ligament discovered‬ in the human knee

Two knee surgeons at University Hospitals Leuven have discovered a previously unknown ligament in the human knee. This ligament appears to play an important role in patients with anterior cruciate ligament (ACL) tears.

The human body continues to yield new discoveries. The ligament, which was first postulated by a French surgeon in 1879, could explain why some patients who undergo anterior cruciate ligament repairs continue to experience symptoms of their knee “giving way.”

3D Load-Bearing CT Scans in the Management of Foot Problems.

As explained by Mr. Andy Goldberg, a consultant orthopaedic surgeon in the video above, 2D radiographs have traditionally been the modality of choice for assessing foot injuries. The Royal National Orthopaedic Hospital in conjunction with the Institute of Orthopaedics and Musculo-Skeletal Sciences at University College Londona are using a new load-bearing 3D scanning system to manage shoe-related issues. 

With the new scanning technology, perhaps we can finally make better shoes of all kinds that conform to the needs of our feet and not the other way around.

Scientists 3D Print Living Kidneys.

A team of researchers lead by Xu Mingen at the Huazhong University of Science and Technology in eastern Zhejiang Province in China have been able to successfully use 3D printing technology to create living, functional kidneys.

The substrate is a blend of human kidney cells and hydrogels filled with water and nutritious material that allows the kidneys to survive for up to four months. 

"It’s different from traditional 3D printing—to print a cup, we have to fill up the object with our material. But this method doesn’t work in cells because a cell contains blood vessels and has tissue space. We have to make sure to spare enough space for them to grow."