Scientists are racing to develop quick diagnostic devices that can screen for potentially deadly diseases in developing countries. Now, some researchers moved one step forward in the field with a portable microfluidic device that can screen for the Ebola virus.
Scientists from Wake Forest Baptist Medical Center have proven that they can 3-D print living tissue structures, including ear, bone and muscle, which may be used to replace tissue on human patients. The research team published a paper in the journal Nature Biotechnology showing that they were able to 3-D print human-scale tissues and then effectively implant them in mice to result in vascularized, functional tissue.
Adverse events and recalls aren’t always proof of a mechanical error. Some devices are difficult to use. Human error and patient harm can stem from unclear electronic interfaces or complicated procedures for use.
Interoperability is an increasingly important component of med tech, due to the need for communication and data exchange within a networked system of other devices, electronic health records and clinicians. Poor interoperability is blamed for problems like “alarm fatigue” whereby poorly networked devices produce an excessive number of loud warnings out of an abundance of caution, leading to the risk that a necessary alarm will be ignored.
With superbug infections proliferating at U.S. healthcare facilities, hospitals are looking for new ways to eliminate potentially deadly bacteria. Mayo Clinic is jumping on the bandwagon, rolling out bacteria-fighting robots that use UV light to kill C. difficile.
Columbia engineering researchers have found that electrical stimulation of human heart muscle cells, or cardiomyocytes, engineered from human stem cells can beat with electrical stimulation. For the first time, they found that this activity actually encouraged the nascent cardiomyocytes to beat autonomously and to transfer that to surrounding cardiomyocytes.
The National Institutes of Health has launched a program to explore the role of genomics in common diseases such as heart disease, diabetes, stroke and autism. This program, along with the continuation of another program dedicated to the study of genomics underlying rare diseases like cystic fibrosis and muscular dystrophy, has gained a commitment for $313 million in NIH funding from various agencies over the next four years.