MRI-guided spinal injection could make ALS therapy faster and less invasive
A robotic system named SpinoBot uses MRI guidance to position a needle for percutaneous injection into the spinal cord and could potentially be used for procedures that require precise access to the spine, according to a paper in the most recent issue of Annals of Biomedical Engineering.
The neurodegenerative disease amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) results in the death of motor neurons in voluntary muscles, the abstract states. There are no cures for ALS and few available treatments.
In studies with small animal models, injection of cellular therapeutics into the anterior horn of the spinal cord has been shown to inhibit the progression of ALS, according to the abstract.
It was hypothesized that spinal injection could be made faster and less invasive with the aid of a robot. The robotic system presented-SpinoBot-uses MRI guidance to position a needle for percutaneous injection into the spinal cord.
Duke researchers find modified biomaterials perform orderly self-assembly in response to temperature cues
Biomedical Engineers from Duke University have demonstrated a new approach to making self-assembled biomaterials that relies on protein modifications and temperature, according to a university article.
The hybrid approach allows researchers to control self-assembly more precisely, which may prove useful for a variety of biomedical applications from drug delivery to wound healing, according to the article.
The research appears online on March 19 in Nature Chemistry.
Biomaterials have broad applications across the fields of tissue engineering, regenerative medicine and drug delivery, according to the article. Protein- and peptide-based materials are attractive for these applications because they are non-toxic, biodegradable and have a well-defined composition. But these biomaterials are limited to the 20 amino acids found in nature.
Webster co-authors book on immune aspects of biopharmaceuticals and nanomedicines
BMES fellow Thomas Webster co-authored a new book that examines and provides a broad survey of various topics pertaining to the immune effects of biopharmaceuticals and nanomedicines, both beneficial and adverse.
The book is designed to be a reference for the novice and expert alike in diverse areas such as medicine, law, biotechnology, nanotechnology, pharmaceutical sciences, toxicology, drug development, regulatory science, and governmental affairs.
It highlights both cutting-edge technological advances and also addresses critical topics such as nano-bio interactions, toxicity, and FDA regulatory issues.
Wake Forest scientists use nanotechnology to detect molecular biomarker for osteoarthritis
Researchers at Wake Forest Baptist Medical Center have been able to measure a specific molecule related to osteoarthritis and a number of other inflammatory diseases using a newly developed technology, according to a university article.
This preclinical study used a solid-state nanopore sensor as a tool for the analysis of hyaluronic acid (HA), according to the article.
HA is a naturally occurring molecule that is involved in tissue hydration, inflammation and joint lubrication in the body, it states. The abundance and size distribution of HA in biological fluids is recognized as an indicator of inflammation, leading to osteoarthritis and other chronic inflammatory diseases. It can also serve as an indicator of how far the disease has progressed.
"Our results established a new, quantitative method for the assessment of a significant molecular biomarker that bridges a gap in the conventional technology," said lead author Adam R. Hall, Ph.D., assistant professor of biomedical engineering at Wake Forest School of Medicine, part of Wake Forest Baptist. Hall is a BMES member.
In Memoriam: Former BMES board of directors member Murray Sachs
Murray Sachs, who served as Director of the Biomedical Engineering Department at Johns Hopkins University, passed away this month.
Sachs was a Biomedical Engineering Society fellow and former member of the board of directors.
Sachs received his undergraduate and graduate degrees in electrical engineering from MIT (B.S. '62, M.S. '64, Ph.D. '66). He worked in the field of biomedical engineering, in particular using mathematics to model the way sound is received, transmitted, encoded, and comprehended between the ear and the brain, laying groundwork for advances such as the cochlear implant, according to Legacy.
Sachs was elected a member of the Institute of Medicine of the National Academy of Sciences, and a member of the National Academy of Engineering for his scientific contributions and his leadership in biomedical engineering education.
Sachs is credited with doubling the size of the biomedical engineering department, at Johns Hopkins creating a unique research and training environment housed within two Johns Hopkins schools, according to a university article.
Oklahoma U engineers create 3D printed hand for 12 year old boy
Researchers at Oklahoma University designed and created a 3-D printed hand for a local boy who was born with a condition that made his left hand significantly smaller than his right, and fused his fingers together.
According to an Oklahoma Daily article, the hand attaches to the boy's wrist like a glove, and the fingers move in an inward motion as he bends his wrist. It is most helpful with grabbing things, which was his greatest difficulty before the hand, according to the article.
The hand was created by 3-D printing segments of a wrist part, palm part and fingers made out of polylactic acid, a type of plastic. The segments are printed separately and assembled using elastic and velcro, according to the article.