Highlights from Interbike 2014

Medical

The GuideIN Tube and some of its creators

When a patient is placed under general anesthesia or otherwise has difficulty breathing on their own, they typically have a plastic endotracheal tube inserted into their mouth and down their trachea. This process maintains a clear air passage to the lungs, and is known as intubation. In order to make it safer and easier, students from the Hebrew University of Jerusalem’s Biodesign program have created a robotic intubation device, that takes some of the guesswork out of the procedure.  Read More

The iKnife has been used in tests in 91 operations, where it showed 100 percent accuracy w...

Dr. Zoltan Takats of the Imperial College London has developed one very sharp knife – and we're not referring to its keen edge. The Intelligent Knife (iKnife) is equipped with a nose and a brain that can sniff out cancer as it cuts. Using a mass spectrometer to detect chemical profiles associated with tumors, it enables instant identification of cancerous tissue and helps surgeons to make sure that all of a tumor has been removed.  Read More

The US Supreme Court has ruled that human genes cannot be patented Image: Shutterstock)

In what is being ballyhooed as a landmark decision likely to set the course of DNA-based diagnostic and therapeutic medicine for the next several decades, the US Supreme Court unanimously decided on June 13 that human genes are not patentable. Rather than objects invented or discovered, human genes are henceforth to be treated as "naturally occurring phenomena," and hence fail the patentability test under 35 USC 101. As is usual in patent cases, however, the ruling contains delicate shades of meaning.  Read More

A microbubble-enhanced ultrasound image of a beating heart

When someone has a heart attack, it’s crucial that they receive treatment as soon as possible. Emergency medical technicians, however, are limited in how detailed of an on-the-spot diagnosis they can make of a patient’s condition. This means that actual treatment often has to wait until they get the patient to a hospital. That could be changing, however, as a scientist with GE Global Research is now looking into the use of “microbubbles” as a mobile means of imaging the heart and possibly even treating it.  Read More

Scanadu has turned to crowdfunding website Indiegogo to bring what it calls 'the first med...

Scanadu has turned to crowd-funding website Indiegogo to bring what it calls "the first medical tricorder," its Scout diagnostic device, to market. Though expected to ship to home users in March 2014, Scanadu highlights that until the Scout is approved by the FDA, it should not be thought of as a medical device. Instead, backers are described as testers who will help to gather the data to gain that approval.  Read More

The Nanostructured Lipid Carrier (NLC) that can be inhaled to deliver an anticancer drug d...

According to American Cancer Society estimates, lung cancer will account for 27 percent of all US cancer deaths in 2013, making it by far the leading cause of cancer death among both men and women. Part of the problem is getting the toxic chemotherapeutic drugs used to treat the cancer into the lungs. A new drug delivery system aims to overcome this problem by allowing the drugs to be inhaled, thereby delivering the drug where it is needed while reducing the harmful effects to other organs.  Read More

UCSF researchers have been able to cure epilepsy in adult mice by transplanting a specific...

Earlier this week we reported on a neurological implant that has been found to accurately predict the onset of epileptic seizures. But a discovery by researchers at the University of California, San Francisco (UCSF) could one day render such a device obsolete. By transplanting a specific type of cell into the brain, the researchers have been able to cure epilepsy in adult mice, with hopes a similar treatment could work in humans.  Read More

A new brain implant can accurately predict an impending epileptic seizure (Image: Shutters...

Epilepsy seizures can range from something as subtle as a passing localized numbness to something as noticeable and potentially dangerous as wild involuntary thrashing. While some people experience symptoms before a seizure that indicate one is about to occur, others have no warning at all. A new device that is designed to be implanted between the skull and the brain surface has been found to accurately predict epilepsy seizures in humans and can indicate the risk of a seizure occurring in the coming hours.  Read More

The i-limb is controlled by a smartphone app

Whichever marketing genius came up with the Apple catchphrase, "There's an app for that," has a lot to answer for – or brag about. It's heard so often these days that it’s become a cliché. Touch Bionic’s i-limb ultra revolution robotic artificial hand gives yet another reason to repeat the phrase. It’s linked to a smartphone app, which allows for greater control of the hand, including the ability to program it to suit the wearer’s personal needs.  Read More

Previously decellularized rat kidney after reseeding with endothelial cells  (Image: Ott L...

About 100,000 people in the United States alone are on the list to receive a kidney transplant and 400,000 are kept alive by kidney dialysis machines. Unfortunately, there are only 18,000 kidneys available each year in the U.S. and those lucky enough to receive one face a lifetime of immunosuppressant drugs. To increase the supply and remove the risk of tissue rejection, a team of researchers led by Harald Ott of the Massachusetts General Hospital Center for Regenerative Medicine has built an experimental bioengineered kidney that not only produces urine, but has been successfully transplanted into a rat.  Read More

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