Building on previous work, researchers at Duke University have developed a new technology that wraps nanoshells in a thin film of drug-infused hydrogel, adding additional firepower to the already promising targeted cancer treatment. The hydrogel is loaded with cancer-fighting drugs and coated onto the nanoshells, which heat up when exposed to infrared light and release the chemotherapeutic drugs, delivering a one-two punch, directly to the tumour.
We have drugs to treat nasty conditions like irritable bowel syndrome and Crohn's disease, but unfortunately their effects are often blunted by little stumbling blocks known as the stomach and the small intestine. These body parts are prone to absorbing certain medications before they can do their best work. But a new type of capsule holds onto its payload until reaching the large intestine, making for more effective delivery.
Scientists believe they can isolate the medical benefits of THC from the "unwanted side effects". By blocking a particular receptor, the cognitive effects of THC, including memory loss, anxiety and dependence can be suppressed, whist the analgesic and tumor-inhibiting properties remain.
Further to the mental anguish, a lot of time in a hospital bed can bring about some agonizing physical discomfort. This is most commonly brought about by skin ulcers and bedsores, which threaten to evolve into dangerous and potentially deadly infections if left untreated. But a British research team has happened upon a technique that promises to cut the healing time of these and other chronic wounds by around a third, using simple low-intensity ultrasounds.
When things in our body go awry, through disease or infection, for example, the types of molecules in our breath can change. These variations have presented researchers around the world with a very real opportunity to detect various conditions, including lung cancer, with unprecedented ease. The latest scientists to start sniffing around this emerging form of medical diagnosis is a team from the University of Adelaide, who are developing a laser instrument inspired by dog's nose that can screen breath samples for signs of unrest.
Bruxism – or "tooth-grinding" to most of us – is a very common problem.
Often caused by stress, it can cause tooth damage, headaches, insomnia
and jaw pain. Unfortunately, because it occurs when we're sleeping, many
people don't even realize they're doing it. Often, a night spent under
observation at a sleep clinic is the only way of "catching it in
action." That could be about to change, however, thanks to the
development of a bruxism-detecting mouth guard.
A team of researchers from the Temple University School of Medicine (TUSM) has conducted a study involving the use of communications modules secreted by stem cells to help limit the damage caused by a heart attack. The team performed tests on mice, with extremely promising results.
Today's smartphones come chock-full of technological capability, intended to help us with everything from taking holiday snaps, finding our way around a new town or staying connected with people around the world. As it turns out, the hardware inside is starting to show huge promise in the world of medical diagnostics, with smartphones repurposed as blood-scanning microscopes, HIV testers and sleep apnea detectors. The latest advance in this area comes in the form of a fiber optic sensor for smartphones that monitors bodily fluids, a tool that could be used for biomolecular tests such as pregnancy or diabetes monitoring.
Hydrogels have huge potential in the field of biomedicine, but aren't without their shortcomings in their existing form. These tiny polypeptide chains are championed for their many possible applications. Indeed, in the last few years alone we've seen advances that suggest they could find use in generating new heart tissue, fighting off superbugs and the controlled release of anti-inflammatory drugs. But researchers have now developed a hydrogel that mimics the elasticity of human tissue and can be activated by exposure to light, claiming it could offer safer means of repairing wounded tissue.
In order to treat injured joints, patients are often advised to apply
heat. This typically takes the form of a hot water bottle or
microwavable hot pack (which are cumbersome and cool off) or a heating
pad (which needs to be plugged in). Now, however, scientists from Korea
and the US have created a battery-powered thin mesh that applies heat
and stays put.