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Medical

Knee cartilage anatomy: the source of many problems for osteoarthritis sufferers (Image: G...

3D bioprinting experts at the University of Pittsburgh’s School of Medicine are examining techniques that print stem cells into robust scaffolding structures directly at the site of cartilage damage, in an effort to repair damaged cartilage and prevent osteoarthritis.  Read More

3D printing allows researchers to create models of tumor tissue that more accurately repli...

Medical research is only as good as the model, whether you’re using one animal to stand in for another, or creating in vitro replicas of tissue and organs. A research lab at Drexel University specializing in biofabrication recently used 3D printing to create models of tumor tissue that more closely replicate real tumors than traditional 2D tissue culture. Appropriating tools in this manner could lead to a better understanding of how tumors grow, and importantly, how they die.  Read More

Researchers from North Carolina State University have developed a dual-frequency ultrasoun...

While existing ultrasound technologies are able to identify plaque buildup on artery walls, determining when that plaque is at risk of breaking off, resulting in a heart attack or stroke, has proven a more complicated task. A team of researchers from North Carolina State University has now developed a dual-frequency ultrasound device that could help identify so-called vulnerable plaque and enable a more accurate diagnosis for at-risk patients.  Read More

For the first time, researchers at the University of New South Wales in Australia have use...

According to the World Health Organization, more than 360 million people worldwide live with disabling hearing loss, and for many, devices such as hearing aids and cochlear implants allow them to maintain a normal life style. But what if a cochlear device could offer a biological solution that would enhance a patient’s experience?  Read More

In the not-too-distant future, blood made with lab-grown red blood cells could be readily ...

According to the World Health Organization, approximately 107 million blood donations are collected globally every year. Nonetheless, blood is often in short supply – particularly in developing nations. Despite new safeguards, there's also still the risk of incompatibility, or of infections being transmitted from donors to recipients. Charitable organization the Wellcome Trust hopes to address these problems, by developing the ability to manufacture blood outside of the body. Last week, it announced that test subjects should begin receiving transfusions of blood made with lab-grown red blood cells by late 2016.  Read More

A nanoparticle-based surgical adhesive might soon take the place of sutures, staples or po...

In the ongoing quest to develop better ways of sealing wounds within the body, scientists have created surgical adhesives inspired by porcupine quills, mussels and slugs. Not all good ideas have to come from the animal kingdom, however. Recently, French researchers have had success in repairing internal organs using an adhesive solution that incorporates either silica or iron oxide nanoparticles.  Read More

A microscope image of some of the regenerated esophageal tissue

Ordinarily, when patients require a total or partial replacement of their esophagus, tissue from their own stomach or intestine is used. This doesn't always result in a fully-functioning organ, plus it also involves the surgical removal of the needed material. Now, however, scientists have come a step closer to being able to grow a new esophagus from the patient's own stem cells, and in fact have already done so – with rats.  Read More

MIT's new nanoparticle carries three cancer-fighting drug molecules — doxorubicin is red, ...

Delivering drugs that can knock out tumor cells within the body, without causing adverse side effects, is a tricky busines. It's why scientists have taken to engineering new and creative types of nanoparticles that do the job. Increasing a nanoparticle's ability to carry more drugs expands treatment options, but creating nanoparticles capable of delivering more than one or two drugs has proven difficult – until now. Scientists at MIT report creating a revolutionary building block technique that's enabled them to load a nanoparticle with three drugs. The approach, they say, could be expanded to allow a nanoparticle to carry hundreds more.  Read More

The final Hemosep, developed using 3D-printed prototype parts

During surgery, patients' blood is often "spilt." Such blood can be returned to the body, so long as it has been properly processed to ensure that it is not tainted. The Brightwave Hemosep autotransfusion machine can do this – and its prototyping costs have been cut by 96 percent via 3D printing.  Read More

Scientists have used steroids to enhance the performance of stem cells  (Photo: Shuttersto...

Stem cells are highly promising for the treatment of everything from HIV to leukemia to baldness. In many cases, however, a great number of them must be used in order have a noticeable effect, which makes treatments impractical or expensive. Now, scientists at Harvard-affiliated Brigham and Women's Hospital have found that a smaller number of stem cells can still get the job done, if they're first hopped up on steroids.  Read More

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