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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

This prototype implant can detect up to five proteins and organic acids at once (Photo: EP...

Blood tests usually involve drawing some blood out of the body. Now scientists from the Ecole Polytechnique Fédérale de Lausanne (EPFL) have developed an implant that allows blood to be analyzed from within the body, with results then transmitted wirelessly to a computer. While still at the experimental stage, the device could make it easier for health care providers to monitor the chronically ill and provide more personalized treatment to cancer patients.  Read More

The FlatEvac (right) allows soldiers to maintain readiness (Photo: Michael Alvarez-Pereyre...

After introducing a hands-free "human backpack", Israeli tactical gear manufacturer Agilite is back with a hands-free solution that allows injured troops to lie flat and be carried to safety. Unlike other stretchers that keep the hands occupied, the FlatEvac sets both hands free. Troops are able to handle their weapons, navigation instruments and other tools while simultaneously carrying their injured battle mate.  Read More

The liver-preserving machine was developed at the University of Oxford

In a first for medical science, two livers have been successfully transplanted into patients following storage and transportation of the organs in a machine that keeps them warm and functioning. It's hoped that the machine, developed at the University of Oxford, could double the number of livers available for transplant at any given time, potentially saving thousands of lives every year.  Read More

Thimble's mock-up of a potential TENS patch

Imagine if you could treat pain the same way you treat a cut: throw a bandage on it and let it heal. Thimble Bioelectronics is working on a patch based on Transcutaneous Electrical Nerve Stimulation (TENS) that's designed to provide this type of portable pain relief.  Read More

A custom-fit Varstiff wrist brace could be applied and removed in seconds, yet remain rigi...

Items such as the traditional cervical collar, used by emergency medical technicians to immobilize the heads and necks of accident victims, may soon be getting some competition. Developed by Spanish research center Tecnalia, Varstiff is a textile material that is ordinarily soft and malleable, but that achieves a hardness equivalent to that of rigid plastic once a vacuum is applied.  Read More

Mark Kris, MD, Chief of Thoracic Oncology, Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center (left) a...

IBM's Watson supercomputer has long held out the promise of being a partner in our endeavors rather than simply being a better search engine. Now an improved version of Watson has joined the oncology staff at Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center.  Read More

German researchers have developed a special handle for surgical tools that lights up to wa...

New technology may be ushering in the age of robotic surgery, but there is still a role for cutting-edge electronics to play in augmenting a surgeon's natural talents. The latest example of this comes from Germany, where researchers have proposed a way for doctors to operate using their own standard instruments by developing a special handle that fits on most surgical tools and lights up to indicate when enough pressure has been used during a procedure.  Read More

CEO of Innovationsmanufaktur Prof. Eckehard Fozzy Moritz using the GEWOS armchair for rowi...

Researchers have created a prototype armchair designed to take care of the elderly by giving them health and fitness advice ... and even a workout. Developed at the Fraunhofer Institute for Integrated Circuits (IIS) in Germany, the GEWOS (Gesund Wohnen Mit Stil or Healthy Living With Style) armchair looks like an ordinary, comfortable chair. The difference is that it contains sensors built into the seat cushions, backrest and armrest that measure the heartbeat and oxygen saturation of the seated person, along with an integrated rowing machine that can get you exercising on the spot.  Read More

Scientists have used microneedle arrays to store a live vaccine at room temperature, and a...

While it’s vitally important to bring vaccines for diseases such as tuberculosis to developing nations, getting them there is only part of the challenge. Because these countries often have unreliable infrastructures, it’s entirely possible that the vaccines can’t consistently be kept as cold as is required. As a result, they could be rendered ineffective. Now, however, scientists from King’s College London have succeeded in containing a dried live vaccine in a microneedle array, that doesn’t need to be refrigerated.  Read More

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