Photokina 2014 highlights

Injuries

The Tornado Shield in its rolled-up portable state, ready for action

When a tornado's heading your way, the best thing you can do is to go your basement or better yet, to a purpose-built storm shelter. The problem is, not everyone has access to either. With that in mind, Missouri-based entrepreneur Steve Anderson created the Tuuli Armor Tornado Shield. Essentially, it's a big bag that you get inside of.  Read More

The Riddell Speedflex, with its flexible hinged panel visible at the top

Although we may admire older cars' ability to "hold together" in a collision, it's now generally accepted that it's safer for vehicles to feature impact-absorbing crumple zones. With that in mind, shouldn't football helmets also be safer if they're able to give a little when whacked? That's what Riddell's new SpeedFlex helmet does ... along with a few other interesting things.  Read More

Muscle and tendon strains or tears may soon be detectable prior to injury, thanks to new a...

When it comes to muscle, tendon, and bone injuries, early diagnosis can save you from a world of hurt and lengthy rehabilitation. Researchers at Washington University in St Louis have developed algorithms that may one day – after some refinement in imaging techniques – identify tiny strains before they turn into serious injuries.  Read More

Nasal septum cartilage cells can easily be coaxed into reproducing, providing a patient wi...

Depending on the part of the body and the nature of the injury, cartilage either doesn’t grow back at all, or does so very slowly. That’s why joint injuries often take a long time to heal, to the point that scientists are looking into using things like hydrogels and 3D printers to help speed the process. Now, however, researchers from Switzerland’s University of Basel are reporting that cartilage cells harvested from a patient’s own nose can be used to grow replacement cartilage for their knee.  Read More

The shape-memory polymer is soft when heated, but turns stiff as it cools

Whether they're the result of injuries, surgery or birth defects such as cleft palate, missing sections of bone in the skull or jaw can certainly affect someone's appearance. Although there are some methods of filling in such gaps, they have limitations that limit their application. A newly-developed foam-like material, however, may be able to succeed where other approaches have failed.  Read More

The foam is currently injected via this applicator

When a soldier is wounded on an extremity such as an arm or leg, applying a bandage and/or tourniquet to stop the bleeding is typically a fairly straight-ahead process. However, in cases where an injury is received right at the junction between an extremity and the torso – places such as the neck, shoulder or groin – things get a lot trickier. Gauze pads treated with clotting agents are often packed into the wound, although they're not always sufficient for staunching the flow. A group of students from Johns Hopkins University are working on a better alternative, in the form of a hardening foam that's injected into the wound.  Read More

The Restoring Active Memory project is aimed at helping brain-injured veterans and civilia...

Earlier this year, we heard about how DARPA (the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency) was setting up its new Biological Technologies Office. The goal of that division is to "merge biology, engineering, and computer science to harness the power of natural systems for national security." This week, the agency released details of one of the office's key projects, called Restoring Active Memory. It's aimed at using implantable "neuroprosthetics" to help army veterans and other people recover from memory deficits caused by brain injury or disease.  Read More

The bruise trousers release magenta dye when subjected to impact (Photo: Lucy Jung, Ming K...

Along with the obvious mobility issues faced by athletes who are unable to walk, they also face another challenge – if they're unable to feel their legs, that means they can't always tell when they've been hurt. Severe bruises or broken bones can simply go unnoticed, until they develop into even more of a problem. That's why a group of students at Imperial College London have invented a set of "bruise trousers" that show such athletes when and where they've received a serious impact below the waist.  Read More

A new adhesive gel could keep injured soldiers from losing their vision (Photo: Aiding our...

When soldiers or other people sustain eye injuries, retinal detachment and vision loss can result if the eye's vitreous gel isn't kept from leaking out. Given that Band-Aids can't be placed directly on the eyeball, however, a team of scientists from the University of Southern California has created an alternative – reversible eye glue.  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

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