Highlights from the 2014 LA Auto Show

Medication

An illustration of the edible micro-battery, that could power ingestible medical devices

Over the past several years, scientists have developed so-called “camera pills,” that can be swallowed by patients and then transmit video from within their bodies. While such non-digestible gadgets could serve as an invaluable means of imaging, researchers at Carnegie Mellon University are now looking into tiny electronic medical devices that could be swallowed and partially digested, providing non-invasive treatment in the process.  Read More

Brigham Young University's Team Med Vault, with their painkiller-dispensing device

It’s an unfortunate fact that prescription painkiller abuse is on the rise. In some cases people are taking the drugs to get high, while in others, patients simply want more relief than their prescription allows. In either scenario, the results are often fatal. That’s why a group of engineering students from Brigham Young University have created a lockable medication-dispensing device known as the Med Vault.  Read More

Instead of becoming less gloomy, perch exposed to antidepressant residue get reckless and ...

While some people may wonder about the possible side-effects of antidepressants on the people who are taking them, here’s another thing to consider ... what happens when the residue from those drugs passes through the user’s urine and into the sewage system? As it turns out, it can enter local waterways and affect the fish. Now, researchers from KTH Royal Institute of Technology in Stockholm have developed technology to keep that from happening.  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

A microscope image of NC State's nanofiber-studded silicone

For several years now, scientists have been exploring the use of patches of arrayed microneedles as a means of “injecting” medication through the skin. Researchers at North Carolina State University are now working on something similar, but at a much smaller scale – they're developing tiny needle-covered balloons, to deliver medication to individual cells.  Read More

'Does anyone have some of that new gum?' (Photo: Shutterstock)

If someone feels motion sickness coming on, they don’t want to wait any longer than necessary for pills or capsules to take effect. With that in mind, scientists have created a chewing gum that they claim alleviates motion sickness faster than swallowed medications.  Read More

A basic diagram of MIT's painless drug delivery system

Although some medications just don’t work when taken orally, the fact is that nobody likes getting injections. Research being conducted at MIT, however, could lead to a new painless method of drug delivery via the skin. Harsh though it might sound, it involves using ultrasound to blast off the outer layer of skin, so that drugs can then get into the bloodstream.  Read More

New technology may allow transdermal patches to pump out medication by harnessing the wear...

Transdermal patches are currently used for the controlled release of medication, as long as that medication is made up of molecules that are small enough to be absorbed through the wearer’s skin. For solutions with larger molecules, scientists are looking into the use of patches incorporating arrays of skin-piercing microneedles. In many of these cases, however, the patches would require some sort of tiny battery-operated pump, to push the medication through the needles. Now, researchers from Indiana’s Purdue University have developed what could be an alternative – microneedle patches that use the wearer’s own body heat to deliver the drugs.  Read More

The IEM helps patients and doctors monitor medicine-taking behavior (Photo: Dvortygirl)

Taking a pill seems like the easiest thing in the world. Pill, glass of water and swallow, right? For many people, however, it isn’t that simple. For them, it’s very easy to take the incorrect dosage at the incorrect time. To help prevent this, Proteus Digital Health of Redwood City, California has developed an ingestible chip that can be embedded in pills and other pharmaceuticals.  Read More

A diagram illustrating the steps in the new microsphere production technique (Image: Dr. X...

One of the more promising developments in the field of medical technology involves the use of microspheres for targeted drug delivery. In a nutshell, this encompasses creating tiny hollow balls that are filled with a specific drug, which travel directly to a specific organ or area of diseased tissue. Once there, the spheres release their medication, keeping it concentrated where it’s needed while sparing other tissue from any harmful side effects. Recently, a team of scientists from Germany’s Max Planck Institute of Colloids and Interfaces devised a new method of manufacturing such microspheres, which is said to offer several advantages over existing techniques.  Read More

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