Photokina 2014 highlights

Surgery

Buttercup poses with his 3D printed foot

Buttercup the duck was born with a strange birth defect. One of the little duckling's legs faced the wrong direction. To remedy the situation, 3D printing technology has been used to create a prosthetic leg that should allow Buttercup to live a somewhat normal, albeit much more famous, life.  Read More

A material known as a plasmonic polypeptide nanocomposite has been shown to strengthen las...

Stitches and staples may be on their way to becoming a thing of the past, thanks to a developing technology known as laser tissue welding. Now, a new gold-based solder has been created, that could make tissue welds in regions such as the intestines much stronger and more reliable.  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

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

An existing robotic arm, which could be adapted for use in GE's system

Presently, when an operation is going to be performed at a hospital, people first locate all the instruments that the surgeon will require, inspect them, arrange them on a tray, sterilize them, and then deliver them to the operating room. According to General Electric’s GE Global Research division, however, robots could do all of those things better. To that end, the group has recently partnered with GE Healthcare and the U.S. Department of Veteran’s Affairs, in a US$2.5 million two-year project to develop just such robots.  Read More

A confetti-sized artificial kidney stone, with a sub-150-micrometer hole bored into it usi...

First of all, how can non-invasive surgery even be possible? After all, even in the case of minimally-invasive laparoscopic surgery, small incisions are still made in the skin. Nonetheless, that’s just what scientists from the University of Michigan are proposing. They believe that it could be achieved by using a beam of sound, which would be emitted through the skin to a highly-focused point within the body – and they’ve already created such a beam and used it.  Read More

Animation still of the DARPA foam being injected

The Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) is developing a foam that can be injected into the body cavities of battlefield wounded to protect them from internal abdominal bleeding. The agency hopes that when perfected, this polyurethane polymer foam will help the wounded to survive the critical minutes needed to transport them to proper surgical facilities for treatment.  Read More

A rendering and a photo of the SMART tool

No matter how steady you try to hold your hand, it will still tremble several times a second, moving a distance roughly the same as the thickness of a sheet of paper each time. While that might not matter much for the average person, it can be a very big deal to surgeons performing fine-scale surgery on things like eyes or nerve fibers. While there are experimental robotic devices to help smooth out the shakes, researchers from Johns Hopkins University have come up with something else – a surgical tool with a jiggling tip.  Read More

HemoSep is an autotransfusion technology for open heart surgeries that can improve prospec...

A simpler, cheaper and more efficient method to recover blood lost during open heart and major trauma surgeries has been developed at the University of Strathclyde in Glasgow. Called HemoSep, the method has produced successful results during trials at the Kirikkale University Hospital in Ankara, Turkey, improving prospects for cardiac surgery patients. The technology is soon to be launched commercially.  Read More

The FastStitch is a prototype device, designed to facilitate the closure of surgical incis...

Just about every major operation on the chest or abdomen requires surgeons to cut through the fascia, which is a layer of muscle located immediately beneath the skin. Closing these wounds can be very difficult – sewing up an incision in the fascial layer has been likened to trying to push a needle through shoe leather. If proper care isn’t taken, however, potentially lethal complications can result. Now, a team of undergraduate students from Johns Hopkins University have created a device that should make the procedure easier and safer.  Read More

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