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— Medical

Surgical system uses 'cocoon of air' to keep incision sites clean

By - October 17, 2011 3 Pictures
A Texas company is developing an innovative medical device to reduce the risk of infection during surgery. Nimbic Systems' Air Barrier System (ABS) dispenses purified air through a flexible nozzle which can be fixed adjacent to the patient's incision, shielding the wound by producing a non turbulent flow of filtered air and reducing the presence of infection causing microorganisms. Read More
— Health and Wellbeing

New 'stress-shielding device' greatly reduces surgical scarring

By - May 24, 2011 2 Pictures
When the sutures are removed from a surgical incision, the natural tension of the surrounding skin starts to pull the two edges of the wound away from one another. While the incision site will still usually heal, that wound-opening mechanical stress causes excessive scar tissue to form. Researchers from Stanford University, however, have created a new type of dressing that removes such stress, and has been shown to dramatically reduce scarring. Read More
— Robotics

World's first intubation robot tested on human subjects

By - April 19, 2011 3 Pictures
Pretty much any time a patient is placed under a general anesthetic, a plastic endotracheal tube is inserted down their throat, in order to keep their airway open. The procedure is known as intubation, and has so far always been performed by hand. In this age of robotic surgery, however, it’s perhaps not surprising to hear that surgeons at Montreal’s McGill University Health Centre are now trying out a remote-control intubation system on human subjects. Read More
— Medical

Battery-powered surgical lamp designed for developing nations

By - March 24, 2011 5 Pictures
While those of us living in First World countries may take an easily-accessible source of continuously-flowing electricity for granted, such is not the case in developing nations. Many communities have little or no electrical infrastructure, and experience frequent power outages. While people wishing to read a book in the evening could perhaps use a simple lighting device like the Solar Pebble, the matter becomes quite a bit more serious should the lights go out at a hospital, in the middle of an operation. Many hospitals have turned to using kerosene lanterns, but Australian industrial designer Michael O'Brien has created what he believes is a better alternative – a low-cost battery-powered LED surgical lamp. Read More
— Medical

Lasers create custom medical devices, and make suturing easier

By - March 1, 2011 2 Pictures
If you remember the MASH episode where Hawkeye and BJ got the Korean fix-it guy to build them a one-of-a-kind vein clamp, then you will understand the importance of custom-designed surgical tools – surgery is definitely not a field in which people should just make do with the next-best thing. Unfortunately, the production of some types of instruments can be quite involved, meaning they can't always be created quickly or cheaply. At this month's MEDTEC Europe trade show, however, researchers from Germany's Fraunhofer Institute for Manufacturing Technology and Advanced Materials will be demonstrating new technology that uses a laser melting process to easily create pretty much any surgical instrument imaginable ... or so they claim. Read More
— Medical

Gesture-controlled computers and robotic nurses being developed for operating rooms

By - February 7, 2011 2 Pictures
Although surgeons need to frequently review medical images and records during surgery, they’re also in the difficult position of not being able to touch non-sterile objects such as keyboards, computer mice or touchscreens. Stepping away from the operating table to check a computer also adds time to a procedure. Researchers from Indiana’s Purdue University are addressing this situation by developing gesture-recognition systems for computers, so that surgeons can navigate through and manipulate screen content simply by moving their hands in the air. The system could additionally be used with robotic scrub nurses, also being developed at Purdue, to let the devices know what instruments the surgeon wants handed to them. Read More
— Medical

Kinect could bring touch-free interface to operating theaters

By - December 21, 2010 1 Picture
The development of open source drivers for Microsoft's Kinect motion-controller is already opening up new (if not entirely unpredictable) applications for the device. This example, developed by members of the Virtopsy research project at the Institute of Forensic Medicine at the University of Bern in Switzerland, is a functional prototype using Kinect that provides users with a hands-free way to review radiological images. Read More
— Medical

New medical imaging technique delivers streaming video at molecular level

By - December 7, 2010 2 Pictures
Scientists and MDs have a wide range of technologies available for the imaging of live tissue, but each of these comes with its own limitations - be it poor contrast, low resolution, long response times or the viewing process damaging the tissue being observed. A team of Harvard researchers has developed a new type of optical biomedical imaging that promises to overcome these obstacles and is so fast and high-resolution that it can capture live video of cells and molecules. Read More
— Medical

Vet students learn surgery on ‘fake’ animal tissue

By - November 22, 2010 6 Pictures
It’s vital that surgeons, whether operating on humans or animals, are familiar with how body tissue feels and reacts before conducting their inaugural operation. However, until recently, many veterinarian students were practicing basic surgical and suturing procedures on carpet pads and pig’s feet before moving on to their first “live” patient. But an invention by Colorado State University (CSU) veterinarians has provided students with a substrate that is infinitely closer to the real thing by developing artificial body parts that closely resemble real skin, muscles and vessels – they can even bleed! Of course the real benefit is that no animals (or humans) are hurt in the procedures. Read More

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