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Medical

Eyedrops may be replaced by stick-on nanowafers

As anyone who has ever used medicinal eyedrops will know, it's hard to get the things into your own eye. Soon, however, they could be replaced by tiny drug-containing polymer "nanowafers" that are applied to the eye like a contact lens. Those wafers would proceed to gradually dissolve, releasing medication throughout the day. Read More

Medical

Portable device could be used to treat Parkinson’s disease

Among other things, one of the symptoms of advanced Parkinson’s disease is an impaired sense of balance. Although this typically isn't very responsive to medication, Swedish scientists at the University of Gothenburg's Sahlgrenska Academy are developing an alternative treatment – a wearable device that stimulates the patient's vestibular system. Read More

Medical

Man-made ligament could replace ruptured ACLs

If you follow sports at all, then you've probably heard about athletes rupturing their ACL, or anterior cruciate ligament. It connects the femur to the tibia, and once it breaks, it's incapable of healing. Treatment most often involves reconstructing the ACL using grafts from the patellar tendon, which connects the patella (aka the kneecap) to the tibia – although this can present problems of its own. Now, scientists at Northwestern University in Illinois are creating a man-made replacement ACL, which could make treatment much more effective. Read More

Medical

Future asthma treatment may target trigger allergens

Asthma attacks are terrifying. They feel almost like the world is closing in around you as you wheeze and cough and gasp for breath. And they often strike suddenly, without warning, when an innocuous event stirs up dust or pollen around you. That terror of unexpected attack that we asthmatics feel every day may largely disappear if a novel new research project pans out. Scientists at the Universities of Cambridge, London, and Manchester have gone after the trigger allergens and developed an inhalable powder from a compound that binds to a major dust mite allergen. This powder could lead to a shift in focus for asthma treatment from relief to inhibition.Read More

Medical

Electronic implants treat staph infections, and then dissolve

Imagine if there were a remote-control electronic device that could be implanted at an infection site, where it would treat the infection by heating or medicating the affected tissue. While it might be very effective, subsequent infections could result if surgeons went in to remove it, or even if they just left it in place. That's why scientists from Tufts University and the University of Illinois at Champaign-Urbana have developed infection-treating implants that simply dissolve into the body once they've served their purpose. Read More

Medical

New robotic walker helps patients walk with a natural gait

It can be a laborious business, teaching people such as victims of strokes or brain injuries to walk again. Often, multiple physiotherapists are required to hold patients up while they walk on a treadmill, while also manually moving their legs to achieve the proper gait. Soon, however, a robotic walker developed at the National University of Singapore could make the process considerably easier. Read More

Health & Wellbeing

Thought-controlled implant creates proteins on demand

Wouldn't it be great if there were implants that detected the brainwaves associated with conditions such as chronic headaches or epilepsy, and then responded by triggering genes in the patient's body to produce a protein that treated the condition? Well, scientists at the ETH Zurich research institute are on their way to making it happen. They've developed an implant that causes genetically-modified cells to express a specific protein, and the device is indeed activated by brain waves.Read More

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