Creating Biomedical Technologies to Improve Health

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Science Highlights • February 10, 2016
To help test the toxicity of new drugs, NIBIB researchers have engineered a 3D brain organoid—a miniature organ structure that attempts to mimic the function of the organ but does not develop fully.
Science Highlights • February 10, 2016
NIBIB-funded researchers used ultrasound-activated microbubbles to improve preservation of heart muscle and function in a pig heart attack model. Based on this success, the method is now in phase I human clinical trials. In the animal model, the treatment both with and without a low dose of the clot-busting drug tPA improved heart function and reduced the size of infarct (damaged area of heart muscle). Potentially, the promising treatment could be rapidly administered to heart attack patients arriving at the emergency room (or even while in the ambulance), and could preserve heart muscle before patients receive invasive interventions to open blocked arteries. The clinical trial will help to determine if the early microbubble intervention results in overall better outcomes for patients.
Grantee News • February 10, 2016

Scientists have created the first robotically driven experimentation system to determine the effects of a large number of drugs on many proteins, reducing the number of necessary experiments by 70 percent. Read more at Science Daily.

Grantee News • February 9, 2016

Engineers have modified the cotton candy machine to create complex microfluidic networks that mimic the capillary system in living tissue and have demonstrated that these networks can keep cells alive and functioning in an artificial three-dimensional matrix. Read more and watch the video at Research News @ Vanderbilt.

Grantee News • February 8, 2016

Scientists have identified a quantitative MRI-based method to measure changes in biomarkers, which may reduce or eliminate the need for invasive biopsies. Read more in Science Daily.

Grantee News • February 3, 2016

Engineers at Washington University in St. Louis found a way to keep a cancerous tumor from growing by using nanoparticles of the main ingredient in common antacid tablets.The compound, calcium carbonate, changed the pH of the tumor environment from acidic to more alkaline and kept the cancer from growing. Read more and watch the video at the Source.

Grantee News • February 2, 2016

A new study evaluated the relationship between common genetic variants implicated in schizophrenia and those associated with subcortical brain volumes, and found no evidence of genetic overlap between schizophrenia risk and subcortical volume measures. The effort was led by the ENIGMA Center for Worldwide Medicine, Imaging, and Genomics, which brings together vast international datasets to study human brain disorders. Read more at Science Daily.

Grantee News • February 1, 2016

Using electrodes implanted in the temporal lobes of awake patients, scientists have decoded brain signals at nearly the speed of perception. Analysis of patients' neural responses to two categories of visual stimuli -- images of faces and houses -- enabled the scientists to predict which images the patients were viewing, and when, with better than 95 percent accuracy. Read more at Science Daily

Grantee News • January 29, 2016

Researchers at Northwestern's McCormick School of Engineering have developed an elastic material with built-in vitamin A, which is known to inhibit scarring. The material can be used to make medical devices with intrinsic healing properties, which could reduce tissue damage. Read more at Northwestern News and Events.

Grantee News • January 28, 2016

Medical researchers at Johns Hopkins and Harvard Medical Schools performed a systematic evaluation of prostate cancer imaging techniques. Their analysis revealed that PET/CT scans using a radiotracer that targets prostate-specific membrane antigen was the most effective at detecting metastatic prostate cancer when compared with other imaging techniques. Read more from the Society of Nuclear Medicine and Molecular Imaging.