Creating Biomedical Technologies to Improve Health

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Grantee News • July 28, 2015

Researchers at MIT’s Koch Institute for Integrative Cancer Research and Massachusetts General Hospital (MGH) have created a polymer gel that overcomes a key safety concern that could allow for the development of long-acting devices that reside in the stomach, including orally delivered capsules that can release drugs over a number of days, weeks, or potentially months following a single administration. Read more at MIT News.

Grantee News • July 27, 2015

Elisa Konofagou, professor of biomedical engineering at Columbia University, and her team have developed new ways to use the acoustic energy of ultrasound to detect and treat disease without the harmful effects of radiation. Read more at Lab Manager Magazine.

Grantee News • July 27, 2015

Researchers at Vanderbilt University’s Medical Engineering and Discovery Laboratory have developed a surgical robot with steerable needles equipped with wrists that are less than 2 mm thick. They hope to give needlescopic surgery a whole new degree of dexterity. Read more at Vanderbilt University Research News.

NIBIB in the News • July 27, 2015

This NPR feature delves into cutting-edge research by NIBIB grantee Lihong Wang, Ph.D., a professor of biomedical engineering at Washington University in St. Louis. In the feature, NIBIB's Richard Conroy, Ph.D., director of the Division of Applied Science & Technology at NIBIB, comments on Wang's ability to adapt concepts from fields such as astronomy to generate new imaging tools that can enable the detection of individual cancer cells in the bloodstream or to visualize oxygen consumption deep within the body.

Science Highlights • July 20, 2015
The capture and analysis of circulating tumor cells (CTCs) in the blood of cancer patients is a valuable tool for treatment decisions and therapy monitoring. Until recently, it was a huge challenge to capture these rare cells in a blood sample. In a new approach funded by NIBIB, bioengineers have developed a system that efficiently isolates CTCs using sound waves, without physical contact or damage to the cells, assuring that their original characteristics are maintained. The contact-free nature of the method offers the potential for more precise cancer treatment and monitoring, and new discoveries on how cancer spreads.
Grantee News • July 16, 2015

Structural brain abnormalities in patients with schizophrenia, providing insight into how the condition may develop and respond to treatment, have been identified in an internationally collaborative study led by NIBIB. Read more at Georgia State University News.

Grantee News • July 16, 2015

NIBIB-funded researchers are using an optical technology widely used in ophthalmology to reveal how blood flows in the brain during stroke, providing information that could someday guide new treatments and reduce stroke-induced damage to the brain. Read more at SPIE: The international society for optics and photonics.

Science Highlights • July 16, 2015

A research team funded by the National Institutes of Health has generated a novel system for growing cardiac tissue from undifferentiated stem cells on a culture plate. This heart on a chip is a miniature physiologic system that could be used to model early heart development and screen drugs prescribed during pregnancy.

Science Highlights • July 15, 2015
NIBIB-funded researchers have developed two near-infrared contrast agents that are efficiently taken up by the thyroid and parathyroid glands following intravenous injection. The researchers tested the contrast agents in rats and pigs and showed that they could be used to help distinguish the thyroid and parathyroid glands from surrounding tissue and from each other. The agents could make it easier to visualize the glands during surgery so they can be operated on with greater precision.
Science Highlights • July 10, 2015

NIBIB-funded researchers have designed a nanoparticle transport system for gene delivery that destroys deadly brain gliomas in a rat model, significantly extending the lives of the treated animals. The nanoparticles are filled with genes for an enzyme that converts a prodrug called ganciclovir into a potent destroyer of the glioma cells.