Creating Biomedical Technologies to Improve Health



Science Highlights • November 30, 2009
Researchers have designed a fist-like surgical tool the size of a dust particle that can open and close in response to chemicals or heat. The device, called a microgripper, does not require batteries or any electrical source and some day could be used to collect biopsy samples, remove blood clots, and deliver drugs to parts of the human body that wired tools cannot access.
Science Highlights • October 30, 2009
Once symptoms of a stroke appear, brain tissue begins to deteriorate. Restoring blood flow to the brain quickly can mean the difference between a return to health or months of disability. A research team at the University of Massachusetts Medical School has developed a device that easily snakes into the brain’s twisty vessels and can unclog an artery in a matter of minutes using gentle pulses of ultrasonic energy. This is in sharp contrast to current technologies that often take up to two hours to work.
Science Highlights • September 30, 2009
Preserving fertility is a major concern for women and girls facing cancer diagnosis because chemotherapy and radiation are harmful to the ovaries. Scientists are developing 3-D scaffolds that mimic the ovary so that immature egg cells could be matured outside of the body. The technology will allow women to freeze their ovarian tissue for use at a later time, without the need for time-consuming ovarian stimulation.
Science Highlights • August 31, 2009
Different diseases affect the shape of blood vessels. Cancer, for instance, tends to change vessels from smooth tubes into jagged conduits. But conventional imaging alone cannot reveal key details about a blood vessel’s shape. By combining magnetic resonance angiography with computer analysis, researchers at the University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill, have developed a noninvasive method to assess tumor malignancy and to track response to drug therapy. The approach also offers insight into how the brain ages.
Press Releases • August 17, 2009
The National Institute of Biomedical Imaging and Bioengineering (NIBIB), part of the National Institutes of Health, announced today that it has awarded ten Phase II interdisciplinary research training grants totaling $16 million over five years.
Science Highlights • July 22, 2009
Communication is a challenge for people who are locked into their bodies as a result of a severe neuromuscular condition such as Lou Gehrig’s disease (ALS) or brainstem stroke. By training the brain to control its own electrical activity rather than the body’s muscles, researchers at the Wadsworth Center, New York State Department of Health, Albany, are helping these individuals remain connected to their families, friends, and colleagues and are opening up new possibilities for brain-computer interactions.
Press Releases • July 1, 2009
A new imaging technique, once validated in mice and pending further experiments, could provide a real-time noninvasive method for identifying tumors in humans who express HER2 and who would be candidates for targeted therapy directed against this protein.
Grantee News • June 30, 2009
A research team headed by Drs. Mehmet Toner, Ph.D. and Daniel Haber, M.D., Ph.D., of the Massachusetts General Hospital Cancer Center, has been awarded a $15 million research grant from the proceeds raised by the Entertainment Industry Foundation during their landmark Stand Up to Cancer (SU2C) telethon.
Science Highlights • June 29, 2009
For too long the blood-brain barrier has kept potentially life-saving drugs from entering the central nervous system and brain. Now researchers from Harvard Medical School and the Sunnybrook Health Science Center, University of Toronto, have developed an ultrasound technique that temporarily opens the blood-brain barrier allowing drug therapies for diseases from cancer to Alzheimer’s to pass into the central nervous system.
Science Highlights • May 31, 2009
Advances in technology have contributed to the growth of electronic medical data systems, increasing concern among patients and health care providers about the confidentiality of clinical information. NIBIB-funded investigators have created software to aggregate and share health data with researchers while maintaining patient confidentiality.