Creating Biomedical Technologies to Improve Health

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Science Highlights • September 27, 2007
Microsurgical procedures require precision. Involuntary movement or jerk can traumatize surrounding tissue and cause myriad complications for the patient. A research team at Carnegie Mellon University has developed a handheld device that compensates for unwanted motion and stabilizes the tip of microsurgical instruments. The device could improve the safety of microsurgery and reduce practitioner fatigue. Clinical applications include retinal surgery, neurosurgery, cardiac surgery, and cell biology.
Science Highlights • September 26, 2007
Researchers supported by the National Institute of Biomedical Imaging and Bioengineering (NIBIB) have developed a new method to study the behavior of molecules, particularly how they interact with each other.
Science Highlights • August 21, 2007
Tepha, Inc., has genetically engineered a strain of E. coli to produce a novel, absorbable biopolymer that is flexible, strong, and well tolerated in vivo. The FDA recently cleared surgical suture and mesh products made of the polymer for marketing, marking the first time a medical device made of a naturally derived polyester has received FDA clearance.
Science Highlights • July 18, 2007
Because no biomarkers exist for Alzheimer’s disease, preclinical diagnosis is impossible and assessment of therapies that could prevent or reverse the course of the disease is inhibited. By combining mouse models, multiphoton microscopy, and unique imaging agents, researchers at Massachusetts General Hospital in Boston are providing important information about the mechanisms of this progressive neurodegenerative disease and techniques to test new drugs more quickly. Their work also provides a springboard for developing new approaches to image the disease in humans.
Science Highlights • June 6, 2007
Bacteria that cause two common ailments, traveler’s diarrhea and the sexually transmitted disease gonorrhea, grab hold of humans because of tiny anchors, or pili, on the bacteria’s surface. A University of Virginia researcher has developed a novel approach to imaging these flexible filaments. Understanding the pili’s structure may help other researchers develop new vaccines to treat highly infectious diseases.
Science Highlights • May 7, 2007
Researchers from the University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill, have developed a suite of imaging tools that enable investigators to visualize and manipulate living cells, molecules, and strands of DNA with unprecedented control. The imaging systems are providing new insights into how blood clots form and how the lungs clear mucus.
Science Highlights • March 27, 2007
Ultrasound creates temporary gaps in cell membranes. These gaps are large enough to allow macromolecules to enter, thus offering the potential to use this noninvasive technology to deliver drugs and genes to specific organs and tissues within the body. Understanding the mechanism by which ultrasound creates these gaps is bringing researchers one step closer to using this technology for targeted drug and gene delivery.
Science Highlights • February 28, 2007
Receiving an R01 grant can literally change a researcher’s life, but getting that first grant can be a daunting task. To ease the process, NIBIB has implemented a new investigator funding policy. Follow three investigators with unique stories who have successfully earned grants under the new policy and whose work is moving biomedical research forward.
Science Highlights • January 29, 2007
To give surgeons a sense of touch when they perform robot-assisted surgery, a Johns Hopkins University research team is developing a feedback system based on visual cues as well as force sensors that can be placed in the robot system.
Science Highlights • November 28, 2006
The first user-friendly, home version of a brain-computer interface system from the Wadsworth Center, Albany, NY, offers a much needed "voice" to those who are paralyzed.

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