Creating Biomedical Technologies to Improve Health



Science Highlights • June 28, 2017
Preterm birth is the leading cause of neonatal morbidity and mortality. Among the many underlying causes of pregnancy-associated complications, it is known that infection and inflammation are highly significant risk factors. Now, NIBIB-funded researchers have developed a system to capture and identify a scarce blood peptide (a fragment of an inflammatory protein) called P1 that can predict increased risk of preterm birth. Early detection offers the opportunity to begin medical interventions to delay birth or increase fetus viability to save lives and reduce lifelong disabilities.
Press Releases • June 27, 2017
An NIH-funded study led by a team at the Georgia Institute of Technology and Emory University has shown that an influenza vaccine can produce robust immune responses and be administered safely with an experimental patch of dissolving microneedles. The method is an alternative to needle-and-syringe immunization; with further development, it could eliminate the discomfort of an injection as well as the inconvenience and expense of visiting a flu clinic. The study was published online June 27, 2017, in The Lancet.
Press Releases • June 27, 2017
The National Institutes of Health has named two biological engineering researchers as winners in Phase 2 of its Follow that Cell Challenge. The winners will share $400,000 in prizes awarded for development of new tools and methods for predicting the behavior and function of a single cell in complex tissue over time – and how that reflects the health of the tissue. They were chosen from among several Phase 1 finalists.
Science Highlights • June 21, 2017
For 16 teams of NIH-funded scientists and engineers, transforming scientific savvy into business-oriented value propositions and investment strategies was the challenge each met in March at the end of their intensive six-month commercialization boot camp.
Grantee News • June 16, 2017

Many studies have shown that stiffness of the extracellular matrix, the fibrous network of collagen that surrounds cells, promotes cellular mobility; cells can get a better grip on stiffer surfaces and thus invade neighboring tissue. New research by scientists in the University of Pennsylvania School of Engineering and Applied Science is diving deeper into this relationship, showing that stiffness is not the only factor researchers should consider when studying this process. Read more at Penn News.

Grantee News • June 15, 2017

Researchers have developed a new surgical tool that uses low-frequency intravascular ultrasound to break down blood clots that cause deep vein thrombosis. The tool is the first ultrasound 'drill' that can be aimed straight ahead, allowing doctors to better target clots -- which holds promise for significantly reducing treatment time. To date, the technology has been tested only in synthetic blood vessels. Read more at NC State News.

Grantee News • June 15, 2017

A research team is pioneering an infused 3-D-printed patch that guides the growth of new blood vessels, avoiding some of the problems with other approaches to treating ischemia. Read more at BU College of Engineering.

Science Highlights • June 5, 2017
Fluorescent quantum dots are valuable tools used to tag and image biological processes in live animals. However, precise fluorescent imaging at the cellular and molecular levels has not been possible because of non-specific fluorescence and light scattering by surrounding tissues. Now researchers have resolved many of these problems by using SWIR quantum dots in live mice to image working organs, take metabolic measurements, and track microvascular blood flow in normal brain and brain tumors.
Grantee News • May 31, 2017

A mechanism that controls the formation and function of plate-like nanocrystals that play a critical role in bone composition has now been discovered by researchers. Read more at University of Arkansas News.

Science Highlights • May 15, 2017
Researchers funded by the National Institute of Biomedical Imaging and Bioengineering (NIBIB) have developed a new tool for detecting early pancreatic cancer. The tool uses light-scattering spectroscopy (LSS), bouncing light off targeted tissue to detect structural changes in tissue. The researchers performed a series of pilot studies using LSS and accurately distinguished benign cysts, cancerous cysts, and those with malignancy potential 95 percent of the time. The Harvard University team reported their results in the March 13, 2017, issue of Nature Biomedical Engineering.