Creating Biomedical Technologies to Improve Health

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Science Highlights • November 30, 2010
Blood passing through a hemodialysis machine has a tendency to clot. University of Pennsylvania researchers discovered that the clotting is connected to an immune reaction to biomaterials used in the machine’s tubing and filters. They devised two strategies to tame the immune reaction and thereby reduce blood clotting.
Science Highlights • October 29, 2010
An implantable biosensor (cell-based neurotransmitter fluorescent engineered reporter, CNiFER) allows real-time monitoring of biochemical activity in the brain.
Science Highlights • September 30, 2010
Millions of people living in low-resource settings go undiagnosed because they do not have access to diagnostics laboratories. Point-of-care diagnostic technologies are turning the table on this trend, bringing preventive screening, disease diagnostics, and disease monitoring tests to the field.
Science Highlights • August 31, 2010
Deep brain stimulation (DBS) has become a popular therapy for patients with movement disorders that no longer respond to medication. The delicate surgery requires pinpoint precision when placing electrodes on brain structures responsible for movement. To assist surgeons and increase the number of successful patient outcomes, Vanderbilt University researchers have developed a robust database and suite of software tools that automate DBS planning, placement, and programming.
Science Highlights • July 30, 2010
Thanks to bioinspired engineering work of a Johns Hopkins University research team, doctors may one day use a nanoengineered platform to grow and transplant cells to repair damaged heart tissue.
Grantee News • July 29, 2010

A team of NIH-funded researchers has successfully regenerated rabbit joints using a cutting edge process to form the joint inside the body, or in vivo. Regenerative in vivo procedures are performed by stimulating previously irreparable organs or tissues to heal themselves. In this study, bioscaffolds, or three-dimensional structures made of biocompatible and biodegradable materials in the shape of the tissue, were infused with a protein to promote growth of the rabbit joint.

Science Highlights • June 30, 2010
Minimally invasive surgery has experienced tremendous advances in the past decade. New systems incorporate robotics and increasing flexibility, but their size and cost limit widespread use. In addition, only a small percentage of surgeons undertake the steep learning curve required to master minimally invasive techniques. A new compact robotic system created by Columbia University researchers gives surgeons a highly flexible, user-friendly tool with three-dimensional imaging to operate in tight spaces
Science Highlights • May 26, 2010
Taking advantage of the agility and inherent dexterity of the tongue, researchers at the Georgia Institute of Technology have developed a tongue-operated device that can help paralyzed people return to active, independent, and productive lives.
Science Highlights • April 30, 2010
To treat deep vein thrombosis (DVT), a condition in which blood clots form in the veins of the lower legs, physicians currently have two options: systemic drug therapy or invasive clot removal. Both carry a risk of major bleeding and require a hospital stay. A new technique developed by University of Michigan researchers offers a noninvasive, localized treatment that nearly eliminates bleeding risk. The technique, called histotripsy, uses focused sound waves to break up clots and could make DVT treatment an outpatient procedure.
Science Highlights • March 31, 2010
Using robotics technology, Vanderbilt University researchers have constructed and developed a powered lower leg prosthesis that has both brains and brawn.

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