Creating Biomedical Technologies to Improve Health

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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.
Science Highlights • February 26, 2010
Using magnetic resonance imaging (MRI), clinicians can pinpoint potentially lethal plaques that accumulate in the main artery leading to the brain. However, MRI cannot predict which plaques may rupture and cause a stroke. A new computer model developed by researchers at Worcester Polytechnic Institute, Mass., Washington University, St. Louis, Mo., and the University of Washington, Seattle, provides such an assessment by calculating the structural stresses each plaque experiences. The model offers physicians a more precise way to evaluate each plaque and tailor treatment to individual patients.
Science Highlights • January 29, 2010
Using microfabrication technology and nanotechnology, Harvard University researchers constructed the world’s smallest diagnostic NMR system for fast and inexpensive analysis of native biological samples.
Science Highlights • December 22, 2009
Although current laboratory tests and imaging studies cannot predict whether a tumor will spread quickly, a new imaging technique – hyperpolarized carbon-13 MRI—developed by researchers at the University of California, San Francisco and GE Healthcare may provide new insights into how tumors use energy. The technique could help clinicians more precisely tailor therapies to slow or halt a tumor’s progress.
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.

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