Creating Biomedical Technologies to Improve Health

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Grantee News • December 6, 2013

Nanoparticles hold promise for delivering drugs to specific targets in the body, but oral delivery remains out of reach because nanoparticles can't penetrate the lining of the intestinal tract. Researchers at the MIT and Brigham and Women's Hospital have recently developed a way for nanoparticles to break through the intestinal lining of mice, possibly paving the way for their use in oral medications. Read the full story at WSJ.com

Science Highlights • December 2, 2013
An international multidisciplinary team including NIBIB scientists has developed an ultrathin membrane that adheres non-invasively to the skin and can be engineered to carry arrays of diagnostic sensors as well as stimulatory components. The “electronic skin” allows remote monitoring of patients for information such as changes in temperature or circulating levels of drugs or metabolites in the bloodstream. Future applications include drug delivery in response to metabolic changes detected by the diagnostic sensors.
Grantee News • November 27, 2013

Researchers from North Carolina State University and Duke University have developed nanoscale “patches” that can be used to sensitize targeted cell receptors, making them more responsive to signals that control cell activity. The finding holds promise for promoting healing and facilitating tissue engineering research. Read more at North Carolina State.

Grantee News • November 27, 2013

Researchers have long wondered what allows stem cells to persist for decades, when their progeny last for days, weeks or months before they need to be replaced. Now, a study from the University of Pennsylvania has uncovered one of the mechanisms that allow these stem cells to keep dividing in perpetuity. Read more at University of Pennsylvania.

Grantee News • November 27, 2013

A new wireless device has allowed paralyzed people to drive a wheelchair simply by moving their tongues. Read more at livescience.com

Grantee News • November 27, 2013

Body piercings have been used to control wheelchairs and computers in a move scientists believe could transform the way people interact with the world after paralysis. Read more at BBCNews.com

NIBIB in the News • November 26, 2013

Under a contract awarded by the National Institute of Biomedical Imaging and Bioengineering, the developers of two advanced medical terminologies have begun work to harmonize and unify terms for radiology procedures. Creating standardized radiology procedure names will improve the quality, consistency and interoperability of radiology test results in electronic medical record systems and health information exchange. Read the full press release at rsna.org.

Grantee News • November 21, 2013

Researchers at the California Institute of Technology (Caltech) have demonstrated a method for using a lab-on-a-chip device and a cell phone to determine a concentration of molecules, such as HIV RNA molecules, in a sample. This digital approach can consistently provide accurate quantitative information despite changes in timing, temperature, and lighting conditions, a capability not previously possible using traditional measurements. Read the full press release at caltech.edu.

Science Highlights • November 6, 2013
Thirty thousand Americans suffer severe neurological damage or death from brain aneurysms each year and the existing treatments eventually fail in nearly half of patients. An NIBIB-funded research team from Texas A&M is using shape memory polymer foam (SMP) to develop a much improved treatment that takes advantage of the unique contraction and expansion properties of SMPs.
Grantee News • November 2, 2013

Triple-Negative breast cancer is difficult to treat because its cells are armed with molecular pumps that remove anti-cancer drugs. Former NIBIB grantee Paula Hammond, a chemical engineer at MIT, is using triple-layered chemical bombs a few billionths of a metre across to first sabotage the pumps and then deliver a poisonous payload when the cells are thus unprotected. Read the full story at Economist.com

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