28 results

[ News ] A battery-free origami robot powered and controlled by external magnetic fields

September 22, 2017

Wirelessly powered and controlled magnetic folding robot arm can grasp and bend (credit: Wyss Institute at Harvard University)

Harvard University researchers have created a battery-free, folding robot “arm” with multiple “joints,” gripper “hand,” and actuator “muscles” — all powered and controlled wirelessly by an external resonant magnetic field.

The design is inspired by the traditional Japanese art of origami (used to transform a simple sheet of paper into complex, three-dimensional shapes through a specific pattern of folds, creases, and crimps). The prototype device is capable of complex,… read more

[ News ] Miniature MRI simulator chip could help diagnose and treat diseases in the body at sub-millimeter precision

September 13, 2017

Illustration of an ATOMS microchip localized within the gastrointestinal tract. The chip, which works on principles similar to those used in MRI machines, is embodied with the properties of nuclear spin. (credit: Ella Marushchenko for Caltech)

Caltech researchers have developed a “Fantastic Voyage” style prototype microchip that could one day be used in “smart pills” to diagnose and treat diseases when inserted into the human body.

Called ATOMS (addressable transmitters operated as magnetic spins), the microchips could one day monitor a patient’s gastrointestinal tract, blood, or brain, measuring factors that indicate a patient’s health — such as pH, temperature, pressure, and sugar concentrations — with… read more

[ News ] These fast, low-cost medical technologies will replace ultrasound and X-rays for specific uses

September 8, 2017

Smartphone heart diagnosis (credit: Caltech)

A radical software invention by three Caltech engineers promises to allow your smartphone camera* to provide detailed information about a critical measure of your heart’s health: the “left ventricular ejection fraction” (LVEF) — the amount of blood in the heart that is pumped out to the blood system with each beat. This figure is used by physicians as a base for diagnostic and therapeutic decisions.

You’ll simply hold… read more

[ News ] Deep-brain imaging using minimally invasive surgical needle and laser light

March 20, 2017

This is an image of cells taken inside the mouse brain using a new method developed by University of Utah electrical and computer engineering associate professor Rajesh Menon and his team. (credit: Rajesh Menon)

Using just a simple inexpensive micro-thin glass surgical needle and laser light, University of Utah engineers have developed an inexpensive way to take high-resolution pictures of a mouse brain, minimizing tissue damage — a process they believe could lead to a much less invasive method for humans.

Typically, researchers must either surgically take a sample of the animal’s brain to examine the cells under a microscope or use… read more

[ News ] How to detect early signs of Alzheimer’s with a simple eye exam before symptoms appear

July 12, 2016

retina - red wavelength ft

University of Minnesota (UMN) scientists and associates have developed new technology that can detect signs of Alzheimer’s before the onset of symptoms — early enough to give drugs a chance to work — in mice and humans by simply examining the back of their eyes.

Looking at Alzheimer’s effects through the eye is a key advantage of the new technology. “The retina of the eye is not just ‘connected’… read more

[ News ] Deep-brain imaging reveals which nearly identical neurons are associated with specific behaviors

January 30, 2015

Integration of the miniepifluorescence microscope with the microendoscope for deep-brain imaging of LH GABAergic neurons expressing GCaMP6m (credit: Joshua H. Jennings et al./Cell)

Researchers at the UNC School of Medicine have used new deep-brain imaging techniques to link the activity of individual, genetically similar neurons to particular behaviors of freely moving mice.

For the first time ever, scientists watched as one neuron was activated when a mouse searched for food while a nearly identical neuron next to it remained inactive; instead, the second neuron only became activated when the mouse began… read more

[ News ] Robot uses steerable needles to treat brain clots

August 9, 2013

steerable_needle_robot

Vanderbilt University researchers are developing an image-guided robotic surgical system to remove blood clots in the brain.

It uses steerable needles about the size of those used for biopsies to penetrate the brain with minimal damage and suction away the blood clot that has formed.

The odds of a person getting an intracerebral hemorrhage are one in 50 over his or her lifetime. When… read more

[ News ] Nanotools for neuroscience and brain activity mapping

March 25, 2013

SEM_of_rat_cortical_cell

“Neuroscience — one of the greatest challenges facing science and engineering — is at a crossroads. …There exist few general theories or principles that explain brain function [due partly to] limitations in current methodologies,” say neuroscientists in a new ACS Nano open-access paper, “Nanotools for Neuroscience and Brain Activity Mapping.”

Traditional neurophysiological approaches record the activities of one neuron or a few neurons at a time. Neurochemical… read more

[ News ] A high-resolution endoscope as thin as a human hair

March 13, 2013

Kahn_spot_endoscope_stanford

Engineers at Stanford University have developed a prototype single-fiber endoscope that is as thin as a human hair, with a resolution four times better than previous devices of similar design.

The “micro-endoscope” is a significant step forward in high-resolution, minimally invasive bioimaging, with potential applications in research and clinical practice. Micro-endoscopy could enable new methods in diverse fields ranging from study of the brain to early cancer… read more

[ News ] New imaging technologies transforming medicine

October 9, 2012

fantastic-voyage

A new wave of imaging technologies is transforming the practice of medicine, The New York Times reports, to give doctors an instantaneous diagnosis, as well as inexpensive systems, often based on smartphones, that can extend advanced imaging technologies to the entire world.

Driven largely by the falling cost of computing and the increasing availability of other miniaturization technologies, including nanotechnology, they include:

  • Endoscopes that use

read more

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