science + technology news

Wireless power could cut cord for patients with implanted heart pumps

July 13, 2011

Researchers envision a future where patients would install transmission coils in their homes and workplaces to create zones where the implant would receive uninterrupted power (credit: U of Washington)

Researchers at the University of Washington and the University of Pittsburgh Medical Center have tested a wireless power system for ventricular assist devices (mechanical pumps to give failing hearts a boost), or VADs.

VAD were originally developed as temporary measures for patients awaiting a heart transplant. But as the technology has improved, these ventricular assist devices commonly operate in patients for years.… read more

Wireless Phones Can Affect The Brain, Swedish Study Suggests

November 12, 2009

A study at Orebro University in Sweden indicates that mobile phones and other cordless telephones have at two biological effects on the brain: increased content of the protein transthyretin in the blood-cerebrospinal-fluid barrier (part of the brain’s protection against outside influences), and various health symptoms reported by children and adolescents, with the connection strongest regarding headaches, asthmatic complaints, and impaired concentration.

Wireless network smashes world speed record

December 10, 2004

A team at the Siemens Communications research laboratory in Munich have transmitted one gigabit of data per second across their mobile network.

The researchers used multiple receiving antennas and Orthogonal Frequency-Division Multiplexing (OFDM) to set their record.

Christoph Caselitz, president of the Mobile Networks Division at Siemens Communications. Caselitz estimates that wireless networks will be expected to cope with 10 times as much data by 2015.

OFDM… read more

Wireless microelectronic stimulators for spinal cord injuries tested in animals

October 19, 2011

NJIT researchers have done animal testing of wireless neural stimulators called FLAMES (floating light activated micro-electrical stimulators) for individuals with spinal cord injuries.

The FLAMES technology uses tiny semiconductor devices energized by an near-infrared light beam through an optical fiber located just outside the spinal cord. The devices are designed to activate the nerves in the spinal cord below the point of injury and thus… read more

Wireless electronic implants deliver antibiotic, then harmlessly dissolve

November 25, 2014

coil + resistor

Imagine an electronic implant that delivers a drug when triggered by a remote wireless signal — then harmlessly dissolves (no post-surgical infection concerns, no fuss, no muss) within minutes or weeks.

That’s what researchers at Tufts University and the University of Illinois at Champaign-Urbana have demonstrated* in mice, using a resistor (as a source of heat for releasing drug and help dissolving the implant) and a power-receiving coil made… read more

Wireless EEG System Self-powered By Body Heat And Light

April 17, 2008

The Interuniversity Microelectronics Centre, affiliated with the Holst Centre, has developed a wireless 2-channel EEG system powered only by body heat and ambient light.

The hybrid power supply combines a thermoelectric generator that uses the heat dissipated from a person’s temples and silicon photovoltaic cells.

It could be used to monitor brain waves after a head injury. The entire system is wearable and integrated into a device resembling… read more

Wireless drug control

February 9, 2009

Electronic implants that dispense medicines automatically or via a wireless medical network are on the horizon, but researchers warn of security risks.

Wireless device to improve cancer treatment

April 19, 2006

Engineers at Purdue University are creating a wireless device the size of a rice grain that could be implanted in tumors to tell doctors the precise dose of radiation received and locate the exact position of tumors during treatment.

The device, a passive wireless transponder, has no batteries and will be activated with electrical coils placed next to the body.

Source: Purdue University news release

Wireless device powers implanted blood-pressure sensor, eliminating batteries

March 29, 2013

A handheld reader (top right) wirelessly powers and interrogates a tiny blood-pressure sensor embedded inside a prosthetic graft, inserted in this case as a conduit for haemodialysis in a patient with kidney failure (credit: A*STAR Institute of Microelectronics)

Researchers at A*STAR Institute of Microelectronics in Singapore are developing a prototype wireless device that powers an implanted blood-pressure sensor, eliminating the need to recharge or replace a battery.

The microscale electronic sensor monitors blood flow through artificial blood vessels. Surgeons use these prosthetic grafts to bypass diseased or clogged blood vessels in patients experiencing restricted blood supply, for example.

Over time, however, the… read more

Wireless device delivers drugs to brain and triggers neurons via remote control

July 16, 2015

Tiny, implantable devices are capable of delivering light or drugs to specific areas of the brain, potentially improving drug delivery to targeted regions of the brain and reducing side effects. Eventually, the devices may be used to treat pain, depression, epilepsy and other neurological disorders in people. (credit: Alex David Jerez Roman)

A team of researchers has developed a tiny “wireless optofluidic neural probe” the width of a human hair that can be implanted in the brain and triggered by remote control to deliver drugs and activate targeted populations of brain cells.

The technology, demonstrated for the first time in mice, may one day be used to treat pain, depression, epilepsy, and other neurological disorders in people by targeting therapies to… read more

Wireless device converts ‘lost’ microwave energy into electric power

November 8, 2013

Power harvesting split-ring resonator

Using inexpensive materials configured and tuned to capture microwave signals, researchers at Duke University’s Pratt School of Engineering have designed a power-harvesting device with efficiency similar to that of modern solar panels.

The device wirelessly converts a microwave signal to direct current voltage that is capable of recharging a cell phone battery or other small electronic device.

It operates on a principle similar to… read more

Wireless Controlled from the Cloud

March 22, 2010

IBM researchers in China believe that shifting the signal-processing requirements for cellular phone networks from traditional expensive base stations into the cloud will make it cheaper and easier to upgrade networks.

Wireless charging technology coming in 2013

August 13, 2012

Inductive charging (credit: Wikimedia Commons)

Intel could include wireless charging technology in select ultrabooks and smartphones beginning in the second half of 2013, according to a report from Digitimes.

It will use an ultrabook as the power source paired with related software and a transmitter to wirelessly charge a smartphone.

Samsung is also expected to launch a resonance wireless smartphone charger by 2013.

The report did not specify… read more

Wireless brain stimulation with magnetic nanoparticles

March 15, 2015

wireless magnetothermal stimulation ft.

MIT researchers have developed a method to stimulate brain tissue using external magnetic fields and injected magnetic nanoparticles to treat neurological diseases such as Parkinson’s disease.

Currently, brain stimulation uses pulses of electricity and requires a surgically implanted electrode wired to a power source outside the brain.

In their study, the team injected magnetic iron oxide particles 22 nanometers in diameter into the brain.… read more

Wireless brain sensor-transmitter could unchain neuroscience from cables

December 8, 2014

head-mounted transmitter

A team of scientists led by Brown University has developed a high-data-rate, low-power, wireless brain-sensor and transmitter system for acquiring high-fidelity neural data during animal behavior experiments.

The new system solves a fundamental problem in neuroscience research: cables, which are needed to connect brain sensors to computers, constrain movement of subjects, limiting the kinds of research that are possible.

“We view this as a platform device for tapping… read more

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