Medical Tech 

Drug Eluting Contact Lenses Treat Glaucoma

Latanoprost (Xalatan) pressure reducing eye drops are the first line of defense against glaucoma. They’re unpleasant enough for a lot of patients to the point that the burning effect leads to poor adherence. What if there were contact lenses that release the drug slowly right onto the eyeball in a precise amount? Well, researchers at Boston Children’s Hospital and Massachusetts Eye and Ear have been successfully testing just such devices on monkeys with glaucoma in one eye.   Published in journal Ophthalmology, the team describes the creation of high and…

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Medical Tech 

Acclarent’s RELIEVA SCOUT Sinus Dilator Now Available in U.S.

Acclarent, a J&J firm, is releasing in the U.S. its RELIEVA SCOUT multi-sinus dilation system, a balloon sinuplasty device for widening the sinus openings in people with chronic sinusitis. The device uses a flexible balloon that reaches a bit further out from the tip to be able to get deeper into the anatomy. From Acclarent: RELIEVA SCOUT® Sinus Dilation System was specifically designed for use in revision and complex frontal sinus cases, offering multiple points of localization including optical navigation compatibility. Tested with the Brainlab Kolibri® system using ‘pivot’ method calibration. Acclarent has not performed…

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Medical Tech 

A Cheap, Portable Test Developed for Zika Virus Infection

Scientists at the University of Pennsylvania have developed a point-of-care device for detecting the Zika virus for under $2 a pop. It’s about the size of a can of coke and can be operated by just about anyone, and even outside the clinic. A patient simply spits into the receptacle and after a while a paper test strip changes its color to a shade of blue if a Zika virus is detected. Previously available tests either take a lot of time, produce too many false negatives, or require expensive equipment…

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Medical Tech 

Nanotechnology In Medicine: Huge Potential, But What Are The Risks?

Nanotechnology, the manipulation of matter at the atomic and molecular scale to create materials with remarkably varied and new properties, is a rapidly expanding area of research with huge potential in many sectors, ranging from healthcare to construction and electronics. In medicine, it promises to revolutionize drug delivery, gene therapy, diagnostics, and many areas of research, development and clinical application. This article does not attempt to cover the whole field, but offers, by means of some examples, a few insights into how nanotechnology has the potential to change medicine, both…

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Medical Tech 

Magnetic nanoparticles could stop blood clot-caused strokes

By loading magnetic nanoparticles with drugs and dressing them in biochemical camouflage, Houston Methodist researchers say they can destroy blood clots 100 to 1,000 times faster than a commonly used clot-busting technique.   The finding, reported in Advanced Functional Materials (early online), is based on experiments in human blood and mouse clotting models. If the drug delivery system performs similarly well in planned human clinical trials, it could mean a major step forward in the prevention of strokes, heart attacks, pulmonary embolisms, and other dire circumstances where clots — if…

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Medical Tech 

The Medical Technologies That Are Changing Health Care

Not long ago, people started wearing wristbands that recorded the number of steps they took, their heart rates and sleep cycles. But if the now-ubiquitous bands and accompanying apps that stored biorhythms started out as novelties, they paved the way for a new generation of gadgets that have become serious tools to improve health care delivery and outcomes. These newfangled contraptions will change how and where care is delivered and will enable providers to stay continuously connected with patients wherever they may be — or at least connected to the…

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Medical Tech 

Nanoparticle lung vaccine protects against HIV, herpes

Scientists have created a type of nanoparticle that they say can effectively deliver vaccines to the lungs, protecting against numerous infectious diseases. This is according to a study published in Science Translational Medicine. Researchers from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) say the nanoparticle vaccine could help protect againstinfluenza and other respiratory diseases, as well as prevent sexually transmitted diseases such as HIV, human papilloma virus and herpes simplex virus. The scientists note that many viruses and bacteria infect humans through mucosal surfaces, such as those in the lungs. Therefore, they wanted to develop vaccines that are…

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Medical Tech 

Proteins team up to turn on T cells

The fates of various cells in our bodies–whether they become skin or another type of tissue, for example–are controlled by genetic switches. In a new study, Caltech scientists investigate the switch for T cells, which are immune cells produced in the thymus that destroy virus-infected cells and cancers. The researchers wanted to know how cells make the choice to become T cells. “We already know which genetic switch directs cells to commit to becoming T cells, but we wanted to figure out what enables that switch to be turned on,”…

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Medical Tech 

Pure Oxygen in Hyperbaric Chamber Helps with Opiate Withdrawal in Mice

With heroin growing in popularity and causing a serious public health issue, researchers are looking at new ways to help treat the addiction. At Washington State University researchers were curious to see whether a hyperbaric chamber pressurized with pure oxygen would let people going through withdrawal have fewer of the unpleasant side effects we all remember from Trainspotting.   The investigators had a group of mice hooked on the stuff via a couple morphine injections over four days. On the following day, the mice were split into groups, some receiving…

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Medical Tech 

Medtronic’s New Guardian Connect Smartphone Powered Glucometer

Medtronic won EU approval to introduce its Guardian Connect continuous glucose monitoring system for diabetics taking injected insulin. The wearable stick-on glucometer wirelessly connects to the Guardian Connect app via a Bluetooth, updating the iPhone with the latest readings on a regular basis. It takes readings every five minutes, which equates with 288 samplings every day. Sugar levels that fall outside preset boundaries raise an alarm through the phone app, and it can also send SMS messages to loved ones and caretakers when that happens as well. The app can upload a complete…

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