We have already talked about endoscopic pills here, here, here, and here. Now, a research funded by European Union has led to the invention of ‘robot’ that can be swallowed to look for cancer. The pill sized device will travel inside the body to check for tumors and will transmit the findings back to the computer. The gadget integrates a tiny video camera to capture around 40,000 images while traveling through the intestines. Researchers hope that the new invention will be able to save thousands of lives of patients caught with painful biopsies or surgery to investigate cancer. The invention is an upshot of inspiration from PillCam (we discussed earlier). When this new robot will travel inside the body, doctors watching the journey from a computer screen will also be able to ‘halt’ the robot and take a closer look at suspect tissue. Scientists are conducting experiments with special grippers that can be activated by an electrical signal outside the body, as well as using magnets to control the robot.
Now, if I say that the latest in high-tech diagnostics is simply paper, you guys will laugh at me. But, I must tell you that it’s absolutely right. Researchers at Harvard University have developed a diagnostic paper that use millimeter-sized channels to speedily, inexpensively, and accurately perform multiple biological tests. The existing techniques of lab analysis are too much of complication for emergency immediate diagnosis. The new prototype can be employed to make quite a lot of biological tests simultaneously on a single drop. The good part of the breakthrough is that these papers are not tainted by dust, dirt, or plant materials, thanks to the non-absorbing tendency of the paper to such particles.
After watching the numerous tools in paraphernalia for improving drug delivery round here, from the pill bottle to high-powered jet injectors to the ever-popular drug-toting, blood-swimming robots, which are great to analyze the exact location of the malign tissue. A group of European scientists seem to think there’s still room for improvement, recently introducting their Intellidrug tooth implant device. Technically a “dental prosthesis”, the device is designed and developed to find inside two artificial molars (which could cause a problem for those that still have their teeth) and deliver small doses of medication as needed, with the patient absorbing it in the mucous membranes of their cheeks. Of course, there’s only so much medicine you can cram into a pair of teeth, with the scientists saying patient’s should be able to store enough for a couple of weeks, after which they’ll have to check in for a refill and a battery replacement. Most of us are likely still quite a ways off from running down to the neighborhood drug store to get our teeth topped off, however, with clinical testing and advanced R&D of the Intellidrug is proposed to be initiated later this year. Welcome to the future beyond Medtronics…
Researchers in Cuba have gone ahead and developed a new pregnancy test. This kit has gained wider acceptance among the medical fraternity as it is highly effective. This pregnancy kit has been named as reactive strip HerberFastLine Pregnancy as under it the first urine sample in the morning of a female helps in determining whether she is pregnant or not. This kit has been patented and biological reagents were used for developing it. With it you can also detect cysts and ectopic pregnancies and hence is being considered as innovation in the medical field. It is an improvement over the traditional pregnancy kits which could only detect whether a woman was pregnant or not but this test can also detect some of the complications in pregnancy.
Researchers at University of Michigan have developed a new device which they describe as a “robotic exoskeleton controlled by the wearer’s own nervous system”. This could help the people who are suffering from partial nervous system impairment as they could regain limb function. Though the U-M team have no plans to commercialize the device but they claim that their results put forward hopeful applications for rehabilitation and physical therapy. How it works: The electrodes were attached to the wearer’s leg and those electrical signals received from the brain were translated into movement by the exoskeleton. When the computer gets the electrical signal from the (wearer’s) muscle, it increases the air pressure into the artificial muscle on the brace. Initially the wearer’s gait was disrupted but in a relatively short time, the wearers adapted to the new strength and used their muscles less because the exoskeleton was doing more of the work. Though we won’t be able to see the commercialized robotic exoskeleton, the findings will certainly open the doors for new innovations in rehabilitation and physical therapy.
HOWARD or the Hand-Wrist Assistance Robotic Device is a robotic device that can cure people following strokes. Strokes are to blame for most disability cases and they also cause more long-term disability than any other disease. This device has been developed by Researchers at the University of California. According to the Researchers, patients have shown improvements in holding and releasing objects after some sessions with the HOWARD. The device wraps around the hand and in controlled by a computer program. The user or the patient initiates the hand movement and if he/she cannot complete the movement, then the HOWARD completes the movement to help the brain relearn how to perform tasks. Researchers are already working to develop a device called ‘Son of HOWARD’. This will feature better software options to individualize therapy and keep all the patients interested.
We all are of the opinion that paralyzed and other physically disabled people cannot compete with other when it comes to using computers to play games. Gravitonus will definitely change this opinion. Gravitonus is a new medical device company that has developed a one of its kind ‘Alternative Computer Control System’ that is designed to help paralyzed individuals control computers. Patients who are using this system use their tongue to control the directional command module and a dozen of other commands. And the most important fact is that they can do so without hampering other body functions such as breathing, talking and fluid consumption. Stay tuned for some more update on the device as soon as possible.
Now, medical gadgets are going design conscious too. Patrick Gunther’s nDoo concept device reveals the use of hypothetical nanotechnology after forty years from now. The nDoo is self-sufficient medical equipment that controls nanobot swarm functions e.g. annihilating or marking cells, bacteria and viruses. The device becomes an adjunct to its owner from birth to death along with the injected nanobots. The device proposes the use of nanabots inside the bloodstream in juxtaposition with a third party device to be active as a supplementary immune system. The nDoo medical device was showcased at the University of Applied Sciences and Art in Hanover, Germany in January 2007.
This is a new hope for patients who have lost their sense of balance. Such patients can one day walk easily by using vestibular implants. The sense of balance is controlled by the vestibular portion of the inner ear. It keeps track of the motion and position of the head using three fluid-filled hoops called semicircular canals. These sit at perpendicular angles to each other and continue to maintain the balance of the body. This reflex is the fastest in the whole body. The researchers have tested the implants on animals and waiting for a human test. According to the researchers the test on humans can only be performed after the battery life of the implant is about 24 hours. Currently the device has a battery life of just 4-5 hours. Moreover the implant is having a thickness of 6-mm which has to be reduced before it can be installed below the ear. But the best thing is that the technology has been developed and in the very near future we can see it working.
Who thought the Lasers are still the only option one has in order to increase their scalp hair growth? Lasers do have a great amount of popularity and they keep high with their reputation but it’s a bit painful procedure to follow. Now here is the alternative solution, an innovative comb is developed by medical scientists who boast of increasing the density of scalp hair as well as quality of it too. Termed as the HairMax Laser Comb it surely is catching attention of many people out there who face hair loss problems.