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Researchers Make An Artificial Lung That Would Not Require A Mechanical Pump

Researchers from Case Western Reserve School of Medicine in Cleveland, Ohio made a prototype of an artificial lung which reaches gas exchange efficiencies almost equal to the genuine organ. The small device does not need extra oxygen, it works with normal air. Joe Potkay, a research assistant professor in electrical engineering and computer science published the technique this week in the journal Lab on a Chip.

The scientists developed this prototype while keeping track of the natural design of our lungs. It is made of breathable silicone rubber acting as blood vessels that get as small as one-fourth of the width of a human hair. Because it works on the same scale as normal lung tissue, the team was able to shrink the distances for gas diffusion compared to current techniques. Tests using pig blood show oxygen exchange efficiency is three to five times better.

One of the big advantages of this system is that Read more »

*This blog post was originally published at Medgadget*

IBM’s New Solution For Drug-Resistant Bacteria: Nanotechnology

treatedcell.pngIBM and the Institute of Bioengineering and Nanotechnology in Shanghai have designed a new type of polymer that can detect and destroy antibiotic-resistant bacteria such as MRSA. The polymer nanostructures also prevent bacteria from developing drug resistance. Moreover, because of the mechanism by which the nanostructures work, they don’t affect circulating blood cells, and, unlike most traditional antimicrobial agents, the nanostructures are biodegradable, naturally eliminated from the body rather than remaining behind and accumulating in tissues.

From the Nature Chemistry abstract by Nederberg, et al.: Read more »

*This blog post was originally published at Medgadget*

Disease Detected In Exhaled Breath?

A new sensor developed at Stony Brook University may become a clinically useful tool for detecting disease biomarkers in breath. The nanoprobe-based technology is currently able to detect acetone, but should be modifiable to spot other compounds.

From the study abstract:

This paper describes a sensor nanotechnology suitable for non-invasive monitoring of a signaling gas, such as acetone, in exhaled breath. This is a nanomedicine tool comprised of a selective acetone nanoprobe working on the principle of ferroelectric poling sensing, and a microelectronics circuit for comparing the actual sensor signal to a predetermined threshold value, displaying the result using LED signals. This on/off type non-invasive diagnostics platform technology is based on nanotechnology, gives a fast response, it is simple to operate and inexpensive to manufacture, and may truly revolutionize personalized medicine.

Full story: New Sensor Nanotechnology Developed by Stony Brook University Researchers Simplifies Disease Detection…

Abstract in Sensor Letters: Nanosensor Device for Breath Acetone Detection

*This blog post was originally published at Medgadget*

Latest Interviews

IDEA Labs: Medical Students Take The Lead In Healthcare Innovation

It’s no secret that doctors are disappointed with the way that the U.S. healthcare system is evolving. Most feel helpless about improving their work conditions or solving technical problems in patient care. Fortunately one young medical student was undeterred by the mountain of disappointment carried by his senior clinician mentors…

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How To Be A Successful Patient: Young Doctors Offer Some Advice

I am proud to be a part of the American Resident Project an initiative that promotes the writing of medical students residents and new physicians as they explore ideas for transforming American health care delivery. I recently had the opportunity to interview three of the writing fellows about how to…

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Latest Book Reviews

Book Review: Is Empathy Learned By Faking It Till It’s Real?

I m often asked to do book reviews on my blog and I rarely agree to them. This is because it takes me a long time to read a book and then if I don t enjoy it I figure the author would rather me remain silent than publish my…

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The Spirit Of The Place: Samuel Shem’s New Book May Depress You

When I was in medical school I read Samuel Shem s House Of God as a right of passage. At the time I found it to be a cynical yet eerily accurate portrayal of the underbelly of academic medicine. I gained comfort from its gallows humor and it made me…

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Eat To Save Your Life: Another Half-True Diet Book

I am hesitant to review diet books because they are so often a tangled mess of fact and fiction. Teasing out their truth from falsehood is about as exhausting as delousing a long-haired elementary school student. However after being approached by the authors’ PR agency with the promise of a…

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