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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*

Social Network Keeps Seniors Connected

Care Innovations, a joint venture between GE and Intel, has released Connect, a service designed to address social isolation in seniors.

Connect software runs on a touch screen device and features social networking, as well as health management and reporting tools. The system has been undergoing a successful user trial at a nursing home in Michigan since last year.

More about Connect from the announcement: Read more »

*This blog post was originally published at Medgadget*

New Contrast Agent Provides Better In Vivo Imaging Of Bacteria

A new contrast agent based on maltodextrin has been developed at Georgia Tech that can provide in vivo imaging of bacteria with a sensitivity two orders of magnitude greater than previously achieved.

Unlike most previous methods, the new probes are able to enter bacterial cells by pretending to be food, while avoiding being ingested by the mammalian cells.

From Georgia Tech:

Maltodextrin-based imaging probes consist of a fluorescent dye linked to maltohexaose, which is a major source of glucose for bacteria. The probes deliver the contrast agent into bacteria through the organism’s maltodextrin transporter, which only exists in bacterial cells and not mammalian cells.

In experiments using a rat model, the researchers found that Read more »

*This blog post was originally published at Medgadget*

First Successful Implantation Of A Synthetic Trachea

Clinicians at Karolinska University Hospital in Sweden are reporting that they successfully performed the world’s first implantation of a synthetic trachea.  The organ was created from a biocompatible scaffold that was seeded with the 36 year old patient’s own stem cells inside a Harvard Bioscience bioreactor.

The patient had been suffering from late stage tracheal cancer. Despite maximum treatment with radiation therapy, the tumor had reached approximately 6 cm in length and was extending to the main bronchus. It was progressing and almost completely blocked the trachea. Since no suitable donor windpipe was available, Read more »

*This blog post was originally published at Medgadget*

iPhone App Offers Sufficient CT Image Resolution To Diagnose Strokes Remotely

cuqf1gz9.jpg Researchers from the University of Calgary have shown that doctors can make a stroke diagnosis using an iPhone application just as accurately (and faster) than they can on a traditional computer. In a study recently published by Journal of Medical Internet Research, two neuro-radiologists looked at 120 consecutive noncontrast computed tomography (NCCT) scans and 70 computed tomography angiogram (CTA) head scans. One used a diagnostic workstation and the other using Calgary Scientific‘s ResolutionMD Mobile app. The study results showed that using the ResolutionMD app is between 94%-100% accurate in diagnosing acute stroke, compared to a medical workstation.

In addition to accurately diagnosing a stroke, the app was also praised for its ability to handle a large number of images seamlessly and to detect subtle, but potentially critical findings in CT scans. Moreover, the mobile nature of the app gives doctors the ability to analyze and diagnose strokes from practically anywhere. Read more »

*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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