The Brain on COVID-19
In March 2020 —still the early days of the U.K.’s COVID-19 crisis—Rhys Thomas, a neurologist at Newcastle University, got a call at home from a concerned colleague. The colleague’s cousin was hospitalized, critically ill with COVID-19, and had developed brainstem encephalitis, a severe inflammatory condition of the brain causing a suite of symptoms, from eye problems to balance problems and drowsiness. He wanted to know if Thomas knew anything about these conditions. At the time, the research coming out of Wuhan, China, only suggested a mild whiff of neurological ­symptoms—headache, dizziness, and the loss of taste and smell... Read more

New Vaccine-Manufacturing Methods Are Moving Away From the Egg
With seasonal influenza, Ebola, shingles, pneumonia, human papillomavirus, and other pathogens—combined now with the novel coronavirus (SARS-CoV-2)—the world’s demand for vaccines is on a steep incline. New vaccine development is progressing rapidly, as seen with recent announcements of coronavirus options [1], [2], but what about their manufacture?... Read more
New Advances in Neurostimulation for Chronic Pain
Around 50 million people in the United States live with—and suffer from—chronic pain. While some pain patients receive relief from physical therapy, medication, or surgery, others aren’t helped by these treatments. “It’s a debilitating situation,” says Ryan Lakin, divisional vice president of R&D at Abbott. “Patients have trouble just living a normal life, doing a lot of things that we take for granted.”... Read more
A Step Closer to Mind Control for Everyday Life
Brain–computer interface (BCI) technology holds promise for providing functional support systems for people with neurological disorders and other disabilities. In experimental laboratory settings, BCIs have allowed patients to communicate with researchers and control external devices—all by simply imagining the actions of different body parts... Read more
Understanding the Long-Term Impacts of COVID-19 in Survivors
In mid-March 2020, as the novel coronavirus started making its way through the United States, Fiona Lowenstein (they/their) became ill. At that point, there was not yet any public health guidance on social distancing and wearing masks, and certainly no routine or readily accessible testing for COVID-19. Lowenstein was still interacting with others in person, and even led a yoga class. But when they became sick and were hospitalized, they were tested for SARS-CoV2 and received a positive diagnosis... Read more
Solving Unmet Needs With Innovative Pediatric Medical Devices
In the last decade, only 24% of class III life-saving devices approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) were for pediatric use—and most of those were for children over 12. Of these, less than 4% were labeled for pediatric patients ages 0–2 years old and the number of approved devices is even lower for neonatal patients. For these young patients, adult medical devices are often manipulated by pediatric specialists in order to provide stop-gap solutions. However, these repurposed devices are not always able to fulfill the unique needs of children’s biology and growth patterns... Read more
Versatile Graphene Underlies New COVID-Zapping Air Filter
Researchers have developed new ways to use the extremely versatile material graphene, and a company is now building on that work to manufacture an air-filtration device that kills bacteria and viruses—including the virus responsible for coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19)—on contact... Read more

EMBS Journal Updates

IEEE Transactions on

Biomedical Engineering

TBME, Volume 67, Issue 12, January 2021
Progress in nanorobotics for advancing biomedicine
Nanorobotics involves developing robotic devices to perform tasks at the nanometer scale. Nanorobotic systems can themselves be miniature in size (nanorobot), or they may be designed to interact with nano-sized matters (nanomanipulator). In the past decades, the breakthroughs of various nanorobotic systems and their applications in life sciences have offered novel possibilities for addressing biomedical issues and expanded the field of medical robotics, indicating that we are realizing the application scene of nanorobotics which has long been a fantasy in science fiction. Here, the recent advances in nanorobotics for biomedical applications are summarized and future perspectives are presented... Read more
A Novel Theranostic Platform: Integration of Magnetomotive and Thermal Ultrasound Imaging with Magnetic Hyperthermia
This paper describes a theranostic system where a single coil is used to apply two different magnetic fields for magnetic hyperthermia (therapy) and magnetomotive ultrasound (diagnostics). This integrated system is proposed to address two of the main challenges that hinder magnetic hyperthermia to be translated into clinical routine: localizing the magnetic nanoparticles (magnetomotive ultrasound) and real-time temperature monitoring (ultrasound thermometry). We believe this study can open up a new horizon in magnetic hyperthermia, where planning, treating, and monitoring can be achieved through a single nanotheranostic agent and a cost-effective, portable, real-time and clinically available imaging device that uses non-ionizing radiation... Read more

Pulse Ideas

State of the Art January/February 2021
Racism and Me
Racism is wrong! But, my reason for saying so is probably at least somewhat different from those other people might give. You see, racists are ruining my country, and keeping it from all of its promise. Let me explain... Read more
Book Reviews January/February 2021
Introduction to Clinical Engineering, 1st ed.
This text, in seven chapters (167 pages), gives an overview of the field of clinical engineering as generated by two practitioners in the field. Five reprints, each with a “questions to consider” section, comprise an additional 91 pages and serve to give a modicum of historical information regarding the field. An overview of the body of the text follows... Read more
Book Reviews January/February 2021
Control Theory in Biomedical Engineering: Applications in Physiology and Medical Robotics
Some quick data regarding this text, to set the stage for the review: This text consists of 12 chapters overviewing “Control theory in biomedical engineering”; these comprise six chapters highlighting “Applications in physiology” and six chapters sampling “Applications in medical robotics.” Forty contributors to the text are named, and these individuals hail from ten different countries. The purported audience for the text from the publishers’ website consists of “Researchers and graduate students in both control engineering and biomedical engineering fields. Medical students and practitioners who want to enhance their understanding of physiological processes and medical robotics. Professionals in medical industries including those of industry of medical robotics, of artificial devices, of artificial organs, and rehabilitation devices.”... Read more
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