Biomedical and Bioengineering Innovation

A Life Well Lived: In Memory of Máximo E. Valentinuzzi

Author(s): Yuan-Ting Zhang, Luis Kun, Cynthia Weber
A Life Well Lived: In Memory of Máximo E. Valentinuzzi 2121 1414 IEEE Pulse
This article is dedicated to the memory of Max E. Valentinuzzi, an IEEE EMBS Life Fellow and Argentinian biomedical engineer of unparalleled achievements and special contributions to this magazine. Dr. Valentinuzzi passed away on 3 January 2021. read more

Biomedical Innovation for Everyone, Bias-Free

Author(s): Leslie Mertz
Biomedical Innovation for Everyone, Bias-Free 2121 1414 IEEE Pulse
When undergraduate student Arnelle Etienne (Figure 1) joined a research group at Carnegie Mellon University (CMU), Pittsburgh, PA, USA, to help with the development of electroencephalograph (EEG) electrodes, her first task was to do some background work and learn about them. What she found was both surprising and dismaying: EEG electrodes had never worked—and still did not work on—a large segment of the population; and clinicians and researchers knew about the oversight. read more

Novel Health Risk Alert System for Occupational Safety in Hot Environments

Author(s): Hiroyoshi Togo, Akimasa Hirata
Novel Health Risk Alert System for Occupational Safety in Hot Environments 1000 667 IEEE Pulse
The last century has seen a gradual increase in global average temperatures—a phenomenon that has come to be known as global warming. The World Meteorological Organization (WMO) has reported that 2020 was one of the three warmest years on record and that the global average temperature was ~1.2 oC above preindustrial (1850–1900) levels. Adverse effects on health resulting from global warming are important issues to consider, as health risks associated with such extreme heat are anticipated. read more

Bioprinting Marches Forward With New Technology

Author(s): Leslie Mertz
Bioprinting Marches Forward With New Technology 1000 563 IEEE Pulse
With the advent of additive manufacturing and a flurry of new-generation, three-dimensional (3D) printers that hit the market in the early 2000s, biomedical innovators began envisioning the technology as a way to replace damaged or diseased tissue and organs with on-demand, printed parts [1]–[3]. The path from vision to reality was not quite as quick or easy as many anticipated, but research groups today are making headway to keep the technology moving toward its goal. read more

Targeting the Gut to Treat the Brain

Author(s): Mary Bates
Targeting the Gut to Treat the Brain 1000 563 IEEE Pulse
Only ten years ago, the idea that bacteria in your gut could affect your brain and behavior was seen as a fringe theory. But today, it is well-established that the trillions of microbes in the gastrointestinal tract—collectively known as the gut microbiome—profoundly influence the brain. Now, researchers are working to harness the power of the gut microbiome to develop new treatments for brain disorders. read more

Finding New Ways To Treat Tremors

Author(s): David L. Chandler
Finding New Ways To Treat Tremors 524 349 IEEE Pulse
An estimated ten million people in the United States have a condition known as essential tremor (ET). Yet although it’s been recognized for over a century—it was originally known as senile tremor—there is relatively little awareness of it as a distinct medical condition. Sometimes mistaken for Parkinson’s disease, ET can lead to shaking of the arms and hands, and sometimes the head or torso. When severe, it can interfere with eating or drinking, writing, dressing, and even make some tasks impossible. Now, new approaches for treating the condition are emerging, potentially offering options to many patients whose life activities have been curtailed by ET. read more

The PACE of Change

Author(s): Jim Banks
The PACE of Change 2121 1414 IEEE Pulse
At a time when a global vaccine program is being rolled out at unprecedented speed, the world is more aware than ever before of the wonders of medical science. There are, however, many diseases that remain beyond the reach of modern medicine and the potency of some of our most widely used therapies are waning. read more

New Advances in Transplants and Bioengineering Aid in Replacing the Womb

Author(s): Jennifer Berglund
New Advances in Transplants and Bioengineering Aid in Replacing the Womb 2560 1707 IEEE Pulse
When Kayla Edwards turned 13, she began to wonder if she was different. It started as a seed of suspicion when her friends began their menstrual cycles, and hers never arrived. Her grandmother was late, she learned, but for Edwards, it still seemed odd. She had hit puberty’s other benchmarks—the hormones, the breasts—just no cycle. read more

Solving Unmet Needs With Innovative Pediatric Medical Devices

Author(s): Cynthia Weber
Solving Unmet Needs With Innovative Pediatric Medical Devices 2121 1414 IEEE Pulse
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