Biomedical and Bioengineering Innovation

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

New Vaccine-Manufacturing Methods Are Moving Away From the Egg

Author(s): Leslie Mertz
New Vaccine-Manufacturing Methods Are Moving Away From the Egg 2121 1414 IEEE Pulse
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

Carbon Nanotubes Show Promise in Biomedicine

Author(s): David L. Chandler
Carbon Nanotubes Show Promise in Biomedicine 1000 750 IEEE Pulse
Carbon nanotubes (CNTs), those tiny cylindrical configurations of pure carbon that have been finding myriad applications in a wide variety of fields, have been the subject of headlines for well over a decade for their potential uses in biological research and medical treatment. Progress toward those goals has been slowed by questions about the safety of the tiny particles when injected directly into the body, where they can sometimes accumulate in certain organs with unknown longterm effects. read more

Overcoming Challenges in Organ Transplantation

Author(s): Mary Bates
Overcoming Challenges in Organ Transplantation 1000 668 IEEE Pulse
Organ transplantation has become an established and life-saving treatment for patients with end-stage organ failure. However, patients still face constraints when it comes to access to transplantation, as well as its efficacy. One major concern is the global shortage of organs for transplantation. read more

Managing Weight With Technology

Author(s): Leslie Mertz
Managing Weight With Technology 1836 1632 IEEE Pulse
More than 30% of the world’s population is overweight or obese. That is double the percentage in 1980, and it is getting worse [1]. That excess weight has been linked to numerous health conditions, notably type 2 (adult-onset) diabetes, the prevalence of which has also nearly doubled since 1980 [2]. Eating less and exercising more is good advice, but it doesn’t work for everyone. Other options such as gastric bypass surgeries and systemic weight-loss drugs are also not suitable for everyone, and can carry risks of their own. read more

The Future of Wound Care

Author(s): Mary Bates
The Future of Wound Care 2560 1680 IEEE Pulse
Wounds, especially chronic wounds, represent a significant clinical, social, and economic challenge. A recent retrospective analysis of Medicare beneficiaries in the United States identified that about 8.2 million people had at least one type of wound, with surgical wounds and diabetic ulcers among the most common and expensive to treat. read more

Healing Gets a Helping Hand

Author(s): Jim Banks
Healing Gets a Helping Hand 2322 1290 IEEE Pulse
The human body is miraculous in its capacity to heal but it can always use a little help. Wound care traditionally consists of little more than a protective barrier, possibly with an antibacterial agent, to cover the damage while the body works its magic. Now, a new technology has opened up a more active approach to encouraging healing. read more

DNA-like Materials Could Open New Computing Frontiers

Author(s): David L. Chandler
DNA-like Materials Could Open New Computing Frontiers 1000 667 IEEE Pulse
As computers have progressed over the last few decades, with their component transistors getting ever smaller and ever more numerous on a single chip, that relentless progress, famously described by Moore’s Law, has begun to bump up against fundamental physical limits to what can be done with the present etched-lines-on-silicon technology. But now, a new twist involving an inorganic molecule that has a DNA-like helical shape may provide an alternative pathway that could shrink transistors down to atom-sized scales. And even DNA molecules themselves might ultimately become the bits and bytes and logic gates of the future. read more

Chips Hold the Key to Reproductive Health

Author(s): Jim Banks
Chips Hold the Key to Reproductive Health 1000 666 IEEE Pulse
Female reproductive medicine may not have been entirely overlooked in the history of medical research, but it has never been given the attention that it deserves. There are signs, however, that the spotlight is turning toward the most essential of human processes. read more