Biomedical and Bioengineering Innovation

Targeting the Gut to Treat the Brain

Author(s)3: 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)3: 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)3: 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)3: 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)3: 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)3: 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)3: 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)3: 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)3: 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