Cover Story

Cover Story November/December 2019
Joint Ventures
Within a decade, life will likely become a lot easier for people with low back pain. The reason is cell therapy. Research is progressing rapidly and clinical trials are ongoing for new products that promise to repair the damage at... Read more
Cover Story September/October 2019
Microbial Treatments for the Mind
For $99, you can obtain a kit that includes two cotton swabs and instructions for properly collecting your own stool sample, along with oral and skin samples. Upon shipping those specimens to the Knight Lab in La Jolla, CA, you... Read more
Cover Story July/August 2019
Brain AI: Deep Learning for Brain Stimulation
Other Languages Available: Ver en Español (Read Spanish Version) この記事の日本語翻訳を読む (Read Japanese Version) English A common application for brain stimulation is surgery planning used to identify brain regions before or during resection [1]. In addition, noninvasive brain stimulation has been becoming a common clinical... Read more
Cover Story May/June 2019
Virtual Reality Is Taking the Hurt Out of Pain
Slip on a set virtual reality (VR) goggles and connected gloves, and you are transported to another world. For the entertainment industry, that kind of immersive VR may mean shoot-‘em-up games where players have to blast blood-thirsty aliens or other... Read more
Cover Story March/April 2019
Will Biotechnology Stop Aging?
Could biotechnology stop aging? The answer may be yes, no, or something in between, depending on who is being asked and what it means to “stop” aging. For those at one end of the spectrum— life extension seekers (including some... Read more
Cover Story January/February 2019
Identifying Neurotechnology Challenges at NeuroCAS
The second NeuroCAS event held 20–21 October 2018 in Cleveland, OH, USA, was attended by researchers and entrepreneurs across the fields of biosignals and neurotechnology. On the heels of the IEEE BioCAS Conference, the intent of this collaborative workshop was... Read more
Cover Story November/December 2018
Direct-To-Consumer Genetic Testing
Most genetic testing requires a doctor’s prescription. In April 2017, however, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) gave genetics company 23andMe the go-ahead to sell DNA tests assessing the user’s level of risk for ten health conditions, including Parkinson’s... Read more
Cover Story September/October 2018
The Space Between
Around 2008, endoscopists David Carr-Locke and Petros Benias began to notice an unfamiliar pattern in the bile duct during endomicroscopy, which didn’t look like anything they knew from pathology. Their confusion as to what it was persisted, so they brought... Read more
Cover Story July/August 2018
The Many Textures of Robotics
Innovative researchers are employing flexible, rather than rigid materials in combination with new design approaches as part of the emerging field of biomedical soft robotics. The idea is to generate tools that conform to and interact with the human body... Read more
Cover Story May/June 2018
Biomedical Materials Learn to Heal Themselves
Maintaining sterility in emergency and operating rooms can be challenging, especially in cases of highly infectious disease outbreaks or toxic spills. A simple nick in a surgical glove under such circumstances could have deadly consequences. But, now, a variety of... Read more
Cover Story March/April 2018
Nuclear Imaging Enters a New Era
Nuclear medicine has come a long way in a short time. Over the past three decades alone, it has taken two major steps forward and is now on the precipice of yet another advance that could begin to have a... Read more
Cover Story January/February 2018
On the Cusp of a Healthcare Revolution
Of the key technologies listed as “ready to propel industries and transform our world” in the 2017 report Top 50 Emerging Technologies: Growth Opportunities of Strategic Imperative, most fall under the scope of biomedical engineering (BME). Issued by the major... Read more
Cover Story November/December 2017
What’s Happening to Your DNA Data?
Over the last decade, technology advances in the field of genetics have led to cheaper and more accurate testing. Public interest in personal genetics has grown thanks to media coverage and high-profile stories, such as actress Angelina Jolie’s decision to... Read more
Cover Story September/October 2017
Grappling with the Health Consequences of Floods
Above, Figure 1: 2. Seth Pedersen, a graduate student from Rice University, wades into a flooded street to collect water samples after Hurricane Harvey flooded Houston, TX. Photo Credit: Ya He. In early September 2017, when the rains from Hurricane Harvey finally... Read more
Cover Story July/August 2017
Sharing Data to Solve the Riddle of Autism
Worldwide, at least one in 100 people has autism spectrum disorder (ASD). In the United States, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention put the number at one in 68 [1]. Despite this high rate of prevalence and the increased... Read more
Cover Story May/June 2017
50 Years to Gender Parity in STEM: Can We Afford to Wait?
The first spark of my desire to become a cardiologist came, believe it or not, in a third-grade art class where I was asked to draw and color the circulation of blood as depicted by 16th-century English physician William Harvey.... Read more
Cover Story March/April 2017
New Forensics Approaches Looking More "CSI"-Like
If CSI and those other police procedural TV shows are to be believed, criminals don’t have a chance. A finger smudge on a light switch, a flake of skin, or a sweat-stained fiber is all the information an investigator needs... Read more
Cover Story January/February 2017
The War on Cancer
Located on the north shore of Long Island in New York, Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory (Figure 1) started out with a marine biology emphasis at the end of the 19th century, but it soon established itself as a prominent cancer... Read more
Cover Story November/December 2016
Emotional Matters
In 1872, Charles Darwin published The Expression of the Emotions in Man and Animals, in which he argued that mammals show emotion reliably in their faces. Since then, thousands of studies have confirmed the robustness of Darwin’s argument in many... Read more
Cover Story September/October 2016
Deciphering the Mysterious Microbiome
A few years ago, the average person had no idea what the microbiome was, but now it is bantered about on quasi-medical talk shows, social media, and blogs almost as though it were the savior of human health: change your... Read more
Cover Story July/August 2016
Feeling No Pain
As a growing epidemic of opioid abuse in the United States can attest, pain, and how to treat it effectively and without serious side effects, is one of the foremost challenges in medicine today. More than 100 million Americans have pain... Read more
Cover Story May/June 2016
Healthcare, Hacked
It could be as simple as a hospital worker downloading an app on a personal cell phone during a lunch break. That phone—or the hundreds of other unsecured devices in a hospital—can be an entry point for hackers to wriggle... Read more
Cover Story March/April 2016
The Foundry: Scaling Up Biological Design
Above: Depicted, from left to right: Chris Voigt, Ben Gordon, Rob Nicol. Photo by Lillie Paquette / MIT School of Engineering. Living organisms are amazing feats of engineering: By following instructions encoded entirely in DNA, living systems can sense and respond to... Read more
Cover Story March/April 2016
Putting a Number on Pain
Will new technologies substantially change the way subjective complaints are measured in clinical trials, and, if so, by how much? Depending on the expert consulted, the answer ranges from a little to a lot. For decades, clinical trials that include so-called... Read more
Cover Story January/February 2016
Star Trek in Real Life: How Close Are We?
Above: CAVE2 at the Electronic Visualization Laboratory, University of Illinois at Chicago. “Space. The final frontier.” With this and other iconic phases, a legacy was born. 2016 marks the 50th anniversary of the original Star Trek television show, which painted a captivating vision... Read more
Cover Story November/December 2015
Minor Invasions
Above: Alexis Hazen, Associate Professor of Plastic Surgery at New York University, conducts a hair transplant. In a quickly produced YouTube video shot at the Z Center for Cosmetic Health outside Los Angeles, baby-faced plastic surgeon, Dr. Michael Zedah, stands over the... Read more
Cover Story September/October 2015
Zombies Invade the Local Middle School
Turns out that studying zombie brains—among other age-appropriate topics—is a great way to engage and educate young students in the rudiments of brain science. It’s early morning and the fog is lifting over the mountains. Several middle school students have been... Read more
Cover Story July/August 2015
Voices for the Voiceless: Rupal Patel is Creating Personalized Prosthetic Voices
Maeve Flack is a spunky, spirited 8-year-old. She also has cerebral palsy and communicates with a speech synthesizer, using her eye gaze to control what she says. Her mother, Kara, is thrilled her daughter can express herself. But the voice that... Read more
Cover Story May/June 2015
Building a Better Breast Pump
Right now thousands of women are connected to a machine. This machine is essentially a vacuum, but these women aren’t housecleaning: they’re pumping breast milk for their babies. Breast pumps are important pieces of equipment for new mothers. Both the World... Read more
Cover Story March/April 2015
Hacking Away
Above: Bryan Ranger and collaborators at 2014 MedTech hackathon in Mbarara, Uganda (photo credit Lina A. Colucci). Imagine a room filled with hundreds of highly accomplished people. There are doctors, engineers, software developers, entrepreneurs, designers, and scientists. All these people have put... Read more
Cover Story January/February 2015
The Robot Will See You Now
In a 2013 TEDxMidAtlantic talk, a robot wheels onstage, displaying the face of Henry Evans, a mute and paraplegic technology enthusiast located 3,000 miles away. In 2002, Evans, a former Silicon Valley executive, suffered a stroke at age 40 that... Read more
Cover Story November/December 2014
What is an Intelligent Hospital?
Simply put, an intelligent hospital is one that works better and smarter. It’s better because it’s resourceful, creative, and perceptive about what patients and doctors need, and it’s smarter because it’s astute and inventive when it comes to weaving together... Read more
Cover Story September/October 2014
Weaving Innovation: Technical Textile Applications in Healthcare
Technical Textiles is a term that is growing in popularity both within the textile industry and the research community. With several other alternatives (like smart textile, intelligent textile, and performance textile), this term remains the most encompassing and most descriptive... Read more
Cover Story July/August 2014
Machines That Dance
Artist Arthur Ganson describes his kinetic sculptures as a cross between mechanical engineering and choreography. And if you’ve had a chance to see one of his works, you’ll understand why. Delicate assemblages of interconnecting gears, springs, cams, ratchets and sprockets... Read more
Cover Story May/June 2014
Life Hackers
In summer 2008, 23-year-old Kay Aull had just graduated from MIT with a degree in bioengineering when she came across a competition for so-called “biohackers” on science fiction website Coined “the Mad Science Contest,” it challenged participants to invent... Read more
Cover Story March/April 2014
The Diabetes Epidemic: Spotlight on the U.S.
Next month, IEEE PULSE will take an in depth look at the worldwide diabetes epidemic. We’ll be exploring societal and demographic trends around the world, as well as new initiatives involving telemedicine and mobile apps that help manage the disease... Read more
Cover Story January/February 2014
What the Future Holds
When it comes to BME today, innovation might just be the most important buzzword around. That’s not because it happens to be the trend of the day across industries already; it’s because in the face of skyrocketing health care costs, a rapidly... Read more