Category Archives: BIO-MEMS

Implant to detect heart attack

EPFL scientists have developed a tiny, portable personal blood testing laboratory that sends data through mobile phone network. This is a tiny device that can analyse the concentration of these substances in the blood. Implanted just beneath the skin, it can detect up to five proteins and organic acids simultaneously, and then transmit the results directly to a doctor’s computer. This method will allow a much more personalized level of care than traditional blood tests can provide. Health care providers will be better able to monitor patients, particularly those with chronic illness or those undergoing chemotherapy. The prototype, still in the experimental stages, has demonstrated that it can reliably detect several commonly traced substances.

Microneedles for Drug Delivery in Eyes

Microneedles image

A researcher demonstrates the procedure

Researchers in the US have demonstrated for the first time that drugs can be successfully delivered to the eye using microneedles, potentially improving the treatment of diseases such as age-related macular degeneration (AMD).

The scientists – from the Georgia Institute of Technology and Emory University – used tiny microneedles less than 1mm in length to inject drugs into the suprachoroidal space of the eye, showing in animal studies that they could travel to the rear of the eye and deliver compounds to the retina and choroid.

Needles Go Smart, Painless Vaccination Possible

Good news for the needle-phobic.

Australian scientists have developed a cheap and painless ’needle-free’ vaccination device that can be self-administered.

A team of 20 researchers led by Professor Mark Kendall, from the Australian Institute for Bioengineering and Nanotechnology at The University of Queensland, have developed the Nanopatch, a stamp-sized vaccine delivery device that could make vaccination programmes globally simpler and cheaper.

The Nanopatch, having 20,000 micro projections per square centimetre, is designed to directly place vaccine into the human skin, which is rich in immune cells.

MEDICAL MEMS: MEMS Based Devices For Biomedical Engineering

MEMS-based systems can significantly improve accuracy in aligning hip and knee implants with a patient’s anatomy, reducing discomfort and the need for revision surgery.

By: B. Scannell

Navigation is typically associated with cars, trucks, aircraft, ships, and, of course, people. It has also begun to play a significant role in medical technology, where it is used in precision surgical instruments and robotics. The design requirements of a surgical navigation tool share broad similarities with traditional vehicle navigation, but they also pose some distinct challenges—because the devices are used indoors, GPS assistance is not possible, for example—and they require a higher level of performance.

In this article, we will examine the unique challenges of medical navigation applications and explore possible solutions ranging from sensor mechanisms to system characteristics. Critical sensor specifications will be reviewed as well as potential error and drift mechanisms that should be taken into account during sensor selection. Enhancing sensors through integration, fusion and processing, by the use of Kalman filtering, for example, also will be highlighted. Before diving into the details, however, it may be useful to review some fundamental principles of inertial microelectromechanical systems (MEMS) sensor technology.

BioMEMS Application-MEMS for Diabetic Retinopathy

Fundus photo showing focal laser surgery for d...

There is no neat, targeted way to treat diabetic retinopathy, a condition that could lead to blindness. Laser therapy can result in diminished side and night vision and the other current method used, the cancer drug docetaxel, clear from the system so quickly that high doses are needed, increasing toxicity to healthy tissue. The research group ANPRON tells us about a team of Canadian scientists who think they have found a solution for sufferers of diabetic retinopathy. They have made a MEMS device (micron-sized electromechanical systems) that could be implanted behind the eye and release docetaxel on command by an external magnet.