A new “smart catheter” that senses the start of an infection, and automatically releases an anti-bacterial substance, is being developed to combat the problem of catheter-related blood and urinary tract infections, scientists reported in Baltimore on August 23 at the 244th National Meeting & Exposition of the American Chemical Society.
Dipankar Koley, Ph.D., who delivered the report, said the “smart catheter” technology is being developed for both catheters inserted into blood vessels and the urinary tract.
“About 1.5 million healthcare-associated infections are reported in the United States alone each year, resulting in 99,000 deaths and up to $45 billion in extra health care costs,” said Koley.
Researchers say they’re designing patch-like devices to wirelessly transmit information about a person’s vital health statistics, potentially freeing patients from the wires and sticky electrodes of electroencephalograms (EEGs) and electrocardiogram (EKGs).
The devices, currently envisioned to be more like a temporary tattoo than a medical patch, could conceivably measure heart activity and brain waves, said John Rogers, a professor of materials science and engineering at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, who spoke about the new research at a conference this week.
“The big benefit would be the ability to continuously monitor health and wellness,” Rogers said. “There’s a lot of interest in personalized medicine and the quantified self, and hardware is key.”
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Researchers at Purdue University’s Weldon School of Biomedical Engineering are in the process of developing scaffold-like materials that promises to speed up the recovery process for patients. The wound healing material has a fast curing time once inside the body.
Alyssa Panitch, an associate professor at Purdue University, heads the research team that discovered the liquid wound healing material, after numerous years of clinical testing at the Weldon School of Biomedical Engineering. The material is being touted as a modern medicine breakthrough and promises to create an expedited process for burn victims and those that require the fastest recovery time possible.
The research is showing that the liquid material can be injected directly into a wound site and will solidify and fill any space needed. Once inside the body, the liquid spreads out and forms an almost immediate bonding for repairs of such wound treatments as mending damaged bones, spinal cord fusions, arterial reattachment, and other tissue rebuilding procedures.
This is a preview of Biomaterials Research Update: New Wound Healing Materials at Purdue. Read the full post (638 words, 2 images, estimated 2:33 mins reading time)