Healthcare Tech

  • Smart Sutures Sense Inflammation, Deliver Drugs, Cells

    Researchers at MIT have developed smart sutures with a hydrogel coating that contains sensing and drug delivery components, and could even be used to implant therapeutic cells. The sutures are made using pig tissues that have been decellularized with detergents to reduce the possibility that they could provoke an immune reaction. The surrounding hydrogel layer

  • siRNA as a COVID-19 Treatment

    Researchers at UMass Chan Medical School have developed a small interfering RNA (siRNA) technology that is stable enough for inhalation into the lungs, where it can potentially treat diseases as diverse as asthma, pulmonary fibrosis, and viral infections such as COVID-19. siRNA is not typically stable enough to survive for long in the lungs, but

  • Cancer Organoids Offer Insights into Treatment Outcomes

    Researchers at the Hubrecht Institute in the Netherlands have developed a biobank of cancer organoids using tissue samples obtained from head and neck cancer patients. So far, the team used the biobank to validate tumor biomarkers. Excitingly, they also correlated patient treatment responses with organoid treatment responses, suggesting that the organoids provide a good proxy

  • Automated Computer Assistant for Kidney Transplant Rejection Diagnostics: Interview with Study Authors

    A recent study in Nature Medicine, entitled “An automated histological classification system for precision diagnostics of kidney allografts,” has showcased the efforts of a group of researchers who have developed an automated system that can diagnose kidney transplant rejection. A variety of disparate factors can affect the chances that a transplant will be rejected. At

  • Cell Culture Chamber Mimics Mechanical States of Disease

    Researchers at the University of Göttingen in Germany have developed a cell culture chamber that lets them culture tissue samples, mimic the mechanical conditions that tissues experience in various disease states, and closely monitor tissue reactions. The technology could be particularly useful for pre-clinical drug testing, allowing researchers to test the effects of various drug

  • Soft Robotic Electrode Enables Minimally Invasive Placement

    Researchers at Ecole Polytechnique Fédérale de Lausanne (EPFL) in Switzerland have developed a soft robotic electrode, that can be advanced through a small hole in the skull and then opened into a series of spiral arms, to provide electrocorticography measurements from a relatively large area of the brain surface. The technology could prove very useful

  • Laser-Based Breath Analysis Detects COVID-19 Infection

    Researchers at the University of Colorado at Boulder and the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) have developed a laser-based breathalyzer technology that can detect molecules in breath samples that indicate the presence of specific diseases, such as COVID-19. The device is called a frequency comb breathalyzer, and using it involves pumping a breath

  • Technique Reveals 3D Genome Interactions

    Researchers at MIT have developed a method that allows them to analyze the three dimensional interactions of sections of the genome in unprecedented detail. The technique could let scientists investigate the origin and progression of genetic diseases, as well as identifying new therapeutic targets for them. The new approach, called Region Capture Micro-C, involves using

  • Rapid Detection of Misfolded Proteins

    Scientists at the University of Minnesota have developed a method to detect misfolded proteins more rapidly and sensitively. The technique could eventually allow clinicians to diagnose diseases that involve misfolded proteins more easily, including Alzheimer’s, Parkinson’s, and Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease. The approach involves an enhancement to an existing assay called Real-Time Quaking-Induced Conversion (RT-QuIC) assay. This

  • Intratumoral Bacteria as an Injectable Anti-Cancer Treatment

    Scientists at the Japan Advanced Institute of Science and Technology in Ishikawa, Japan have developed an anti-cancer treatment that consists of bacteria that are naturally found inside some tumors. Isolating and then injecting these bacteria into existing tumors appears to provoke a strong immune response that can lead to tumor destruction, without the need for

  • Paper Strip Tests for Hypothyroidism

    Student researchers at Rice University have developed a paper strip test for hypothyroidism, similar to those that are commonly used for COVID-19 testing. Babies with congenital hypothyroidism require prompt diagnosis and treatment, but in many parts of the world a lack of healthcare resources can mean that the condition can go undiagnosed for long periods,