MelaFind searches for biopsy decision
- MelaFind optical scanner provides additional information a dermatologist can use in determining whether or not to order a biopsy for an invasive surgical biopsy. It is a handheld tool approved by the FDA for multispectral analysis of tissue morphology.
- The goal is to reduce the number of patients left with unnecessary biopsy scars, with the added benefit of eliminating the cost of unnecessary procedures.
- MelaFind technology (MELA Sciences, Irvington, NY) uses missile navigation technologies originally paid for the Department of Defense to optically scan the surface of a suspicious lesion at 10 electromagnetic wavelengths. The collected signals are processed using heavy-duty algorithms and matched against a registry of 10,000 digital images of melanoma and skin disease.
Targeted drug delivery could help fight tumors and local infections
- Some drug regimens that are designed to eliminate tumors, are also notorious for their nasty side effects. Unwanted symptoms are often the result of medicine going where it’s not needed and harming healthy cells. To minimize this risk, researchers in Quebec have developed nanoparticles that only release a drug when exposed to near-infrared light, which doctors could beam onto a specific site.
- Bringing UV and near-infrared light together
- One promising approach involved drug-carrying materials that are sensitive to ultraviolet (UV) light. Shining a beam in this part of the light spectrum causes the materials to release their therapeutic cargo at a designated location. UV light has major limitations. It can’t penetrate body tissues, and it is carcinogenic.
- Near-infrared (NIR) light can go through 1 to 2 centimeters of tissue and would be a safer alternative, but photosensitive drug-carriers don’t react to it.
- McGill University engineering professor Marta Cerruti and colleagues sought a way to bring the two kinds of light together in one possible solution.
- The researchers started with nanoparticles that convert NIR light into UV light and coated them in a UV-sensitive hydrogel shell infused with a fluorescent protein, a stand-in for drug molecules. When exposed to NIR light, the nanoparticles instantaneously converted it to UV, which induced the shell to release the protein payload.
- The researchers note that their on-demand delivery system could not only supply drug molecules but also agents for imaging and diagnostics.
Leadless Cardiac Pacemaker
- A pacemaker consists of a pulse generator that’s embedded below the collarbone and is secured in a surgical pocket under the skin. The thin wires inserted through a vein—the leads—are stretched from the pulse generator to the heart. Over time, the polyurethane and silicone leads can break, the insulation around them can crack, and they can become infection sites, which happens in 2 % of cases.
- A wireless cardiac pacemaker was heralded that is 10 % the size of a traditional pacemaker.
- In the space of 15 to 30 minutes, the miniaturized battery-controlled device can be implanted directly in the heart without surgery by steering it through a femoral vein and up into the heart’s right ventricle.
- Secured in place by prongs or a screw, a sensor electrode in the metal-clad device detects all heart rate information and relays it to the generator, which provides the necessary cardiac stimulation to keep the heart in regular rhythm.
- Lithium battery life is estimated to be seven years or longer with the current miniaturized devices.
- This pacemaker nanotechnology has eliminated surgery, lumps and scars on patient’s chest, restrictions on daily physical activities, as well as any complications stemming from any malfunctioning insulated connecting leads. Not yet approved in the United States by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA), it has reached the late-stage of a clinical trial