Tech and Health: Innovative Devices Aren’t Science Fiction

World’s Smallest, Fastest Nanomotor

A motor smaller than a human cell could help advance drug delivery. The three-part nanomotor can rapidly mix and pump biochemicals and move through liquids. With all its dimensions under 1 micrometer in size, the nanomotor fits inside a human cell and is capable of rotating for 15 continuous hours at a speed of 18,000 RPMs.

This is a new approach to delivering biochemical drugs to live cells. When the researchers coated the nanomotor’s surface with biochemicals and initiated spinning, they found that the faster the nanomotor rotated, the faster it released the drugs.

Detecting Cardiovascular Conditions More Clearly

A catheter uses advanced imaging to detect arterial build-up. This may better detect plaques in coronary arteries and their vulnerability to induce life-threatening conditions.

Combining ultrasound and photoacoustic imaging techniques, the prototype catheter rotates to capture images in multiple directions to provide information about the artery structure and composition, creating a more complete picture of the artery and the plaques that in it.

Treating Patients Through Wearable Electronics

An electronic “tattoo” measures information and delivers medicine.

This device can measure and store data about a person’s movements, receive diagnostic information, and deliver medicine, all through the skin. The geometrical configuration of the circuit allows the wearable electronics to expand and compress. These are electronic “tattoos” are made of stretchable nanomaterials.

Bringing Robotics Into Rehabilitation

A robotic hand-wrist exoskeleton assists in rehabilitation. It delivers repetitive and intensive movements that can restore functional capabilities of the wrist, hand, and fingers.

Cooling the Body Faster and More Effectively

A noninvasive, portable mechanism cools the body’s core.

Using a cooling pad and a battery-powered thermoelectric system, this compact, portable, body-core-cooling device artificially simulates blood flow through our most effective heat transfer portals: the palms of our hands and the soles of our feet. The mechanism provides a noninvasive solution to cooling the body quickly during medical events such as strokes, brain injuries, and heart attacks.

Filling a Void in Commercial Prosthetic Device Options

A customized, prosthetic foot device for lower-limb amputees is made using selective laser sintering, a process similar to 3-D printing.

This technology improves the quality of life for lower-limb amputees. Beginning with a 3-D computer model, the SLS process uses a high-powered laser to build the design out of layers of powder. The end product is a sturdy, yet flexible, prosthetic device that is fit to the amputee.

Source: Tech and Health: Innovative Devices Aren’t Science Fiction
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