$50 3D Printed Hand vs. Traditional, One Thousand Times More Expensive Prosthetic

3D printing is touted by many as the next big technological shift that will radically change society, but those folks are already living in the past. Check out Jose Delgado, Jr., a man who was born with a missing left hand and has worn traditional hand prostheses all his life, comparing his new $50 3D printed hand to his previous $42,000 device.

 

More from 3D Universe: JOSE DELGADO, JR. COMPARES HIS $50 3D-PRINTED HAND TO HIS $42,000 MYOELECTRIC PROSTHESIS…

Lightweight 3D Printed Breathable Cast with Ultrasound Therapy

Lightweight 3D Printed Breathable Cast with Ultrasound Therapy

Anyone who has ever worn a cast knows well how itchy, smelly, and unpleasant it can be. The casts are heavy and have no ventilation, so skin beneath gets no air or sun while the unused muscles weaken and reduce in size. Deniz Karasahin, an industrial designer, has proposed a new approach that uses a 3D printer to create custom breathable, washable casts. The casts would be created using 3D scans of the patient’s own limbs and printed out of plastic with some additional metal components to hold everything together. The cast can be removed when necessary without using a scary vibrating saw and look like they’re ready for the catwalk.

Beside improving on the common cast, the system can be integrated with pulsed ultrasound stimulation, a therapy that can be effective in accelerating the healing of some bone fractures. The only downside seems to be the lack of space for schoolmate signatures, but like everything else those are probably moving to Facebook already.

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Analyzing Kidney Stones for Proper Drug Therapy

Analyzing Kidney Stones for Proper Drug Therapy

Cystinuria, a genetic disease that causes the formation of cystine kidney stones, has a number of treatment options, but selecting the right one is a bit of a hit-or-miss proposition. The various drugs that are prescribed have different effects on the stones themselves, so a team of French researchers wanted to see what exactly happens to cystine stones. They used scanning electron microscopy and powder neutron diffraction analysis to measure the size and visualize the texture of the tiny stones.

Their findings may already help physicians prescribe the correct meds, but they note that following the drug regimen is particularly important for patients to achieve optimal outcomes.

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Bier Nerve Blocks Using Nanoparticles and Magnets?

Bier Nerve Blocks Using Nanoparticles and Magnets?

Nanoparticles that target specific spots in the body have usually been developed for oncologists to attack tumors. A team of researchers at University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine wanted to see whether nanoparticles ferrying local anesthetics could be effective in perioperative anesthesia and analgesia. Specifically, they evaluated whether a nanoparticle-delivered peripheral nerve block exhibits any benefits over traditional blocks.

The scientists created nanoparticles that contained magnetite, a ferrous mineral, coupled to ropivacaine, a commonly used local anesthetic. In a manner resembling the Bier block, the particles were injected via IV into lab mice and a magnet was placed by the ankles to concentrate the material in the area. Though the intravascular injection contained 14 times more ropivacaine than a standard ankle block given to control mice, the local anesthetic effect was comparable, but without creating side effects that would normally occur at such high doses. The findings show promise for a more targeted delivery of local and regional anesthesia that would help prevent other regions of the body from being affected and leading to greater safety for patients.

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Google Glass in Pediatric Surgical Practice

Google Glass in Pediatric Surgical Practice

Google Glass made its debut in a flurry of controversy, offering not just new technological capabilities but also a lot of concern about privacy, the nature of human interaction, and whether we will all soon be assimilated. But Glass wasn’t necessarily made for strolls around the neighborhood and for casual chatting with friends. In medicine, for example, it’s already being investigated in clinical settings to help record patient/doctor interaction, to look up EMR data, and to query the Internet for relevant information.

At the Children’s Hospital of Westchester Medical Center in New York State, researchers have been evaluating Google Glass for use in a pediatric surgical practice. They wanted to see whether the new technology would be appropriate, comfortable, and potentially useful in such a setting. To that end they used Glass daily for four consecutive weeks while interacting with patients, noting how the device blends into the workflow and what software would make it even more useful. Overall they found great potential in Google Glass, but point out that hardware and software improvements are still required, new apps have to be written, and more consideration needs to be given to how sensitive data is handled.

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3D Printed Prosthetic Sockets Based on MRI Scans Help Improve Fit

Fitting a prosthetic to an amputee’s residual limb is often a challenge, in many cases leading to patients refusing to use their prostheses because of pain and general discomfort. We just covered work being conducted at University of Southampton on a new force sensing liner that can improve how prosthetic sockets are fitted, but there’s also work at MIT’s Media Lab that offers an additional approach. David Sengeh, a researchers in the lab, recently gave a TED talk describing how MRI mapping of residual limbs and 3D printing of multi-material sockets are being used to solve the long standing challenge of fitting prostheses.

Plastic Substrate X-Ray Detector to Lighten, Toughen Radiological Equipment

Plastic Substrate X-Ray Detector to Lighten, Toughen Radiological Equipment

X-ray detectors used in medicine have a glass core that makes them fragile, heavy, and unwieldy. The future is looking lighter for X-ray detectors thanks to researchers at Holst Centre in The Netherlands, imec in Belgium, and Philips who have been working on a medical quality detector that uses a plastic substrate.

The device provides dynamic, high-contrast images at 25 frames per second and a 200 pixels per inch resolution. The plate itself is 160 x 120 pixels in size, but could be made bigger for clinical applications.

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BaDx Portable Anthrax Detector from Sandia NL

BaDx Portable Anthrax Detector from Sandia NL

Anthrax is a deadly bacterial disease and a weapon of war, typically found living in soil, that’s dangerous to both farm animals and humans that work with them. Farmers in developed nations regularly conduct tests for Bacillus anthracis, the bacterium responsible for anthrax, but that is often too expensive for poorer regions in the world.

Researchers at Sandia National Labs have simplified and put on a cassette what was previously a high tech process of detecting B. anthracis. Besides bringing down the price of testing from around $30 to around $6, the technology would prevent individual labs and lab techs from growing and working with substantial quantities of a deadly pathogen.

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Automatic Tool Detects Ischemic Stroke from CT Scans

Automatic Tool Detects Ischemic Stroke from CT Scans

Detecting an embolic stroke quickly and accurately is a challenge that requires an experienced radiologist to analyze CT scans. Since time is of the essence in these situations, an automated computer system that can identify stroke can help patients get the right treatment before more damage is done.

Researchers at Hong Kong Polytechnic University have been working on just such a system that takes CT scan data as input and puts visual markers where it suspects a thrombus is blocking a vessel. The researchers are working on developing a learning algorithm that would improve the accuracy of the system by studying the accurate diagnoses from other scans. From Dr Fuk-hay Tang of Hong Kong PolyU:

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