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ASSIGNMENT NO.

01

THE NEW TRENDS IN BIOMEDICAL


ENGINEERING

D.W.W.Sewwandi
B.Tech.Hons.Uva Wellassa
Table of Contents

“New Trends in Biomedical Engineering” ................................................................................................. 3


• Diamond-coated micro-sized pillars for Cochlear Implant.............................................................. 3
• Swell gel for natural drug delivery .................................................................................................. 3
• Electronic Aspirin ............................................................................................................................ 4
• Biosensor for Needle-Free Diabetic Care ........................................................................................ 4
• The Sapien trans catheter aortic valve ............................................................................................. 5
Reference .................................................................................................................................................... 6

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“New Trends in Biomedical Engineering”

• Diamond-coated micro-sized pillars for Cochlear Implant

Cochlear implants are now widely used to treat patients, especially children, with profound
hearing loss. According to research from Uppsala University in Sweden, Diamond-coated micro-
sized pillars could sharpen up cochlear implants by acting as a guide for regrowing auditory
neurons. These researchers have found that human inner-ear ganglion neurites attach
preferentially to micro-textured nanocrystalline diamond deposited on silicon pillars. The 5 x 5
micron nail-head-shaped pillars, spaced 4-9 microns apart, were fabricated using sputtering,
photolithography, and plasma etching techniques. Together with its antibacterial and electrical
properties, textured nanocrystalline diamond could make an ideal electrode for cochlear
implants, providing electrical stimulation signals of nerve cells and facilitating the regeneration
of new neurons.

Figure 1 :- Scanning electron micrograph of micrometer-sized nanocrystalline diamond before


culturing with mouse ganglion cells (left) and after (right)

• Swell gel for natural drug delivery

Hydrogels have been used variously as agents for delivering proteins, DNA, antibodies, growth
factors and immunological molecules to various tissues for a range of biomedical research
applications because of their ability to swell depending on external factors, their inherent
biocompatibility, biodegradability, non-toxicity and mechanical stability.

Researchers at CSIR-CLRI Adyar, in Chennai, Tamil Nadu, India, have demonstrated how
reduction followed by oxidative refolding can convert natural albumin found in serum into a
hydrogel that responds to stimuli, such as changing redox conditions without the use of toxic
glutaraldehyde as a cross-linker, a problem facing earlier efforts to make hydrogels from albumin
and other biomaterials. The team points out that their serum hydrogel is more responsive to redox
conditions than pH changes, a property that has not been widely studied in previous hydrogels.

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• Electronic Aspirin

The most severe, chronic forms of headache is associate with the sphenopalatine ganglion (SPG),
a facial nerve bundle, but have not found yet a treatment that works on the SPG long-term. A
technology under clinical investigation at Autonomic Technologies, Inc., (Redwood City, CA) is
a patient-powered tool for blocking SPG signals at the first sign of a headache. This involves the
permanent implant of a small nerve simulating device in the upper gum on the side of the head
normally affected by headache. The lead tip of the implant connects with the SPG bundle, and
when a patient senses the onset of a headache, he or she places a handheld remote controller on
the cheek nearest the implant. The resulting signals stimulate the SPG nerves and block the pain-
causing neurotransmitters.

Figure 2 :- The Neurostimulator (Image: ATI-SPG.com)

• Biosensor for Needle-Free Diabetic Care

The traditional methods of Diabetes self-care is pain full since it brings the constant need to draw
bold for glucose testing, the need for daily Insulin shots and the heightened risk of infection from
all that poking. Continuous glucose monitors and insulin pumps are today's best options for
automating most of the complicated daily process of blood sugar management – but they don't
completely remove the need for skin pricks and shots.

Echo Therapeutics (Philadelphia, PA) is developing technologies that would replace the poke
with a patch. The company is working on a transdermal biosensor that reads blood analytes
through the skin without drawing blood. The technology involves a handheld electric-toothbrush-
like device that removes just enough top-layer skin cells to put the patient's blood chemistry
within signal range of a patch-borne biosensor. The sensor collects one reading per minute and
sends the data wirelessly to a remote monitor, triggering audible alarms when levels go out of the
patient's optimal range and tracking glucose levels over time.

Figure 3:- The Symphony tCGM biosensor from Echo Therapeutics


(Image: EchoTX.com)
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• The Sapien trans catheter aortic valve

The Sapien transcatheter aortic valve is a life-saving alternative to open-heart surgery for patients
who need new a new valve but can't endure the rigors of the operation. It is manufactured by
Edwards Life Sciences (Irvine, CA). The Sapien valve is guided through the femoral artery by
catheter from a small incision near the grown or rib cage. The valve material is made of bovine
tissue attached to a stainless-steel stent, which is expanded by inflating a small balloon when
correctly placed in the valve space. A simpler procedure that promises dramatically shorter
hospitalizations is bound to have a positive effect on the cost of care.

Figure 4 : The Sapien transcatheter aortic


valve from Edwards Lifesciences (Image:
Edwards.com)

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Reference

• Sealy, C; 2015 .Diamond pillars are all ears.


[Online] Available at: <http://www.materialstoday.com/carbon/news/diamond-pillars-are-all-
ears/> [Accessed on 02 December 2015]

• Bradley, D; 2015. Swell gel for natural drug delivery.


[Online] Available at : <http://www.materialstoday.com/biomaterials/news/swell-gel-for-natural-
drug-delivery/> [Accessed on 05 December 2015]

• Rae, M. M; 2013. Top 5 Medical Technology Innovations.


[Online] Available at :< https://www.asme.org/engineering-topics/articles/bioengineering/top-5-
medical-technology-innovations> [Accessed on 02 December 2015]