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Powering Pacemakers, Mobile Phones With Energy-Harvesting Rubber Sheets

Power-generating rubber films developed by Princeton University engineers could harness natural body movements such as breathing and walking to power pacemakers, mobile phones and other electronic devices. The material, composed of ceramic nanoribbons embedded onto silicone rubber sheets, generates electricity when flexed and is highly efficient at converting mechanical energy to electrical energy. Shoes made of the material may one day harvest the pounding of walking and running to power mobile electrical devices. Placed against the lungs, sheets of the material could use breathing motions to power pacemakers, obviating the current need for surgical replacement of the batteries which power the devices.

Renowned Duke Researcher Wins Frontiers Of Knowledge Award

The prestigious BBVA Foundation Frontiers of Knowledge Award in the Biomedicine category goes this year to Robert J. Lefkowitz, M.D., James B. Duke Professor of Medicine and Biochemistry and a Howard Hughes Medical Institute (HHMI) investigator at Duke University Medical Center. This is only the second year the award has been given. Dr. Lefkowitz's research has affected millions of cardiac and other patients worldwide. Lefkowitz proved the existence of, isolated, characterized and still studies G-protein-coupled receptors (GPCRs). The receptors, which are located on the surface of the membranes that surround cells, are the targets of almost half of the drugs on the market today, including beta blockers for heart disease, antihistamines and ulcer medications.

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Medtronic Announces Two Late Breaking Clinical Trials Accepted For American College Of Cardiology Meeting

Medtronic, Inc. (NYSE: MDT) announced pivotal data for the Medtronic Arctic Front® CryoAblation Catheter System will be presented as a late breaking clinical trial at the 59th Annual Scientific Session of the American College of Cardiology on Monday, March 15 at 8 a.m. ET. The STOP-AF (Sustained Treatment of Paroxysmal Atrial Fibrillation) clinical trial is evaluating the safety and efficacy of the Arctic Front CryoAblation Catheter System for paroxysmal atrial fibrillation (AF) patients. The system is approved for use in Europe, Australia and Hong Kong and is under investigational use in the United States. Additionally, data from the Medtronic-sponsored CONNECT (Clinical Evaluation of Remote Notification to Reduce Time to Clinical Decision) clinical trial also will be presented as a late breaker on Monday, March 15.

Breakthrough Heart Scanner Being Developed At The University Of Leeds Will Allow Earlier Diagnosis

An innovative cardiac scanner will dramatically improve the process of diagnosing heart conditions. The portable magnetometer* is being developed at the University of Leeds, with funding from the Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council (EPSRC) playing a key role. Due to its unprecedented sensitivity to magnetic fluctuations the device will be able to detect a number of conditions, including heart problems in foetuses, earlier than currently available diagnostic techniques such as ultrasound, ECG (electrocardiogram) and existing cardiac magnetometers. It will also be smaller, simpler to operate, able to gather more information and significantly cheaper than other devices currently available.

German Man Bridged-to-Transplant After 615 Days Of Life With SynCardia's Total Artificial Heart

Bobby Dhawan, 51, is the owner of a successful taxi service in Germany. Normally, he does not allow bumper stickers to be placed on his cabs, but recently, he made a special exception for a sticker which reads, "Don't take your organs to heaven - heaven knows we need them here! " Last August, Dhawan received a donor heart transplant after living for 615 days with a SynCardia temporary CardioWest™ Total Artificial Heart. For nearly a year and a half prior to his transplant, Dhawan had enjoyed life at home with his family and gone back to work using the European portable driver to power his Total Artificial Heart. "With the Total Artificial Heart, my health was so good and I felt so strong.

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EMBL Scientists Shed Light On Cellular Communication Systems Involved In Neurodegeneration, Cancer And Cardiovascular Disease

Cells rely on a range of signalling systems to communicate with each other and to control their own internal workings. Scientists from the European Molecular Biology Laboratory (EMBL) in Hamburg, Germany, have now found a way to hack into a vital communications system, raising the possibility of developing new drugs to tackle disorders like neurodegeneration, cancer and cardiovascular disease. In a study published in Science Signaling, they have pieced together the first snapshot of what two of the system's components look like while interacting. One way these signalling systems work is by triggering a flood of calcium ions inside the cell.

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