Micro-Computers/NanotechnologyProfessors Dennis Sylvester and David Blaauw, from the University of Michigan, have created a tiny, millimeter-long computer that contains a battery, a central processing unit (CPU), sensors, a tiny radio emitter, and electronics for powering the chip (4). The tiny computer is powered by light, requiring 10 hours of indoor lighting or 1.5 hours of sunlight exposure (4). The device is designed for being inserted into the eyeballs of glaucoma victims. It collects data with sensors and transmits the data through a radio wave (4). If there is too much internal pressure, the chip will transmit the data to medical professionals who will know what to do with the patient. Regarding this incredible technology, Sylvester said, “This is the first true millimeter-scale complete computing system. Our work is unique in the sense that we're thinking about complete systems in which all the components are low-power and fit on the chip. We can collect data, store it and transmit it. The applications for systems of this size are endless” Application of nanotechnology to the medical field is through the use of nanobots--microscopic machines made out of molecules--for fighting infection. Researchers at the Southwest UK Paediatric Burns Centre at Frenchay Hospital in Bristol have teamed up with scientists at the University of Bath to develop a “dressing” that kills pathogens (such as bacteria) by releasing antibiotics from “nanocapsules” (12). The harmful bacteria produce toxins which eat through the “nanocapsules”, releasing antibiotics (12). If this is perfected, the way doctors treat diseases may change. A patient may find that all he or she needs to do to recover from an illness is to simply swallow a pill: a pill filled with “nanocapsules”. Some other possibilities for nanotechnology in medicine might include nanobots for repairing damaged cells, nanobots for accelerating bone repair, and nanobots for killing cancer cells BionicsiLimbis a prosthetic, robotic hand, created by Touch Bionics, that allows users to pick up a variety of objects, including glasses, playing cards, and suitcases. It works by detecting tiny electrical signals from arm muscles to control the movements of its individual, robotic fingers, wrist, and thumb (11). Bionic legs that work in a similar way to the i-LIMB are also on the market.Bionic technology offers replacement hearts, lungs, eyes, ears, and the potential for much more. Since we don’t have time to delve into all these unique and cutting-edge technologies, let’s take a look at the bionic eye. The Argus II, an amazing device created by Second Sight, a California-based company, allows the blind to see once again, albeit with limited vision. Regenerative MedicineWake Forest Institute for Regenerative Medicine is a leader in translating scientific discovery into clinical therapies. Physicians and scientists at WFIRM were the first in the world to engineer laboratory-grown organs that were successfully implanted into humans. Today, this interdisciplinary team is working to engineer more than 30 different replacement tissues and organs and to develop healing cell therapies—all with the goal to cure, rather than merely treat, disease,from bladder and trachea to cartilage and heart.
Paradigm shift: Diseases shall not be given a chance to arise anymore Imaging technologies have revolutionised medicine. A little more than a hundred years ago, doctors were still dependent upon physical symptoms mainly on the body's outside for diagnosis. This changed when the German physicist Wilhelm Conrad Röntgen discovered an invisible radiation during an experiment in 1895. Near infrared spectroscopy (NIRS) is not the kind of imaging that produces high resolution images like a CT. It rather creates a surface mapping“, explains Professor Ulrich Dirnagl. The director of the Stroke Centre at the Charité in Berlin examines the oxygenation of the cortex with this method - the outer layer of nerve cells where a lot of sensory and motoric functions are located. Light from the near infrared penetrates tissue very well and is therefore suitable to reach these layers. Neurofunctional imaging techniques have opened up new possibilities in research by observing the brain while it is working. Stippich works on a project with orthopaedics in order to find out how the brain restructures itself after the patient experienced paralysis due to an accident. „In future, fMRI will help to observe reorganisation of the brain“ according to the neuroradiologist. X-ray, ultrasound, CT, MRI, angiography,fMRI,PET,EEG,DTI
Today, 85% of children who are diagnosed with acute lymphoblastic leukemia, the most common childhood cancer, are cured of the disease. Unfortunately, the drugs which have made this possible can also have severe side effects, occasionally resulting in death. Included among those drugs is the thiopurine agent, 6-mercaptopurine (6-MP).Physicians have understood for a long time that children died because these drugs destroyed healthy bone marrow as well as cancer cells. But they could not explain why this happened to some children and not to others—until key discoveries made at the Mayo Clinic provided the necessary insight into the influence genes have on how an individual responds to a given drug. So began the era of "pharmacogenomic" medicine. The term reflects the profound influence that one's genetic make-up has on how therapeutic or toxic a drug may be.
30 scientists met for 5 days of intense discussion about synthetic biology under the auspices of the U.S. National Science Foundation (NSF) and the U.K. Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council. The scientists—equally split between the United States and the United Kingdom and drawn from several disciplines—assembled into 10 teams and came up with specific research proposals. Each team presented its idea to the larger group, received instant feedback, made revisions, and presented it again—six times in all. By the end of the week, officials from the two government agencies—each of which had agreed to put up $5 million to fund the best ideas—verbally signed off on five of the 10 proposals...
Synthetic Biology can be described as the use of engineering principles to build useful devices from biological building blocks or make existing biological systems more effective and efficient. One can take this definition further to include the complete design and construction of artificial organisms. This proposal aims to harness the power of synthetic biology at the cellular level by exploiting bacteria, yeast and mammalian cells to carry out device like functions. Moreover this exploitation will allow the cells/bacteria to be "simplified" so that the input/output (I/O) requirements of device integration can be addressed. Motile function will be achieved by engineering muscle cells to have the minimal cellular machinery required for excitation/contraction coupling and contractile function, which will be powered by mitochondrial conversion of glucose to ATP, an energetic currency in biological cells. This will be carried out at a larger scale by interfacing multiple cellular/bacterial devices together, connecting to an electronic brain and in effect creating a multi-cellular biohybrid robot.