When children need kidney dialysis because of disease or congenital defects, doctors are forced to adapt adult-size dialysis equipment. No FDA-approved kidney replacement devices exist that are specifically designed for children.

To address this problem, physicians and researchers from Emory University, Children’s Healthcare of Atlanta and the Georgia Institute of Technology have teamed up to develop a kidney replacement device capable of treating children.
Over the past five years, the three institutions have further solidified a cohesive relationship aimed at medical discovery, quality-care improvement and health care innovation.

In the future, asthmatic children may be able to monitor their condition using breath analysing sensors built into their mobile phones. Thanks to a UK company who have embedded a carbon nanotube sensor, which can monitor nitric oxide (NO) levels in exhaled breath, into mobiles.

'200 different chemicals are exhaled in your breath,' says Victor Higgs, managing director of Applied Nanodetectors, during a demonstration of his company's latest prototype at the Nano and emerging technologies forum 09 in London this week. And these can be used to monitor and diagnose a wide range of diseases.

'We focused on asthmatics first, because the NO measuring process is already FDA [US Food and drug administration] medically approved,' he told Chemistry World. Exhaled nitric oxide has been used as a biomarker for monitoring asthma since 1995, because inflammation in the airways causes elevated levels of NO in breath. 

by Elizabeth A. Thomson

Surgical adhesives, which can be used to seal tissues after an operation or to repair wounds, are becoming increasingly important parts of a doctor's toolkit. However, their one-size-fits-all nature means that existing adhesives, or glues, work well in some cases but not in others.

by Anne Trafton

MIT engineers have built a new tissue scaffold that can stimulate bone and cartilage growth when transplanted into the knees and other joints.

The scaffold could offer a potential new treatment for sports injuries and other cartilage damage, such as arthritis, says Lorna Gibson, the Matoula S. Salapatas Professor of Materials Science and Engineering and co-leader of the research team with Professor William Bonfield of Cambridge University.

by Amy Coombs

A new programme at the US Department of Defense funds regenerative medicine to help wounded vets, but a surprising level of detail seems top secret

As body armor improves, soldiers are less likely to be wounded by bullets. Explosive devices now account for more than 75% of injuries sustained by soldiers in Iraq and Afghanistan. Unlike a bullet, which pierces a single spot, explosives tear away skin and muscle.

"In this war the wounds are more horrific," says Colonel Bob Vandre of the US Army Medical Research and Material Command in Fort Detrick, Maryland. "You can have big pieces of tissue and bone torn away." He's putting his hopes in science. "Using stem cells and biodegradable matrixes may allow us to regrow that tissue."

Mary Lidstrom Mary Lidstrom may be a biologist by training, but she is a systems engineer by inclination.

It was a lesson she learned about herself more than 20 years ago while trying to bring a more quantitative approach to her science. She started working with engineers and discovered she really enjoyed an engineering approach to understanding complex biological systems.

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This news service is provided by Good Samaritan Institute, located in Santa Rosa Beach, Florida.

GSI is a non-profit dedicated to the advancement of medical research by improving communication among scientists.