Biomedical Smart Stitches Detect Infections & Speed Healing
Medical engineers have successfully lined surgical stitches with silicon sensors that can detect infections and apply heat to wounds, a known method of shortening recovery time.
What's the Latest Development?
Researchers have successfully coated surgical stitches in biomedical devices that can monitor for infection and aid in the healing process by applying heat to wounds, a known method for shortening recovery time. "The electronic sutures, which contain ultrathin silicon sensors integrated on polymer or silk strips, can be threaded through needles, and in animal tests researchers were able to lace them through skin, pull them tight, and knot them without degrading the devices." The silicon strips used in the stitches are flexible and connected with gold wires just a few hundred nanometers thick.
What's the Big Idea?
Engineers behind the technology believe they have just scratched the surface of its medical potential. By coating the threads with drug-infused polymers, for example, an electrical pulse could be used to release disease-fighting chemicals. "Ultimately, the most value would be when you can release drugs from them in a programmed way," said Professor John Rogers of the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. The technology is already being commercialized by a Cambridge, Mass., start up co-founded by Rogers himself, which plans to place the smart sutures in inflatable catheters and medical tattoos.
Photo credit: Shutterstock.com
That's a sharp increase from the 1960s when it took the same share of scientists an average of 35 years to drop out of academia.
- The study tracked the careers of more than 100,000 scientists over 50 years.
- The results showed career lifespans are shrinking, and fewer scientists are getting credited as the lead author on scientific papers.
- Scientists are still pursuing careers in the private sector, however there are key differences between research conducted in academia and industry.
China's rise has necessitated a global PR push. It includes influencing how the movies you watch depict China.
- China will soon overtake the U.S. as the world's largest market for films, and it is using that fact to influence how it is depicted by Hollywood.
- While Chinese investors have been interested in buying shares of studios for a while, the real power lies in deciding which movies get into China at all.
- The influence is often subtle, but may have already derailed a few careers in the name of politics.
The bold technique involves surgically implanting a so-called microneedle patch directly onto the heart.
- Heart attacks leave scar tissue on the heart, which can reduce the organ's ability to pump blood throughout the body.
- The microneedle patch aims to deliver therapeutic cells directly to the damaged tissue.
- It hasn't been tested on humans yet, but the method has shown promising signs in research on animals.
SMARTER FASTER trademarks owned by The Big Think, Inc. All rights reserved.