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Category: Biomedical Engineering

College of Engineering’s first Research Day showcases strengths

Dean Elizabeth Loboa joined with Research Day keynote faculty speakers Prasad Calyam, Bret Ulery and Bill Buttlar and co-organizer Praveen Edara for a photo after the first-ever Research Day concluded. Robots, food waste, cardiovascular health, vaccinations, transportation, neurological health, thermal structure imaging, utilizing Big Data for traffic management. This is just a microcosm of the research topics being undertaken by University of Missouri College of Engineering researchers and students. And they were all on full display at the College’s first-ever…

Electrode shape improves neurostimulation for small targets

This small chip holds a 2-D electrode with a shape that can better stimulate small targets in the body over time. Credit: Purdue University image/Kayla Wiles A cross-like shape helps the electrodes of implantable neurostimulation devices to deliver more charge to specific areas of the nervous system, possibly prolonging device life span, says research published in March in Scientific Reports. The shape, called “fractal,” would be particularly useful for stimulating smaller areas, such as deep brain structures or the retina,…

When there’s an audience, people’s performance improves — ScienceDaily

Often people think performing in front of others will make them mess up, but a new study led by a Johns Hopkins University neuroscientist found the opposite: being watched makes people do better. When people know they are being observed, parts of the brain associated with social awareness and reward invigorate a part of the brain that controls motor skills, improving their performance at skilled tasks. The findings, which could help people become more effective in the workplace and in…

The brittle material can turn flexible when made into ultrafine needles — ScienceDaily

Diamond is well-known as the strongest of all natural materials, and with that strength comes another tightly linked property: brittleness. But now, an international team of researchers from MIT, Hong Kong, Singapore, and Korea has found that when grown in extremely tiny, needle-like shapes, diamond can bend and stretch, much like rubber, and snap back to its original shape. The surprising finding is being reported this week in the journal Science, in a paper by senior author Ming Dao, a…

Smart home dashboard to better visualize energy usage

Duke’s Smart Home. Credit: Duke University Duke’s Smart Home generates a lot of data about its energy usage, but no one understands what it means—yet. To make sense of it all, an interdisciplinary team of students is developing a visualization dashboard that will convey consumption data in an easily comprehendible manner. “We want to make the Smart Home more integrated with the technology around it,” said Harvey Shi, a senior double majoring in biomedical engineering and computer science, and president…

Tai Chi offers a low-cost, easily accessible alternative to pulmonary rehabilitation, study finds — ScienceDaily

Finding ways to help patients with COPD improve their functional status is an area of interest for pulmonary healthcare providers. Currently, pulmonary rehabilitation (PR) is used where available to improve exercise capacity and quality of life, but the treatment requires access to trained staff and specialized facilities. A new study in the journal CHEST® looked at Tai Chi as a lower cost, more easily accessed treatment option. Investigators found that this slow, methodical form of exercise is equivalent to PR…

Probing the complex nature of concussion — ScienceDaily

It seems simple enough: Taking a hard hit to the head can give you a concussion. But, Stanford researchers report March 30 in Physical Review Letters, in most cases, the connection is anything but simple. Combining data recorded from football players with computer simulations of the brain, a team working with David Camarillo, an assistant professor of bioengineering, found that concussions and other mild traumatic brain injuries seem to arise when an area deep inside the brain shakes more rapidly…

A next-generation non-hormonal contraceptive for women is being developed in Sweden — ScienceDaily

A hormone-free women’s contraceptive with no side effects is one promising use for a new technique developed by researchers in Sweden to tighten up the mucous membrane – the body’s first line of defense in protecting its inner lining. The approach consists of cross-linking the mucus gel with chitosan, a type of polysaccharide derived from chitin, the substance that develops in the hard outer shells of crustaceans such as shrimp and crayfish. The material tightens the mucin polymer mesh barrier which…

Prosthetic memory system successful in humans — ScienceDaily

Scientists at Wake Forest Baptist Medical Center and the University of Southern California (USC) have demonstrated the successful implementation of a prosthetic system that uses a person’s own memory patterns to facilitate the brain’s ability to encode and recall memory. In the pilot study, published in today’s Journal of Neural Engineering, participants’ short-term memory performance showed a 35 to 37 percent improvement over baseline measurements. “This is the first time scientists have been able to identify a patient’s own brain…

Tattoo electrodes from an ink-jet printer for long-term medical diagnostics

Researchers at TU Graz present tattoo electrodes from the printer, which are particularly attractive for long-term medical diagnostics. Credit: Lunghammer – TU Graz Electrodes for longterm monitoring of electrical impulses of heart or muscles in the form of temporary tattoos produced using an ink-jet printer. An international research group involving TU Graz, Austria, presents this novel method in Advanced Science. In the case of diagnostic methods such as electrocardiogram (ECG) and electromyography (EMG), gel electrodes are the preferred method of…