3D Printed Human Organ Coming in 2014
San Diego-based company Organovo is getting ready to unveil the world’s first 3D printed human liver next year. The organ will be used for research and drug discovery but the bioprinting company’s vision is to leverage this technology for surgical therapy and transplants. 
Bioprinting works in a similar fashion to the 3D printers which use plastic or metal. But instead of printing an iPhone case the end result is an organ. The bioprinter prints layers of material, in this case live tissue instead of ABS, which create a solid physical item. 
The biggest hurdle in printing tissues is developing the vascular system required to keep the tissue alive. Without a functioning system providing tissues with the  nutrients and oxygen they need to survive the printed tissue dies. Organovo says they have overcome these issues.
According to the ComputerWorld, Organovo has printed a liver that is greater than 500 microns thick, the equivalent of 5 stacked sheets paper. But more importantly, they have maintained the live tissue for at least 40 days.
Organovo’s breakthrough is that they have successfully printed living tissues that can be kept alive long enough for research or in the near future to implant in a human body to continue to develop.  
The ability to print organs is a game changer for the thousands of people who are on the organ waiting list. But don’t expect it to happen overnight. Once the technology is there, it will need to go through regulatory approvals to make it available. But Organovo’s milestone is a sure sign that we are headed in that direction.
This isn’t the first time we have seen 3D printers used to create human parts. Back in August reports emerged about researchers from Princeton and Johns Hopkins who had printed an ear using cartilage and electronic parts.
Source: ComputerWorld
Image Source: Organovo

3D Printed Human Organ Coming in 2014

San Diego-based company Organovo is getting ready to unveil the world’s first 3D printed human liver next year. The organ will be used for research and drug discovery but the bioprinting company’s vision is to leverage this technology for surgical therapy and transplants. 

Bioprinting works in a similar fashion to the 3D printers which use plastic or metal. But instead of printing an iPhone case the end result is an organ. The bioprinter prints layers of material, in this case live tissue instead of ABS, which create a solid physical item. 

The biggest hurdle in printing tissues is developing the vascular system required to keep the tissue alive. Without a functioning system providing tissues with the  nutrients and oxygen they need to survive the printed tissue dies. Organovo says they have overcome these issues.

According to the ComputerWorld, Organovo has printed a liver that is greater than 500 microns thick, the equivalent of 5 stacked sheets paper. But more importantly, they have maintained the live tissue for at least 40 days.

Organovo’s breakthrough is that they have successfully printed living tissues that can be kept alive long enough for research or in the near future to implant in a human body to continue to develop.  

The ability to print organs is a game changer for the thousands of people who are on the organ waiting list. But don’t expect it to happen overnight. Once the technology is there, it will need to go through regulatory approvals to make it available. But Organovo’s milestone is a sure sign that we are headed in that direction.

This isn’t the first time we have seen 3D printers used to create human parts. Back in August reports emerged about researchers from Princeton and Johns Hopkins who had printed an ear using cartilage and electronic parts.

Source: ComputerWorld

Image Source: Organovo

Biohacker Implants Chip Into Arm to Take on Evolution

And I thought I was into “wearable tech” but this guy takes the cake!

Tim Cannon is a biohacker (a group that merges human and machine in a DIY style) who is attempting to take on the limitations of evolution. Cannon put a chip in his arm which enables him to record and transfer his own biometrical data. 

"The human body is really really failing in almost everyday. I want to live to be thousands of years old. I don’t want to do. I don’t understand why anybody would" Tim Cannon DIY Cyborg told Motherboard.

The sensor is HUGE and looks as though Cannon has an iPod under his skin. But after a successful operation he demonstrates that data is being collected and sent over to his connected device.

Source: Motherboard

AIRO Spectrometer & Heart Rate Monitoring Wristband Launches Today

The KW-based startup, Airo Health, launched their wristband, AIRO, today which will automatically monitor your nutrition, stress, sleep and exercise. 

Unlike other activity trackers, the wristband doesn’t use motion but uses a spectrometer to analyze metabolites in your blood (for food) and the heart rate monitor to gauge intensity of your workouts, quality of your sleep and your HRV or heart rate variability for how stressed you are.

Pre-orders start today for $149.99. The device is expected to ship in the Fall of 2014.

Source: BetaKit

Google Glass in the Operating Room (CONCEPT VIDEO)

Philips shows us how Google Glass could be used in a medical centre. They partnered with Accenture Labs to make this happen.

Some great use cases include:

  • Checking vital signs
  • Check on patient status
  • Accessing medical information from hospital equipment (heart rate etc.)
  • Take a picture / video for collaboration or records
  • Record field notes

All of this make sense for Doctors who need to keep their hands free to perform their job. As well as ensure that their focus continues to be on the patient rather than on the machines around them.

Defibrillator Equipped Drones Speed Treatment To Those In Need - PSFK
When someone is having a cardiac arrhythmia, getting an automatic external defibrillator (AED) to that person as quickly as possible can often be the difference between life and death. The problem is that AEDs are usually only readily available in high pedestrian traffic areas such as airports or sports stadiums, due to the cost of each device. In less populated areas, it can sometimes take hours for the necessary equipment to arrive. Imagine if there was a quick and easy way to get the lifesaving tools to someone in need, faster than any ambulance or EMT.
The Defikopter is a drone that can deliver a defibrillator to heart attack victims much quicker than emergency responders. Conceived by Germany-based nonprofit Definetz, the system can carry an AED to any location based on its GPS coordinates. Although the system is still in the early stages of development, the team are developing a smartphone app that those with heart problems, or their family, can download and have on hand in case of emergency.
via: smarterplanet

Defibrillator Equipped Drones Speed Treatment To Those In Need - PSFK

When someone is having a cardiac arrhythmia, getting an automatic external defibrillator (AED) to that person as quickly as possible can often be the difference between life and death. The problem is that AEDs are usually only readily available in high pedestrian traffic areas such as airports or sports stadiums, due to the cost of each device. In less populated areas, it can sometimes take hours for the necessary equipment to arrive. Imagine if there was a quick and easy way to get the lifesaving tools to someone in need, faster than any ambulance or EMT.

The Defikopter is a drone that can deliver a defibrillator to heart attack victims much quicker than emergency responders. Conceived by Germany-based nonprofit Definetz, the system can carry an AED to any location based on its GPS coordinates. Although the system is still in the early stages of development, the team are developing a smartphone app that those with heart problems, or their family, can download and have on hand in case of emergency.

via: smarterplanet

How 3D Printing Is Impacting Healthcare

Texas news does a piece on how 3D Printing is helping to prepare surgeons for surgery by providing them with 3D models on demand. They also touch upon bio-printing (very early days here).

3D printers have been around since the early 80s but the personal 3D printer is really making this twenty year technology available to the masses.

seattle-gadgets:

Owen Conflenti: 3D Printing Body Parts (by Jason Notoras)

(via seattle-gadgets-deactivated2013)

LUMO Wearable Tech Wants You to Sit Up Straight

How many times did you hear “sit up straight” from your Mom when you grew up? Well LUMO wants to be your virtual mom by tracking your posture and “shocking you” into a better position. 

LUMO is a band with sensors that monitors and tracks your posture. You wear the band around your waist and it connects to your smartphone using Bluetooth (like most wearables today).

Here is what LUMO says needs to happen to make their product work:

"1. Activate LUMOback’s Posture Monitoring App: Download the LUMOback app from the Apple App Store and follow the instructions in the app. The app will take you through a short series of movements to do the initial calibration (e.g. walking, sitting, slouching, etc.).  In less than 5 minutes, you’ll be on the path to good posture!

2. Wear: LUMOback is a small, flexible sensor that attaches to a thin and flexible belt. Strap the belt around your lower back, either against your skin or over a thin layer or clothing.

3. Track: LUMOback’s sensors measure pelvic tilt and help guide your body position to a neutral pelvis alignment. If you slouch with your lower back, lean forward, lean backwards, or shift your weight to one side, the LUMOback will let you know via a gentle vibration so you can learn to correct your stance to good posture. LUMOback also offers tracking  to help you understand your posture now, your daily activity levels, your sleep habits, and your improvements over time.”

I have a constant war with my posture being at my computer for 10 hours a day and then straight from there to a mobile device so I can totally see value in tracking and reminding myself of my posture digitally. 

The health and fitness sector is booming with wearables and so its great to see orthopedic type applications come out to the market.

You can buy the device now for $149.00USD.

Check out the video for more features and a demo.

AR in the ER

recipeforawesome:

(via Augmented Reality App Guides Surgeons During Tumor Removal - PSFK)

Tablets and smartphones have recently found a wide range of uses in the healthcare industry, from building image databases for doctors to helping patients better understand their surgical procedures. Taking these mobile technologies one step further, we look at an application that takes augmented reality into the operating room to assist doctors with complex procedures. Imagine if at the touch of a button, your surgeon could map your internal organs and pinpoint the correct blood vessel or location of a tumor, rather than having to rely on memory or constantly refer to images and charts.

A new iPad app from the Fraunhofer Institute for Medical Image Computing MEVIS in Germany is using augmented reality technology to help surgeons remove liver tumors without damaging critical vessels within the organ. Before the surgery takes place, a CT scan is performed on the patient, allowing an accompanying software to identify and image the pathways of blood vessels. This information is then transferred to an iPad, which can be used during the surgery.

5 Body Parts Scientists Can 3-D Print
Ears
Team: Cornell University
How it’s made: Bioengineers take a 3-D scan of a child’s ear, design a seven-part mold in the SolidWorks CAD program, and print the pieces. The mold is injected with a high-density gel made from 250 million bovine cartilage cells and collagen from rat tails (the latter serves as a scaffold). After 15 minutes, the ear is removed and incubated in cell culture for several days. In three months, the cartilage will have propagated enough to replace the collagen.
Benefit: At least one child in 12,500 is born with microtia, a condition characterized by hearing loss due to an underdeveloped or malformed outer ear. Unlike synthetic implants, ears grown from human cells are more likely to be successfully incorporated into the body.
See Slideshow
via: thenewenlightenmentage:

5 Body Parts Scientists Can 3-D Print

Ears

Team: Cornell University

How it’s made: Bioengineers take a 3-D scan of a child’s ear, design a seven-part mold in the SolidWorks CAD program, and print the pieces. The mold is injected with a high-density gel made from 250 million bovine cartilage cells and collagen from rat tails (the latter serves as a scaffold). After 15 minutes, the ear is removed and incubated in cell culture for several days. In three months, the cartilage will have propagated enough to replace the collagen.

Benefit: At least one child in 12,500 is born with microtia, a condition characterized by hearing loss due to an underdeveloped or malformed outer ear. Unlike synthetic implants, ears grown from human cells are more likely to be successfully incorporated into the body.

See Slideshow

via: thenewenlightenmentage:

Contact lenses could zoom, thanks to leftover 3DTV technology
A DARPA-funded project has built contact lenses that can zoom in and out in to aid those with degrading eyesight. A group of researchers — from the UC San Diego and the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology (EPFL) — said in a report that it has built a 2.8x zoom contact lens that could eventually fit on human eyes. 
thisistheverge:

Contact lenses could zoom, thanks to leftover 3DTV technology

A DARPA-funded project has built contact lenses that can zoom in and out in to aid those with degrading eyesight. A group of researchers — from the UC San Diego and the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology (EPFL) — said in a report that it has built a 2.8x zoom contact lens that could eventually fit on human eyes. 

thisistheverge:

First “Bionic Eye” For the Blind To Be Available Later This Year
From Kurzweil Accelerating Intelligence:
"The Argus II is the first and only “bionic eye” to be approved in countries throughout the world, including the U.S. It is used to treat patients with late stage retinitis pigmentosa (RP). Argus II was developed by Second Sight Medical Products, Inc.
Argus II works by converting video images captured by a miniature camera, housed in the patient’s glasses, into a series of small electrical pulses that are transmitted wirelessly to an array of electrodes on the surface of the retina.
These pulses are intended to stimulate the retina’s remaining cells resulting in the corresponding perception of patterns of light in the brain. Patients then learn to interpret these visual patterns thereby regaining some visual function.”
Source

First “Bionic Eye” For the Blind To Be Available Later This Year

From Kurzweil Accelerating Intelligence:

"The Argus II is the first and only “bionic eye” to be approved in countries throughout the world, including the U.S. It is used to treat patients with late stage retinitis pigmentosa (RP). Argus II was developed by Second Sight Medical Products, Inc.

Argus II works by converting video images captured by a miniature camera, housed in the patient’s glasses, into a series of small electrical pulses that are transmitted wirelessly to an array of electrodes on the surface of the retina.

These pulses are intended to stimulate the retina’s remaining cells resulting in the corresponding perception of patterns of light in the brain. Patients then learn to interpret these visual patterns thereby regaining some visual function.”

Source

CrowdMed - Platform harnesses the crowds to solve rare disease cases.
We recently saw Israel’s Medivizor platform aim to provide web users with more accurate health data than they would get with a simple Google search. Now CrowdMed is relying on the knowledge of a broad set of people in order to find out the potential causes of rare diseases.
via: refreshedforlife

CrowdMed - Platform harnesses the crowds to solve rare disease cases.

We recently saw Israel’s Medivizor platform aim to provide web users with more accurate health data than they would get with a simple Google search. Now CrowdMed is relying on the knowledge of a broad set of people in order to find out the potential causes of rare diseases.

via: refreshedforlife

Mind Controlled Exoskeleton Helps Paralyzed Man Walk

From HoustonPBS: “Steve Holbert was paralyzed in a dirt bike accident in late 2009. His hope is to completely recover from his spinal cord injury and one day walk again. That’s why he’s agreed to participate in the research of Jose Luis “Pepe” Contreras-Vidal, professor of electrical and computer engineering at the University of Houston’s Cullen College of Engineering and director of the Laboratory for Non-invasive Brain-Machine Interface Systems. Contreras-Vidal is working on a brain-machine interface (BMI) that would allow patients like Holbert to control prosthetic limbs through their own thoughts.”

Brain implants: Restoring memory with a microchip

William Gibson’s popular science fiction tale “Johnny Mnemonic” foresaw sensitive information being carried by microchips in the brain by 2021. A team of American neuroscientists could be making this fantasy world a reality.

Their motivation is different but the outcome would be somewhat similar. Hailed as one of 2013’s top ten technological breakthroughs by MIT, the work by the University of Southern California, North Carolina’s Wake Forest University and other partners has actually spanned a decade.

But the U.S.-wide team now thinks that it will see a memory device being implanted in a small number of human volunteers within two years and available to patients in five to 10 years. They can’t quite contain their excitement.

“I never thought I’d see this in my lifetime,” said Ted Berger, professor of biomedical engineering at the University of Southern California in Los Angeles. “I might not benefit from it myself but my kids will.”

Read More

Brain implants: Restoring memory with a microchip

William Gibson’s popular science fiction tale “Johnny Mnemonic” foresaw sensitive information being carried by microchips in the brain by 2021. A team of American neuroscientists could be making this fantasy world a reality.

Their motivation is different but the outcome would be somewhat similar. Hailed as one of 2013’s top ten technological breakthroughs by MIT, the work by the University of Southern California, North Carolina’s Wake Forest University and other partners has actually spanned a decade.

But the U.S.-wide team now thinks that it will see a memory device being implanted in a small number of human volunteers within two years and available to patients in five to 10 years. They can’t quite contain their excitement.

“I never thought I’d see this in my lifetime,” said Ted Berger, professor of biomedical engineering at the University of Southern California in Los Angeles. “I might not benefit from it myself but my kids will.”

Read More

(via scinerds)

A little GLASS humor to get you started this Friday! Almost the weekend Future Geeks - hang in there!
itworld360:

Thanks to Google Glass, the world is about to get a little - or maybe a lot - wackier
Image credit: ITworld/Phil Johnson

A little GLASS humor to get you started this Friday! Almost the weekend Future Geeks - hang in there!

itworld360:

Thanks to Google Glass, the world is about to get a little - or maybe a lot - wackier

Image credit: ITworld/Phil Johnson