TechX

Madhav Bansal

Institute of Medical Sciences, Bhubaneswar

Medical technology allows for the early and accurate diagnosis of health issues, allowing for earlier action and better outcomes. Patients, healthcare professionals, healthcare systems, and society all benefit from the medically designed cutting-edge gadgets and diagnostics. From pacemakers, glucometers, stents to artificial hip-joints, IUDs and TDDS, the innovations in the tech sector of Medicine have been countless, with more and more adding on to the list daily!

“Let’s Tape up the Gut” Researchers at Massachusetts Institute of Technology have developed a surgical tape that can seal gut leaks and tears. This novel product is intended to replace sutures, which are difficult to sew in the stomach and can result in abrasions or leakage. The biocompatible adhesive product was created by the researchers to biodegrade after healing without adhering to neighbouring tissues or causing inflammatory reactions/responses. The researchers anticipate that the technology will allow them to stitch inner leaks, rips, and lesions quickly and safely.

It is a tough job to suture the intestines as they are too slippery and the implications if the gut leaks later can be ruinous and devastating. Gastro surgeons will benefit greatly from this technology as the risk involved post-op surely decreases. 

Xuanhe Zhao, one of the new material’s creators has said that they are investigating a core mechanics problem, adhesion, in an extraordinarily difficult environment, the human body.

Because the substance of the tape is elastic, perhaps it will expand and compress in full conformity with the intestine. Hyunwoo Yuk, another researcher involved in the study has shared that it can be an issue if the patch is weaker than the tissue because it may tear up, and if it is more hard and strong, it will stymie the vital peristaltic movement in the intestines.

“The Bio-Sensors”

Whether it’s the electrical activity of heart cells or muscles in general, new scientific discoveries have it all figured out. Medicine has made considerable strides, from small intracellular devices that can be implanted into heart cells to wearable fabric that can detect electric activity in muscles beneath.

The electrical impulses flowing through cardiac cells may be assessed and recorded using a tiny ‘pop-up’ sensor devised by researchers at the University of California, San Diego. The technology employs minute spike-like protrusions that may safely puncture cell membranes and record electrical impulses inside and between cells in 3D tissue sections. Cardiac tissue is innately reliant on electrical impulses and stimulation for proper function, and precisely quantifying this on a single cell and intercellular level might highlight a great deal of information on the underlying causes of several cardiovascular disorders.

The gadget is built around an ensemble of nanoscale field effect transistors that have been supported with a phospholipid bilayer. This covering permits them to enter the cell without evoking a foreign body reaction, which would impede long-term electrical activity monitoring. The small sensors are sensitive enough to monitor electrical signals within a single cell, but they can also follow signals that cross many cells.

The device begins as a 2D framework, but with compressive stress, it pops up at some regions and becomes a 3-Dimensional This is feasible because the transistors are bound to a pre-stretched elastomer sheet, and when the tension is released, the transistors get assembled (raised) to create the desired 3D structure.

Also, recently a framework of silver flakes and gold nanoparticles in the fabric material crafted by University of Utah researchers was found to provide conductivity and permit electrical impulses to be tracked with high fidelity using portable electromyography (EMG) equipment. Wires and patches are frequently applied to the skin in order to get hard EMG data on muscle activation. These patches may be unpleasant and expensive, and the wiring can be unwieldy and uncomfortable. Furthermore, these systems can only transmit data from certain tiny areas of the body at a time. Electronic textile-based biosensors have a variety of advantages, including a simple scale-up method and the ability to produce a huge number of large area electrodes throughout the body to collect reliable data. So this makes the work a lot easier; all the subject needs to do is put on a tight-fitting exercise-like costume made of this special fabric and voilà! The electrical data that was captured is ready to be monitored.

References-
https://www.medgadget.com/2022/02/surgical-duct-tape-quickly-seals-intestinal-leaks.html
https://www.medgadget.com/2022/01/pop-up-sensors-measure-electronic-signals-in-cardiac-cells.html
https://www.medgadget.com/2021/11/washable-fabric-measures-electrical-activity-of-muscles.html

Madhav Bansal is a 2nd year MBBS student at Institute of Medical Sciences & Sum Hospital Bhubaneswar. He’s an avid writer. Besides academic interests he likes spending time exploring new places and getting to know new people. 

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