Operating Room User Interface Wins Design Award

August 23, 2013 – 4:40 pm

Given the necessary security and regulatory restrictions, you wouldn’t expect the medical technology industry to be a hotbed of creativity and design. Nonetheless, medical device manufacturers took home some prizes at this year’s Red Dot Design Awards.

After a device used to simulate the blood-clotting process struck gold for product design, the jury recognised the Tegris project for outstanding creative work. The goal of the project was to develop an intuitive user interface for an operating room unit that would integrate a variety of OR devices, regardless of who manufactured them, including the OR table, monitors, patient data and lights. The surgeons can even plug in their iPhones to provide music in the operating theatre. Tegris was the result of a collaboration between the Tom Cadera design team, IT company Independis, and medical device manufacturer Maquet. Read more…

Arab Spring Might Spur Business Opportunities for Medical Device Manufacturers, says German Trade Agency

August 22, 2013 – 8:29 am

After the upheavals of the last two years and the on-going turmoil in Egypt, the situation in the North African state is still quite uncertain. Nevertheless, the changing political landscape might result in enormous opportunities for medical device manufacturers. In its industry report [text is in German; log-in required], the German trade agency Germany Trade & Invest (GTAI) highlights the chances and risks for countries in North Africa and environs.

  • Tunisia is one of the countries in the region with a well-developed healthcare system that even attracts medical tourists. After the fall of the Ben Ali regime, the government encouraged the development of hospitals in disadvantaged regions. The GTAI expects greater private investment funneled into the construction of new hospitals. Currently, a Japanese company is building a 400-bed hospital, and China has announced financial support for the construction of a university hospital in the coastal city of Sfax. Tunisian hospital companies may profit from the reconstruction of the health sector in Libya. On the other hand, the assassination of Tunisian political opposition leader Mohamed Brahmi has the potential to trigger further unrest. Read more…

MEDTEC Ireland Panellist Encourages Startups to Take Risks

August 21, 2013 – 5:00 pm

“Small companies take risks to save time and money, while large companies take time and spend money to reduce risks. I know which route I prefer,” enthuses Peter Crosby, a panellist on MEDTEC Ireland’s Inventor, Entrepreneur & Start-up Forum. Read more…

How 3-D Printing Is Revolutionising Medical Technology Today

August 21, 2013 – 1:07 pm

Yes, you can, indeed, print a working gun, as young American Cody Wilson demonstrated earlier this year, garnering headlines in the process. You can also use 3-D printing technology to make things that will improve the human condition, and many in the medical device space are doing just that.

Printing body parts and organs has captured the public imagination, and companies such as Organovo and TeVido BioDevices are heavily invested in that pursuit. But it will be some time— a lifetime, say some—until that research fully comes to fruition. The fact is, 3-D printing has already revolutionised medical technology, from prosthetics that provide a better fit yet cost less than traditionally manufactured implants to patient-specific guides that take the guesswork out of surgical procedures. These advances are not as glamorous as on-demand organs, and consequently are not capturing headlines, but they are significantly changing our lives for the better today.

Bioprinting market growth

The overall market for 3-D printing grew 28.6% in 2012 to US$2.2 billion compared with US$1.714 billion in 2011, according to Wohlers Associates Inc., which publishes annual reports on the global additive manufacturing and 3-D printing markets. Continued double-digit growth is forecast for the next few years, and the sector will hit US$8.4 billion by 2025, according to Lux Research. The bioprinting subsector will account for approximately US$1.9 billion of the total; most of that will come from printed medical devices and orthopaedic parts. Read more…

International Packaging Symbols: Lost in Translation

August 19, 2013 – 12:45 pm

A study on how nurses use medical packaging and a smart phone that becomes a medical device are the most discussed recent topics on the Medical Packaging Innovation site. Read more…

Emerging Markets Will Drive Growth in Medical Packaging Industry

August 19, 2013 – 11:49 am

The world market for medical packaging is projected to grow steadily at an average rate of 5.9% annually until 2017, or from US$19.3 billion to US$25.7 billion, a recent study from the Freedonia Group projects. The United States will remain the largest market, and together with Europe and Japan, these regions will cover almost 60% of the total global market. Read more…

It’s Time for New Rules . . . at European MedTech Forum

August 19, 2013 – 7:48 am

The annual European MedTech Forum has always been a forward-thinking event, both in terms of its production values, which have soared since its humble beginnings, and the topics it chooses to address. This year’s event promises to be no exception. If anything, the conversation will be even livelier than usual, as speakers and attendees will have had ample time to parse the vote of the European Commission’s ENVI committee on the new medical device regulations, scheduled for 18 September. Read more…

MEDTEC Ireland and Italy Events to Highlight Local Medtech Markets and Startups

August 16, 2013 – 3:45 pm

Regional trade shows complement larger international events by offering a local perspective and language. In September, two of UBM Canon’s regional shows return to Europe: MEDTEC Ireland, which will take place in Galway on 9–10 October 2013; and MEDTEC Italy, which returns to Modena on 2–3 October. Read more…

German-Designed Device for Russian Manufacturer Wins Red Dot Award

August 15, 2013 – 8:47 am

A device that performs real-time imaging of fibrin clot formation and spatial thrombin distribution in a growing clot has received the prestigious Red Dot Design Award. VelixX GmbH (Mannheim, Germany) and its design partner WildDesign GmbH & Co. KG (Gelsenkirchen, Germany) were recognised for outstanding instrument design of the Thrombodynamics Analyser T2, developed and manufactured by Moscow-based HemaCore LLC.

The jury noted the compact and functionally attractive design of the device. A colorful light ring provides a quick and intuitive display of analytical progress. Read more…

Technology Strategy Board Invests over £90 Million in Healthcare Projects

August 14, 2013 – 1:52 pm

The UK Technology Strategy Board has announced a multi-million dollar investment in healthcare projects. The funding includes £25.9 million from the latest round of the Biomedical Catalyst, £38 million for a National Biologics Industry Innovation Centre in Darlington and £29.3 million investment through three competitions for healthcare innovation funding. Read more…

Max Planck Researchers Embark on Fantastic Voyage into Nanomachine Technology

August 13, 2013 – 9:30 am

Ever since the visionary science-fiction movie Fantastic Voyage from the 1960s, researchers have dreamed of medical devices so small that they could conduct operations within a human cell. Until now, it wasn’t possible to produce appropriately sized functional parts; while nature can build motors on the scale of about 20 nm, humans can’t. However, science is inching its way towards the realisation of such nanomachines. A method developed by a research team at the Max Planck Institute for Intelligent Systems in Stuttgart (Germany) may be a breakthrough in this regard. The process allows the manufacture of a variety of functionalisable nanostructures in different shapes and material combinations—metals, semiconductors, magnetic materials and insulators—with varying chemical and physical properties. Read more…

Liquid Metal Could Be Big Leap Forward for 3-D Printing

August 12, 2013 – 8:42 am

As reported in the technology blog of the New York Times Bits, scientists at North Carolina State University have engineered an alloy that remains in a liquid state in ambient temperatures. Consisting of gallium and indium, the alloy can be used in a 3-D printer. “It’s difficult to create structures out of liquids, because liquids want to bead up. But we’ve found that a liquid metal alloy of gallium and indium reacts to the oxygen in the air at room temperature to form a skin that allows the liquid metal structures to retain their shapes,” says Dr. Michael Dickey, assistant professor of chemical and biomolecular engineering at NC State and co-author of a paper describing the work in a press release. This effect makes it possible to extrude droplets of the material and create three-dimensional structures. The droplets adhere to one another, but retain their shape.

The alloy is conductive and therefore suitable for wires and electric components. The scientists describe their findings in the journal Advanced Materials. In their paper, “3-D Printing of Free Standing Liquid Metal Microstructures,” they describe the self-healing properties of the material. “These stretchable wires can be completely severed with scissors and [they] rapidly self-heal both mechanically and electrically,” the authors told Bits.

According to the press release, the research team is “currently exploring how to further develop these techniques, as well as how to use them in various electronics applications and in conjunction with established 3-D printing technologies.”

Video of the extrusion process:

— Thomas Klein

Related content:

3-D Bioprinting with Autologous Cells Could Prevent Organ Transplant Rejections, Says Organovo Exec. VP

German Researchers Develop 3-D Printing Method for Nanoscale Applications


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