This coin-sized smart insulin patch could monitor glucose for diabetes management was reported by Danielle Kirsh for MedicalDesignandOutsourcing.com, 5 February 2020.
The smart insulin-delivery adhesive patch was developed by a team of researchers and bioengineers from UCLA, the University of North Carolina School of Medicine and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. It is the size of a quarter and can be easily manufactured for once-a-day use. Research on the smart insulin patch has been conducted in mice and pigs and was successful in tests in mice in 2015 at UNC. The team is now applying to FDA approval of clinical trials in humans.
“Our main goal is to enhance health and improve the quality of life for people who have diabetes,” Zhen Gu, professor of bioengineering at UCLA (and founder of UCLA-based startup Zenomics), said in a news release. “This smart patch takes away the need to constantly check one’s blood sugar and then inject insulin if and when it’s needed. It mimics the regulatory function of the pancreas but in a way that’s easy to use.” (2 weeks ago, I had the opportunity to hear Dr. Gu discuss this amazing technology … so exciting!!!)
The adhesive patch monitors blood sugar and has doses of insulin pre-loaded in tiny microneedles on the patch to deliver medicine quickly when glucose levels reach a certain level. The insulin delivery slows down once it detects glucose levels are back in a normal range.
“It has always been a dream to achieve insulin-deliver in a smart and convenient manner,” John Buse, the study’s co-author, said. “This smart insulin patch, if proven safe and effective in human trials, would revolutionize the patient experience of diabetes care.”
Microneedles in the patch are made with a glucose-sensing polymer that’s enclosed with insulin. Once the patch is on the skin, the microneedles penetrate under the skin and start to sense glucose levels. If there is a change in glucose, the polymers on the patch release insulin through the microneedles, which are less than 1 mm in length. The microneedles penetrate a half-millimeter below the skin.
A Bio-Artificial Kidney Is Being Developed To End The Need For Dialysis was reported by John Vibes for TruthTheory.com, 5 February 2020.
During a presentation at the American Society of Nephrology Kidney Week in November of 2019, the Kidney Project team announced that UC San Francisco scientists were able to implant a prototype kidney bioreactor containing functional human kidney cells into pigs without causing any harm to the test subjects. Kidney Project co-lead Shuvo Roy of the UCSF Schools of Pharmacy and Medicine said that this is a key milestone in the development of the technology.
“This is the first demonstration that kidney cells can be implanted successfully in a large animal without immunosuppression and remain healthy enough to perform their function. This is a key milestone for us. Based on these results, we can now focus on scaling up the bioreactor and combining it with the blood filtration component of the artificial kidney,” Roy said.
The device that is being developed by The Kidney Project contains a blood filtration system called the hemofilter, which removes toxins from the blood by passing it through silicon membranes. The device also contains a bioreactor, which contains cultured human kidney cells that act like an actual human kidney. The Kidney Project’s hemofiltration system is currently waiting for the FDA to approve a clinical trial to evaluate its safety.
Using smells to boost learning during sleep was published by Isabel Godfrey for MedicalNewsToday.com, 8 February 2020.
A recent study investigates the role of odor in learning and memory. The authors confirm that the strategic use of aromas while learning and during sleep might improve exam performance — even outside of the laboratory. In a nutshell, the recent study concludes that if we smell an aroma while we take on new knowledge and then sleep next to a source of that same odor, we will find it easier to recall the information at a later date. Earlier studies have previously identified this type of effect, but the recent paper is one of the few to describe it in a real-life situation. The researchers published their findings in the journal Scientific Reports.
As the lead author, Dr. Jürgen Kornmeier, explains, “We showed that the supportive effect of fragrances works very reliably in everyday life and can be used in a targeted way.”
Read more: Using smells to boost learning during sleep
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