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Magazine

Products of Tomorrow: December 2019

  • Magazine Article
  • TBMG-35707
Published 2019-12-01 by Tech Briefs Media Group in United States

This column presents technologies that have applications in commercial areas, possibly creating the products of tomorrow. To learn more about each technology, see the contact information provided for that innovation.

Microneedle Biosensors Accurately Detect Patient Antibiotic Levels in Real Time

  • Magazine Article
  • TBMG-35621
Published 2019-12-01 by Tech Briefs Media Group in United States

Small, non-invasive patches worn on the skin can accurately detect the levels of medication in a patient’s system, matching the accuracy of current clinical methods. In a small-scale clinical evaluation, researchers at Imperial College London have shown for the first time how microneedle biosensors can be used to monitor the changing concentration of antibiotics.

Novel Applications of Electrospinning Could Improve Devices

  • Magazine Article
  • TBMG-35636
Published 2019-12-01 by Tech Briefs Media Group in United States

When you visit Andrew Steckl’s lab at the University of Cincinnati, you see a nondescript glass box that weaves together different fibers. He sees endless possibility.

Using 24 GHz Doppler Radar Sensors for Noncontact Human Vitals Detection

  • Magazine Article
  • TBMG-35623
Published 2019-12-01 by Tech Briefs Media Group in United States

Health and wellness monitoring is a primary way to manage personal health and awareness for a healthy lifestyle. Many wearable activity tracking devices, smart watches, and smartphone applications collect and analyze data from bodily sources. Other types of devices used to monitor vital signs can help the wearer manage health issues but can limit the wearer’s mobility or cause discomfort if worn continuously. These restrictions have prompted a growing interest in developing noncontact, wireless devices to detect vital signs, especially for people who are unconscious, sleeping, very young, elderly, or infirm. This article explains why 24 GHz Doppler radar sensors are useful for such devices and highlights some of the features suitable for meeting these applications.

Innovations in Orthopedic Elastomers Enhance Durability and Appearance

  • Magazine Article
  • TBMG-35625
Published 2019-12-01 by Tech Briefs Media Group in United States

The history of silicone rubber is synonymous with advancements in medical materials. Silicones, a family of biocompatible elastomers, provide an attractive balance of properties. For example, silicones offer thermal stability over a wide temperature range. They also provide electrical insulation and are resistant to ozone, water, ultraviolet (UV) light, and some chemicals. For medical applications, silicone rubber can also meet requirements from the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) and the U.S. Pharmacopeia (USP).

Kirigami Inspires New Method for Wearable Sensors

  • Magazine Article
  • TBMG-35627
Published 2019-12-01 by Tech Briefs Media Group in United States

Researchers have applied kirigami architectures to graphene, an ultra-thin material, to create sensors suitable for wearable devices. Simulations were done using online software on a nanomanufacturing node, the first of its kind to be developed.

Wearable Trackers Predict Death Risk

  • Magazine Article
  • TBMG-35629
Published 2019-12-01 by Tech Briefs Media Group in United States

A recent study shows that wearable accelerometers — mechanical sensors worn like a watch, belt, or bracelet to track movement — are a more reliable measure of physical activity and better than patient surveys and other methods used by physicians at assessing five-year risk of death in older adults.

Artificial Skin Provides Haptic Feedback

  • Magazine Article
  • TBMG-35616
Published 2019-12-01 by Tech Briefs Media Group in United States

Technology capable of replicating the sense of touch — also known as haptic feedback — can greatly enhance human-computer and human-robot interfaces for applications such as medical rehabilitation and virtual reality. A soft artificial skin was developed that provides haptic feedback and, using a self-sensing mechanism, has the potential to instantaneously adapt to a wearer's movements.

Prototype Smartphone App Can Help Parents Detect Early Signs of Eye Disorders in Children

  • Magazine Article
  • TBMG-35622
Published 2019-12-01 by Tech Briefs Media Group in United States

A Baylor University researcher’s prototype smartphone app — designed to help parents detect early signs of various eye diseases in their children such as retinoblastoma, an aggressive pediatric eye cancer — has passed its first big test.

New Silk Materials Can Wrinkle into Detailed Patterns, Then Unwrinkle to Be “Reprinted”

  • Magazine Article
  • TBMG-35620
Published 2019-12-01 by Tech Briefs Media Group in United States

Researchers at Tufts University School of Engineering have developed silk materials that can wrinkle into highly detailed patterns — including words, textures, and images as intricate as a QR code or a fingerprint. The patterns take about one second to form, are stable, but can be erased by flooding the surface of the silk with vapor, allowing the researchers to “reverse” the printing and start again. In an article published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, the researchers demonstrate examples of the silk wrinkle patterns, and envision a wide range of potential applications for optical electronic devices.1