Research

Canadian researchers create soft robotic sleeve for treating lymphedema

Researchers at the University of Waterloo in Canada created a soft robotic sleeve to treat lymphedema. Lymphedema involves uid accumulation in tissues because of damage to the lymph system. This wearable sleeve combines a microuidic controller and soft robotic components that apply compression to the arm to reduce and control uid accumulation. The small components avoid the need for a stationary pump to inate the sleeve and allow for tetherless use during regular activities. Lymphedema often strikes breast cancer patients,…

New protein therapeutic against SARS-CoV-2

Researchers at the Technical University of Munich in Germany have developed a new protein therapeutic against SARS-CoV-2. Unlike previously developed antibody therapies and vaccines, the virus is very unlikely to be able to circumvent this latest technology through mutation, as it is based on the viral target site in the body, the ACE2 receptor. The technology consists of the ACE2 protein, which the researchers have fused with a fragment of a human antibody to ensure that it remains stable for…

US researchers develop new bioprinting technique based on voxels

At the University of Virginia researchers developed a new bioprinting technique based on voxels. Voxels are 3D cubes that form basic building blocks in computer graphics, similar to what pixels are for 2D, and have been popularized by games such as Minecraft. The new technique involves printing discrete spherical blobs of bioink (as the voxels) within a supportive matrix that then swell to merge together, forming a porous structure. Sticky bioinks can be difficult to handle and print predictably, but…

Microchip to measure stress hormone levels in a drop of blood

Researchers at Rutgers University have developed a microchip that can perform real-time measurements of stress hormone levels in a drop of blood. The technology could provide a replacement for bulky and expensive lab tests for such hormones, and allow patients to monitor their stress levels more easily. The chip includes tiny wells that contain antibodies, and the technology monitors antibody binding through impedance measurements performed using electrodes within the device. Life has been stressful for many people during the pandemic, where…

Cheap strap system to monitor chronic fatigue syndrome

Researchers at the Universitat Autònoma de Barcelona in Catalonia, Spain, have developed a system to monitor the severity of myalgic encephalomyelitis (ME), also known as chronic fatigue syndrome. The system includes a commercial chest strap sensor that measures heart rate variability and a paired app that collects, collates, and presents these data, allowing patients to monitor their condition and share information with their clinician. ME is a debilitating condition, characterized by severe fatigue that interferes with daily activities. The prevalence…