Medical Sciences

Medical Sciences advance the diagnosis, treatment and prevention of disease, but they also help us prevent disease in the first place. Too numerous to name, the medical sciences continuously make miraculous breakthroughs that extend lifetimes and expand our ability to experience life.

The computational biology of cancer

Endometrial cancer affects 48,000 women per year in the United States. For patients with tumors greater than two centimeters in diameter, the effected organ(s) and lymph nodes may be surgically removed. Yet post-surgery analysis shows that only 22 percent of patients had metastasis, meaning 78 percent of these surgeries may have been unnecessary. How can doctors predict which patients need surgery?

Magnetic organ retractor

A team of engineers are using magnetic force to design new and improved instruments for minimally invasive surgery. The use of magnetic actuation allows them to create tools that are more flexible and more powerful than conventional designs, which place the instruments on the end of long sticks. The first device of this type that they have designed is an organ retractor that repositions organs like the liver when required for an operation. They are also applying this approach to create new laser and radio-frequency scalpels.

Applied biosensors

NSF-funded small business Applied Biosensors has created sensors that continuously monitor multiple biomarkers. The core technology has implications for biomedical research, water quality management and metabolic monitoring, among others.

New technology makes tissues, someday organs

A new device for assembling large tissues from living components could someday be used to build replacement human organs the way electronics are assembled today: with precise picking and placing of parts.

Self-powered device measures lung function - CES 2015

A portable device powered by a simple breath can measure lung function and transmit results to your phone. The 3-D printed device is designed to enable people with lung conditions, such as asthma or chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), to gauge their lung function without having to visit a clinic.

Catching up on sleep science

It's time to wake up to the importance of sleep. Groundbreaking 2013 research shows that our brain cells shrink while we sleep, allowing a cleansing fluid to rinse away toxic proteins that lead to Alzheimer's. Sleep also "backs up" important memories into the brain's cortex for long-term storage. Learn about how sleep changes as we age, and why getting enough sleep is so critical for health.

Catching up on sleep science

Be honest: Do you ever brag about how little sleep you get? If so, you're not alone. Humans are the only species that seems to deliberately deprive themselves of sleep. But if you've ever uttered a phrase like, "I'll sleep when I'm dead," scientists say it's time for a wake-up call.

Expansion Microscopy brings the brain in 3-D into focus

Illuminating the brain and nervous system is one of today's greatest engineering challenges. A new technique called expansion microscopy uses chemicals commonly found in baby diapers to swell mouse brain tissue samples with water to nearly five times the usual size, with little distortion.

Organs on a chip

Organs on a chip systems could transform the medical drug pipeline as we know it. Biomedical engineer Ali Khademhosseini explains how he and his team at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology are engineering tissues outside of the human body and connecting different "organs" to solve some pressing challenges.