MedMarket Future: Body-Machine; Diabetes

MedMarket Future.
Body-Machine: The interface between us and technology.

We are learning to listen to and interact with our body’s systems to ameliorate disease and trauma.

    • At the Wyss Center, a Swiss research institute, researchers applied functional near-infrared spectroscopy to create a brain-computer interface that enables patients with locked-in syndrome to communicate. The system is based on metabolic changes and was piloted on four patients with amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS).
    • Engineers at the University of California San Diego and La Jolla-based startup Nanovision Biosciences Inc. have developed a retinal prosthesis using nanotechnology and wireless electronics that is intended to enable neurons in the retina to respond to light. The research has been tested on rat retina with a prototype of the device in vitro.
    • In an unrelated study in a rat model, Italian researchers reporting in Nature Materials developed an organic photovoltaic material annealed to the retina on a substrate of silk to convert light into current that is directly adapted by the brain to accept the signal.
    • Researchers at Stanford University have developed stretchable conductive electrodes to enable a flexible interface with brain implants and muscle stimulators. The technology has not yet been tested in animal models.

Diabetes: Wide-ranging advances in the study and treatment of diabetes are driven by huge clinical and economic need.

The body-machine of diabetes is the ‘artificial pancreas’, already FDA approved and available, which mechanically compensates for T1 diabetic symptoms, while the future nears for cellular and non-device interventions aspiring to reverse or cure.

    • In work published in Frontiers in Immunology, City of Hope researchers using autologous hematopoietic stem cell transplantation demonstrated increased C-peptide levels and induced insulin independence in patients with Type I diabetes.
    • In a study of Type 2 diabetes, Joslin Diabetes Center have identified the mechanism that prevents successful proliferation of beta cells in response to insulin resistance. The mechanism blocks the body’s own attempt to correct insulin resistance.
    • Researchers at Sweden’s Umeå Centre for Molecular Medicine have used optical projection tomography to produce 3D visualization of the pancreas that maps the three-dimensional distribution and volume of the insulin-producing cells in the pancreas. The data generated will enhance diabetes research, as in “planning of stereological analyses, in the development of non-invasive imaging techniques or various types of computational modelling and statistical analyses”.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *