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”.

Author: pdriscoll

Patrick Driscoll founded MedMarket Diligence in October 2001. Mr. Driscoll has over 25 years experience helping medtech clients by analyzing and forecasting medical technology markets, encompassing medical devices, biotech and biopharmaceuticals. He co-founded Medtech Insight and as a principal with Medical Data International directed the custom research, syndicated reports and database research businesses. Mr. Driscoll received a Bachelor’s degree from the University of Dallas, and a Master’s in Business Administration from the University of New Hampshire’s Whittemore School of Business & Economics.

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