Product Spotlight

By Steve Barrett
Thursday, September 1, 2016

Photo © Advanced Materials

Gauging Cancer Treatments’ Effectiveness

Many scientists believe the failure of chemotherapy and radiation therapy to kill cancer stem cells leads to relapses. A new device may allow more accurate determination of whether emerging treatments targeting those particularly dangerous cells are working.

Using a specially designed polymer, the device enables researchers not only to capture cancer cells from a blood sample, but also to release the cells later for individual analysis, according to the University of Michigan, where the device was developed. That allows researchers to calculate whether the proportion of stem cells is declining.

Scientists already could capture cells on a chip, but they could not subsequently release them undamaged. The new device guides a blood sample over a chip that incorporates a polymer into which cell-capturing graphene oxide has been mixed. The polymer dissolves at temperatures below 54 degrees Fahrenheit, releasing the cells for collection and analysis.

The research appeared in the journal Advanced Materials.

Voices of Life

A mother’s heartbeat and voice can promote babies’ brain development and growth in utero. Samsung’s Voices of Life app and speaker technology seek to harness the benefit of those sounds for infants born prematurely.

The technology transmits the mother’s voice and heartbeat into an incubator in order to restore the nurturing sounds of the womb and thereby foster brain development, Samsung states in a news release about Voices of Life.

The sounds are filtered before transmission to the infant to remove high frequencies that would not be present in the womb.

Globally, about 15 million babies — roughly one in 10 — are born prematurely each year, according to the World Health Organization. Babies can hear sounds in the womb at approximately 24 weeks of gestation.

Medisafe iConnect

Photo © Medisafe iConnect

The ramifications of missing a dose of medication are serious and well-documented. A person with epilepsy, for instance, may suffer a breakthrough seizure.

The Medisafe iConnect pill management system tracks patients’ adherence to their medication regimens and alerts them when they miss a dose, Medgadget reports.

A Bluetooth-enabled iCap fits atop pill bottles in place of the original caps from most major pharmacies, according to Medisafe. Patients may also select the iSort weekly pill organizer. It, too, is equipped to transmit information wirelessly.

A free app allows patients to set the schedules for their pills. Patients receive reminders about missed doses via their phones. They also have the option to let family or caregivers whom they select monitor their adherence to the schedules in real time.