Sensor dramatically improves MRI resolution

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ETH professor Klaas Prussmann has developed technology to improve MRI accuracy by detecting tiny changes in magnetic fields.

An MRI’s  strong magnetic field, which makes it difficult for sensors to detect up small details.  Prussmann’s integrated digital radio receiver addresses this by  decreasing background noise significantly.

In a recent paper, he said:  “In addition to boosting absolute sensitivity at high field, the reported approach also affords superior relative sensitivity. At the level of one part per trillion, it is competitive with the most sensitive low-field magnetometry techniques devised to-date.”

The sensor  was positioned in front of a patient’s chest while in the MRI. Data showed tiny, regular changes in the magnetic field, representing his heartbeat. The measurement curve is similar to an ECG,  although it measures the contraction of the heart rather than electrical conduction.  These changes were significantly smaller than the 7 tesla field strength of the MRI used in the experiment.

Thea technique also develops better contrast agents, which could lead to improved  nuclear magnetic resonance spectroscopy  in biological and chemical research.

Disrupting MRI will be a focus of Digital Health + NeuroTech Silicon Valley on February 7-8 at Stanford.  Mary Lou Jepsen will lead the discuss on on Wearable, MRI-like opto-electronics to detect and treat cancer, heart, and brain diseases, on February 7th at 11am.

 ApplySci’s 6th  Digital Health + NeuroTech Silicon Valley  –  February 7-8 2017 @ Stanford   |   Featuring:   Vinod Khosla – Tom Insel – Zhenan Bao – Phillip Alvelda – Nathan Intrator – John Rogers – Roozbeh Ghaffari –Tarun Wadhwa – Eythor Bender – Unity Stoakes – Mounir Zok – Sky Christopherson – Marcus Weldon – Krishna Shenoy – Karl Deisseroth – Shahin Farshchi – Casper de Clercq – Mary Lou Jepsen – Vivek Wadhwa – Dirk Schapeler – Miguel Nicolelis.

Early registration rates available through Friday, January 6th

 

Non-invasive nanosystem detects disease in breath

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Technion professor Hossam Haick has developed a nanosystem that can identify the breath signatures of many diseases, including kidney failure, lung cancer, Crohn’s disease, MS, prostate and ovarian cancer.  Each compound’s relative abundance in a person’s breath is assessed, and disease signatures are compared against healthy individuals.

In a recent study, using mass spectrometry analysis, specific compound signatures for 17 different diseases were identified. The breath of 1,400 people was sampled, using a sensory array of carbon nanotubes and gold particles to register the compound mix they exhaled. Algorithms determined the presence or absence of each disease.

Haick’s goal is for the system to be used to screen widely for disease, even among those with no symptoms, to allow earlier interventions.

ApplySci’s 6th  Digital Health + NeuroTech Silicon Valley  –  February 7-8 2017 @ Stanford   |   Featuring:   Vinod Khosla – Tom Insel – Zhenan Bao – Phillip Alvelda – Nathan Intrator – John Rogers – Roozbeh Ghaffari –Tarun Wadhwa – Eythor Bender – Unity Stoakes – Mounir Zok – Sky Christopherson – Marcus Weldon – Krishna Shenoy – Karl Deisseroth – Shahin Farshchi – Casper de Clercq – Mary Lou Jepsen – Vivek Wadhwa – Dirk Schapeler – Miguel Nicolelis

Prosthesis-integrated sensor detects infections early

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Infections in prostheses, for amputees, and in joint replacements, are common, often found too late, and can necessitate additional surgeries or worse complications.  Current detection methods include MRI, CT, and X-ray.

Ken Loh and UCSD colleagues have developed an infection detecting prosthesis coating + imaging technique that could be used at home or in a doctors office.  Prostheses are continuously monitored and quantitative diagnostic data about the extent and location of an infection is provided.

Enhanced ECT was used to measure the human tissue and prosthesis’ electrical properties using  electrical fields. An algorithm processed the data to allow physicians to reconstruct a predetermined area’s electrical properties, to reveal tissue, bone, and prosthesis health. Infection caused changes in the field, detected by ECT.

A thin-film sensor was sprayed onto a prosthesis to improve infection detection. The film is made of a conductive polymer matrix that is sensitive to pH, and carbon nanotubes, embedded in the matrix, to increase the material’s ability to conduct electricity more sensitively, regardless of the pH level. Infections caused by different microorganisms often change the local pH in human cells and affect their ability to conduct electricity.

ApplySci’s 6th  Digital Health + NeuroTech Silicon Valley  –  February 7-8 2017 @ Stanford   |   Featuring:   Vinod Khosla – Tom Insel – Zhenan Bao – Phillip Alvelda – Nathan Intrator – John Rogers – Roozbeh Ghaffari –Tarun Wadhwa – Eythor Bender – Unity Stoakes – Mounir Zok – Sky Christopherson – Marcus Weldon – Krishna Shenoy – Karl Deisseroth – Shahin Farshchi – Casper de Clercq – Mary Lou Jepsen – Vivek Wadhwa – Dirk Schapeler – Miguel Nicolelis

BCI controlled robotic arm; no implant required

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University of Minnesota professor Bin He has created a brain computer interface to control a robotic arm with out an implant.

In a recent study, EEG alone was used to allow 8 people to move objects in a complex 3D environment.  Combined with advanced signal processing and machine learning, thoughts were turned into actions.

64 electrodes were required, making a clinical setting necessary.  However, if this system can be adapted to use the smaller, mobile EEG bands now being developed, a mobile or home based noninvasive interface might be possible in the future.

ApplySci’s 6th  Digital Health + NeuroTech Silicon Valley  –  February 7-8 2017 @ Stanford   |   Featuring:   Vinod Khosla – Tom Insel – Zhenan Bao – Phillip Alvelda – Nathan Intrator – John Rogers – Roozbeh Ghaffari –Tarun Wadhwa – Eythor Bender – Unity Stoakes – Mounir Zok – Sky Christopherson – Marcus Weldon – Krishna Shenoy – Karl Deisseroth – Shahin Farshchi – Casper de Clercq – Mary Lou Jepsen – Vivek Wadhwa – Dirk Schapeler – Miguel Nicolelis

 

Tiny wearable sensor measures blood flow

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Kyocera has developed a tiny optical sensor to measure blood flow volume in subcutaneous tissue, meant to be integrated into a phone or wearable. Potential applications include monitoring stress and preventing dehydration, heat stroke, and altitude sickness.

The device will be used  in/on an ear, finger or forehead, to measure the velocity-driven frequency of reflected light within blood vessels. The  sensor utilizes the relative shift in frequency and the strength of the reflected light  to determine blood-flow volume.

ApplySci’s 6th  Digital Health + NeuroTech Silicon Valley  –  February 7-8 2017 @ Stanford   |   Featuring:   Vinod Khosla – Tom Insel – Zhenan Bao – Phillip Alvelda – Nathan Intrator – John Rogers – Roozbeh Ghaffari –Tarun Wadhwa – Eythor Bender – Unity Stoakes – Mounir Zok – Krishna Shenoy – Karl Deisseroth – Shahin Farshchi – Casper de Clercq – Mary Lou Jepsen – Vivek Wadhwa – Dirk Schapeler – Miguel Nicolelis

 

Non-invasive visual stimulation to treat Alzheimer’s disease

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Cognito Therapeutics is developing a device-driven approach to Alzheimer’s treatment.

Based on research by MIT’s Ed Boyden, globally recognized for his work in optogenetics,  and Li-Hue Tsai, director of the Picower Institute for Learning and Memory, flickering-light stimulation has been used to  restore gamma oscillation in the brains of the mice.  This activated microglia cells to remove beta amyloid plaques.

The method has not yet been tested in humans, but shows promise as a non invasive alternative to current treatments, known for multiple side effects and limited benefits.

The company has filed patents covering the use of the technology in several neurological disorders.

ApplySci’s 6th  Digital Health + NeuroTech Silicon Valley  –  February 7-8 2017 @ Stanford   |   Featuring:   Vinod Khosla – Tom Insel – Zhenan Bao – Phillip Alvelda – Nathan Intrator – John Rogers – Roozbeh Ghaffari –Tarun Wadhwa – Eythor Bender – Unity Stoakes – Mounir Zok – Krishna Shenoy – Karl Deisseroth – Shahin Farshchi – Casper de Clercq – Mary Lou Jepsen – Vivek Wadhwa – Dirk Schapeler – Miguel Nicolelis

 

 

Sensors + robotics + AI for safer aging in place

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IBM and rice University are developing MERA — a Waston enabled robot meant to help seniors age in place.

The system comprises a Pepper robot  interface, Watson, and Rice’s CameraVitals project, which calculates vital signs by recording video of a person’s face.  Vitals are measured multiple times each day. Caregivers are informed if the the camera and/or accelerometer detect a fall.

Speech to Text, Text to Speech and Natural Language Classifier APIs are being studied to enable answers to health related questions, such as “What are the symptoms of anxiety?” or “What is my heart rate?”

The company  believes that sensors plus cognitive computing can give clinicians and caregivers insights to enable better care decisions. They will soon test the technology in partnership with Sole Cooperativa, to monitor the daily activities of seniors in Italy.

Click to view IBM video


ApplySci’s 6th   Wearable Tech + Digital Health + NeuroTech Silicon Valley  –  February 7-8 2017 @ Stanford   |   Featuring:   Vinod Khosla – Tom Insel – Zhenan Bao – Phillip Alvelda – Nathan Intrator – John Rogers – Roozbeh Ghaffari –Tarun Wadhwa – Eythor Bender – Unity Stoakes – Mounir Zok – Krishna Shenoy – Karl Deisseroth – Shahin Farshchi – Casper de Clercq – Mary Lou Jepsen – Vivek Wadhwa – Dirk Schapeler – Miguel Nicolelis

Self regulating patch optimizes blood thinner delivery

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UNC and  NC State researchers have developed a promising, self-regulating, Heparin releasing patch, meant to optimize levels of the blood thinner in one’s body.  It has only been tested on animals, but was found to  be more effective at preventing thrombosis than traditional drug delivery methods.

Current protocol requires regular blood testing, to prevent hemorrhaging from a too-high dose, or, of course, thrombosis from an inadequate one.

The patch uses microneedles made of a polymer that consists of hyaluronic acid and  Heparin. It responds to thrombin, an enzyme that initiates blood clotting. When elevated thrombin levels come into contact with a microneedle, the enzymes break the amino acid chains that bind the Heparin to the HA, releasing the Heparin into the blood stream.


ApplySci’s 6th   Wearable Tech + Digital Health + NeuroTech Silicon Valley  –  February 7-8 2017 @ Stanford   |   Featuring:   Vinod Khosla – Tom Insel – Zhenan Bao – Phillip Alvelda – Nathan Intrator – John Rogers – Roozbeh Ghaffari –Tarun Wadhwa – Eythor Bender – Unity Stoakes – Mounir Zok – Krishna Shenoy – Karl Deisseroth – Shahin Farshchi – Casper de Clercq – Mary Lou Jepsen – Vivek Wadhwa – Dirk Schapeler – Miguel Nicolelis


 

Diabetic retinopathy-detecting algorithm for remote diagnosis

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Google has developed an algorithm which it claims is capable of detecting diabetic retinopathy in photographs.  The goal is to improve the quality and availability of screening for, and early detection of,  the common and debilitating condition.

Typically, highly trained specialists are required to examine photos, to detect the lesions that indicate bleeding and fluid leakage in the eye. This obviously makes screening difficult in poor and remote locations.

Google developed a dataset of 128,000 images, each evaluated by 3-7 specially-trained doctors, which trained  a neural network to detect referable diabetic retinopathy.  Performance was tested on two clinical validation sets of 12,000 images. The majority decision of a panel 7 or 8 ophthalmologists served as the reference standard. The results showed that the accuracy of the  Google  algorithm was equal to that of the physicians.


ApplySci’s 6th   Wearable Tech + Digital Health + NeuroTech Silicon Valley  –  February 7-8 2017 @ Stanford   |   Featuring:   Vinod Khosla – Tom Insel – Zhenan Bao – Phillip Alvelda – Nathan Intrator – John Rogers – Roozbeh Ghaffari –Tarun Wadhwa – Eythor Bender – Unity Stoakes – Mounir Zok – Krishna Shenoy – Karl Deisseroth – Shahin Farshchi – Casper de Clercq – Mary Lou Jepsen – Vivek Wadhwa – Dirk Schapeler – Miguel Nicolelis

Cabin sensors, wearables, smart pills to monitor air passenger health

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British Airlines has filed a patent application for a system that would monitor when a passenger is awake, asleep, hungry, nervous, hot, cold or uncomfortable.

The “system and method for controlling the travel environment for a passenger” encompasses motion-sensing sleep monitors, wearables that track eye movement, heart rate, and temperature, and ingestible health-tracking pills.

The company aims to use the data to optimize a passenger’s environment/experience while flying.


ApplySci’s 6th   Wearable Tech + Digital Health + NeuroTech Silicon Valley  –  February 7-8 2017 @ Stanford   |   Featuring:   Vinod Khosla – Tom Insel – Zhenan Bao – Phillip Alvelda – Nathan Intrator – John Rogers – Roozbeh Ghaffari –Tarun Wadhwa – Eythor Bender – Unity Stoakes – Mounir Zok – Krishna Shenoy – Karl Deisseroth – Shahin Farshchi – Casper de Clercq – Mary Lou Jepsen – Vivek Wadhwa – Dirk Schapeler – Miguel Nicolelis

ApplySci is delighted to welcome the Bayer LifeScience iHUB as a sponsor of Digital Health + NeuroTech at Stanford.