Sonic Flashlight for Interventional Procedures

Sonic Flashlight by George StettenThe improvements made to the SF have resulted in a device that is clinically usable. The increases in scanning and display resolution have made it possible to guide procedures involving fine structures such as blood vessels. Additional work is currently underway to further improve the ergonomics and increase the SF’s capabilities.

One of these improvements will be the addition of Doppler information to the display, which may aid in vascular access procedures. We believe the SF may have a broad impact on US guidance and we envision widespread use especially by the health-care professional who currently does not use ultrasound.

A future version of the SF could be collapsible and small enough to fit into the clinician’s pocket, much like a stethoscope or palmpilot does today.


George Stetten – University of Pittsburg – Dept of Bioengineering, has been interviewed by Bloomberg News during their INNOVATORS Episode 2 Medicine program April 2010. Catch this episode here

Crab shells help spinal injury?

Material from crushed up crab and shrimp shells can restore electrical function to damaged guinea pig spinal cords, suggesting it may one day serve as a treatment for spinal cord injuries, according to a study published April 16th in the Journal of Experimental Biology.

This paper is an “intriguing first step,” said Scott Whittemore, professor of neurological surgery at the University of Louisville, who was not involved in this research. But there are many steps that need to be taken first, he cautioned. “There needs to be more research and data presented before this is applied in a clinical setting,” he added.

Image: Wikimedia commons,

Trauma to the spinal cord often results in the deterioration of cell membranes, which then results in cell and tissue death, often leading to paralysis. One way to help eliminate loss of body functions is to seal the deteriorating cell membranes, researchers suggest. Chitin — the main component of crustacean exoskeletons and fungi cell walls, previously used to build scaffolding for tissue growth — has recently been suggested to stimulate spinal cord regeneration in rats.

Charlie Rose: Brain Series Episode One

The Great Mysteries of the Human Brain:

  • Consciousness
  • Free will,
  • Perception,
  • Cognition,
  • Emotion & Memory with a roundtable of brain researchers.

Co-Host Eric Kandel from Columbia University and Howard Hughes Medical Institute; Cornelia Bargmann from Rockefeller University, Tony Movshon from New York University, John Searle from University of California Berkeley and Gerald Fischbach of the Simons Foundation

Charlie Rose – Brain Series Episode One (Video)


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