Week 11: Reduces the risk of cancer coming back by radiotherapy during surgery

Most women with breast cancer who undergo lumpectomy or partial mastectomy also undergo a course  of radiation delivered to the whole of the affected breast.untitled

While such treatment – called external beam radiotherapy, EBRT – reduces the risk of cancer coming back, it is not an easy undertaking and can cause unpleasant side effects. It takes weeks  and requires regular attendance at centers that are not always easy to get to.

In the TARGIT-A trial, a large international team of researchers compared TARGIT with a standard  EBRT course. The TARGIT method used a miniature X-ray machine to deliver targeted radiation to the  tumor site once only during lumpectomy or about a month later, while the EBRT course comprised  daily doses of radiotherapy for between 3 and 6 weeks.

In my point of view, not all of the breast cancer patient can benefit from TARGIT method since some of the cancer cell may already been transfer to other organs. But still, for the early treatment, the patient can assure that they will not have a chance to suffer from cancer again.


Breast cancer radiotherapy during surgery could ease treatment: http://www.medicalnewstoday.com/articles/268665.php



Week10: Control taste by ‘Digital taste simulator’

Can you imagine there is a device can control the taste of the food? Taste is a instinctive ability of human. Taste is the sensation produced when a substance in the mouth reacts chemically with receptors of taste buds.

Created by a team of researchers from the National University of Singapore and led by Nimesha Ranasinghe, the device – called the Tongue Mounted Digital Taste Interface – can transmit the taste elements through two silver electrodes once it touches the tip of the tongue. By manipulating magnitude, frequency and polarity of the silver electrode. So it can generate a signal to brain that the food taste good!

There are two main health benefits:

1. People with diabetes could use the device to stimulate sweet sensations without harming their blood sugar levels.

2. Cancer patients could use it to improve or regenerate their sense of taste – something that can be severely impaired by chemotherapy.

It makes patient can even taste good when they are not able to eat sweet food. And it has potential to heal the patient who got Anorexia Nervosa.



‘Digital taste simulator’ developed that tickles the tastebuds :http://www.medicalnewstoday.com/articles/269324.php

Week9: First portable electric hearing aid patented

A hearing aid is an electroacoustic device which is designed to amplify sound for the wearer, usually with the aim of making speech more intelligible, and to correct impaired hearing as measured by audiometry.

However normal hearing aid can only allow patient to hear a little bit more. Most of them just relies on lip lancet in order to communicate with others.

Miller Reese Hutchinson of New York patented the first portable electric hearing aid. Called the “acousticon,” the device was a smaller version of previous tabletop units. While portable, it still had three components and used batteries that only lasted for a few hours. But it was far superior to ungainly hearing trumpets or simply cupping a hand behind the ear.

The unsolvable problem is to recharge the electric hearing aid after few hours of usage. Therefore, scientists must explore for tiny-but-high-capacity battery so patient who got hearing problem can benefit.



Miller Reese Hutchinson patents first portable electric hearing aid: http://www.news-medical.net/news/20131128/Miller-Reese-Hutchinson-patents-first-portable-electric-hearing-aid.aspx

Picture: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:Hearing_aid_20080620.jpg

Week8: Ultimately enhence the feasibilty of a paralyzed patient to control a wheelchair

Some of the patient are suffering from paralyzing. There are multiple degree of paralysis as they have different part of spinal cord having injuries. For people who have whole body paralysed , they are unable to travel around but only stay on the bed for entire life in old days.

Nowadays, body piercings have been used to control wheelchairs and computers in a move scientists believe could transform the way people interact with the world after paralysis. The movement of a tiny magnet in a tongue piercing is detected by sensors and converted into commands, which can control a range of devices.

Spinal cord injury may not affect the tongue controlling because tetraplegic has its own hotline to the brain. A lentil-sized piercing in the tongue produces a magnetic field, which changes as the tongue moves. Sensors on the cheeks can then detect the precise position of the piercing. Thereby, the device can response to the tongue position to move the wheelchair.

This is a amazing invention that aloud the patient to go around after paralysis. Patient who can only stay on the bed for the entire live would be frustrating and despairing as they cannot feel the world outside the ward. Using the device to detect the tongue location can also functioning to control the television to switch the channel, typing. It can surely make their life much more better.

Hereby are the video shows how the pierced tongue work on wheelchair.


Body piercing controls wheelchair: http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/health-25118896

Week7: Improve gait results in THA patient by biomechanical device

THA,  total hip arthroplasty (Total hip replacement)  is a surgical procedure in which the hip joint is replaced by a prosthetic implant. The patient may not get used to their hip after the replacement. There are Foot-worn biomechanical device which is non-invasive can improve the gait result. It is worked by correcting the patient gait as they may walk clumsily after hip replacement.


Of 19 patients enrolled in the study – some of whom were admitted 3 months postoperatively – 50.3% showed significantly improved gait velocity, 22.9% had significantly improved step length and 16.9% had significantly improved single limb support, according to the abstract.

In order to help patient quickly recover from total hip replacement, physiotherapy are encourage to conduct. With the assistant of this biomechanical device, the patient can recover faster than normal.

Reference: Foot-worn biomechanical device improves gait results in THA patients: http://www.healio.com/orthopedics/hip/news/online/%7Be1038e9f-22f9-42e5-8abd-90c11b804ea9%7D/foot-worn-biomechanical-device-improves-gait-results-in-tha-patients

Picture: http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/2/2f/Hip_replacement_Image_3684-PH.jpg



Week6: New way to monitor respiratory system accurately

When children have a body check on respiration, they may be discomfort by the medical instrument attach on their body. Doctors found that they may feel uncomfortable, so they got anxious. Therefore, the examination of respiratory system are not accurate as the respiration rate may affected.


Assisted by Dr Reza Saatchi, PhD Student Abdulkadir Hamidu Alkali took on the task of designing and developing the equipment as part of his PhD in Medical Electronics.

Abdulkadir developed a new, cutting edge ‘4fa’ respiration monitoring technique. 4fa works through recording thermal imagery of the patients as they breathe. It has the ability to identify areas of the face affected by respiration and from there it can monitor and record a patient’s respiration. The design also has the unique ability to identify and constantly track the patient’s face without being distracted by other heat signals in the background.

4fa works without wires and it is non-invasive, different from the traditional method. So this method can enhance the efficiency of the doctors as they can get a more accurate result. Moreover, children will not be stressed and feeling discomfort on this examination. Also, this technology can monitor the patient overnight, it can reduce the nurse workload. When the device detected any abnormal cases, the doctor can surely know what is going on, and save the patient life.


New ways to monitor children’s respiration: http://www.news-medical.net/news/20131118/New-ways-to-monitor-childrene28099s-respiration.aspx

Picture: http://my-internet-hospital.blogspot.hk/2010/10/respiratory-system-examination-methods.html

Week5: Retrograde Gene Therapy On Human Heart are new to the world

Ernie Lively is a actor in America, he had suffered severe heart attack in 2003. Luckily he survived from this accident, but unfortunately his heart was deteriorating after that. His heart became malfunctioning that the blood leaving his heart gradually decline.

Amit Patel, M.D., director of Clinical Regenerative Medicine and Tissue Engineering and an associate professor in the Division of Cardiothoracic Surgery at the University of Utah School of Medicine meet with Ernie Lively. Ernie Lively became his patient. Patel found that usual treatment were not working on Lively as his aorta and coronary arteries were dying. Thereby, Patel uses stem cell therapy.

“This month, Lively got his wish when he became the first patient in the world to undergo retrograde gene therapy at University of Utah Hospital, a novel procedure designed to deliver stem cells to the heart to repair damaged muscle and arteries in the most minimally invasive way possible.”

The unique gene therapy doesn’t involve viruses (a rarity for gene therapy, Patel notes) and is pure human DNA infused into patients. The DNA, called SDF-1, is a naturally occurring substance in the body that becomes a homing signal for a patient’s body to use its own stem cells to go to the site of an injury.

There are many people in the world suffering from heart diseases, stem cell therapy indeed can help them to tackle diseases. The first success treatment on Lively can obviously bring hope to all the patient. As it does not involve viral factors, it is regarded as safe therapy. Hope this treatment can be popular and heal more patient.



Historic First Procedure Performed Using Technique of Retrograde Gene Therapy On Human Heart:  http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2013/11/131127170105.htm

Picture: http://antiaging-products.net/stem-cell-therapy/