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:: Posted by American Biotechnologist on 09-10-2013
A team of researchers at the Wyss Institute for Biologically Inspired Engineering at Harvard University has found a way to self-assemble complex structures out of bricks smaller than a grain of salt. The self-assembly method could help solve one of the major challenges in tissue engineering: regrowing human tissue by injecting tiny components into the body that then self-assemble into larger, intricately structured, biocompatible scaffolds at an injury site.
The key to self-assembly was developing the world’s first programmable glue. The glue is made of DNA, and it directs specific bricks of a water-filled gel to stick only to each other, the scientists report in the September 9th online issue of Nature Communications.
“By using DNA glue to guide gel bricks to self-assemble, we’re creating sophisticated programmable architecture,” says Peng Yin, Ph.D., a Core Faculty member at the Wyss Institute and senior coauthor of the study, who is also an Assistant Professor of Systems Biology at Harvard Medical School. This novel self-assembly method worked for gel bricks from as small as a speck of silt (30 microns diameter) to as large as a grain of sand (1 millimeter diameter), underscoring the method’s versatility.
:: Posted by American Biotechnologist on 07-25-2012
In my opinion, there are waaayyy too many cell phones in schools these days. Ringing, texting, gaming…all of these are annoyances that disturb class and distract students’ attention. However, students at Johns Hopkins have redeemed themselves and renewed my confidence that undergrads can actually utilize cell phones responsibly.
Johns Hopkins biomedical engineering undergraduates have developed a noninvasive way to identify patients suffering from anemia hoping to save thousands of women and children from this dangerous blood disorder in developing nations. The device, HemoGlobe, is designed to convert the existing cell phones of health workers into a “prick-free” system for detecting and reporting anemia at the community level.
:: Posted by American Biotechnologist on 07-11-2012
Brown University researchers have created a reliable and fast flu-detection test that can be carried in a first-aid kit. The novel prototype device isolates influenza RNA using a combination of magnetics and microfluidics, then amplifies and detects probes bound to the RNA. The technology could lead to real-time tracking of influenza. Results are published in the Journal of Molecular Diagnostics.