Product Spotlight

By Steve Barrett
Sunday, September 1, 2019

Drone Successfully Delivers Transplant Kidney

A drone developed at the University of Maryland delivered a donor kidney for transplant at the University of Maryland Medical Center (UMMC) in Baltimore — an achievement the university describes as the first of its kind.

The 2.8-mile flight demonstrates the ability of the specially designed craft to provide safe, rapid organ delivery that may have advantages over conventional transport, according to the university.

Engineering and aviation experts coordinated the flight with transplant specialists and researchers at the University of Maryland School of Medicine. UMMC discharged the donor kidney recipient after the successful procedure.

The drone includes equipment for monitoring organs and ensuring appropriate temperature and other benchmarks are maintained. It has backup systems in case of a breakdown.

The craft could be an alternative to other means of transportation that involve delays which can destroy organ viability, the university notes, pointing to statistics showing almost 2% of deceased-donor organ shipments do not reach their destinations.


Microbattery Powers Contact Lens

An integrated, flexible microbattery powers a contact lens recently developed by researchers at IMT Atlantique, an engineering-focused university in France.

The lens will enable functions such as optical detection of gaze direction and could be used as a surgical or automotive aid, scientists say.

The battery can autonomously power a light-emitting diode (LED) continuously for several hours, helping overcome the limited energy transmission that is possible through wireless means, according to Medgadget.

The lens incorporates advances in transparent, graphene-based flexible electronics, a news release from IMT Atlantique reports.

“This first project is part of a larger and very ambitious project aimed at creating a new generation of oculometers linked to the emergence of augmented reality helmets,” Professor Jean-Louis de Bougrenet de la Tocnaye, head of the Optics Department at IMT Atlantique, states in the release.


Cover Enables Sterile Use of Cellphones in the OR

An FDA-compliant cover developed by a medical student at Michigan State University College of Osteopathic Medicine permits surgeons to bring mobile devices into sterile surgical environments.

CleanCase protects patient safety while allowing surgeons to access all the functions of their mobile devices, according to a news release. The user passes a mobile device through CleanCase’s removable sleeve, embedding it in a sterile casing made of rigid plastic. The cover is then secured.

CleanCase includes a camera window and touchscreen face, and it is easy to use even through gloved hands. A key benefit of the cover: the ability to use medical apps during procedures.

“Currently, mobile applications are improving the delivery of health care in nonsterile settings,” says developer and medical student Rob Zondervan, PhD, CEO at SteriDev LLC, which designed the cover. “The CleanCase mobile device covers expand their usage into sterile environments so surgical patients can also benefit.”