Product Spotlight

By Steve Barrett
Friday, November 1, 2019

Personalizing Chemotherapy

Scientists at Rutgers University have developed a portable device that incorporates biosensors and artificial intelligence to help predict whether individual cancer patients are likely to benefit from particular chemotherapy drugs.

Using the device, researchers passed cancer cells treated with varying concentrations of drugs through a fluidic hole. Changes in the cells’ electrical properties quickly revealed whether the cells were still alive, according to a news release from Rutgers.

The device “can predict whether patients will respond positively to targeted cancer therapy,” says senior author Mehdi Javanmard, an Assistant Professor in the Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering in the School of Engineering at Rutgers University–New Brunswick.

The scientists say the device could enhance personalization of treatment and management of the disease.

Their findings were published in Microsystems & Nanoengineering.


A Pill to Profile Gut Bacteria

A 3D-printed pill developed by Tufts University scientists can sample the microbiome while traveling through the GI tract.

The ingestible pill is the first noninvasive diagnostic means of profiling gut bacteria through the whole GI tract, according to the engineers, whose findings appear in Advanced Intelligent Systems.

“Current methods of sampling the microbiome involve primarily the analysis of fecal DNA and metabolites, but that approach provides little information on the environment upstream of the distal colon, where bacterial species can vary significantly,” Tufts notes in a news release.

Thus far, the device has been tested only in primates and pigs. However, eventually it could advance treatment for multiple diseases, according to the researchers.

“The pill will improve our understanding of the role of spatial distribution in the microbiome profile,” says Sameer Sonkusale, Professor of Electrical and Computer Engineering at Tufts’ School of Engineering and corresponding author of the study.


Compression-Measuring CPR Mat

German researchers have built a resuscitation mat capable of alerting people if the compressions they deliver during CPR are too hard or too soft.

Rescue Aid, developed by scientists at Fraunhofer Institute for Silicate Research and Munich’s University of Applied Sciences, could help overcome the hesitation of people who witness a cardiac arrest but fear they will perform CPR improperly, according to a news release. It could also reduce reservations about stepping in by eliminating direct torso contact.

The mat’s silicone deformation sensors gauge compression depth. Placed over the upper body, the torso-resembling device has an LED display that lights up green if compression pressure is adequate or red if pressure is too great. In addition, the mat generates an acoustic signal to help the person delivering CPR achieve correct pacing. The soft-foil design of the sensors keeps them from causing injury.

Researchers plan to optimize the mat for various body sizes.