When a beating heart slips into an irregular, life-threatening rhythm, the treatment is well known: deliver a burst of electric current from a pacemaker or defibrillator. But because the electricity itself can cause pain, tissue damage and other serious side-effects, a Johns Hopkins-led research team wants to replace these jolts with a kinder, gentler remedy: light. In a paper published Aug. 28 in the online journal Nature Communications, five biomedical engineers from Johns Hopkins and Stony Brook universities described their plan to use biological lab data and an intricate computer model to devise a better way to heal ailing hearts.
Recent news from The Johns Hopkins University
This section contains regularly updated highlights of the news from around The Johns Hopkins University. Links to the complete news reports from the nine schools, the Applied Physics Laboratory and other centers and institutes are to the left, as are links to help news media contact the Johns Hopkins communications offices.
Johns Hopkins Receives Grant From Medtronic for Student Engineering Program Focused on Medical Devices for Developing Countries
Medtronic, one of the world’s largest medical technology companies, has entered into an innovative partnership with The Johns Hopkins University, agreeing to provide $200,000 a year for up to three years and skilled mentoring to help biomedical engineering students design new healthcare solutions for underserved patients in developing countries.
When a breast tumor is detected, many women opt to have a lumpectomy, which is surgery designed to remove the diseased tissue while preserving the breast. But during this procedure, doctors cannot learn right away whether all of the cancerous tissue has been removed, with no microscopic signs that cancer cells were left behind. Because of this delay, one in five of these women—up to 66,000 patients annually in the U.S. alone—must return for a second surgery to remove remaining cancer. These follow-up operations boost healthcare costs and can lead to delays in receiving other treatments such as radiation and chemotherapy. To reduce the need for these second surgeries, four Johns Hopkins graduate students have designed a device to allow pathologists to quickly inspect excised breast tissue within 20 minutes, while the patient is still in the operating room.
Johns Hopkins student-built devices—a blood clot detection system and a concealable, hands-free breast pump—have won two of the top three awards in a national contest that recognizes innovative biomedical engineering designs that have high commercial potential and social impact.
When babies are deprived of oxygen before birth, brain damage and disorders such as cerebral palsy can occur. Extended cooling can prevent brain injuries, but this treatment is not always available in developing nations where advanced medical care is scarce. To address this need, Johns Hopkins undergraduates have devised a low-tech $40 unit to provide protective cooling in the absence of modern hospital equipment that can cost $12,000.
A Maryland corporation established to help accelerate the commercialization of new technologies has awarded nearly $300,000 to three Johns Hopkins-related projects that hold promise for ushering new medical devices to the marketplace.
For devising a disposable suturing tool to guide the placement of stitches and guard against the accidental puncture of internal organs, an undergraduate biomedical engineering team from Johns Hopkins won the $12,500 first-prize Tuesday in the 2012 Collegiate Inventors Competition.
Computational medicine, a fast-growing method of using computer models and sophisticated software to figure out how disease develops–and how to thwart it–has begun to leap off the drawing board and land in the hands of doctors who treat patients for heart ailments, cancer and other illnesses. Using digital tools, researchers have begun to use experimental and clinical data to build models that can unravel complex medical mysteries. These are some of the conclusions of a new review of the field, written by four Johns Hopkins professors affiliated with the university’s Institute for Computational Medicine.
Five Johns Hopkins graduate students who are applying the latest advances in biology and technology to the prevention and treatment of health problems such as cancer, cardiac disorders and sexually transmitted diseases have been named to the 2013 class of Siebel Scholars. The merit-based program provides $35,000 to each student for use in his or her final year of graduate studies.
After a surgeon stitches up a patient’s abdomen, costly complications—some life-threatening—can occur. To cut down on these postoperative problems, Johns Hopkins undergraduates have invented a disposable suturing tool to guide the placement of stitches and guard against the accidental puncture of internal organs.
Could a low-cost screening device connected to a cellphone save thousands of women and children from anemia-related deaths and disabilities? That’s the goal of Johns Hopkins biomedical engineering undergraduates who say they’ve developed a noninvasive way to identify women with this dangerous blood disorder in developing nations.
Johns Hopkins Researcher in Electrical Stimulation of the Brain to Receive Presidential Early Career Award for Scientists and Engineers
Sridevi V. Sarma, a Johns Hopkins faculty member who is her using knowledge of electrical engineering and computer science to develop new treatments for brain disorders such as Parkinson’s disease and epilepsy, is among 96 researchers selected this year to receive the Presidential Early Career Award for Scientists and Engineers.
Johns Hopkins researchers have discovered that a single protein molecule may hold the key to turning cardiac stem cells into blood vessels or muscle tissue, a finding that may lead to better ways to treat heart attack patients.
Srivdevi Sarma, a Johns Hopkins biomedical engineer, has devised new seizure detection software that, in early testing, significantly cuts the number of unneeded pulses of current that epilepsy patients would receive from new brain implants devices.
Biomedical engineer Feilim Mac Gabhann of The Johns Hopkins University has won a 2012 Sloan Research Fellowship to support his combined experimental-computational approach to developing new ways to treat major human diseases, including cancer, peripheral artery disease and HIV.
The Johns Hopkins Department of Biomedical Engineering has received a Coulter Foundation Translational Partnership Award that will result in $5 million in funding over the next five years to speed the movement of new medical devices out of the university’s labs and into hospitals and doctor’s offices.
Five Johns Hopkins graduate students who are applying the latest advances in biology and technology to the prevention and treatment of health problems such as cancer and brain disorders, have been named to the 2012 class of Siebel Scholars. The merit-based program provides $35,000 to each student for use in his or her final year of graduate studies.
A device that could reduce key health risks facing kidney-failure patients who are connected to dialysis machines has won a $10,000 first prize for Johns Hopkins graduate students in the 2011 ASME Innovation Showcase. Judges based their awards on technical ingenuity, quality of business plans, potential for success in the marketplace and other factors.
Johns Hopkins graduate students have invented a system to significantly boost the number of stem cells collected from a newborn’s umbilical cord and placenta, so that many more patients with leukemia, lymphoma and other blood disorders can be treated with these valuable cells.
A team of Johns Hopkins graduate students who developed a low-cost health kit designed to screen pregnant women in developing countries for life-threatening conditions won the grand prize this week in an international competition seeking ways to improve maternal health.
A Johns Hopkins biomedical engineering faculty member who helps students become medical device inventors and business leaders has been named one of the three 2011 winners in the Olympus Innovation Awards Program.
Johns Hopkins Engineering for Professionals, which offers part-time education for working engineers and scientists through the university’s Whiting School of Engineering, has appointed five new chairs and a vice chair.
A Johns Hopkins undergraduate team that assembled fragments of DNA in a way that allows cells to respond to electrical “messages” has received recognition in an international contest in the emerging field of synthetic biology. The students competed this month in the latest International Genetically Engineered Machine competition, also known as iGEM 2010.
An “intelligent” drill developed by Johns Hopkins students to improve orthopedic surgical procedures was awarded third-place honors in the undergraduate division of the 2010 Collegiate Inventors Competition. The team received $2,500 in prize money for its entry, which was among five finalist projects competing Oct. 27 at a Washington, D.C., ceremony.
One graduate student is helping to create high-tech prosthetic hands that can be maneuvered by an amputee’s thoughts. Another is trying to convert ordinary skin cells into more useful stem cells. Still another is working to find signs of cancer in a single DNA molecule in a drop of blood. Yet another is making nanoparticles to carry important medicine past sticky barriers inside the human body.These are among the ambitious research projects being undertaken by five Johns Hopkins biomedical engineering doctoral students who this year were named recipients of Siebel Scholars awards.