Your Daily digest for Medgadget (Medical Technology) Daily Digest (Unofficial)

Article Digests for Psychology & Social Work article-digests at
Thu Oct 12 08:02:35 PDT 2023

Medgadget (Medical Technology) Daily Digest (Unofficial)


( Soft Implant Uses AI to Deliver Drugs Despite Fibrous Encapsulation
Oct 11th 2023, 17:37

Scientists at the University of Galway in Ireland and MIT have collaborated to create a soft robotic implant that can work to fight fibrotic encapsulation and deliver drugs despite the presence of fibrous scar tissue. The device, which the researchers have termed the FibroSensing Dynamic Soft Reservoir (FSDSR), is designed to reside in the body for extended periods and deliver drugs. However, the immune system typically recognizes such medical implants as foreign, and walls them off with a thick layer of fibrous scar tissue, limiting drug diffusion and leading to eventual failure. This new soft robotic implant can inflate and deflate, like a sea creature, which helps to reduce the amount of scar tissue that is deposited on its surface. However, in a key development, the researchers have also furnished the implant with a sensor that can measure the amount of scar tissue present on the device, allowing it to use “AI” to calculate how to release the same dose of drug, regardless of the amount of fibrosis present.

The foreign body response is a key hurdle in developing more effective medical implants, such as an artificial pancreas. The thick scar tissue that builds up on such implants greatly reduces their lifespan and limits their ability to sense their environment and release drugs in response. Techniques to reduce this biofouling, such as surface patterning on medical implants, have met with mixed success.

To address this, these researchers have created a soft robotic drug delivery implant that can reduce the foreign body response by actively inflating and deflating. This movement appears to confuse the body, which can’t deposit as much scar tissue on the device. This robotic actuation also serves another purpose, by helping to push liquid drug out of the device into its surroundings. So far, so good, but in this latest study, the researchers took it a step further by introducing “artificial intelligence,” according to a press release from the University of Galway.

They incorporated a sensor membrane into the device that can sense the amount of biofouling that has occurred. Then, machine learning calculates how many actuations, and of what force, the device will need to apply to squeeze a consistent dose of drug through the surrounding fibrous capsule. In this way, the technology can continue to deliver consistent drug dosing even if it is heavily covered in fibrotic scar tissue. The technology may pave the way for fully autonomous implants that can monitor their environment and make adjustments as required to achieve their goals.

“This is a new area of research that can have implications in other places and is not solely limited for the treatment of diabetes,” said Garry Duffy, a researcher involved in the study. “Our discovery could provide consistent and responsive dosing over long periods, without clinician involvement, enhancing efficacy and reducing the need for device replacement because of fibrosis.”

Study in journal Science Robotics: ( Soft robot–mediated autonomous adaptation to fibrotic capsule formation for improved drug delivery

Via: ( University of Galway 

( Lollipop Puts the Fun in Saliva Collection
Oct 11th 2023, 17:27

Researchers at the University of Washington have developed a technique to make saliva collection for diagnostic purposes a little less disgusting and a little more fun and pleasant. Saliva collection often acts as a less invasive alternative than throat swabs in the detection of a variety of pathogens, such as that causing streptococcal soar throat (strep throat). However, manually collecting the right amount of saliva is pretty gross. In an effort to streamline this process, and make it more appealing to both adults and children, these researchers have developed a new solution. The CandyCollect is a specially designed lollipop that collects saliva as someone sucks it. It contains a series of grooves that collect saliva, and bacteria within the saliva tend to adhere to the channel walls, for later collection and analysis.

Pathogenic illnesses in the mouth and throat may require some sample collection and analysis before clinicians can decide on the best course of treatment. Typically, such samples are analyzed using techniques such as quantitative polymerase chain reaction. This could be used to detect which bacteria are causing an infection, for example. Throat swabs are one option to collect such samples, but they can induce gagging and are a little invasive, particularly for nervous patients such as children.

Saliva collection can work as a non-invasive alternative, but this approach requires a surprising amount of saliva to work, which is a little gross to collect. It can also be difficult for children to perform this procedure. In an effort to develop an effective and fun alternative, these researchers have turned to candy. CandyCollect is an isomalt candy lollipop that contains specially designed grooves which collect saliva passively as someone enjoys the lolly. A polystyrene handle holds the flat lollipop head,

So far, the researchers have distributed the lollipops, along with conventional saliva sampling kits, to 28 adult volunteers who tried them out, filled out a survey and then returned the saliva samples. The researchers were able to detect Streptococcus mutans and Staphylococcus aureus bacteria in the lollipop saliva samples using qPCR, highlighting their effectiveness in a real-world situation.

The lollipops were also preferred by the test subjects compared with standard saliva sampling kits, describing the lollipops as the “most sanitary” and “least disgusting.” The candy constructs are also shelf-stable for at least a year.  

Study (and image source) in journal Analytical Chemistry: ( At-Home Saliva Sampling in Healthy Adults Using CandyCollect, a Lollipop-Inspired Device

Via: ( American Chemical Society

Forwarded by:
Michael Reeder LCPC
Baltimore, MD

This information is taken from free public RSS feeds published by each organization for the purpose of public distribution. Readers are linked back to the article content on each organization's website. This email is an unaffiliated unofficial redistribution of this freely provided content from the publishers. 


(#) unsubscribe from this feed
-------------- next part --------------
An HTML attachment was scrubbed...
URL: <>

More information about the Article-digests mailing list