Washington University in St. Louis
Washington University in St. Louis Articles
Focused delivery for brain cancers
A person’s brainstem controls some of the body’s most important functions, including heart beat, respiration, blood pressure and swallowing. Tumour growth in this part of the brain is therefore twice as devastating. Not only can such a growth disrupt vital functions, but operating in this area is so risky, many medical professionals refuse to consider it as an option.
Alzheimer’s may be predicted during eye exam in the future
It may be possible in the future to screen patients for Alzheimer’s disease using an eye exam. Using technology similar to what is found in many eye doctors’ offices, researchers at Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis have detected evidence suggesting Alzheimer’s in older patients who had no symptoms of the disease. Their study, involving 30 patients, is published in the journal JAMA Ophthalmolog...
Patch boosts brightness in medical diagnostic tests
Fluorescence-based biosensing and bioimaging technologies are widely used in research and clinical settings to detect and image various biological species of interest. While fluorescence-based detection and imaging techniques are convenient to use, they suffer from poor sensitivity. For example, when a patient carries low levels of antigens in the blood or urine, the fluorescent signal can be feeble, making visualisation and diagnosis difficult.
Brain scans may help diagnose psychiatric disorders
There are no laboratory tests to diagnose migraines, depression, bipolar disorder and many other ailments of the brain. Doctors typically gauge such illnesses based on self-reported symptoms and behaviour. Now, a study shows that a kind of brain scan called functional connectivity MRI (fcMRI) – which shows how brain regions interact – can reliably detect fundamental differences in how individual brains are wired.
Text messaging tool helps patients at risk of opioid relapsing
An automated text messaging service may curb opioid abuse and reduce the likelihood of relapse while also decreasing treatment costs, according to researchers at Washington University School of Medicine and Epharmix, a St. Louis-based digital health company. The service provides automated text messages and phone calls to patients being treated for opioid addiction. Such messages ask patients if they’re feeling OK or struggling with pot...
Method to transport blood samples without refrigeration
Imagine a physician in a rural or remote area who needs to send a patient’s blood or urine sample to a hospital hundreds of miles away for testing. To preserve the sample’s quality, it must be refrigerated throughout transport, a costly process requiring tremendous energy which may be scarce.
Enabling technology for emerging gene therapies
For years, researchers have attempted to harness the full potential of gene therapy, a technique that inserts genes into a patient’s cells to treat aggressive diseases such as cancer. But getting engineered DNA molecules into cells is not an easy task.
Portable 3D scanner assesses patients with elephantiasis
An estimated 120 million people worldwide are infected with lymphatic filariasis, a parasitic, mosquito-borne disease that can cause major swelling and deformity of the legs, a condition known as elephantiasis. Health-care workers rely on leg measurements to assess the severity of the condition. However, measuring legs that are severely swollen often proves cumbersome and impractical.
Nanotechnology could help quickly diagnose Zika virus
Washington University in St. Louis researchers have developed a test that quickly detects the presence of Zika virus in blood. Currently, testing for Zika requires that a blood sample be refrigerated and shipped to a medical center or laboratory, delaying diagnosis and possible treatment. Although the new proof-of-concept technology has yet to be produced for use in medical situations, the test's results can be determined in minutes.
Research focuses on nasal drug delivery into brain
Delivering life-saving drugs directly to the brain in a safe and effective way is a challenge for medical providers. One key reason: the blood-brain barrier, which protects the brain from tissue-specific drug delivery. Methods such as an injection or a pill aren’t as precise or immediate as doctors might prefer, and ensuring delivery right to the brain often requires invasive, risky techniques.
Nanoparticle injections may be future of osteoarthritis treatment
Osteoarthritis is a debilitating condition that affects at least 27 million people in the United States, and at least 12 percent of osteoarthritis cases stem from earlier injuries. Over-the-counter painkillers, such as anti-inflammatory drugs, help reduce pain but do not stop unrelenting cartilage destruction. Consequently, pain related to the condition only gets worse.
Towards an efficient production of biofuels in E. coli
While the bacteria E. coli is often considered a bad bug, researchers commonly use laboratory-adapted E. coli that lacks the features that can make humans sick, but can grow just as fast. That same quality allows it to transform into the tiniest of factories: when its chemical production properties are harnessed, E. coli has the potential to crank out biofuels, pharmaceuticals and other useful products.
Graphene oxide turns dirty water into drinking water
Graphene oxide has been hailed as a veritable wonder material; when incorporated into nanocellulose foam, the lab-created substance is light, strong and flexible, conducting heat and electricity quickly and efficiently. Now, a team of engineers at Washington University in St. Louis has found a way to use graphene oxide sheets to transform dirty water into drinking water, and it could be a global game-changer.
3D weaving helps develop living hip replacement
Scientists have programmed stem cells to grow new cartilage on a 3D template shaped like the ball of a hip joint. What's more, using gene therapy, they have activated the new cartilage to release anti-inflammatory molecules to fend off a return of arthritis. The technique, demonstrated in a collaborative effort between Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis and Cytex Therapeutics Inc. in Durham, N.C., is described in ...
Cyborg insects to be turned into biorobotic sensing machines
A team of engineers from Washington University in St. Louis is looking to capitalise on the sense of smell in locusts to create biorobotic sensing systems that could be used in homeland security applications. Baranidharan Raman, associate professor of biomedical engineering in the School of Engineering & Applied Science, has received a three-year, $750,000 grant from the Office of Naval Research (ONR) to use the highly sensitive locust olfact...
Xbox Kinect reduces radiation exposure from X-rays
With the aim of producing high-quality X-rays with minimal radiation exposure, particularly in children, researchers have developed a new approach to imaging patients. Surprisingly, the new technology isn’t a high-tech, high-dollar piece of machinery. Rather, it’s based on the Xbox gaming system.