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Harvard Medical School

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Harvard Medical School

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2018
2 Aug

Gentle robotic hand for sea life

The open ocean is the largest and least explored environment on Earth, estimated to hold up to a million species that have yet to be described. However, many of those organisms are soft-bodied - like jellyfish, squid, and octopuses - and are difficult to capture for study with existing underwater tools, which all too frequently damage or destroy them. Now, a new device safely traps delicate sea creatures inside a folding polyhedral enclosure and lets them go without harm using a novel, origami-inspired design.
2 May

Personalized bio-inks boost healing potential of printable body tissue

Researchers have incorporated platelet-rich plasma into a bio-ink: a 3-D-printed mixture of cells and gel that could eventually become the stuff of skin grafts and regenerative tissue implants.
2017
26 Dec

Molecular Robotics capitalizes on recent explosion of technologies

Collaborations between nanotechnologists, synthetic biologists, and computer scientists create nanoscale tools that could revolutionize fields from cancer diagnostics to materials science.
5 Oct

Colour changing tattoos monitor health

Researchers have developed smart tattoo ink capable of monitoring health by changing color to tell an athlete if they are dehydrated or diabetic.
31 Aug

Robotic system monitors specific neurons

Recording electrical signals from inside a neuron in the living brain can reveal a great deal of information about that neuron's function and how it coordinates with other cells in the brain.
23 Aug

Harvesting the microbiome of athletes

Scientists have now tapped into the microbiome of exceptional runners and rowers, and have identified particular bacteria that may aid athletic performance.
16 Aug

Using ultrasound to trigger on-demand, site-specific pain relief

A novel system uses ultrasound to trigger the release of nerve-blocking agents — injected into specific sites of the body ahead of time — when and where pain relief is needed most.
31 Jul

Building the safe genes toolkit

DARPA created the Safe Genes program to gain a fundamental understanding of how gene editing technologies function; devise means to safely, responsibly, and predictably harness them for beneficial ends; and address potential health and security concerns related to their accidental or intentional misuse.
18 Jul

Soft and stretchy fabric-based sensors for wearable robots

A team of researchers has created a highly sensitive soft capacitive sensor made of silicone and fabric that moves and flexes with the human body to unobtrusively and accurately detect movement.
14 Jul

Personalized cancer vaccine

A personal cancer treatment vaccine that targets distinctive "neoantigens" on tumor cells has been shown to stimulate a potent, safe, and highly specific immune anti-tumor response in melanoma patients.
9 Jun

Tethered soft exosuit reduces metabolic cost of running

Researchers have demonstrated that a tethered soft exosuit can reduce the metabolic cost of running on a treadmill by 5.4%.
25 May

Shedding light on how humans walk...with robots

With the recent boom of the robotic exoskeleton industry, more and more patients are being strapped into machines that apply forces to their legs as they walk, gently prodding them to modify their movements by lengthening their strides, straightening their hips, and bending their knees. But, are all patients benefiting from this kind of treatment?
21 Apr

Bionic Eye Technologies

In this profile, Alexis Karandrea reports on correspondence with Richard Birney, the CEO of Bionic Eye Technologies, Inc., and the retinal implant technology they are developing.
2016
21 Oct

Stretchy optical fibers for implanting in the body

Researchers have developed a biocompatible and highly stretchable optical fiber made from hydrogel — an elastic, rubbery material composed mostly of water. The fiber, which is as bendable as a rope of licorice, may one day be implanted in the body to deliver therapeutic pulses of light or light up at the first sign of disease.
12 Sep

Drug-dispensing contact lens

A contact lens designed to deliver medication gradually to the eye could improve outcomes for patients with conditions requiring treatment with eye drops, which are often imprecise and difficult to self-administer.
6 Jul

Tough new hydrogel hybrid doesn't dry out

Engineers have found a way to prevent hydrogels from dehydrating, with a technique that could lead to longer-lasting contact lenses, stretchy microfluidic devices, flexible bioelectronics, and even artificial skin.
10 Jun

Bionic leaf turns sunlight into liquid fuel

The days of drilling into the ground in the search for fuel may be numbered, because if Daniel Nocera has his way, it'll just be a matter of looking for sunny skies.
20 May

Printing metal in midair

The increasing demand for flexible, wearable electronics, sensors, antennas, and biomedical devices has led a research team to innovate an eye-popping way of printing complex metallic architectures as though seemingly suspended in midair.
18 May

Wearable exosuits for patients with limited mobility

The soft exosuit — which is a soft wearable robot that is the first of its kind — was developed through extensive prototyping that included the involvement of roboticists, mechanical and biomechanical engineers, apparel designers, and software engineers.
12 May

New material temporarily tightens skin

Scientists have developed a new material that can temporarily protect and tighten skin, and smooth wrinkles. With further development, it could also be used to deliver drugs to help treat skin conditions such as eczema and other types of dermatitis.
12