Transperineal Ultrasound-Guided Prostate Biopsy

Prostate cancer is the most common male cancer in the United States, and the third most common worldwide. Prostate biopsies are often performed to confirm a cancer diagnosis and examine suspect tissue. Prostate biopsies are most often performed under transrectal ultrasound imaging (TRUS) guidance. TRUS images in real-time, at relatively low cost, and shows both prostate and boundaries. However, major problems with TRUS imaging are poor spatial resolution and low sensitivity for cancer detection.

Tissue Clamp for Repeated Opening and Closure of Incisions/Wounds

Medical clamps currently available are not efficient nor are they sufficiently precise in closure and alignment of the edges of an incision or wound. Many available designs are difficult to use and handle, especially in situations where repeated opening and closure of an incision or wound is required. The functional short-comings of existing clamp designs may result in surgical complications, such as excess loss of fluids and pressure and hemostasis during some procedures.

Device for Simulating Explosive Blast and Imaging Biological Specimens

Traumatic brain injury (TBI) is a major health problem.  Between 3.2 and 5.3 million people live with long-term disabilities resulting from TBI, and thus, contribute to the need to develop therapies that treat TBI-induced cellular damage. Researchers at the National Institute of Child Health and Human Development (NICHD) have developed a device that simulates the pressure waves resulting from explosions.

Method for Targeted Therapeutic Delivery of Proteins into Cells

Current methods to deliver proteins into cells (e.g., using retrovirus, DNA transfection, protein transduction, microinjection, complexing the protein with lipids, etc.) have many shortcomings, such as lack of target specificity toxicity, or unwanted random integration into the host chromosome.  Protein transduction is an emerging technology for delivering proteins into cells by exploiting the ability of certain proteins to penetrate the cell membrane.  However, the majority of the proteins delivered by this means are usually trapped and subsequently degraded in the endosomes-lyso

AngleNav: Micro-Electro-Mechanical Systems (MEMs) Trackers to Facilitate Computed Topography (CT)-Guided Needle Puncture

Conventional free-hand needle puncture procedures for biopsy and other procedures, often rely on unguided manual movements to guide a needle to its destination. Freehand procedures risk missing the tumor, or accidental injury, such as puncturing a vital organ. Needle guidance systems may improve accuracy and reduce risks but available guidance technologies are cumbersome and expensive and may carry other risks.

Novel Fixative for Improved Biomolecule Quality from Paraffin-Embedded Tissue

Tissues samples collected during medical procedures, such as biopsies, are used to diagnose a wide variety of diseases. Before diagnosis, patient samples are typically processed by fixation and paraffin embedding. This fixation/embedding process is used to preserve tissue morphology and histology for subsequent evaluation. Unfortunately, most fixative agents can damage or destroy nucleic acids (RNA and DNA) and damage proteins during the fixation process, thereby potentially impairing diagnostic assessment of tissue.

A peptide hydrogel for use in vascular anastomosis

In collaboration with surgery specialists from Johns Hopkins University, researchers at the National Cancer Institute (NCI) developed novel hydrogel compositions and methods of using them in the microsurgical suturing of blood vessels, which is particularly beneficial for surgeons in whole tissue transplant procedures. The lead candidate electropositive hydrogels, called APC1, was demonstrated in anastomosis mice models to be well tolerated, biocompatible, and non-toxic.

Composite Gels and Methods of their Use in Tissue Repair, Drug Delivery, and as Implants

Gel materials, particularly hydrogels, typically lose their mechanical strength and stiffness as they swell. This property  limits their use in both biological (e.g., cartilage and ECM repair) and non-biological (e.g., sealant) applications. Innovative materials in both medical and non-medical application areas are sorely needed.

Module to Freeze and Store Frozen Tissue

Tissue obtained for both clinical and research purposes is routinely frozen, commonly in Optimal Cutting Temperature (OCT), an embedding media, for eventual downstream analysis, commonly including sectioning on a cryostat. Though OCT is the standard compound used for freezing, there is no standard freezing protocol. Thus, current methods of handling, labeling, and storing OCT-embedded tissue vary widely, and specimens are often damaged or degraded due to undesirable temperature fluctuations during handling and freezing.

Devices for Improved Tissue Cryopreservation and Recovery

Problem: Cryopreservation is a process where living biological materials like cells, tissues, and cell therapies (which are susceptible to damage caused by unregulated chemical kinetics) are preserved by cooling to very low temperatures in the presence of specific cryopreservation media that protects the biological material from damage. In order to be used, the biological material ideally should be thawed in a controlled manner that minimizes damage and desirably brings the material back to a viable state.