Computer and imaging technologies led to the development of digital pathology and the capture and storage of pathological specimens as digitally formatted images. The use of artificial intelligence (AI) in digital pathology, such as in three-dimensional (3D) reconstruction, requires analyses of high volumes of data. This resulted in increased demands for processing and acquisition of digital images of pathology samples. Increased usage cannot be met by the time-consuming, manual, and laborious methods currently used.
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.
The culture of mouse embryos ex utero and continuous monitoring and imaging of embryos as they develop have applications in drug testing, genetic studies, and basic research on embryonic development. However, the embryo culture systems currently available for post-implantation embryos include rolling bottle culture systems, which do not permit imaging of the developing embryos and do not support the long-term survival and development of embryos ex utero.
In medical diagnostic procedures for examining the cervix and the tissues of the vagina and vulva, long working-distance (-30 cm) lighted binocular microscopes (colposcope) that provide up to 25x optical magnification are used to create an illuminated magnified view. Speculum dilations can give rise to specular reflections from the tissue surface, causing physicians to overlook possible abnormalities – thus decreasing the quality of a colposcopy.
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.
The ability to hold and transport tissue, especially needle biopsies in a pre-defined and controlled environment is critical for the preservation of biopsy samples in downstream analytic applications. Currently, tissue specimens are placed in open containers with variable, poorly controlled solutions applied to them, often in less than sterile conditions. Evaluation of the tissue by examination through a stereoscope or similar approaches to determine adequacy is limited and requires manipulation of the tissue that can further damage the tissue.
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.
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.
Microosmometer for the Study of a Wide Range of Biological, Macromolecular, Polymeric, Gel, or Other Samples
Scientists at the Eunice Kennedy Shriver National Institute for Child Health and Human Development (NICHD) have discovered a new microosmometer that allows for the quantification of minor changes in the swelling properties of different materials (including tissue specimens) using microgram amounts of sample. Varying the vapor pressure in the environmental chamber of the device induces controlled changes in the osmotic pressure of the specimen on the surface of a flat quartz crystal microbalance.
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.