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Transplants to Nanotechnology - New Medical Advances 2012

Updated on April 10, 2015

Smart Phone Medical App

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New Clinical Studies

New clinical studies promise great strides in 2012 from improved procedures for transplants to the development nanotechnology. New clinical medical research has made advances in transplants, stem cell research, treatment of spinal cord injuries, early warning for asthma attacks, easy diagnosis of Sjorgren’s Syndrome, oral cancer diagnosis, plus vascular and heart surgery.

One of the best new technology discoveries is medical applications for phones and now there are over 5000 medical applications.

  • Physicians will have the ability to download a CAT scan, MRI, lab work, etc.
  • Patients will be able to use the medical app on their phone to look at their lab work results, as well as, other tests.
  • Physicians can communicate with other physicians, while both have access to lab studies
  • Communication between the physician and patients will be enhanced
  • Communication between doctor’s offices and insurance companies will improve.

HealthTap is a new program launched two days ago using the smart phone, which allows a person to get in touch with an expert physician for free. This mobile application will enable patients to contact America’s best doctors 24/7 and receive personalized health information to find the best care available. The patient will be able to make better decisions about their health and well-being.

Cartilage Joint Repair

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What is a Nanostructure?

Nanostructures are material structures assembled from a cluster or a layer of atoms that are thinner than a strand of hair but have the great strength. They are being used for implants in bone surgery and as a contrast agent for several clinical medical imaging modalities.

Professional athletes, amateur athletes and people with degenerative diseases with worn out joints will benefit greatly with these new methods. Another important use will be for people with osteoarthritis, a disorder with an estimated economic impact of $65 billion in the United States and it will grow with an active and aging population.

Spinal Cord Repairs

Another amazing project is being conducted at Northwestern University. Dr. John A Kesler is the principal investigator of clinical studies to repair damaged spinal cords. The University is the first to design a bioactive nanomaterial, which promotes the growth of new cartilage in vivo, without the use of expensive growth factors. There is no conventional therapy that can achieve this result. This also prevents the formation of scar tissue, which can inhibit spinal cord healing following surgery. They stimulate the body to regenerate lost or damaged cells. Researchers have been successful in growing nerve cells using a three-dimensional network of natural nanofibers. The implications for patients with spinal cord injuries are phenomenal with this new technology.

Although bone grows back, cartilage does not regenerate, therefore, methods to regenerate this tissue are important. Northwestern has a gel that is injected as a liquid to the area of the damaged joint where it's self-assembles and turns into a solid form.

Stem Cells for Vascular Surgery

Stem cell therapy is being utilized in several areas of research. One area of clinical medical research involves biomedical engineering using stem cell-based tissue to develop replacement blood vessels. The stem cells actually assemble into blood vessels. Northwestern University is also doing cardiovascular regenerative medicine.

When this technique is completed a patient having open-heart surgery will no longer need to have veins harvested from their legs for vascular grafts. Stem cells are also used as a treatment for patients with peripheral vascular disease.

Saliva Test

Another fascinating area of research is being conducted using your saliva. The UCLA School of Dentistry has received a $2.8 million grant to support their research.

Biology professor David Wong is a pioneer in the use of saliva for diagnosing oral cancers and other diseases. The focus is on mouth head and neck cancers by standardizing a saliva-based test for these diseases. In addition, the saliva test also can diagnose Sjogren's syndrome, which has been difficult to diagnose and is generally poorly understood. This simple, noninvasive test results in a diagnosis within minutes.

Saliva Test for Oral Cancer, UCLA

Phone for Asthma Patients

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Early Asthma Diagnoses

Asthma is another disease where the use of nanotubes has been used to develop an early warning system to detect and prevent asthma attacks. The University of Pittsburgh is completing clinical trials research. Carbon nanotubes have been around for 20 years, but their use in medical technology is fairly new. They are light, flexible but 50 times stronger than steel, which makes them ideal for nanodetectors. This ideal material is extremely small, which allows tiny sensors to be manufactured that don't use much power. A watch battery is adequate to run them for years. Ultimately, there will be several types of devices for patient use. The FDA has approved the process.

In the UK a phone prototype has been developed for children with asthma. All of these devices work by analyzing a person's breath measuring nitric oxide (NO) in exhaled breath and also oxygen. People with asthma have elevated levels of nitric oxide and their breath compared to healthy people. These devices predict the level of inflammation and when the asthma attacks are likely to occur. This knowledge will save lives as an asthma attack can be treated before it develops into a full-blown attack that will require hospitalization or even cause death.

In Summary

This article lists a few of the phenomenal new advances in clinical studies. This certainly makes the future brighter in the treatment of multiple diseases with early detection and new cures for they didn't exist before.

© 2011 Pamela Oglesby

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  • Pamela99 profile image
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    Pamela Oglesby 5 years ago from United States

    Debby Bruck, I'm glad you enjoyed the hub and I appreciate your comments. I am interested in reading your hub also.

  • Debby Bruck profile image

    Debby Bruck 5 years ago

    Hi Pamela ~ Nice research and investigation into the latest nano technology. I have also written about the oral cancer screening and remedies for oral mouth cancer, including homeopathy, my favorite subject. Enjoyed learning more from you. Blessings, Debby

  • Pamela99 profile image
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    Pamela Oglesby 5 years ago from United States

    R Tolloni, Thanks so much for your comments.

  • RTalloni profile image

    RTalloni 5 years ago from the short journey

    We live in such interesting times--thanks for sharing what you've learned. One never knows when one might need a little nanotechnology--and I'm not just joking!

  • Pamela99 profile image
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    Pamela Oglesby 5 years ago from United States

    Hello, Its nice to hear from you. Thank you for your comments and Happy New Year to you.

  • Hello, hello, profile image

    Hello, hello, 5 years ago from London, UK

    This is fantastic, Pamela, and thank you for these good news. Happy Year.

  • Pamela99 profile image
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    Pamela Oglesby 5 years ago from United States

    Amber, It is amazing that there are so many new areas of research. I appreciate your comments.

  • Amber Allen profile image

    Amber Allen 5 years ago

    Hi Pamela

    As always you've produced a first class hub.

    The advances in medicine are very exciting. It is difficult to decide which one of those highlighted will make the most difference. I think perhaps the phone app will reach the most people but every one of them has the ability to make a real difference to those who will benefit from them and that is what really matters.

    Amber:)

  • Pamela99 profile image
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    Pamela Oglesby 5 years ago from United States

    Anginwu, Thanks so much for your comments. Happy New Year to you and your family also.

  • Pamela99 profile image
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    Pamela Oglesby 5 years ago from United States

    Anginwu, Thanks so much for your comments. Happy New Year to you and your family also.

  • anglnwu profile image

    anglnwu 5 years ago

    Thanks for keeping us up to date with the newest of medical technology. These new developments are exciting. I think Helath Tap will be very useful to laymen like us. Another very informational hub. Rated up and Happy New Year!

  • Pamela99 profile image
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    Pamela Oglesby 5 years ago from United States

    susan, I'm glad you enjoyed the hub. I just get excited about new medical advances and love to share the information. Happy New Year to you and your family.

  • susan54 profile image

    susan54 5 years ago

    Pamela,How do you write such great hubs all the time. The info you provide is top notch. happy new year to you and your family. bye

  • Pamela99 profile image
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    Pamela Oglesby 5 years ago from United States

    kellymom, Thank you so much for your comments. You flatter me too much but I appreciate it.

  • kellymom1970 profile image

    kellymom1970 5 years ago

    Pamela,VOTE UP! you are the most informative hubber I know. You do a great job and all of your hubs. Great writer and researcher. Thanks

  • Pamela99 profile image
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    Pamela Oglesby 5 years ago from United States

    girltalkshop, Thank you so much for your comments. Happy New Year.

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    girltalksshop 5 years ago

    Very informative! Thanks for the share of knowledge.

  • Pamela99 profile image
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    Pamela Oglesby 5 years ago from United States

    The Frog Prince, Thank you so much for your comment. I hope you have a Happy New Year also.

    drbj, I'm glad you enjoyed this hub and I found these new technologies amazing also. Thank you so much for your comments. Happy New Year.

  • drbj profile image

    drbj and sherry 5 years ago from south Florida

    What a treat it is, Pamela, to read about these amazing technologies and their potential. Your hub, as always, is well-written and informative. Voted up, m'dear.

  • The Frog Prince profile image

    The Frog Prince 5 years ago from Arlington, TX

    Your training is shining through brightly Pamela. Fascinating Hub. Have a Happy New Year.

    The Frog

  • Pamela99 profile image
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    Pamela Oglesby 5 years ago from United States

    acetnna,I'm glad to like the hub and I appreciate your comments.

    Always exploring, It would be wonderful if either could walk again and I have a brother who is had four back surgeries and can barely stand up. I just hope these technologies are available while he is still young enough to receive them and your sister as well. Thank you so much for your comments.

  • always exploring profile image

    Ruby Jean Fuller 5 years ago from Southern Illinois

    This is wonderful news. I think you know that i have a paralyzed Sister, Eva, She's been in a wheelchair for 30 years. The thought of her walking again is amazing. Thank you so much for keeping up with the latest medical technology. ..

  • acaetnna profile image

    acaetnna 5 years ago from Guildford

    You always write such amazingly and stimulating hubs. I learn so much from you - thank you Pamela.

  • Pamela99 profile image
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    Pamela Oglesby 5 years ago from United States

    Kris Heeter, Thanks so much for your comment and I too wonder what is in store over the next decade.

    FitnessJim, I would agree with you. Having these great technologies at an affordable rate could help a huge number of people and it would be a boon to the economy. Thank you so much for your comments.

    shazwellyn, I probably should have mentioned the app for the diabetic as that is making a huge difference for people like your son. I appreciate your comments.

  • shazwellyn profile image

    shazwellyn 5 years ago from Great Britain

    I am delighted to be using a medical app for my son'w diabetes. It really helps him with carbohydrate counting.

    I am also excited about the advancements in nanotechnology. Thank you for this excellent read!

  • FitnezzJim profile image

    FitnezzJim 5 years ago from Fredericksburg, Virginia

    It seems to me that government encouragement of the development and maturation of new medical technologies through grants is preferred to the current Health Care system that still has not been decided by the Supreme Court. Basic competition should eventually lead to these technologies being low cost and available to all, and would be a boon to the economy.

  • Kris Heeter profile image

    Kris Heeter 5 years ago from Indiana

    Great hub - makes you wonder what thing will be like 10 years from now:)