News: Medical

New Microfluidics Devices

Microfluidics devices are tiny systems with microscopic channels that can be used for chemical or biomedical testing and research. In a potentially game-changing advance, MIT researchers have now incorporated microfluidics systems into individual fibers, making it possible to process much larger…   more

Helping blood cells regenerate after radiation therapy

Patients with blood cancers such as leukemia and lymphoma are often treated by irradiating their bone marrow to destroy the diseased cells. After the treatment, patients are vulnerable to infection and fatigue until new blood cells grow back. MIT researchers have now devised a way to help…   more

Anikeeva menitoned as a "hero of science" for unlocking the brain

Five foot three and compact as a gazelle, Anikeeva is a marathon runner, a rock climber, and one heck of a scientist. She was born to a pair of mechanical engineers in the former Soviet Union, where she so excelled at academics that she was moved to an elite high school, then majored in physics…   more

Ming Dao Research on Sickle Cells

One of the most common complications of sickle-cell disease occurs when deformed red blood cells clump together, blocking tiny blood vessels and causing severe pain and swelling in the affected body parts. A new study from MIT sheds light on how these events, known as vaso-occlusive pain…   more

Cima part of team that developed new, more accurate neural implants

New technologies such as optogenetics have allowed us to identify similar microstructures in the brain. However, these techniques rely on liquid infusions into the brain, which prepare the regions to be studied to respond to light. These infusions are done with large needles, which do not have…   more

New Neural Implants developed by Prof. Cima

New technologies such as optogenetics have allowed us to identify similar microstructures in the brain. However, these techniques rely on liquid infusions into the brain, which prepare the regions to be studied to respond to light. These infusions are done with large needles, which do not have…   more

Study reveals why polymer stents failed

MIT Researchers in DMSE and the Institute for Medical Engineering have discovered why biodegradable polymer stents failed over time, hoping to eventually design and evaluate polymer stents more effectively. Jeff Grossman is among several MIT-based authors in a paper that appears in the    more

Ultrathin needle can deliver drugs directly to the brain

MIT researchers have devised a miniaturized system that can deliver tiny quantities of medicine to brain regions as small as 1 cubic millimeter. This type of targeted dosing could make it possible to treat diseases that affect very specific brain circuits, without interfering with the normal…   more

The best way of looking at the brain is from within

Members of Polina Anikeeva’s lab are trying to build devices that match the physical properties of neural tissue. “It is problematic to have something with the elastic properties of a knife inside something with the elastic properties of a chocolate pudding.” …   more

Researchers develop flexible, stretchable photonic devices

Researchers at MIT and several other institutions have developed a method for making photonic devices — similar to electronic devices but based on light rather than electricity — that can bend and stretch without damage. The devices could find uses in cables to connect computing devices, or in…   more

Blood testing via sound waves may replace some tissue biopsies

Cells secrete nanoscale packets called exosomes that carry important messages from one part of the body to another. Scientists from MIT and other institutions have now devised a way to intercept these messages, which could be used to diagnose problems such as cancer or fetal abnormalities.…   more

Converging on cancer at the nanoscale

This summer, the Koch Institute for Integrative Cancer Research at MIT marks the first anniversary of the launch of the Marble Center for Cancer Nanomedicine. The Marble Center for Cancer Nanomedicine focuses on grand challenges in cancer detection, treatment, and monitoring that can…   more

A noninvasive method for deep brain stimulation

Delivering an electrical current to a part of the brain involved in movement control has proven successful in treating many Parkinson’s disease patients. This approach, known as deep brain stimulation, requires implanting electrodes in the brain — a complex procedure that carries some risk to…   more

Study offers guidance for targeting residual ovarian tumors

A new study conducted by Michael Cima explores ways to improve chemotherapy strategies for ovarian cancer, and how to determine which patients would be most likely to benefit from a new implantable device that could make intraperitoneal chemotherapy more bearable. "Most women diagnosed…   more

Making brain implants smaller could prolong their lifespan

Michael Cima has a new paper on brain implants and gliosis, which is scarring produced by the implant. This kind of implant is used for deep brain stimulation to treat Parkinson’s disease, among other uses, but about half of them fail within six months due to gliosis. The new study found…   more

Stretching the boundaries of neural implants

New flexible fibers developed by Professor Polina Anikeeva and her research team are able to stimulate and monitor neurons in the spine without being invasive.  "Now, researchers have developed a rubber-like fiber that can flex and stretch while simultaneously delivering both optical…   more

Graphene sheets capture cells efficiently

"The material used in this research is an oxidized version of the two-dimensional form of pure carbon known as graphene, which has been the subject of widespread research for over a decade because of its unique mechanical and electrical characteristics. The key to the new process is heating the…   more

Precise technique tracks dopamine in the brain

"MIT researchers have devised a way to measure dopamine in the brain much more precisely than previously possible, which should allow scientists to gain insight into dopamine’s roles in learning, memory, and emotion. "Dopamine is one of the many neurotransmitters that neurons in the brain…   more

Tiny fibers open new windows into the brain

"For the first time ever, a single flexible fiber no bigger than a human hair has successfully delivered a combination of optical, electrical, and chemical signals back and forth into the brain, putting into practice an idea first proposed two years ago. With some tweaking to further improve its…   more

Fighting cancer with the power of immunity

Professor Darrell Irvine was a senior author alongside Dane Wittrup for a study published to the online edition of Nature Medicine on Oct. 24.  "Harnessing the body’s own immune system to destroy tumors is a tantalizing prospect that has yet to realize its full potential. However…   more

Nanosensors could help determine tumors’ ability to remodel tissue

A story from MIT News about research from Prof. Polina Anikeeva was recently featured on MIT's homepage.  "MIT researchers have designed nanosensors that can profile tumors and may yield insight into how they will respond to certain therapies. The system is based on levels of enzymes…   more

Discovery could help treatments for sickle cell disease

DMSE's Ming Dao, along with Postdoc Peter T.C. So, co-authored a study regarding sickle cell disease and the hydroxyurea action. "Our findings shine a light on the mechanism behind hydroxyurea action, which has long been debated in the scientific…   more