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Archive for the ‘bioengineering’ category

Jun 21, 2021

Could a Nasal Spray of Designer Antibodies Help to Beat COVID-19?

Posted by in categories: bioengineering, biotech/medical, health

There are now several monoclonal antibodies, identical copies of a therapeutic antibody produced in large numbers, that are authorized for the treatment of COVID-19. But in the ongoing effort to beat this terrible pandemic, there’s plenty of room for continued improvements in treating infections with SARS-CoV-2, the virus that causes COVID-19.

With this in mind, I’m pleased to share progress in the development of a specially engineered therapeutic antibody that could be delivered through a nasal spray. Preclinical studies also suggest it may work even better than existing antibody treatments to fight COVID-19, especially now that new SARS-CoV-2 “variants of concern” have become increasingly prevalent.

These findings come from Zhiqiang An, The University of Texas Health Science Center at Houston, and Pei-Yong Shi, The University of Texas Medical Branch at Galveston, and their colleagues. The NIH-supported team recognized that the monoclonal antibodies currently in use all require time-consuming, intravenous infusion at high doses, which has limited their use. Furthermore, because they are delivered through the bloodstream, they aren’t able to reach directly the primary sites of viral infection in the nasal passages and lungs. With the emergence of new SARS-CoV-2 variants, there’s also growing evidence that some of those therapeutic antibodies are becoming less effective in targeting the virus.-Dr Francis Collins.

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Jun 21, 2021

NASA inches closer to printing artificial organs in space

Posted by in categories: 3D printing, bioengineering, biotech/medical, life extension

In America, at least 17 people a day die waiting for an organ transplant. But instead of waiting for a donor to die, what if we could someday grow our own organs?

Last week, six years after NASA announced its Vascular Tissue Challenge, a competition designed to accelerate research that could someday lead to artificial organs, the agency named two winning teams. The challenge required teams to create thick, vascularized human organ tissue that could survive for 30 days.

The two teams, named Winston and WFIRM, both from the Wake Forest Institute for Regenerative Medicine, used different 3D-printing techniques to create lab-grown liver tissue that would satisfy all of NASA’s requirements and maintain their function.

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Jun 17, 2021

A Clever Robot Spies on Creatures in the Oceans Twilight Zone

Posted by in categories: bioengineering, robotics/AI, transportation

But now a spy swims among them: Mesobot. Today in the journal Science Robotics, a team of engineers and oceanographers describes how they got a new autonomous underwater vehicle to lock onto movements of organisms and follow them around the ocean’s “twilight zone,” a chronically understudied band between 650 feet and 3200 feet deep, which scientists also refer to as mid-water. Thanks to some clever engineering, the researchers did so without flustering these highly sensitive animals, making Mesobot a groundbreaking new tool for oceanographers.

“It’s super cool from an engineering standpoint,” says Northeastern University roboticist Hanumant Singh, who develops ocean robots but wasn’t involved in this research. “It’s really an amazing piece of work, in terms of looking at an area that’s unexplored in the ocean.”

Mesobot looks like a giant yellow-and-black AirPods case, only it’s rather more waterproof and weighs 550 pounds. It can operate with a fiber-optic tether attached to a research vessel at the surface, or it can swim around freely.

Jun 16, 2021

Synthetic protein lattices explained

Posted by in categories: bioengineering, biotech/medical, computing, nanotechnology, neuroscience

Check out my short video in which I explain some super exciting research in the area of nanotechnology: de novo protein lattices! I specifically discuss a journal article by Ben-Sasson et al. titled “Design of biologically active binary protein 2D materials”.


Here, I explain an exciting nanotechnology paper “Design of biologically active binary protein 2D materials” (https://doi.org/10.1038/s41586-020-03120-8).

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Jun 16, 2021

CRISPR Test Uses Cell Phone Camera to Detect SARS-CoV-2

Posted by in categories: bioengineering, biotech/medical, particle physics

Circa 2020


Researchers at UC Berkeley have developed a rapid test for SARS-CoV-2 that uses an enzyme to cleave viral RNA, initiating a fluorescent signal that can be detected using a smartphone camera, and which can provide a quantitative measurement of the level of viral particles in the sample. The test produce a result in as little as 30 minutes and does not require bulky or expensive laboratory equipment.

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Jun 15, 2021

Exoskeleton | Ballistic Helmet | Military Suits

Posted by in categories: bioengineering, climatology, cyborgs, Elon Musk, genetics, military, robotics/AI

✅ Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/pro_robots.

You are on the Pro Robot channel and today we are going to talk about the soldiers of the future. Exoskeletons, ballistic helmets, military suits, chips and more are already being introduced into the armaments of different countries. In this issue we will find out what the super-soldier of the future will be like and what developments are being conducted in the military industry. Watch the video to the end and write your opinion in the comments: will robots replace humans in military service?

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Jun 15, 2021

Heart on a chip: Micro-nanofabrication and microfluidics steering the future of cardiac tissue engineering

Posted by in categories: bioengineering, biotech/medical, evolution, nanotechnology

Circa 2019


The evolution of micro and nanofabrication approaches significantly spurred the advancements of cardiac tissue engineering over the last decades. Engineering in the micro and nanoscale allows for the rebuilding of heart tissues using cardiomyocytes. The breakthrough of human induced pluripotent stem cells expanded this field rendering the development of human tissues from adult cells possible, thus avoiding the ethical issues of the usage of embryonic stem cells but also creating patient-specific human engineered tissues. In the case of the heart, the combination of cardiomyocytes derived from human induced pluripotent stem cells and micro/nano engineering devices gave rise to new therapeutic approaches of cardiac diseases. In this review, we survey the micro and nanofabrication methods used for cardiac tissue engineering, ranging from clean room-based patterning (such as photolithography and plasma etching) to electrospinning and additive manufacturing. Subsequently, we report on the main approaches of microfluidics for cardiac culture systems, the so-called “Heart on a Chip”, and we assess their efficacy for future development of cardiac disease modeling and drug screening platforms.

Jun 14, 2021

Scientists Grew Human Cells in Monkey Embryos, and Yes, Its an Ethical Minefield

Posted by in categories: bioengineering, biotech/medical, chemistry, ethics, neuroscience

The way the team made the human–monkey embryo is similar to previous attempts at half-human chimeras.

Here’s how it goes. They used de-programmed, or “reverted,” human stem cells, called induced pluripotent stem cells (iPSCs). These cells often start from skin cells, and are chemically treated to revert to the stem cell stage, gaining back the superpower to grow into almost any type of cell: heart, lung, brain…you get the idea. The next step is preparing the monkey component, a fertilized and healthy monkey egg that develops for six days in a Petri dish. By this point, the embryo is ready for implantation into the uterus, which kicks off the whole development process.

This is where the chimera jab comes in. Using a tiny needle, the team injected each embryo with 25 human cells, and babied them for another day. “Until recently the experiment would have ended there,” wrote Drs. Hank Greely and Nita Farahany, two prominent bioethicists who wrote an accompanying expert take, but were not involved in the study.

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Jun 11, 2021

New research in protein sequencing poised to transform medicine

Posted by in categories: bioengineering, biotech/medical, genetics

While DNA provides the genetic recipe book for biological form and function, it is the job of the body’s proteins to carry out the complex commands dictated by DNA’s genetic code.

Stuart Lindsay, a researcher at the Biodesign Institute at ASU, has been at the forefront of efforts to improve rapid DNA sequencing and has more recently applied his talents to explore the much thornier problem of sequencing molecules, one molecule at a time.

In a new overview article, Lindsay’s efforts are described along with those of international colleagues, who are applying a variety of innovative strategies for protein sequencing at the single-cell, and even single-molecule level.

Jun 10, 2021

Researchers create self-sustaining, intelligent, electronic microsystems from green material

Posted by in categories: bioengineering, biotech/medical, robotics/AI

A research team from the University of Massachusetts Amherst has created an electronic microsystem that can intelligently respond to information inputs without any external energy input, much like a self-autonomous living organism. The microsystem is constructed from a novel type of electronics that can process ultralow electronic signals and incorporates a device that can generate electricity “out of thin air” from the ambient environment.

The groundbreaking research was published June 7 in the journal Nature Communications.

Jun Yao, an assistant professor in the electrical and computer engineering (ECE) and an adjunct professor in biomedical engineering, led the research with his longtime collaborator, Derek R. Lovley, a Distinguished Professor in microbiology.

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