A Diagnostics & Imaging Week

A group of researchers at Bradley University (Peoria, Illinois) have received an $850,000 federal grant to develop a medical training simulator. The researchers, led by John Engdahl, PhD, are working on a simulator to help make medical diagnoses. The grant was provided by the U.S. Army.

"We look to create a system that can record and reproduce a haptic (the use of touch) experience. The idea is to use the human hand as a probe," said Engdahl, saying that the simulator could accelerate training in the diagnosis of internal bleeding. "By simulating tests using the sense of touch and feel, we can help the medical community develop a means to teach and duplicate a wide-range of exam experiences and pathological conditions," he said.

Andy Chiou, PhD, a faculty member at the University of Illinois College of Medicine (also Peoria) and Engdahl's partner in Peoria Robotics, the firm set up to develop the simulator, cited his own experience to acknowledge the device's benefits.

"As a lieutenant colonel in the U.S. Air Force, I served on several surgical teams. This (simulator) could save lives on the battlefield," he said.

In other grant news, Nerites (Madison, Wisconsin) was awarded a grant by the National Institutes of Health to develop alternative methods of tendon repair using bioadhesive technology.

Joel Smith, MD, an orthopedic surgeon and consultant to Nerites, said: "There is significant need for improvements on current tendon repair techniques. The technology that Nerites is developing has great potential and will represent a substantial advance in treatment using medical devices."

Nerites makes synthetic bioadhesives that can enhance natural tissue repair, reduce postoperative complications, and degrade safely when they are no longer needed.

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