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Tag: polymers

Hybrid Bionic Cardiac Patch Combines Electronics, Living Tissue

More than 25% of the people on the national US waiting list for a heart will die before receiving one. Despite this discouraging figure, heart transplants are still on the rise. There just hasn’t been an alternative. Until now. The “cyborg heart patch,” a new engineering innovation from Tel Aviv University, may single-handedly change the […]

Smart Cell Patch Delivers Insulin Without Pain

For decades, researchers have tried to duplicate the function of beta cells, the tiny insulin-producing entities that don’t work properly in patients with diabetes. Insulin injections are an option, but are a painful and often imperfect substitutes. And transplants of normal beta cells carry the risk of rejection or side effects from immuno-suppressive therapies. Now, […]

How To Make Microscopic Wood Chippers Work Faster

The enzyme cellobiohydrolase I, also known as TrCel7a (pronounced tee-are-cell-seven-a) is basically a microscopic wood chipper. It’s a special enzyme, called a cellulase, that breaks down cellulose— the most plentiful natural polymer on the planet— into simple sugars. It works very slowly but, like a truck operating at a very low gear, it is extremely […]

New Way To Deliver MicroRNAs For Cancer Treatment

Twenty years ago, scientists discovered that short strands of RNA known as microRNA help cells to fine-tune their gene expression. Disruption or loss of some microRNAs has been linked to cancer, raising the possibility of treating tumors by adjusting microRNA levels. Developing such treatments requires delivering microRNA to tumors, which has proven difficult. However, researchers […]