Printable ‘Bionic’ Ear Melds Electronics and Biology

Scientists at Princeton University used off-the-shelf printing tools to create a functional ear that can “hear” radio frequencies far beyond the range of normal human capability.

The researchers’ primary purpose was to explore an efficient and versatile means to merge electronics with tissue. The scientists used 3D printing of cells and nanoparticles Continue reading

Developing Technologies to Improve the Treatment of Craniosynostosis in Children

Engineers and surgeons are working together to improve the treatment of babies born with craniosynostosis, a condition that causes the bone plates in the skull to fuse too soon. Treating this condition typically requires surgery after birth to remove portions of the fused skull bones, and in some cases the bones grow together again too quickly — requiring additional surgeries.

Researchers in the Atlanta-based Center for Pediatric Healthcare Technology Innovation are developing imaging techniques designed to predict whether a child’s skull bones are likely to grow back together too quickly after surgery. They are also developing technologies that may delay a repeat of the premature fusion process. Continue reading

Home Remedies Series – Kidney Stones

Symptoms

Severe pain in their attempt to pass down the urethera

Kidney stones usually cause severe pain in their attempt to pass down the ureter on their way to the bladder. The pain is first felt in the side and, therefter, in the groin and thighs.

Frequent desire to urinate, painful urination, scanty urination, nausea

Other symptoms, of kidney stones are a frequent desire to urinate, painful urination, scanty urination, nausea, vomiting, sweating, and chills. The patient may also pass blood with the urine.

Causes of kidney stones

Kidney Stones Symptoms, Causes, Remedy and Diet

Defects in the general metabolism

The formation of stones in the kidneys is the result of defects in the general metabolism.They usually occur when the urine becomes highly concentrated due to heavy perspiration or insufficient intake of fluids. They are aggravated by a sedentary life-style. Wrong diet, excess intake of acid-forming foods, white flour and sugar products

The other causes are, excess intake of acid-forming foods, white flour and sugar products, meat, tea,coffee, condiments and spices, rich foods, and overeating.

Lack of vitamin A, excessive intake of vitamin D

Kidney Stones treatment using Kidney Beans

Kidney beans, also known as dried French beans or Rajmah, are regarded as a very effective home remedy for kidney problems, including kidney stones. The method prescribed to prepare the medicine is to remove the beans from inside the pods, then slice the pods and put about sixty grams in four litre of hot water, boiling them slowly for six hours. This liquid should be strained through fine muslin and then allowed to cool for about eight hours. Thereafter the fluid should be poured through another piece of muslin without stirring.A glass of this decoction should be given to the patient every two hours throughout the day for one day and, thereafter, it may be taken several times a week. This decoction would not work if it was more than twenty-four hours old. The pods could be kept for longer periods but once they were boiled, the therapeutic factor would disappear after one day.

Kidney Stones treatment using Basil

Basil has a strengthening effect on the kidneys.In case of kidney stones, one teaspoon each of basil juice and honey should be taken daily for six months. It has been found that stones can be expelled from the urinary tract by this treatment.

Kidney Stones treatment using Celery

Celery is a valuable food for those who are prone to getting stones in the kidneys or gall-bladder. Its regular intake prevents future stone formation.

Kidney Stones treatment using Apple

Apples are useful in kidney stones. In countries where the natural unsweetened cider is a common beverage, cases of stones or calculus are practically absent. The ripe fresh fruit is, however, more valuable.

Kidney Stones treatment using Grapes

Grapes have an exceptional diuretic value on account of their high contents of water and potassium salt. The value of this fruit in kidney troubles is enhanced by its low albumin and sodium chloride content. It is an excellent cure for kidney stones.

Kidney Stones treatment using Pomegranate

The seeds of both sour and sweet pomegranates are useful medicine for kidney stones. A tablespoon of the seeds, ground into a fine paste, can be given along with a cup of horse gram (kulthi) soup to dissolve gravel in kidneys. Two tablespoons of horse gram should be used for preparing the cup of soup.

Kidney Stones treatment using Watermelon

Watermelon contains the highest concentration of water amongst all fruits. It is also rich in potassium salts. It is one of the safest and best diuretics which can be used with beneficial result in kidney stones.

Kidney Stones treatment using Vitamin B 6

Research has shown the remarkable therapeutic success of vitamin B6 or pyridoxine in the treatment of kidney Stones. A daily therapeutic does of 100 to 150 mg of vitamin B6, preferably, combined with other B complex vitamins, should be continued for several months for getting a permanent cure.

Diet for kidney stones

Avoid foods like alcoholic beverages; condiments and pickles; certain vegetables like cucumber, radish.

A patient with kidney stones should avoid foods, which irritate the kidneys, to control acidity or alkalinity of the urine. He should also ensure adequate intake of fluids to prevent the urine from becoming concentrated. The foods considered irritants to the kidneys are alcoholic beverages; condiments and pickles; certain vegetables like cucumber, radish, tomato, spinach, rhubarb; those with a strong aroma such as asparagus, onion, beans, cabbage, and cauliflower; meat and gravies; and carbonated waters.

Intake of calcium and phosphates should be restricted

For controlling the formation of calcium phosphate stones, the intake of calcium and phosphates should be restricted. Foods which should be avoided are wholewheat flour, Chickpea, peas, soyabean, beet, spinach, cauliflower, turnips, carrots, almonds, and coconuts. When stones are composed of calcium, magnesium phosphates, and carbonates, the diet should be so regulated as to maintain an acidic urine. On the other hand, the urine should be kept alkaline if oxalate and uric acid stones are being formed. In the latter case, fruits and vegetables should be liberally used, and acid-forming foods should be kept to the minimum necessary for satisfactory nutrition. In case of uric stones, foods with a high purine content such as sweet breads, liver, and kidney should be avoided.

Take a low-protein diet and have liberal intake of water

The patient should take a low-protein diet, restricting protein to one gram per kilogram of food. A liberal intake of fluid upto three litres or more daily is essential to prevent the precipitation of salt into the form of stones.

Other Kidney Stones treatment

Give warm enema followed by a hot bath

The patient should be given a large warm enema, followed by a hot bath with a temperature of 37.8oC, gradually increased to 44.5°C. During the bath, the head should be wrapped in a cold towel. Hot fomentation applied across the back in the region of the kidneys will relieve the pain.

Yogasanas are also helpful

Certain yogasanas such as pavanmuktasana, uttanpadasana, bhujangasana, dhanurasana, and halasana are also beneficial as they activate the kidneys.

Natural Hydrogel May Boost Spinal Cord Healing

WASHINGTON – A jab of biomaterial gel into a spinal cord injury site may significantly improve healing, according to researchers at the Barrow Neurological Institute at St. Joseph’s Hospital and Medical Center.

Dr. Mark Preul and Dr. Alyssa Panitch have found in a study that injection of an engineered hydrogel made up mainly of hyaluronic acid (a naturally-occurring body substance) into the spinal cord injury site decreases scarring, and promotes a realignment of the spinal cord fibres around the injury site.

The hyaluronic acid, which forms a scaffold-like configuration may help to structurally stabilize the spinal cord injury site.

The researchers traced cells in the brain stem after injury, and found much higher levels in the hydrogel treated animals as compared to animals that did not receive the treatment, and approached nearly normal levels.

Treated animals had higher functional scores than their non-treated counterparts.

“Spinal cord injury is devastating to civilian and military populations – especially to the young. There has been little progress toward paradigms of regeneration and few results that show real, sustained functional recovery. We’ve been so pre-occupied with regeneration, but that is a highly complicated and difficult to define goal. This project is a synergy of neurosurgeons and bioengineers that attempts repair of the SCI lesion cavity using a tissue-engineering biomaterials approach,” says Preul.

He added that the team aimed at finding ways to structurally allow the body to better heal itself.

“In this project we did not add anything to the hyaluronic acid. It may be that adding growth factors or cells into the gel matrix may allow even better results,” he said.

Preul said that the results show “we may be on a practical path that can give hope to the many people who suffer this sort of injury.”

The work was presented at the Annual Meeting of the American Association of Neurological Surgeons in San Diego where it won the Synthes Prize for Spine Research.