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Medical Technologies

Researchers at Chalmers University of Technology in Sweden have developed an antimicrobial spray that is safe to use on wounds and in the body, including as an antimicrobial coating on implantable or in-dwelling devices, such as urinary catheters. The technology is not based on harsh chemical antiseptics or antibiotic drugs that could aggravate tissue or result in microbial drug resistance. Instead, it employs antimicrobial peptides that are naturally produced by the mammalian immune system. These peptides are effective in killing microbes, but are typically considered too unstable for use as an antiseptic. However, these researchers bonded the peptides to hydrogel particles to increase their stability, yielding an effective antimicrobial material that appears to be safe for use in the body.

Antibiotic resistance is an ongoing problem, and with a serious bottleneck in the development of new antimicrobial drugs, the problem is set to get worse in the near future. Therefore, it is crucial that we develop new methods to protect ourselves from pathogenic bacteria. While many substances can kill bacteria, unfortunately they are typically not good for us either. For instance, many bathroom cleaning sprays can kill bacteria very effectively, but you definitely would not want to spray these on an open wound or a urinary catheter before insertion.  

These researchers have instead turned to antimicrobial peptides that are naturally produced by our own immune system. These peptides are not very stable and don’t typically last very long in the body, which is fine as we can produce more, but to convert them into a usable treatment the researchers had to increase their stability. They achieved this by binding them to a biocompatible polymer that can form hydrogel particles. The key attribute of this resulting treatment is that it is safe to use in and on our bodies, but deadly for bacteria.  

“The substance in this wound spray is completely non-toxic and does not affect human cells,” said Edvin Blomstrand, a researcher involved in the study. “Unlike existing bactericidal sprays, it does not inhibit the body’s healing process. The materials, which are simply sprayed onto the wound, can also kill the bacteria in a shorter time.”

The researchers hope that this treatment could be used as a spray to help disinfect wounds and also a coating for implantable devices, such as catheters. “Although the catheters are sterile when unpacked, they can become contaminated with bacteria while they are being introduced into the body, which can lead to infection,” said Annija Stepulane, another researcher involved in the study. “One major advantage of this coating is that the bacteria are killed as soon as they come into contact with the surface. Another is that it can be applied to existing products that are already used in healthcare, so it is not necessary to produce new ones.”

Study in Journal of Pharmaceutics: Cross-linked lyotropic liquid crystal particles functionalized with antimicrobial peptides

Via: Chalmers University of Technology

Researchers at Ecole Polytechnique Fédérale de Lausanne in Switzerland have designed an advanced neural chip that can detect and suppress symptoms from a variety of neurological disorders, including Parkinson’s and epilepsy. The closed-loop neuromodulation system, which the researchers have called NeuralTree, includes soft implantable electrodes, a processor for machine learning, and a 256 channel sensing array. The device is also energy efficient, helping to extend battery life. The technology can spot the signs of upcoming tremors or seizures, for example, and initiate neurostimulation to reduce or avoid the symptoms.

Neuromodulation offers enormous hope for those with neurological disorders, and the technology is developing apace. The concept of an implanted chip that can reduce or negate neurological symptoms before they arise is like something from a science fiction novel, but here we are. This latest neural chip is unique in that it can address the symptoms of several neurological disorders and boasts some advanced capabilities.

“NeuralTree benefits from the accuracy of a neural network and the hardware efficiency of a decision tree algorithm,” said Mahsa Shoaran, one of the lead developers of the new device. “It’s the first time we’ve been able to integrate such a complex, yet energy-efficient neural interface for binary classification tasks, such as seizure or tremor detection, as well as multi-class tasks such as finger movement classification for neuroprosthetic applications.”

The chip monitors brain waves, looking for signs of an upcoming neurological event, such as a seizure. Once it has identified such a neurological biomarker, a neurostimulator in the chip sends an electrical pulse through the implanted electrodes to block the aberrant activity. The chip includes 256 input channels, which is significantly more than the 32 that previous similar devices permitted.

The chip is also tiny at 3.48 mm2 and its algorithm does not prioritize power-intensive processes, helping to save battery life. Previous devices have typically focused on treating epileptic seizures, but the researchers behind NeuralTree have also trained the machine learning algorithms to recognize neural signals that herald an impending tremor episode in Parkinson’s patients.

“To the best of our knowledge, this is the first demonstration of Parkinsonian tremor detection with an on-chip classifier,” said Shoaran. “Eventually, we can use neural interfaces for many different disorders, and we need algorithmic ideas and advances in chip design to make this happen. This work is very interdisciplinary, and so it also requires collaborating with labs like the Laboratory for Soft Bioelectronic Interfaces, which can develop state-of-the-art neural electrodes, or labs with access to high-quality patient data.”  

Study in journal IEEE Journal of Solid-State Circuits: NeuralTree: A 256-Channel 0.227-μJ/Class Versatile Neural Activity Classification and Closed-Loop Neuromodulation SoC

Via: EPFL

Engineers at the University of California San Diego have developed a wearable ultrasound system for cardiac imaging. The postage stamp-sized patch can be worn on the skin of the chest and uses AI and ultrasound waves to perform advanced imaging of the heart. The technology can even be worn to perform cardiac ultrasound imaging during exercise. Each patch can be worn for up to 24 hours, and provides information on how much blood the heart is pumping, a key metric in detecting and appraising a variety of cardiac issues. The researchers hope that the technology may lead to more accessible and widespread cardiac monitoring.

Cardiac imaging is a key technique in assessing heart health. However, it typically is not possible during vigorous activity, such as daily exercise, despite the fact that imaging during such times may reveal a lot about the heart. “The heart undergoes all kinds of different pathologies,” said Hongjie Hu, a researcher involved in the study. “Cardiac imaging will disclose the true story underneath. Whether it be that a strong but normal contraction of heart chambers leads to the fluctuation of volumes, or that a cardiac morphological problem has occurred as an emergency, real-time image monitoring on the heart tells the whole picture in vivid detail and visual effect.”   

To address this, these researchers have developed a postage stamp-sized ultrasound patch that can perform advanced imaging on the go. The device can provide images of the heart in real time, and uses AI to interpret the reflected acoustic waves and calculate a variety of hemodynamic parameters, including stroke volume, ejection fraction, and cardiac output.

“Specifically, the AI component involves a deep learning model for image segmentation, an algorithm for heart volume calculation, and a data imputation algorithm,” said Ruixiang Qi, another researcher involved in the study. “We use this machine learning model to calculate the heart volume based on the shape and area of the left ventricle segmentation. The imaging-segmentation deep learning model is the first to be functionalized in wearable ultrasound devices. It enables the device to provide accurate and continuous waveforms of key cardiac indices in different physical states, including static and after exercise, which has never been achieved before.”

At present, the prototype devices still require a wired tether to transmit their data, but the researchers are working on a wireless version for an upcoming publication. The researchers also have plans to commercialize the technology.

Study in journal Nature: A wearable cardiac ultrasound imager

Via: UCSD

Researchers at Penn State designed a pop-up electrode for brain monitoring and other applications requiring neural interfacing. The pop-up design starts life as a folded two-dimensional structure with a rigid outer coating that makes it easy to insert into the brain. Once in place, the hard coating dissolves, revealing a softer and more flexible material that is less likely to cause tissue damage. The device can unfold, like the structures in children’s pop-up books, to form a surface electrode array and four penetrating shanks that can measure signals from deeper within the neural tissue. The researchers hope that the device will help to drive advanced medical technologies, such as brain computer interfaces.  

“It’s a challenge to understand the connectivity in between the large number of neuron cells within the brain,” said Huanyu Cheng, a researcher involved in the study. “In the past, people developed a device that is placed directly on the cortex to detect information on the surface layer, which is less invasive. But without inserting the device into the brain, it’s challenging to detect the intercortical information.”

While inserting electrodes into the brain itself, rather than just arranging them onto its surface, can lead to more information from deeper neural tissues, achieving a 3D perspective on how neurons interconnect would require multiple rigid probes to be placed in different areas, which can add up in terms of damage to neural tissues. This limitation prompted the researchers to develop a pop-up design in the hope that it can provide 3D connectivity data without a similar level of damage to the brain.

“To address this issue, we use the pop-up design,” said Cheng. “We can fabricate the sensor electrodes with resolution and performance comparable with the existing fabrication. But at the same time, we can pop them up into the 3D geometry before they are inserted into the brain. They are similar to the children’s pop-up books: You have the flat shape, and then you apply the compressive force. It transforms the 2D into 3D. It provides a 3D device with the performance comparable with the 2D.”  

The researchers covered the device with a polyethylene glycol coating that imparts stiffness but breaks down in the brain, allowing the device to regain some flexibility. The researchers hope that the technology will assist in creating more effective and safer technologies that rely on neural interfacing.

“In addition to animal studies, some applications of the device use could be operations or treatments for diseases where you may not need to get the device out, but you’ll certainly want to make sure the device is biocompatible over a long period of time,” said Cheng. “It is beneficial to design the structure as small, soft and porous as possible so that the brain tissue can penetrate into and be able to use the device as a scaffold to grow up on top of that, leading to a much better recovery. We also would like to use biodegradable material that can be dissolved after use.”

Study in journal npj Flexible Electronics: Foldable three dimensional neural electrode arrays for simultaneous brain interfacing of cortical surface and intracortical multilayers

Via: Penn State

Scientists at Penn State have developed a microneedle bandage that can rapidly stop bleeding. Uncontrolled bleeding following a traumatic injury is a major cause of death in the young, and developing new medical technologies that can rapidly stop bleeding would be highly beneficial. This bandage contains an array of biodegradable and biocompatible microneedles made using a gelatin methacryloyl biomaterial. The device also contains silicate nanoplatelets that give it its hemostatic properties, and the needle structure increases the surface area for blood contact and helps to bind the bandage to the injured tissue.

Blood loss is a leading cause of death for Americans under the age of 46. If a traumatic injury occurs, then stopping blood loss is the first priority. Blood loss from some injuries can be stopped by applying a tourniquet, but this isn’t possible in every situation and for every injury. A ready-to-use, highly effective hemostatic bandage would be a particularly useful component in first aid kits or military field kits as a first-line defense against these situations.   

“Excessive bleeding is a serious challenge for human health,” said Amir Sheikhi, a researcher involved in the study. “With hemorrhaging injuries, it is often the loss of blood — not the injury itself — that causes death. There is an unmet medical need for ready-to-use biomaterials that promote rapid blood coagulation.” 

These researchers turned to microneedle arrays as a means to stop bleeding. Medgadget has reported on microneedle bandages before, but typically they are conceived as a means of drug or vaccine delivery. In this paradigm, the microneedles act to significantly increase the surface area of the bandage that contacts the blood emerging from the wound, and increase the adhesion between the bandage and the wound, which also helps with wound closure.

So far, the researchers have tested the bandage in a rat liver bleeding model, where it showed impressive efficacy and reduced bleeding by approximately 92% compared with an untreated control group. The bandages also outperformed a commercial hemostat in reducing bleeding.

In vitro, the engineered microneedle arrays reduced clotting time from 11.5 minutes to 1.3 minutes; and in a rat liver bleeding model, they reduced bleeding by more than 90%,” said Sheikhi. “Those 10 minutes could be the difference between life and death.”

Study in journal Bioactive Materials: Tissue adhesive hemostatic microneedle arrays for rapid hemorrhage treatment

Via: Penn State

Researchers at the University of São Paulo in Brazil, along with collaborators in Germany and Sweden, have developed a flexible sensor that can detect heavy metals in sweat, an easily obtainable bodily fluid. Heavy metals, such as lead or cadmium, can cause serious toxicity if they accumulate in the body, but detecting the concentration of such metals in biological samples requires expensive laboratory equipment and skilled staff. To address this, these researchers have created a flexible sensor that is easy to use and which can detect metals in sweat samples before transmitting the results to a smartphone. The technology may assist in diagnosing heavy metal toxicity in areas of the world with limited access to diagnostic equipment.

Heavy metal is no fun, at least in the context of the human body. Exposure to high levels of these metals can cause significant toxicity. For those living in areas of the world without easy access to state-of-the-art equipment, diagnosing heavy metal toxicity is a challenge. However, this latest technology aims to change that with a low-cost, easy-to-use flexible heavy metal sensor that can measure these substances in sweat.

“We get important information on a person’s health by measuring their exposure to heavy metals. High levels of cadmium can lead to fatal problems in the airways, liver and kidneys,” said Augusto Raymundo Pereira, a researcher involved in the study. “Lead poisoning damages the central nervous system and causes irritability, cognitive impairment, fatigue, infertility, high blood pressure in adults and delayed growth and development in children.”

We tend to eliminate heavy metals from our bodies through the sweat and urine, which is convenient for diagnostic purposes as it means that invasive blood draws are not required to detect these metals. This latest technology is a flexible film sensor that can analyze sweat.

“The base of the device is polyethylene terephthalate [PET], on top of which is a conductive flexible copper adhesive tape, a label of the kind you can buy from a stationer’s, with the sensor printed on it, and a protective layer of nail varnish or spray,” said Robson da Silva, another researcher involved in the study. “The exposed copper is removed by immersion in ferric chloride solution for 20 minutes, followed by washing in distilled water to promote the necessary corrosion. All this ensures speed, scalability, low power and low cost,”

Study in journal Chemosensors: Design and Fabrication of Flexible Copper Sensor Decorated with Bismuth Micro/Nanodentrites to Detect Lead and Cadmium in Noninvasive Samples of Sweat

Via: University of São Paulo

Researchers at the University of Colorado at Boulder have developed a smart walking stick that can assist blind or visually impaired people to navigate their environment, from grocery shopping to finding a seat in a busy café. The system employs cameras to visualize the environment and items within it, such as products in a supermarket, and uses AI to identify objects and provide guidance for the user. The stick can provide verbal and haptic prompts to help the user to move closer to a desired product on a supermarket shelf, for example. The researchers hope that the technology will assist the visually impaired in gaining more independence when performing everyday tasks.

Assistive technologies are a huge deal for those who benefit from them. Empowering someone to lead a more independent life can pay dividends in terms of enhanced mental health and in freeing up healthcare and social care resources that can be used elsewhere. This latest assistive technology uses recent technological advancements in self-driving cars to help the visually impaired in performing everyday activities.

“AI and computer vision are improving, and people are using them to build self-driving cars and similar inventions,” said Shivendra Agrawal, a researcher involved in the study. “But these technologies also have the potential to improve quality of life for many people.”  

The stick resembles a standard cane, but also includes cameras that can employ computer vision techniques to map out the surrounding environment. The device uses AI to make sense of what it is seeing. A user can specify that the technology help them to achieve a certain task, such as finding an empty table in a restaurant.

“Imagine you’re in a café,” said Agrawal. “You don’t want to sit just anywhere. You usually take a seat close to the walls to preserve your privacy, and you usually don’t like to sit face-to-face with a stranger.” So far, the researchers have tested this application in a mock café with blindfolded volunteers, and after surveying the scene with the stick, the technology calculated a route to the most suitable seat and guided the users to it.  

Other applications involve identifying particular products on a supermarket shelf, allowing users to choose their shopping. “Our aim is to make this technology mature but also attract other researchers into this field of assistive robotics,” said Agrawal. “We think assistive robotics has the potential to change the world.”

See a video about the technology below.

Study in 2022 IEEE/RSJ International Conference on Intelligent Robots and Systems: A Novel Perceptive Robotic Cane with Haptic Navigation for Enabling Vision-Independent Participation in the Social Dynamics of Seat Choice

Via: University of Colorado

Researchers at the University of Arkansas have developed a nanopore sensor to study the aggregation of tau and tubulin protein molecules. These proteins, and specifically their aggregation in the brain, are implicated in neurodegenerative diseases such as Parkinson’s and Alzheimer’s. This nanopore technology aims to allow researchers to study the effects of different environmental conditions, including pH, salt concentration, and temperature, on how these proteins aggregate. The researchers hope that their advancement can help to understand the underlying mechanisms of neurodegenerative diseases and potentially identify new opportunities for treatment.

An accumulation of tiny protein tangles in the brain are a hallmark of neurodegenerative diseases such as Parkinson’s and Alzheimer’s. However, their formation and role in disease initiation and progression are not completely understood. Understanding how and why these tangles form could permit researchers to develop new treatments that target these processes.

This latest technology aims to characterize these protein tangles and their behavior. This involved creating a nanopore sensor in a silicon nitride membrane. The technology involves creating a flow of ions through the nanopore using an electric voltage and then analyzing how charged protein molecules affect the current.

“Ohm’s Law is the basic physics that enables the nanopore device to sense protein molecules,” said Jiali Li, a researcher involved in the study. “A tiny hole — from 6 to 30 nanometers — is made in a thin silicon nitride membrane and supported by a silicon substrate. When that is placed into a solution with salt ions, applying an electric voltage drives the ions’ flow through the hole, or nanopore. This, in turn, generates an open pore ionic current.”

These changes in current can reveal properties of the protein tangles, such as volume, shape, and size, and can this can assist the researchers in understanding how the tangles form and behave. “The amount of current drop produced by a protein molecule is proportional to the protein’s volume or size and shape,” said Li. “This implies that if protein A binds to protein B, they will cause a current drop proportional to the volume of A+B, and an aggregated protein A will cause approximately multiple amounts of current drop.”

“Our study shows that a silicon nitride nanopore device can measure volume information of tau and tubulin protein molecules and their aggregation under different biological conditions, and this gives us a better understanding of the protein aggregation process, as well as developing drugs or other therapeutic methods to treat neurodegenerative diseases,” said Li. “We plan to study the mechanism of protein aggregation under different biological conditions systematically, such as temperature, pH, and salt concentration.”

Study in Journal of Applied Physics: Tau and tubulin protein aggregation characterization by solid-state nanopore method and atomic force microscopy

Via: American Institute of Physics

A team of researchers at North Carolina State University have developed an ultrasound transducer that can disrupt blood clots in the brain quickly by creating an ultrasound vortex or ‘tornado’. The transducer is designed to be housed in a catheter that can be advanced through the vasculature until it reaches the site of a blood clot in the brain, such as those that occur in cases of cerebral venous sinus thrombosis. The technique can disrupt clots more quickly than conventional forward-facing ultrasounds, as the vortex wave creates shear stress that helps to break the clot into pieces. The approach has the potential to disrupt clots much more quickly than pharmaceutical approaches, albeit with more procedural complexity.

Cerebral venous sinus thrombosis (CVST) occurs when a blood clot blocks a vein that drains blood from the brain. Clearly, this is a medical emergency and time is of the essence. However, many existing techniques to treat the condition involve trying to dissolve the clot, potentially through the use of clot busting drugs, but these approaches tend to take a long time. This latest technology aims to reduce this time significantly.

“Based on available data, pharmaceutical interventions to dissolve CVST blood clots take at least 15 hours, and average around 29 hours,” said Chengzhi Shi, a researcher involved in the study. “During in vitro testing, we were able to dissolve an acute blood clot in well under half an hour. The fact that our new technique works quickly is important, because CVST clots increase pressure on blood vessels in the brain. This increases the risk of a hemorrhage in the brain, which can be catastrophic for patients.”

Using acoustic waves to break clots apart has the potential to work much faster than thrombolytic drugs, but forward-facing ultrasound systems may not be the most efficient way to achieve this. “Our previous work looked at various techniques that use ultrasound to eliminate blood clots using what are essentially forward-facing waves,” said Xiaoning Jiang, another researcher involved in the study. “Our new work uses vortex ultrasound, where the ultrasound waves have a helical wavefront.

So far, the researchers have tested the system in vitro with cow blood in a 3D-printed cerebral venous sinus model, and showed that the ultrasound tornado could disrupt clots quickly. They also tested if the helical ultrasound caused damage to blood vessels using animal blood vessels, and found that the technique appears not to disrupt healthy tissue.

Study in journal Research: A model of high-speed endovascular Sonothrombolysis with vortex ultrasound-induced shear stress to treat cerebral venous sinus thrombosis

Via: North Carolina State University

Fun and durable, the FluidStance balance board deck can be found at many offices these days as working professionals with desk jobs look for ways to stay active and healthy. Long hours slumped over at a desk means that your muscles remain inactive for long periods of time – a running hypothesis is that long periods of inactivity lead to issues with glucose regulation, as muscles cease their regular glucose uptake and the body adapts to a sedentary lifestyle. 

FluidStance’s balance board, Level, provides an engaging alternative to this by forcing your body to engage different muscles to balance. Yet, it’s not so challenging of a position that it is overly taxing, but may require some time to acclimate to longer standing times. Research shows that the Level balance board increases energy expenditure by 19.2% as compared to sitting, which is well over the 10% threshold that qualifies a product for NEAT certification (NEAT stands for the science of Non Exercise Activity Thermogenesis, developed by Mayo Clinic). On average, there was also a 15% increase in heart rate while using the FluidStance deck versus the same sitting population. 

Designed thoughtfully, such that the product doesn’t make you struggle to balance to stay upright, the average range of motion of 24 degrees promotes subtle movements that limit dorsiflexion (toes above heels) and plantarflexion (toes below heels) to angles that are comparable to walking. You may even find yourself standing for longer than anticipated with this product. 

There are multiple models: The Original, Level, Plane Cloud, and Grade for Kids. The design and construction of the product is sleek and solid. The Plane Cloud offers soft foam on the top deck for those looking for a little extra anti-fatigue while standing. (FluidStance actually has an anti-fatigue mat made of flexible wood as well).  

While the price point may be a bit high for some, the craft, construction, and benefits may just justify the cost. 

We had the pleasure of speaking with founder, Joel Heath to learn more. 

Alice Ferng, Medgadget: Please tell our Medgadget audience a bit more about yourself and your background. What inspired you to create this product, and to continue iterating on it? Was this something you had done before? 

Mr. Joel Heath (Founder & CEO of FluidStance): The first company I founded was based in Vail, Colorado where we created the largest outdoor adventure event in the world, the [GoPro] Mountain Games.  I had a fairly active life working in the mountains and it was common for our staff meetings to be on a chairlift or on a trail. We worked hard and played hard.  After selling the company in 2008, I got into footwear and later became President of Teva Footwear. My corporate gig put me in a chair, airplane seat or at a desk for inordinate amount of time.  Simply put, I lost my mojo.  I built a standup desk to try to get off my butt, but I found that I just moved my pain point from my backside to my knees and hips. I started to play with ideas on how you could create enough movement to matter, but not too much to distract my work.  27 different prototypes later tinkering in my garage workshop, the Level® was born.  I worked with footwear designers, engineers and footwear labs to find the sweet spot for optimal movement at your desk. 

The Level increases energy expenditure by 19.2% compared to sitting—well over the 10% threshold that qualifies a product for NEAT(™) certification (NEAT(™) stands for the science of Non Exercise Activity Thermogenesis, developed by Mayo Clinic). When using your Level, you’re actively burning calories by allowing for more movement throughout the day. 

Medgadget: What’s been some of the most unexpected challenges you’ve encountered in making this product? 

Mr. Heath: After making shoes in China, I wanted to walk a factory line and tuck my kids into bed, so I set off to make FluidStance products in the United States. I was surprised how little infrastructure was here compared to what I was familiar overseas. My Dad had a small machine parts business in the 90s, but so much of that industry moved overseas.  It took a ton of searching to find someone that would be willing to help an unknown startup make something unconventional.  Perseverance paid off and the first products started to ship twelve months after the final prototype was tested and approved by the Lab. 

Medgadget: What sorts of improvements are you making over time to the product? What sort of thinking goes into the angles, curvatures, and general design? 

Mr. Heath: A big part of what we wanted to make sure our standing desk balance board products delivered was not to over burden the calf and achilles with too much surface variability.  We found the sweet spot and madre sure the curvature and lift of each of our models would provide the same “ride.”  On average our users spend 3+ hours a workday on our product. 

We have always been committed to making our products over-engineered, so they can outlast your “career” and be passed down to the next generation.  On top of that, we try to source as close to home, with as little plastic as possible and when we do use plastic it is predominately of recycled materials.  For example our Plane® Balance Board is made of recycled tires and post-industrial waste. 

Medgadget: You now have multiple variations of the FluidStance board – what sorts of customer feedback and user needs motivate you to create each variation? What sorts of feedback is useful? 

Mr. Heath: We originally launched with the Level® which is made of military-grade aluminum and multi-ply bamboo with a water based finish and zero emitting VOC finish. We built it as a “forever product,” but we heard that segment of the market also wanted an entry level product. That is when we brought the Plane® into the mix. It was a challenge to build a product that upheld the FluidStance way, but our team used some non-traditional techniques to use high-density recycled content to get us the performance we wanted. 

We are big believers in “active standing” versus “passive standing” that is done on an anti-fatigue mat.  From my days in footwear, I know that cushioning might feel good when you initially stand on it, but you actually fake your body into standing “harder.”  Your body is meant to move, not sit into a surface.  As much as I tried to convince everyone, some people wanted our balance boards with softer surfaces too, so the UpMat and Cloud was created as a partner to our balance boards.

Medgadget: Have you used technology to look at a person’s skeletal alignment as they are standing on the balance board? It’s definitely easy to feel the body adjusting to the stimulus and has made it easier to stand for longer periods of time with shifting weight – have you done a deeper study on the postural ergonomics or general health benefits? 

Mr. Heath: We have not looked at skeletal alignment in a lab, just through the ten years of being on the market and the anecdotal feedback we get. That is something I would love to do, so we can back up what so many customers tell us by improved balance. Throughout the years, we did do a ton of motion capture sensor and pressure plate research in our lab.  The sensors tracked movement while people worked to measure their dorsiflexion and plantar-flexion.  We supplemented that research with CO2 analysis while working with Westmont College. The Mayo Clinic and the University of Idaho have also done numerous tests with our product.  A synopsis of that research can be found in these white papers.

Medgadget: What’s next? Any exciting new plans? Or anything else you want to share with our readership? 

Mr. Heath: Our next new product looks at mental flow and helping people with focus at their desk. The product is very simple, yet beautiful and follows much of the new research around that mental focus follows visual focus.  The “108 Focal Timer” should hit the market in December.

Link: FluidStance homepage…

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