Here’s a whole bunch of “just around the corner” advances which will have an impact on health and medicine within the next 5 – 10 years. Some are already undergoing clinical trials.
- Transcranial Magnetic Stimulation (TMS) – In TMS, magnetic pulses created by a metal coil attached to the scalp generate small electrical currents in the brain; these stimulate nerve cells in areas involved in depression—without harming surrounding gray matter.
- Stem Cell Scaffold – To pinch-hit for missing tissue at an injury site, stem cells need a scaffold to grow on—but artificial materials such as plastic won’t do, since the body flags and rejects them as foreign substances.
- Instant Diagnosis – The device he’s designed detects thousands of different biological molecules in a single exhalation, creating a snapshot of the breath’s contents that could signal the presence of illnesses, from cancer to cystic fibrosis.
- Pre-emptive Strike Against Cancer – Derived from acids in plants, CDDO-Im activates natural enzymes that remove toxic compounds from cells—compounds that might otherwise create DNA mutations that lead to cancer.
- Implantable Nanowire – If Zhong Lin Wang has his way, routine blood-pressure checks at the doctor’s office will soon be a thing of the past. The Georgia Institute of Technology physicist has designed an implantable nanowire that measures pressure fluctuations constantly, enabling patients to track their vital stats from home.
- Superbug Zapper – Arizona State physicist K.T. Tsen has developed the ultimate multipurpose treatment tool: a superfast infrared laser that zaps bacteria and viruses without harming surrounding tissue.
- Targeted Delivery – To help patients avoid side-effect doldrums, researchers at Philips’s pharmaceutical division are developing the medical equivalent of a targeted missile-delivery system.
- Bloodstream Bot – A mosquito-size robot developed by Oded Salomon, an engineer at Israel’s Technion Institute, may be able to pull off these surgical feats without making large incisions—so recuperation is much faster.
- EKG Untethered – Wake up in the morning, stick a featherweight patch on your chest and tackle your day with the assurance that computers are keeping a constant eye on your ticker.
- Nano Cancer Fighters – The particles have substances on their surfaces that make them home in on the cancer—one type contains a peptide that binds to proteins found in a tumor’s vessel linings.
Read the whole article for all the juicy details.