The shortage of personal protective equipment (PPE) available to health care professionals has become increasingly problematic as Covid-19 cases continue to surge. The sheer volume of PPE needed to keep doctors, nurses, and their patients safe in this crisis is daunting — for example, tens of millions of disposable face shields will be needed nationwide each month. This week, a team from MIT launched mass manufacturing of a new technique to meet the high demand for disposable face shields.
The single piece face shield design will be made using a process known as die cutting. Machines will cut the design from thousands of flat sheets per hour. Once boxes of these flat sheets arrive at hospitals, health care professionals can quickly fold them into three-dimensional face shields before adjusting for their faces… Continue reading.
Elazer R. Edelman has been named the new director of the Institute for Medical Engineering and Science (IMES), effective May 1.
The announcement was made today at a special meeting of the faculty for IMES and the Health Science and Technology (HST) program. “Elazer’s strengths as a researcher, a practitioner of medicine, an innovator, and an educator are a fantastic combination,” says Anantha Chandrakasan, dean of the School of Engineering. “We are fortunate to have such a strong leader in so many domains to direct IMES, and I look forward to working with him.”
Chandrakasan noted that Edelman succeeds Arup Chakraborty, the inaugural director of IMES. “Arup was fundamental to the institute’s creation,” he says. “He initiated a wide range of activities and collaborations that have set IMES up for success moving forward. We are deeply grateful for his many contributions… Continue reading.
Many patients with heart disease have a metal stent implanted to keep their coronary artery open and prevent blood clotting that can lead to heart attacks. One drawback to these stents is that long-term use can eventually damage the artery.
Several years ago, in hopes of overcoming that issue, a new type of stent made from biodegradable polymers was introduced. Stent designers hoped that these devices would eventually be absorbed by the blood vessel walls, removing the risk of long-term implantation. At first, these stents appeared to be working well in patients, but after a few years these patients experienced more heart attacks than patients with metal stents, and the polymer stents were taken off the market.
MIT researchers in the Institute for Medical Engineering and Science and the Department of Materials Science and Engineering have now discovered why these stents failed. Their study also reveals why the problems were not uncovered during the development process: The evaluation procedures, which were based on those used for metal stents, were not well-suited to evaluating polymer stents.
“People have been evaluating polymer materials as if they were metals, but metals and polymers don’t behave the same way,” says Elazer Edelman, the Thomas D. and Virginia W. Cabot Professor of Health Sciences and Technology at MIT. “People were looking at the wrong metrics, they were looking at the wrong timescales, and they didn’t have the right tools… Continue reading.
CBSET, a non-for-profit preclinical research institute dedicated to biomedical research, education and advancement of medical technologies, announced today that its scientists have published data and analyses (“Sex differences in the outcomes of stent implantation in mini-swine model”) that “illustrate differences in the dynamic healing responses of male and female pigs to stent implantation in single and overlapped configurations.” The study is published online by the multidisciplinary and Open Source journal PLOS ONE.
“Animals are ideal models for testing specific hypotheses that drive vascular disease. In fact, much of what we know of vascular biology is derived from animal work. Over the years we have used male and female animals to evaluate a large range of endovascular stents yet, in retrospect, none of these individual studies was sufficiently powered to capture sex-dependent effects,” said Peter Markham, MS, President and CEO of CBSET and co-senior author of the article. “It is only when we pooled years of data that we were able to find sex-related differences in vascular responses to stent implantation.”
“The accentuation of sex-dependent differences in vascular responses at six months and one year are intriguing given the consideration of erodible scaffolds, and even non-implantable endovascular therapies such as drug-coated balloons. Time will tell if our findings in juvenile pigs extend to the clinical setting, yet already they provide context for preclinical safety studies and illustrate how more-refined animal models might shed light on sex dependent vascular responses in humans,” said Elazer Edelman, MD, PhD, chairman and co-founder of CBSET, and co-senior author of the paper… Continue reading.
Elazer Edelman, the Thomas D. and Virginia W. Cabot Professor of Health Sciences at MIT, has been awarded this year’s Transcatheter Cardiovascular Therapeutics (TCT) Career Achievement Award for his extraordinary contributions to the field of cardiology.
A lifelong researcher and innovator, Edelman is core member of the Institute for Medical Engineering and Science, director of the Harvard-MIT Biomedical Engineering Center, a professor of medicine at Harvard Medical School, and a senior attending physician at Brigham and Women’s Hospital. He and his students have been credited as some of the key contributors and pioneers of the coronary stent.
His research examining the cellular and molecular mechanisms that produce atherosclerosis and coronary artery disease critically advanced the development and optimization of the first bare-metal stents and subsequent iterations, including drug-eluting stents. His most recent publications have focused on how tissue engineered cells might be used for the local delivery of growth factors and growth inhibitors in the study of the vascular homeostasis and repair, cancer invasiveness and metastases, and the homology between endothelial paracrine and angiocrine regulation in cancer and vascular diseases… Continue reading.
Metastasis — the spread of cancer from one part of the body to others — accounts for more than 90 percent of cancer-related deaths. Although the cells that seed metastasis and the sites they tend to travel to have been increasingly studied over the years, little has been known about how cancer migrates from a primary site, such as breast tissue, to a secondary site, such as the brain or bone marrow.
A study by researchers from Harvard-affiliated Brigham and Women’s Hospital (BWH), published in Nature Communications, offers a new view of how cancer cells extend their reach, co-opting and transforming normal cells through “metastatic hijacking.” The researchers also find that in preclinical models, pharmacological intervention can stop the hijack before it starts, pointing to new therapeutic targets for preventing cancer cells from spreading.
“Metastasis remains a final frontier in the search for a cure for cancer,” said Shiladitya Sengupta of BWH’s Bioengineering Division in the Department of Medicine and corresponding author of the study. “For the past five years we have studied how cancer travels to other parts of the body, and what we find is that communication is key.”
“By working together, our labs have been able to gain greater insights into cell-cell communication in tumor states, which will shed new light on cancer as a disease and the promise and potential of emerging innovative therapies,” said Elazer Edelman of BWH’s Cardiovascular Division in the Department of Medicine.
Elazer Edelman, M.D., Ph.D., a pioneer in the application of engineering and physical sciences to understand fundamental biological processes and the mechanisms of disease, will deliver the next Flexner Discovery Lecture on Thursday, Nov. 5.
Edelman is the Thomas D. and Virginia W. Cabot Professor of Health Sciences and Technology at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), professor of Medicine at Harvard Medical School, director of the Harvard-MIT Biomedical Engineering Center and a member of the Institute of Medicine and National Academy of Engineering.