MIT Scientists Develop Microfluidic Device to Screen Biologics for Quality During Production

Biologics, which are drugs made of biochemical compounds produced by living organisms, are becoming more common to treat a variety of conditions, including rheumatoid arthritis, chronic plaque psoriasis, and breast cancer. They’re usually proteins that are immensely easier to produce by plant or animal cells than synthesizing them from scratch in a complex chemical process. Yet, the same difference in manufacturing is a reason for the difficulty of maintaining quality control of such drugs: synthesizing allows for purity of production, but letting nature do it can lead to imperfect results.

Researchers at MIT have now developed a new approach for screening biologic proteins as soon as they’re produced, an approach that can also be applicable to testing the proteins just before an injection to more thoroughly guarantee safety. It relies on filters that can screen the proteins produced based on their size, an important physical quality that can point to protein molecules sticking to each other, a common problem during biologic protein production.

Their microfluidic device consists of an array of filters that let proteins of only a certain size through, resulting in an arrangement in which the proteins are positioned in a line based on size. Different size pores can be used within the filter system, allowing for the quality testing of proteins of widely different sizes.

The MIT team tested three commonly used biologics, including human growth hormone and interferon alpha-b, a promising cancer medication, and showed that the proteins that they purposely damaged were able to be filtered out by their device.

Study in Nature Nanotechnology: Nanofluidic device for continuous multiparameter quality assurance of biologics…

Via: MIT…

Hill-Rom’s New Envella Air Fluidized Therapy Bed Promises Gentle Contact and Air Circulation

Hill-Rom is releasing a new hospital bed designed for patients with serious wounds. The Envella Air Fluidized Therapy Bed pumps air from below a mattress-like layer of silicone beads, helping to make sure that even the tissue that is contact with the bed receives air circulation while helping to distribute pressure evenly.

The company says that laying in an air fluidized therapy bed feels similar to floating on water. The shear and pressure forces are naturally kept low, something Hill-Rom touts as a major benefit over competitor products.

From Hill-Rom:

In a study relating to high-risk post-op ICU patients, 25 patients were placed on standard surfaces and 27 were placed on AFT surfaces. Only one of the 27 patients developed a pressure injury while on AFT compared to 40 injuries on the standard surfaces8. Use of AFT was estimated by the authors of the study to reduce costs by 88%.

For patients who already have a pressure injury, Air Fluidized Therapy drastically outperforms in terms of pressure injury healing. In a comprehensive study of 664 nursing home patients, AFT healed wounds at a 4.4 times faster rate than powered air surfaces. Subsequent studies and cost models estimate that this healing rate brings a 77% reduction in overall healing time and a 66% reduction in the total cost.

Product page: Envella…

Via: Hill-Rom…

Clinical Question: Are ESR and CRP useful tests when evaluating an adult patient with potential septic arthritis?

Monoarthropathies are common and carry a broad differential including infection, trauma, lupus, rheumatoid arthritis, or crystal arthropathies.1–3 Of these, the can’t miss diagnosis is septic arthritis, as delayed treatment can cause irreversible joint destruction with a fatality rate up to 11% if not treated.4  Yikes. The Patient You are working in minor treatment and a 70-year-old gentleman presents with pain in his left knee that has been worsening over the past week.  It ...

The post Clinical Question: Are ESR and CRP useful tests when evaluating an adult patient with potential septic arthritis? appeared first on CanadiEM and was written by Aaron Sobkowicz.

CJEM Infographics: Antimicrobial treatment decision for non-purulent skin and soft tissue infections in the ED

This month CanadiEM is featuring an article from the Canadian Journal of Emergency Medicine (CJEM) that looks at the treatment of non-purulent skin and soft tissue infections (SSTIs) in the emergency department.1 Current practice patterns are highly variable between emergency physicians, with differences in the choice of antibiotic, duration of therapy, route of administration (oral or intravenous) and time to reassessment. Furthermore, the risk factors that predict the failure of oral antibiotics for SSTIs ...

The post CJEM Infographics: Antimicrobial treatment decision for non-purulent skin and soft tissue infections in the ED appeared first on CanadiEM and was written by Kevin Durr.