Biomed and Beyond

Bio-Nano Sensium Technologies, a subsidiary of Advance Nanotech, Inc. (www.advancenanotech.com), is making available beta versions of its Bio-Nano Sensium (BNS) wireless biosensor system to potential partners and customers for evaluation. According to the company, wireless biosensors are increasingly seen as helpful for treating a range of chronic conditions including diabetes, cardiac conditions, and asthma.

The BNS system is based on a disposable integrated sensor interface chip (the Sensium) that, due to its low power and very small battery size, can be implanted in or worn with great freedom of movement. It is compatible with a wide range of sensors and can be configured to detect vital signs such as ECG data, blood oxygen and glucose, body temperature, and even motion and mobility. Trials of the fully integrated BNS system are planned for Q2 2006.

Siemens Medical Solutions Ultrasound Div. (www.usa.siemens.com) has signed an agreement to acquire Sensant Corp. (www.sensant.com), a move that will allow Siemens to develop advanced Capacitive Microfabricated Ultrasound Transducer (CMUT) technology and commercialize transducers based on it.

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The new CMUT technology promises superior and efficient volumetric four dimensional (4D) imaging for a range of applications. "Not only should this technology enable higher frequency imaging, which will allow clinicians to view the smallest details within the body, but the integrated circuit technology should also deliver superior quality control and manufacturing processes," says Klaus Hambuechen, president and CEO of Siemens Medical Solutions Ultrasound Div. "Additionally, it will be easier to tightly integrate the electronics of the transducer and the ultrasound system. This improved integration is where the greatest possibilities for ultrasound imaging and manufacturing advancements can be realized, especially in the area of volumetric (4D) imaging."

The CMUT transducers are made from silicon wafers using IC fabrication processes, and miniature (one-seventh the width of a human hair) "drum heads" are formed from silicon. A single drum operates as both an ultrasonic speaker and microphone.

Siemens says that while advancements in medical technology are sometimes associated with increased costs, CMUT technology is expected to enable lower production costs.

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