Recent Patents on Biomedical Engineering (v.4, #2)

Cardiac valve surgery, for either replacement or repair, has seen significant advancements over the last severaldecades. The majority of operative techniques that have been developed, such as valvular commissurotomy, debridement,prolapse reduction, and native valve replacement, are performed through a full sternotomy or lateral thoracotomy. Althougha conventional full median sternotomy offers good exposure to the heart and the origins of the great cardiac vessels,the associated surgical trauma and postoperative bleeding, risk of wound infection, thoracic wall instability and theappearance of the sternal scar from the lengthy incision have driven the current trend toward less invasive cardiothoracicsurgical procedures while maintaining or even improving the effectiveness and safety of standard operative procedures.Minimally invasive cardiac surgery has been expanding during the last decade with the use of significantly smaller andshorter incisions, providing patients less painful and better aesthetic outcomes with faster recovery times and lower hospitalcosts. The use of these new techniques will certainly lessen the increased morbidity and mortality that results from reoperations.Patients have come to expect and request smaller incisions rather than the traditional full median sternotomyaccess. In this review, we highlight current trends in minimally invasive heart valve therapy, specifically the surgical instruments,devices, and surgical visualization techniques developed for this approach. These modern surgical instrumentsand devices are essential to help surgeons compensate for limitations in both the field of view and actual surgical field inwhich to operate by using video assistance and more sophisticated and precise instruments. The many innovative solutionsto these challenges that have been designed and manufactured will be addressed.

Calcium Phosphate Materials for Bone Repair Application by Xiaoming Li, Jin Huang, Yubo Fan (68-73).
Calcium phosphates, with a composition and structure similar to the mineral phase of bone, have been recognizedas satisfactory materials for bone repair because of their excellent biocompatibility, osteoconductive, and bioactivity.In this paper, the recent related patents are reviewed, including four parts, such as calcium phosphate bioceramics,calcium phosphate coatings, calcium phosphate based particles and calcium phosphate with electromagnetic stimulationfor bone repair, which might indicate that calcium phosphate materials have been widely used to repair bone. However,there are still some other interesting points, which are expected to be included in the coming patents, four points of which,such as the calcium phosphates with novel specific microstructures, composites that include calcium phosphates and carbonnanotubes, composites that include calcium phosphates and collagen and calcium phosphates based system that couldbe combined with many different drugs, are described in the conclusion and perspectives part.

Biological Signals Sensing with Wearable Technologies and an ECG Athlete Design by Osman Ozkaraca, Ali Hakan Isik, Inan Guler (74-83).
In today's world, the importance of quality and healthy life has increased and new methods that are provided bytechnological developments offer new opportunities in the field of health. For this purpose, many studies have been done.It is thought that examination of these studies will reduce the waste of time, prevent repetitive work, provide sharing of informationfor future studies. The aim of this study is to make a general evaluation of the patent works, studies in literaturethat have been developed with wearable systems and designing of wearable ECG monitoring athlete application. The mostimportant features of the athlete application in this study are ease of use, reduction of detractive artifacts, interchangeability,less inconvenience and wearability. The findings of this article are real time ECG monitoring application with designedathlete, current status and future expectations of wearable system. This prototype athlete application can be usedachieving different physiological signals by changing sensors. In addition, this application can be wireless by using wirelessmodules.

The computerization of hospital systems has traditionally been incremental in manner, over the years, variouscomputer systems have been linked together. Frequently, however, a hospital utilizes computer systems from multiplevendors. One reason is that various hardware and/or human systems are provided with their own computerized systems(e.g., an image processing workstation can have a specific imaging system). There is a gradual movement to integratesuch systems, for example, by setting standards (DICOM, HL7) and by providing integrated systems that simultaneouslyreplace several hospital systems. This review summarizes the available methods for exchanging medical records and surveysa range of patents that describe the latest advancements taking place in this area.

The diagnostic power of physiological electric and magnetic signal detection has been universally recognizedduring the rise of modern medicine. Iconic technologies that illustrate this point well include the electrocardiogram(EKG), electromyogram (EMG), electroencephalogram (EEG), and, more recently, magnetic resonance imaging (MRI).These technologies have transformed medicine by providing invaluable diagnostic tools for the contemporary physician.Over the last few years there has been increasing interest in exploring other electromagnetic imaging modalities forphysiological application. Many of these are non-perturbative technologies and include superconducting quantum interferencedevice (SQUID) and atomic magnetometer, and electric potential sensors. This review objectively surveys a rangeof recent patents and journal articles relating to developments at the forefront of this exciting and already proven field ofmedical biotechnology.

Recent Patents of Lasers in Implant Dentistry by Juliana Marotti, Pedro Tortamano Neto, Tomie Toyota de Campos, Ana Cecilia Correa Aranha, Dieter Weingart, Stefan Wolfart, Klaus Haselhuhn (103-109).
The aim of this review is to provide an overview of the use of lasers in laboratory and clinical techniques usedin Implantology, with particular reference to Erbium lasers and recent patents on this field. Laser applications in oral Implantologyhave been of considerable scientific interest throughout the recent years. Erbium lasers can be used in manyprocedures, ranging from placement, second stage recovery and gingival management, sinus graft, through to the treatmentof peri-implantitis.

ICT for Telemedicine and Health Care Innovation by Agostino Giorgio (110-125).
Portable Biomedical Devices for health care management are producing a great impact in the monitoring of patientslocated in areas different from clinical environments such as houses, military bases, ships, and the like. A number ofapplications, ranging from data collection, to chronic patient surveillance, and even to the control of therapeutic procedures,are being implemented in many parts of the world. The development of portable devices for telemedicine is acceleratedby new technologies such as wireless transmission, GPS (Global Positioning System) receivers, Internet applicationsand GSI (Giga Scale of Integration) of electronic devices. In recent decades the development of portable biomedicaldevices has led to the presentation of numerous patents. The aim of this paper is to review some of these patents, withemphasis on the possibilities of patients remote monitoring, providing all necessary information in real-time from theirhomes to the health facility. Thus the specialist can make his diagnosis from the hospital. This is the new concept of homecare.

A Review of Medicinal Plant Patents by Greg Pennyroyal, Lobsang Dhondup, Cynthia Husted (126-138).
Medicinal plant formulations have been used in traditional medicines for thousands of years. Plant-based medicineis still a major source of new drug leads and herbal treatments are highly lucrative in the international marketplace.The intellectual property issues for medicinal plant formulas are complicated for numerous reasons. Many of the patentsare attempting to emulate the pharmaceutical model of composition patents that as we will discuss, is usually not an appropriateapproach for medicinal plants. This paper does not seek to be an exhaustive review but rather provide an overviewof the many aspects of medicinal plant patents, a topic of considerable future growth. Our experience has been thatthe merging of modern and traditional knowledge leads to unexpected correlations, elucidations and insights with tremendouspotential for patentable discovery. A continuation of the dialogue on indigenous intellectual property rights willbenefit from the inclusion of an increased diversity of voices that have the ability to recognize the mutual and often complementaryabilities of traditional and modern sciences. The question is not how to simplify the complexity but rather howto embrace the complexity from the traditional medicine worldview with the tools of science.

Patent Selections: by Bentham Science Publishers (139-140).
The patents annotated in this section have been selected from various patent databases. These recent patents are relevant tothe articles published in this journal issue, categorized by medical imaging, bioinformatics, image processing, biomaterials,pharmaceutical drugs, bioengineering, medical devices, design, biological devices, biomechanics & diagnostic devices relatedto biomedical engineering.