Two new medical milestones

The first is a remarkable new product from Arch Therapeutics soon entering clinical trials to nearly instantly stop bleeding.

The new material is easy to apply, doesn’t cause damage, and can be left on the wound, even if it’s a deep wound that’s eventually sewn up.

The material consists of naturally occurring amino acids that have been engineered to form peptides that spontaneously cluster together to create long fibers when exposed to salty, aqueous environments, such as those found in the body. The fibers form a mesh that serves as a physical barrier to blood and other fluids.

Read more in the original article.

The second milestone is the story of a computer carrying out laser surgery to automatically remove prostate cancer from a dog. From the article:

The procedure was the culmination of three years of research and development into the algorithms, computer codes, imaging technology, and cyberinfrastructure that would allow a supercomputer in Austin to perform a minimally invasive laser treatment on a canine in Houston, without the intervention of a surgeon. The scientists took a collective breath.

The processing was done at TACC on Lonestar which is about a tenth as powerful as Ranger.

The treatment itself is broken into four stages: 1) Lonestar instructs the laser to heat the domain with a non-damaging calibration pulse; 2) the thermal MRI acquires baseline images of the heating and cooling of the patient’s tissue for model calibration; 3) Lonestar inputs this patient-specific information and recomputes the optimal power profile for the rest of the treatments; and 4) surgery begins, with remote visualizations and evolving predictions continuing throughout the procedure.

Unfortunately, the dog died. (I wonder why?) But this is a remarkable milestone that brings us all closer to safer, better, and cheaper treatments.

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