Browse Technologies

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Steerable Needles: A Better Turning Radius with Less Tissue Damage

A team of Vanderbilt engineers and surgeons have developed a new steerable needle that can make needle based biopsy and therapy delivery more accurate. A novel flexure-based tip design provides enhanced steerability while simultaneously minimizing tissue damage. The present device is useful for almost any needle-based procedure including biopsy, thermal ablation, brachytherapy, and drug delivery.


Non-Invasive Skin Cancer Detection using Raman Spectroscopy-OCT System (Portfolio)

Vanderbilt University researchers have designed a system for non-invasive discrimination between normal and cancerous skin lesions. The system combines the depth-resolving capabilities of OCT technique with Raman Spectroscopy's specificity of molecular chemistry. By linking both imagining techniques into a single detector arm, the complexity, cost, and size of previously reported RS-OCT instruments have been significantly improved. The combined instrument is capable of acquiring data sets that allow for more thorough assessment of a sample than existing optical techniques.


Systems and Methods for Optical Stimulation of Neural Tissues (Portfolio)

Vanderbilt researchers have developed a novel technique for contactless simulation of the central nervous system.  This involves the use of infrared neural stimulation (INS) to evoke the observable action potentials from neurons of the central nervous system.  While infrared neural stimulation of the peripheral nervous system was accomplished almost a decade ago, this is the first technique for infrared stimulation of the central nervous system. This technology has been protected by a portfolio of issued patents.


MAESTRO: Non-Robotic Dexterous Laproscopic Instrument with a Wrist providing seven degrees of freedom

Inventors at Vanderbilt University have developed a non-robotic dexterous laparoscopic manipulator with a wrist providing seven-degrees-of-freedom. It provides an interface which intuitively maps motion of the surgeon's hands to the tool's ""hands"". The novel user interface approach provides a natural mapping of motion from the surgeon's hands to the instrument tips.


MultiUse Multimodal Imaging Chelates

PK11195 is a high-affinity ligand of the peripheral benzodiazepine receptor (PBR). By linking lanthanide chelates to the PK11195 targeting moiety, Vanderbilt researchers have generated a range of PBR-targeted imaging probes capable of visualizing a number of disease states at cellular levels using a variety of imaging modalities (fl uorescence, PET and SPECT, MRI, electron microscopy).


Accurate Gamma-Ray Spectroscope for Compositional Analysis of Celestial Bodies

Vanderbilt and Fisk University researchers have developed a new type of gamma ray spectroscope (GRS) that overcomes the limitations of current systems. This type of GRS can be used to accurately determine the subsurface chemical composition of celestial bodies in the solar system.


Data-driven Agent-based Modeling Architecture

A team of engineers at Vanderbilt University has developed a data-driven agent-based modeling framework that can be used in forecasting consumer behavior for product adoption purposes. The architecture turns agent-based modeling into a reliable forecasting tool at both individual and population level resolutions.


Prognostic Assay for High-altitude Pulmonary Hypertension in Cattle (Brisket Disease)

This genetic test identifies cattle at high risk of developing pulmonary hypertension at high altitudes (often called "brisket disease").  Brisket disease afflicts about 5% of cattle at high altitudes and the current predictive test for at-risk cattle is a measure of pulmonary arterial pressure (PAP).  This current PAP test has some major drawbacks.  First, it is an invasive test.  Secondly, it is not accurate at lower elevations -- so at-risk cattle cannot identified before incurring the cost of transport to high altitude.  There is no treatment for the disease except prompt removal of the animal to lower elevations.  This technology measures genetic variants that confer susceptibility to brisket disease, and could be developed into a diagnostic or a prognostic test for use prior to shipping cattle to higher elevations or in breeding operations.


New Clostridium Difficile Recombinant Toxin for Safe Vaccine Development

A structural biology approach has identified a conserved region common to multiple Clostridium toxins. Specific mutations of the protein sequence in this region prevent the toxins from entering into intestinal cells, thereby preventing widespread tissue damage. These recombinant Clostridium toxins may be used to create a multivalent vaccine to protect against multiple species of Clostridium. Furthermore, the recombinant toxin may be used as a safer alternative to the native toxins in vaccine manufacturing. This discovery stems from a collaboration between the laboratories of Dr. Borden Lacy of Vanderbilt University and Dr. Roman Melnyk of the Hospital for Sick Children.


Assessment of Right Ventricular Function Using Contrast Echocardiography

Vanderbilt Medical Center researchers have developed a non-invasive and reproducible method of assessing right-ventricular function using contrast-echocardiography. The right-ventricular transit time (RVTT) measures the time needed for echocardiographic contrast to travel from the RV to the bifurcation of the main pulmonary artery. Coupled with the pulmonary transit time (PTT), the time needed for contrast to traverse the entire pulmonary circulation, RVTT is part of a family of diagnostic parameters that can report on RV-specific performance as well as the RV's function relative to that of the pulmonary circuit as a whole.