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Cancer-Fighting Device Is Tough to Swallow
7/15/2011

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Alexander Wolfe
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Medical-device revolution
Alexander Wolfe   7/15/2011 8:00:42 AM
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It's becoming clear that medical devices is probably the single biggest arena in which design engineers can have a huge impact. Here we have a case where the technology was already in place and someone came up with an application which is an incremental advance on what was previously available. But there are also numerous opportunities to push the tech envelope forward in search of new devices. Even if they're just for one-time use. . .

Beth Stackpole
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Re: Medical-device revolution
Beth Stackpole   7/15/2011 8:16:27 AM
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The idea of operator control with such a device is indeed compelling. Add in the benefits of 3D visualization and there's no telling what can be detected and erradicated with this kind of technology. This this the kind of engineering advancement we want to hear more of.

Lauren Muskett
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Re: Medical-device revolution
Lauren Muskett   7/15/2011 9:22:19 AM
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This is a great advancement from traditional devices. Being able to control the device while inside the body will allow doctors to really explore areas they think are problematic and will be able to help a lot of people. The size of the mermaid is rather large, and I wonder if people will shy away from the technology because of its size.

Rob Spiegel
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Re: Medical-device revolution
Rob Spiegel   7/15/2011 10:27:13 AM
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Very cool. I would imagine this is just the beginning of putting devices inside the body to look around and take readings. As technology gets smaller, I would imagine we'll see a wide range of applications for inner-body exploration.

Charles Murray
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Size issue
Charles Murray   7/15/2011 10:28:44 AM
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The remaining design issue here is size. Fortunately, the history of silicon electronics shows us that size reduction is relatively predictable. In a decade, this pill will be easy to swallow.

Dave Palmer
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Re: Medical-device revolution
Dave Palmer   7/15/2011 12:25:12 PM
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If there is one consolation for our bloated military-industrial complex and our bloated health care system, it is that they seem to be funding some incredible research and development.

David McCollum
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Gold
One-time use
David McCollum   7/15/2011 3:53:44 PM
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I would sincerely hope this was a one-time device. Otherwise, it would indeed be a bitter pill to swallow.

TJ McDermott
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Turning Radius?
TJ McDermott   7/15/2011 8:08:55 PM
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Great.  It can be controlled from outside one's body.  There's NOTHING in the article about what it feels like to the patient.  And no, I never swallowed a goldfish.

What's the turning radius?  That behemoth looks like it could turn inside the stomach, but that's it.  Can you see a new operator getting jack-knifed in the small intestine?  Do we send a second one down to tow it free?  Or can it be dislodged by several well-placed thumps to the abdomen?

Boy, talk about butterflies in the stomach.

Stephen Moore
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Re: Turning Radius? Single use device?
Stephen Moore   7/15/2011 9:21:39 PM
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Interesting comments TJ. From what I've heard, one of the doctors behind the development said he had no trouble at all swallowing it, experiencing no discomfort. The again when was the last time a doctor said, "this won't hurt at all"?

Apparently the device can navigate the small intestine. Maybe they do have to lead it to wider spaces though for that U-turn.

And yes, it is a single use device.

Greg Stirling
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Cancer-Fighting Device Is Tough to Swallow
Greg Stirling   9/7/2011 6:02:39 PM
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This is an innovative and novel idea.  Seems that once it is tested and perfected it could benefit from minaturization...

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