Terry Blumenthal is not a medical device designer, but he has
important information for engineers that design defibrillators. The Wake Forest
University psychologist found that when a painless electric "pre-pulse" precedes
the painful electric shock-similar to what one might feel when an implanted
defibrillator goes off-the pre-pulse seems to lessen the body's startle response
and minimize pain.
"The pre-pulse interrupts everything, including the subsequent
processing of pain," says Blumenthal. "It diminishes the neural circuits'
ability to respond to subsequent painful stimulus," he says.
Testing the hypothesis involved delivering 150V shocks to
volunteers, who then rated shock painfulness with and without pre-pulses.
Although volunteers received the same shock, its painfulness was rated lower
with the pre-pulse.
"There may be a variety of ways to integrate these finding into
other applications using sound, sight, and other modalities," says Blumenthal.
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New versions of BASF's Ecovio line are both compostable and designed for either injection molding or thermoforming. These combinations are becoming more common for the single-use bioplastics used in food service and food packaging applications, but are still not widely available.
For industrial control applications, or even a simple assembly line, that machine can go almost 24/7 without a break. But what happens when the task is a little more complex? That’s where the “smart” machine would come in. The smart machine is one that has some simple (or complex in some cases) processing capability to be able to adapt to changing conditions. Such machines are suited for a host of applications, including automotive, aerospace, defense, medical, computers and electronics, telecommunications, consumer goods, and so on. This radio show will show what’s possible with smart machines, and what tradeoffs need to be made to implement such a solution.