A new nanoparticle developed by University of Michigan researchers could be the key to a targeted therapy for cardiac arrhythmia, a condition that causes the heart to beat erratically and can lead to heart attack and stroke.
The disease affects more than 4 million Americans and causes more than 750,000 hospitalizations and 130,000 deaths per year in the U.S. alone.
The new treatment uses nanotechnology to precisely target and destroy the cells within the heart that cause cardiac arrhythmia. In studies conducted on rodents and sheep, the U-M team found that the treatment successfully kills the cells that cause cardiac arrhythmia while leaving surrounding cells unharmed. Their findings are detailed in a new study published in the journal Science Translational Medicine.
Cardiac arrhythmia is caused by malfunctions in a certain type of heart muscle cell, which normally helps regulate the heartbeat. Today, the disease is usually treated with drugs, which can have serious side effects. It can also be treated with a procedure called cardiac ablation that burns away the malfunctioning cells using a high-powered laser that's threaded into the heart on a catheter. The laser also damages surrounding cells, which can cause artery damage and other serious problems.
The U-M team, led by Dr. Jérôme Kalifa, a cardiologist and assistant professor of internal medicine, and Raoul Kopelman, the Richard Smalley Distinguished Professor of Chemistry, Physics and Applied Physics, set out to target and destroy the cells with a far more precise technique that uses low-level red light illumination instead of a high-power laser.
Widely used today to treat cancer, the technique requires doctors to mark unwanted cells with a chemical that makes them sensitive to low-level red light. The red light then destroys the marked cells while leaving surrounding tissue unharmed.
Innovative Micro Technology (IMT), the largest provider of MEMS technology and manufacturing services in the United States, is proud to announce the signing of a strategic partnership agreement with Peking University. The agreement is intended to create a framework for the two organizations to work together on technology development and MEMS manufacturing as well as promote MEMS technology to undergraduate and graduate studies within Peking University.
MEMS (Micro Electro-Mechanical Systems) devices are used to create various types of sensing devices that are the “real world” interface to today’s electronics. These sensing devices are commonly found in the electronics that touch our everyday lives like smart phones, tablets, automobiles and other connected devices that make up the “Internet of Things”. Both IMT and Peking University have had intensive activities involved in MEMS research and development for many years and each has contributed numerous technical advancements to the industry.
As part of the agreement, IMT will provide scholarship funds for specific areas of MEMS research and development within Peking University, especially emphasizing MEMS processing development. On an annual basis, IMT has agreed to offer scholarships to three individual students or teams that are doing specific research in the field of MEMS technology. The purpose is to encourage innovation among students attending Peking University and to provide industry wide visibility to the benefit of MEMS processing technologies in global communications, human health, agricultural optimization, and renewable energy, etc. Both organizations share a common goal to enable the rapid expansion of the “Internet of Things” through MEMS based sensing technologies.
“For several decades, the focus of Peking University on the development of MEMS technologies has resulted in many technology advancements and breakthroughs,” said Craig Ensley, CEO of IMT. “We believe the opportunity for IMT to partner with the faculties and students will benefit both organizations and also raise the visibility of MEMS processing technologies across the entire electronics industry. We look forward to working jointly to improve MEMS functionality and manufacturability with the purpose of creating broader industry adoption of sensing technologies.”
“With cooperation with the world leading MEMS processing company like IMT, especially via IME/Peking Univ. - IMT’s MEMS processing scholarship program, ” said Prof. Zhihong Li of IME/Peking Univ., “we make students see the industrial and commercial values of MEMS processing development in manufacturing MEMS devices, encourage them to pay great effort on MEMS processing development by showing them a high-value career path to work in the MEMS IDMs or open foundries as processing development engineers after their graduations. In addition, since IME/Peiking Univ. has been doing many MEMS projects and also has been jointly developing many MEMS devices with/for commercial companies, the cooperation between IME/Peking Univ. and IMT can greatly shorten or speed up transition from MEMS R&D prototyping to commercial mass production.”
In September, following intensive evaluations and interviews of IME/Peking University’s faculty members to all applied candidates, IMT awarded three 2015 scholarships. The following Ph.D. students, who were granted scholarships are: Mr. Peng Liu, Mr. Hongze Zhang, and the team of Ms. Yaoping Liu and Ms.Lingqian Zhang. These students displayed outstanding achievement in related MEMS processing developments which achieved breakthroughs in MEMS processing and have great potential for both MEMS device manufacturing and corresponding applications. This is the first type of scholarship focused on MEMS processing development in China.