Massachusetts General Hospital

  • Freezing is one of the simplest methods of preserving food, biological tissue and other perishables, but the formation of ice crystals can damage cells. Now, researchers have developed a new way to “supercool” water in a liquid form well below the usual freezing point.
  • ​Although high-voltage electrical shocks can cause burns, scientists have recently shown that the application of pulsed electric fields actually aids in healing them. It does so by killing skin cells.
  • Scientists are working on ways to create bioengineered human hearts by first stripping donor hearts of cells and then using the potential recipient's own induced pluripotent stem cells to generate cardiac muscle cells that can be used to repopulate the heart in an automated bioreactor system.
  • ​A team of researchers has successfully used ultrasound waves to speed up drug delivery to the gastrointestinal (GI) tract. The study was conducted by researchers from MIT and the Massachusetts General Hospital (MGH), and could significantly improve improve treatment. ​
  • Currently, recipients of limb transplants need to take immunosuppressive drugs for the rest of their lives. If we could grow our own replacement limbs, however, that wouldn't be necessary. Now, scientists have created a shortcut of sorts for doing so.
  • Children swallowing batteries is a serious problem that can result in burns to the esophagus or tears in the digestive tract. Researchers may not have found a way to stop kids swallowing batteries, but they have found a way to make such culinary no-nos safer.
  • MIT has pioneered a method of drug distribution with the potential to dispense with traditional subcutaneous injections. The system uses a small capsule coated with microneedles in order to administer the medicines directly into the lining of the intestine.
  • When a person's skin is burnt or otherwise injured, part of the body's healing process involves boosting oxygen levels in the damaged tissue. A new paint-on bandage indicates those levels, by glowing when exposed to bright light.
  • Researchers have discovered a way to improve regrowth of corneal tissue in the human eye using a molecule known as ABCB5 to act as an identifying marker for rare limbal stem cells. Transplants in mice using this technique have successfully grown fully-functional transparent corneas.
  • This February, we first heard about a "bionic pancreas" that could radically improve the lives of type 1 diabetics. At the time, multi-day trials involving groups of adult and adolescent patients were still yet to occur. Those trials have now taken place, and the results are definitely encouraging.
  • Not everyone's blood clots at the same rate. While that might seem like simply an interesting bit of trivia, it's anything but trivial to doctors performing operations or emergency procedures. Now, an optical device can provide them with the needed information within minutes.
  • Science
    X-ray machines are all large devices that can only image hard structures such as bone ... right? Well, no, not all of them. An experimental new system is small enough to be considered portable, doesn't expose patients to as much radiation, and can image soft tissues in minute detail.