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Technology and Health Care is intended to serve as a forum for the presentation of original articles and technical notes, observing rigorous scientific standards. Furthermore, upon invitation, reviews, tutorials, discussion papers and minisymposia are featured.
The following types of contributions and areas are considered:
1. Original articles:
Technology development in medicine: New concepts, procedures and devices associated with the use of technology in medical research and clinical practice are presented to a readership with a widespread background in engineering and/or medicine.
Significance of medical technology and informatics for healthcare: The appropriateness, efficacy and usefulness deriving from the application of engineering methods, devices and informatics in medicine and with respect to public health are discussed.
2. Technical notes:
Short communications on novel technical developments with relevance for clinical medicine.
3. Reviews and tutorials (upon invitation only):
Tutorial and educational articles for persons with a primarily medical background on principles of engineering with particular significance for biomedical applications and vice versa are presented.
4. Minisymposia (upon invitation only):
Under the leadership of a Special Editor, controversial issues relating to healthcare are highlighted and discussed by various authors.
Abstract: End-stage liver disease accounts for over 30,000 deaths annually in the United States. Orthotopic liver transplantation is the only clinically proven treatment for patients with end-stage liver failure. A limitation of this therapy is a shortage of donor organs available. This donor organ shortage is exacerbated by the fact that the number of patients listed for transplantation has continued to increase. As a result, there has been a continuing increase in the number of patients who die waiting for a donor liver. Extracorporeal bioartificial liver devices consisting of viable hepatocytes have the potential to provide temporary support for patients with…fulminant hepatic failure, thereby serving as a “bridge” to transplantation. In some patients, this temporary support would allow the native liver to regenerate function, eliminating the need for transplantation and the resulting life-long immunosuppressive therapy, all of which translates into a cost savings to the health care system. Although the bioartificial liver device is a promising technology for the treatment of liver failure, significant technical challenges remain in order to develop systems with sufficient processing capacity and of manageable size. An overview of the critical issues in the development of bioartificial liver devices is discussed.
Abstract: Covalent bioconjugation between anionic polyelecrolytes and polypeptide antigens chemically synthesized by solid-phase chemistry, were studied in hydrated reversed micelle systems. The epitops of Foot-and-Mouse disease virus VP1 protein (40–60 and 135–160 residues) were used as polypeptide antigens. The polypeptide-comprising Biopolymer Systems were obtained by two methods: 1) Inclusion of peptides into electrostatic polyelectrolyte complexes of polycations with proteins, 2) Inclusion of peptides into Cu+2 – induced polyelectrolyte complexes of polyanions with similarly (anionic) charged proteins. The immunogenetic properties of polymer-peptide conjugates and peptide-comprising Biopolymer Systems were investigated and the specifity of antibodies produced was analyzed. Polymer-Peptide…conjugates, as well as peptide-comprising Biopolymer Systems appeared to possess a high peptide specific immunogenecity even without the addition of traditional adjuvants. It was found that PE-BSA·FMD·Ag conjugates conferred effective immunoprotection against Foot-and-Mouth disease virus.
Abstract: A growing number of governmental and professional guidelines internationally have supported aggressive treatment of acute (e.g., postsurgical), cancer, and noncancer pain. The basis for such support is awareness that aggressive control of acute pain reduces postoperative complications and speeds recovery. Chronic noncancer pain (e.g., back pain, headache … exacts enormous financial costs in each developed nation. Patients' quality of life and possibly even duration of survival as well as associated caregiver burden are enhanced by adequate pain control in patients with chronic pain due to cancer and noncancer causes. Because humanitarian benefits of pain control are supplemented by economic savings,…a variety of techniques have been introduced to improve the temporal or spatial profiles of analgesic drug delivery. This brief survey describes the physiological basis for considering pain itself as a disease, the principal drugs and delivery approaches for treatment of severe pain, and the future of “combination analgesic chemotherapy”.
Abstract: A new method was developed to estimate the in vivo time of absorption of α-hydroxy polyester type polymers. This method is based on the pH Stat titration of the polymer as a function of time which can be related to the absorption time of the polymer in the body.