Friday, May 15, 2015

The 26th Flame Retardant Conference: A Quarter Century of Insights and Knowledge

The flame retardant industry expanded in the 1970s when synthetic materials became popular in the manufacture of products. The growing demand and consumption of these flammable products led many world governments to insist their manufacturers make them safer from fire.  In many countries, the use of flame retardant chemicals in flammable products is mandated. In recent decades, their worldwide use has increased as highly populated countries such as China and India have recognized the safety and protective value of flame retardant chemicals.

Presently, the flame retardant chemicals industry is in transition. Because many organizations and governments have reassessed the safety benefits of flame retardant chemicals against its harmful effects on human health and the environment, the use of some widely used flame retardant chemicals is being discontinued. However, emerging technology promises flame retardant protection with reduced or eliminated toxic effects.

The global consumption of flame retardant chemicals in 2013 and 2014 reached about $3.9 billion pounds and $4.2 billion pounds, respectively. In 2019, total consumption is projected to reach $5.7 billion, reflecting a five-year compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 6.7%.

For 25 years, BCC Research has convened the Annual Conference on Recent Advances in Flame Retardancy of Polymeric Materials. A signature staple of the industry, this cutting-edge conference focuses on the development of flame retardant chemicals and materials such as plastics, textiles, and surface coatings that inhibit, suppress, or delay the production of flames to prevent the spread of fire.

Come join this year’s conference to hear BCC Research's renowned analyst Marcanne Green, one of more than 40 expert speakers, share her insights. For the complete conference brochure and list of speakers, click here.

Find detailed information about the Conference by visiting the following link:

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Monday, May 11, 2015

2015 Flame Conference Promises to Provide the Latest Breakthroughs in Flame Retardancy

On May 17th, the 26th Annual Conference on Recent Advances in Flame Retardancy of Polymeric Materials will welcome scientific and technical specialists to the premier fire retardant event in the industry. Scheduled at the Sheraton Stamford Hotel (Connecticut) May 17-20, the conference not only provides participants cutting-edge information about recent innovations in the industry, but also terrific networking opportunities with world-class experts and fellow professionals.

The conference kicks off on Sunday, May 17th, with a one-day Short Course that will acquaint industry newcomers with the evaluation and commercial applications of flame retardants. The main conference from May 18-20 will feature experts from around the globe who will share their latest research on topics such as foams and fabrics, nanocomposites, and new technology. Evening receptions on Sunday, Monday and Tuesday will offer attendees additional networking opportunities during this vibrant four-day learning experience.

Prominent speakers at this year’s highly anticipated event include Charles Wilkie, (conference chairman, Marquette University), Dr. Matthew S. Blais (Fire Technology Department, Southwest Texas Research Institute) and Marshall Moore (Great Lakes Solutions). Overall, more than 40 informative sessions will offer a breadth of topics and industries that strike a balance between academia and industry, including “Material Selection Influence on the Flammability of Upholstered Furniture,” “Reformulating Targeted Materials: How This Impacts Aerospace OEMs”, and “Comparative Burn of Flat Panel Televisions from United States, Mexican and Brazilian Markets.”

Professor Jaime C. Grunlan appreciated last year’s conference so much, he’s back this year.  “Flame 2014 was the most technically strong topical conference I attended last year,” he says. “The networking was great and everything was very well-organized. If you want to know about the latest breakthroughs in flame retardant research, Flame 2015 is the conference to attend.”

We hope to see you there!

Find detailed information about the Conference by visiting the following link:

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Monday, May 4, 2015

Flame Retardant Flooring at the London Underground Station

After a successful trial at a London Underground station, a flame retardant natural rubber has been approved for commercial use in flooring.

Natural-FR, developed by the Tun Abdul Razak Research Center (TARRC), is a zero halogen, low smoke, low toxic modified NR compound that will help the matting maker meet sustainability targets in products. Because it’s derived from renewable resources, the product will “have a significant negative carbon footprint,” according to TARRC.

Before Natural-FR was certified for use, the industry used synthetic materials. But TARRC, the research and promotion center of the Malaysian Rubber Board, took on the challenge of developing a usable compound based on natural rubber, according to Marina Fernando, head of TARRC's industrial support unit.

“What we had to do was look at the various standards currently in place in Europe, do the various testing and achieve third-party certification,” she said. “You just can't go in and put the material anywhere. You have to go to a certified laboratory that would do all the tests.”

TARRC modified the natural rubber and then added fire retardant additives in order to meet criteria for smoke density, smoke toxicity, heat release rate, flame spread, and dry and wet slip resistance.

“What's proprietary is the modified natural rubber and the way we have optimized the additives package that goes into the rubber compound to give it the flame retardancy,” Fernando said.

TARRC also is looking to develop the compound for use in other applications.

For BCC Research flame retardant chemicals report, visit the following link:

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Tuesday, April 28, 2015

Biomarker Discovery Improves Treatment Options for Ovarian Cancer Patients

A biomarker that can help predict the success of chemotherapy in ovarian cancer patients has been discovered by researchers.

The discovery, by cancer researcher Madhuri Koti of Queen’s University, could lead to better treatment options in the fight against ovarian cancer.

Biomarkers are an indicator of a biological state or condition.

"Recent successes in harnessing the immune system to combat cancer are evidence for the significant roles of a cancer patient's immune responses in fighting cancer," Koti explains. "Many of these successes are based on boosting anti-cancer immunity via different therapies. Such therapies would prove to be most effective when coupled with markers predicting a patient's eventual response to a specific therapy".

Koti conducted the study in retrospective cohorts of more than 200 ovarian cancer patients. The study utilized a combination of cutting-edge and more established detection technologies for identifying such markers.

A major impact of this discovery is that these novel markers, when used at the time of treatment initiation in the specific type of ovarian cancer patient, will help oncologists make decisions on additional treatment needed in these patients, thus increasing their potential for survival.

Ovarian cancer is responsible for approximately 152,000 deaths worldwide each year. It has the highest mortality rate of all gynaecological cancers.

For our BCC Research reports on cancer or biomarkers, visit the following links:

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Friday, April 24, 2015

A “One-Pot Process” for Flame Retardants

National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) researchers took a trip to the grocery store and cooked up their best fire-resistant coatings for furniture padding yet. More important, these protective coatings were formulated in a single step, a process far simpler than the time-consuming “layer by layer” process deposition process required of previous “green” flame retardant candidates.

To formulate the fire protective coating, the NIST team prepared nine water-based mixtures composed of various combinations of potato starch, seaweed gel (agar), laundry booster, clay and similar everyday compounds. In laboratory tests, six of these "bioinspired" coatings reduced the peak heat release rate—a key measure of flammability—of polyurethane foam by at least 63 percent, compared with untreated foam.

Encouraged by the lab results, the team subjected the top-performing mixture—starch and a boron-containing compound used in deodorant and other products—to a full-scale fire test in which chairs padded with treated or untreated polyurethane foam were ignited.

The upholstered fabric of both chairs was completely engulfed in flames 90 seconds after ignition. In less than two minutes, the upholstery fabric on both chairs was completely consumed. Within six minutes, the untreated padding had burned completely, leaving a burning, melted pool. However, the flames on the chair treated with the NIST-devised coating remained confined to the padding 90 seconds after ignition, although the fabric had burned completely. Combustion could not be sustained and the flames did not spread because the coating produced a 71% drop in the total amount of heat released, the study reported.

Furniture fires are the leading cause of death in house fires. According to the National Fire Protection Association, they accounted for about 30% of more than 2,700 deaths in residential fires in 2013.
"The results of the full-scale fire tests are very encouraging," says NIST team leader Rick Davis. "The performance of our coating suggests that fire can be contained to burning furniture so that it does not spread, intensify to the point of flashover, and increase the risk of injury or death."

The study, published in the March 25, 2015 issue of ACS Applied Materials & Interfaces, reported the newest coatings were crafted with what the researchers call a "one-pot" process in which the ingredients were added to water, heated and stirred until the solution became a gel, and then cooled. Depending on the ingredients, preparation times ranged from about 30 minutes to two hours.

The uncomplicated process could lend itself to industry adoption. However, additional research is needed to determine the durability of the new coatings and to assess other properties affecting performance and manufacturing applications.

For BCC Research flame retardant chemicals report, visit the following link:

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Monday, April 13, 2015

Proteomic Technologies Fueling Market Potential of Biofuels like Switchgrass

A new generation of fuel crops—plants designed specifically to serve as feedstocks for fuels—would provide a clean, green and renewable alternative to the burning of fossil fuels, but only if their production is cost effective. These biofuels would require, among other developments, plants whose sugars are readily extracted and fermented into fuels by microbes.
Researchers with the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE)’s Joint BioEnergy Institute (JBEI) have demonstrated that proteomic technology may offer a way to harness this exciting potential. Proteomics, a branch of the life sciences that studies proteins or peptides, particularly their functions and interactions, specifically considers technologies suited for large-scale, multiplexed analysis of proteins and peptides. Proteomics differs from conventional protein analysis such as immunoassay because it measures more than one protein or peptide simultaneously from a single sample.
Benjamin Schwessinger, a grass geneticist with JBEI’s Feedstocks Division, and his colleagues conducted the first proteomic analysis of switchgrass (Panicum virgatum), a North American native prairie grass widely viewed as one of the most promising of all the fuel crops.
“Plant cell walls or biomass are costly to deconstruct for sugar release for downstream applications such as biofuels, but genetic modifications to plant cell wall structure could result in significant downstream economic impacts,” Schwessinger explains.
In profiling the switchgrass endomembrane from 10-day old dark grown shoots, Schwessinger and his team identified 1,750 unique proteins in shoots of the hardy perennial crop.
“That we were able to identify such a large number of proteins in our samples shows that proteomics will be useful when we start digging for proteins that will enable us to manipulate switchgrass for increased biofuel production.”

The global proteomics market is expected to more than double its $5 billion value in 2014 to more than $11.6 billion in 2019, reflecting a five-year compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 18%. The main proteomics market segments include research, drug discovery and development, diagnostics and applied (agricultural, environmental and forensics).

The research/drug discovery and development segment of the market is forecast to reach almost $6.8 billion in 2019, up from almost $4 billion in 2014, corresponding with an 11.4% CAGR.

Rapid changes in technical fields such as biochips, mass spectrometry, single cell analysis and multi-omics are driving new products and applications in proteomics, creating unique market opportunities.

For our BCC Research report on proteomics, visit the following link:

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Monday, April 6, 2015

Research on Malaria Vaccines Showing Positive Results

A discovery of how the body’s immune system protects against malaria may hold promise for a vaccine against the disease, which kills as many as 600,000 people each year, mostly children. Currently, no effective vaccine exists for the mosquito-borne disease, which infects the bloodstream and red blood cells, leading to fatigue, headaches, and in severe cases, death.

Antibodies play major roles in immunity to malaria, but a limited understanding of mechanisms mediating protection long has been a barrier to vaccine development. Researchers have known antibodies alone were mostly ineffective at targeting the malaria organism, leading them to believe the antibodies in people resistant to malaria must be getting help from other parts of the immune system.

Professor James Beeson, who heads Burnet’s Centre for Biomedical Research in Melbourne, Australia, said he and his research team discovered that antibodies “needed to recruit other proteins in the blood” in order to block malaria infection. This mechanism, known as a complement,” helps the antibodies coat the malaria organism, according to Beeson. “By working together,” he adds, “these two things are a double-hit that stops malaria from infecting red blood cells.”
The findings represent a major advance in understanding immunity to malaria and provide a much-needed strategy for the development and evaluation of vaccines.
Beeson says Burnet’s researchers will now apply this new knowledge to their strategies to create new and more effective malaria vaccines.

“Exploiting this malaria-blocking activity is a new approach in developing a vaccine. We have shown that it is possible to effectively generate this protective immune response by immunizing humans with a candidate vaccine,” Beeson says.

Historically, vaccines were developed to protect against bacterial and viral diseases that plagued the world population through the 1950s and 1960s. Diphtheria, tetanus, pertussis, polio, smallpox and malaria, among others, were produced in mass quantities to treat large populations.

The advances in immunology, biochemistry, microbiology and biotechnology during the past four decades have opened up the possibilities of creating vaccines for a variety of diseases, including Alzheimer’s, certain cancers, HIV, multiple sclerosis, various tropical diseases, and autoimmune disorders such as diabetes, lupus erythematosus and arthritis.

Vaccines are also being developed against new targets, including Japanese encephalitis, meningitis, certain pollen allergies, metastatic melanoma, Type I diabetes, oral rotavirus, hypertension, and enterotoxigenic Escherichia coli infection.

Currently, researchers are conducting more than 640 clinical trials around the world on a wide variety of vaccines. The World Health Organization estimates there are 120 new vaccines in pharmaceutical/biopharmaceutical company pipelines.

In the United States, the FDA will approve a vaccine if there exist an adequate immunological response, patient safety and established effectiveness of the vaccine at controlling the disease. Vaccine development, approval and production are a costly and long-term venture for any pharmaceutical company. It demands separate, dedicated facilities, equipment and staff. This requires that there be potential revenue and large, diverse patient populations to allow a company to enter into a vaccine venture.

For our BCC Research report on vaccines, visit the following link:

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Wednesday, April 1, 2015

A New Perspective on Autism Spectrum Disorde

Two teams of researchers from Bucknell University and its Geisinger Autism and Developmental Medicine Institute (ADMI) are conducting different studies to explore the same thing: how to diagnose autism earlier. Ultimately, the researchers hope their work will lead to earlier clinical and therapeutic interventions for children with neurodevelopmental disorders like autism.

Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) is a complex neurodevelopmental disorder characterized by deficits in social and communication skills, and by abnormal coherence to repetitive behaviors. Experts claim that ASD, which typically manifests before age three, is the fastest-growing childhood development disorder (13% to 15% annual growth).

Scientists aren’t certain about what causes ASD, but it’s likely that both genetics and environment play a role. Because of the unknown and complex nature of this disorder, effective diagnosis and treatment of ASD has proven challenging.

In one of the studies, Aaron Mitchel, assistant professor of psychology at Bucknell, and his research partners will investigate how two genetic causes of autism spectrum disorder impact children's abilities to integrate visual, auditory and other stimuli. They will examine multisensory integration, or the ability to connect stimuli perceived with different senses.

"Previous research on multisensory integration has studied dyslexia, ADHD, autism. It was focused on behavioral diagnoses," Mitchel said. "We're going to the heart of matter, to the genetic diagnoses to see if there is commonality."           

Rich Kozick, professor of electrical and computer engineering at Bucknell, and Andrew Michael, director of ADMI’s neuroimaging analytics laboratory, are studying methods for capturing the work of brain networks using functional MRI technology. The researchers hope their work will lead to a more accurate tool for diagnosing ASD.

Their project draws upon the deep database of brain-imaging data available through the ADMI, Michael's knowledge of brain imaging and Kozick's expertise in signal processing, which he has previously applied to military and robotics projects.

For our BCC Research report on autism spectrum disorder, visit the following link:

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Monday, March 30, 2015

Make Way for Pizzicato—The New Wireless Technology on the Block

The world’s first fully digital radio transmitter promises to improve the wireless communications capabilities of everything from 5G mobile technologies to the multitude devices aimed at supporting the Internet of Things, or IoT (a proposed development of the Internet in which everyday objects have network connectivity that allows them to send and receive data).

Dubbed Pizzicato, the prototype radio consists of an integrated circuit that outputs a single stream of bits, an antenna, and not much else. It has no conventional radio parts or digital-to-analogue converter. Algorithms perform the necessary ultra-fast computations in real time, thus enabling standard digital technology to generate high frequency radio signals directly.

"Our first trial of the technology has created 14 simultaneous cellular base station signals," says Monty Barlow, director of wireless technology with Cambridge Consultants, the product development and technology consultancy firm which created Pizzicato.

But it’s the digital technology of the Pizzicato-based radio that excites Barlow. Like mainstream processing, he explains, the device should benefit from Moore’s Law (the observation that processor speeds, or overall processing power for computers will double every two year), thus shrinking in cost, size and power consumption with each new generation of silicon fabrication.

“We believe that, in the same way that microprocessors went from being expensive to being cheap enough to be installed in many everyday items, our technology can do the same for radio systems,” he adds.

The implication looms large because of the limited availability of radio spectrum bands, particularly in the more popular lower frequency ranges (less than 1 GHz). Good radio spectrum is a scarce resource. Only low frequencies (1GHz or lower) propagate well over distance or through walls, so they are in great demand. Analog circuits or even the more advanced analog-digital amalgams used in software-defined radio (SDR) are rapidly approaching their limits.

“Crowding 50 analogue radios together on one chip, switching their operational parameters every few microseconds and expecting them to work at 60GHz is an analogue designers nightmare,” Barlow says.

One way to improve efficiencies at these frequencies is the employment of dynamic switching capabilities to sense the radio environment and switch various settings as required, in real time. In other words, by using a type of "cognitive wireless" technique to intelligently control the way that signals are sent and received, therefore, make maximum use of the available spectrum. Cognitive radios are an evolution of software-defined radios. They implement baseband processing functions in software and use agile radio frequency (RF) front ends that can operate across a wide range of frequencies.

BCC Research, in its report on software-defined radios, forecasts a market size of $56.3 billion in 2019, up from $47.7 billion in 2014, across the military and public safety communications sectors.

Greater efficiency requires the use of dynamic or ‘cognitive wireless’ techniques to sense the radio environment and switch parameters on the fly. This could give access to more of the estimated 90% of the allocated spectrum which is not in use at any one time.

Barlow adds finally, "if we’re going to get high-speed broadband to every mobile phone in the world, we’ll need lots of tiny, high-performance radios in those phones. The radios will be squashed together in a way that analog just doesn’t tolerate, whereas a Pizzicato-like digital radio could also be programmed to generate almost any combination of signals at any carrier frequencies, nimbly adapting its behavior in a way that is impossible in conventional radios.”

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Monday, March 16, 2015

Combining Beauty with a Greener Tomorrow: Eiffel Tower is Now a Site of Wind Turbines

The Eiffel Tower is greener than ever. The 125-year-old structure is partially powering itself, thanks to two new wind turbines. The turbines will produce about 10,000 kilowatt hours of electricity annually, enough to power the iconic tower’s commercial activity on the first floor, which is home to restaurants, a souvenir shop, exhibits, and pavilions.

For the City of Lights, the turbines represent the first implementation of a series of sustainable refurbishment upgrades to reduce Paris’s ecological footprint. Other planned green enhancements to the world’s most famous tower include roof-mounted solar panels to help meet the water heating needs of the pavilions, LED lighting on the first floor to save energy, and a rainwater recovery system that not only supplies water to the toilet facilities but also helps power the booster pumps that pump water to the upper levels of the tower.

Urban Green Energy (UGE), a New York-based renewable-energy design firm, designed and installed the two VisionAIR5 vertical axis wind turbines earlier this year. Installing the twin 17-foot structures 400 feet above ground level was no easy task for UGE. Mounting the turbines required each component to be hoisted individually and suspended by rope above the tower’s second level. In addition, the installation unfolded at night to avoid interrupting the Eiffel Tower’s hours of public operation, which closes at 11 p.m. daily.

The new turbines are whisper silent—literally--generating about 40 decibels of sound when running at full speed.  Not only are the crescent-shaped turbines almost inaudible, they’re not readily visible, either. The tri-blade turbines were specially painted a grey-brown to match the hue of the iron lattice.

As one of the most desirable methods of renewable energy source in the world, wind energy and its development has spurred significant growth in the global wind energy market. In 2014, the market reached $165 billion, up more than $30 billion from the previous year. The market is expected to reach $250 billion in 2020, reflecting a five-year compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 7.2%.

For our BCC Research report on wind energy, visit the following link:

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Tuesday, March 10, 2015

2015 Flame Conference - The Complete Technical and Commercial Development Meeting on Flame Retardancy

World-renowned researchers will discuss their work and discuss the latest developments related to flame retardancy at the 26th BCC Meeting on Flame Retardancy, scheduled May 18–20, 2015, at the Sheraton Hotel in Stamford, CT.  This premier industry event, which includes participants from the United States, France, England, Italy, Hungary, Republic of Korea, and People’s Republic of China, offers an ideal blend of experts from government/academia and the commercial/industrial sectors.  
Conference sessions cover the entire spectrum of flame retardancy: Commercial Products, Foams and Fabrics, Nanocomposites, Phosphorus-based Flame Retardants, New Flame Retardants and Flame Retardants for Specific Polymers, and Instrumentation.
Experts in Commercial Products will discuss cutting-edge research on flame retardancy materials in products such as television sets, lithium ion batteries, furniture, airplanes and printed circuit boards. 
In Foams and Fabrics, one of the fastest growing categories of flame retardancy, experts will offer state-of-the-art information on all types of foams and fabrics, ranging from the layer-by-layer approach to how these materials burn. Ten sessions are offered in this vibrant category.
Experts in Nanocomposites, a category highlighted by the growing use of nano-dimensional materials, will discuss materials such as clays, layered double hydroxides, carbon nanotubes, POSS (polyhedral oligomeric silsesquioxanes), and zirconium phosphate. Eight information-packed sessions are offered in this rapidly expanding category.
In the Phosphorus section, both academia and industry experts will discuss basic research findings on new compounds, along with information on how to market these products. Since legislation has restricted the use of bromine (and chlorine) compounds, once the most common flame retardants, phosphorus compounds have become one of the most researched and commercialized flame retardants. Seven sessions will address this dynamic category.
Experts in New Flame Retardants and Flame Retardants for Specific Polymers will cover topics ranging from intrinsically highly flammable retardant polymers to the flame retardancy of EVA and polyurea. Six sessions will present the latest innovations in this category.

In the Instrumentation section, experts will discuss how to develop flame retardants for polymers, and how to evaluate them using the required instrumentation. Five sessions are scheduled in this category.
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Thursday, March 5, 2015

Treating Cancer Tumors is One Implantable Device Away

Chemotherapy stops or slows the growth of cancer cells, but it also damages healthy cells. Researchers are exploring treatments that attack cancer cells with better precision, thus reducing the risk of harming healthy tissue. A team of scientists has developed just such a technique, called iontophoresis, which uses an electric field to deliver high concentrations of chemotherapy to select areas.

"A big challenge with many drugs is getting them where they need to go," said Lissett Bickford, assistant professor in the Department of Biomedical Engineering at Virginia Tech and a co-author of the study. "(Iontophoresis) basically forces drugs directly to and through the tumor, allowing all cancer cells in the treatment zone to get that exposure."

Iontophoresis uses an electric field to push drugs into the tumor. A small device that generates the electric field is implanted in the tumor or placed on the skin. The device also contains a reservoir of chemotherapy. When activated, the electric field pushes the drug into the entire tumor.

In mice with human inflammatory breast cancer, treatment with both iontophoresis and regular intravenous chemotherapy increased survival time as compared with either treatment alone. Treating mice with iontophoresis after intravenous chemotherapy treatment boosted the concentration of the drug in the tumor, but barely raised the concentration in the blood plasma. This indication suggests there could be fewer side effects, an all-too-common complaint associated with chemotherapy.

The researchers say iontophoresis effectively delivered the drug despite pressure from the surrounding area of the tumor, a common complication in drug treatment strategies. This pressure, which is caused by leaks from the blood vessels of the tumor, often inhibits or complicates other drug delivery strategies.
Iontophoresis could allow doctors to use more potent cancer-fighting drugs by localizing their effects or pave the way for new multi-drug combinations by better aiming the more toxic compounds at the tumor and freeing the rest of the body from their harmful effects.

"This may ultimately lead to a reduction in the morbidity and mortality rates commonly found in different types of cancer," says James Byrne, lead author of the study and a postdoctoral researcher and medical student at the University of North Carolina.

According to a BCC Research report (BIO048C), newer therapies like iontophoresis and others will surpass conventional cancer therapies and propel sales in the global cancer therapy market to $111 billion in 2019. The U.S. National Institutes of Health estimated the overall cost of cancer in the United States was $206.3 billion in 2006, with $78.2 billion in direct medical costs.

For our BCC Research reports on cancer, visit the following links:
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Tuesday, February 24, 2015

A Green Innovation that Protects and Strengthens: Eco-Friendly Flame Retardant for Timber Buildings

In Australia, the effects of global warming have raised concerns about the methods used to fire-proof buildings made of timber, a necessary precaution in a country whose torrid summer heat and parched climate pose significant fire hazards. However, most of the current methods for fire-proofing timber materials involve substances that are toxic to human health and the environment.
Flame retardants rely on chemical reactions that impede the ignition of flammable materials and slow the spread of a fire. But the benefits of safeguarding homes and property while protecting humans from fire danger must be weighed against the risk of exposure to potentially harmful chemicals.
To address that challenge, researchers from Stony Brook University have developed a new type of timber flame retardant that’s not only sustainable and environmentally friendly, but also increases the strength of treated materials dramatically. The flame retardant consists of a phosphorus-based compound called resorcinol bis (RDP), which the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has declared a preferred substitute for halogenated flame retardants.
According to Miriam Rafailovich, Distinguished Professor from Stony Brook's Department of Materials science and co-director of the Program in Chemical and Molecular Engineering, the compound penetrates the natural structure of timber materials and interacts with its cellulose, producing a wood-plastic composite that surpasses UL94 V-0 flammability standards. This means that a vertical specimen of the material will stop burning in as few as 10 seconds when set alight, without giving off any lit particles.
"The breakthrough was in the formulation of a compound that extinguishes a flame without decomposing into toxic byproducts," Rafailovich said.
Testing by Stony Brook medical experts also concluded that timber materials treated using RDP pose no hazard to human health, despite the material itself being cytotoxic when in a liquid, unreacted state. Another advantage of the treatment process is that can dramatically improve the durability of timber materials by reinforcing their cellulose structure, increasing their strength by as much as five-fold. The university has filed an application for patent acquisition.
According to a BCC Research report, global consumption of flame retardant chemicals should reach 5 billion pounds in 2018, nearly a billion more than the level in 2013. The report forecasts a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 5% between 2013 and 2018. Cost, performance, lack of toxicity, recycling concerns and the push toward more green and non-halogenated products will influence the smallest to the largest manufacturers of flame retardant chemicals.
For our BCC Research reports on flame retardant chemicals, visit the following links:
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Thursday, February 19, 2015

No Pain Doubles the Gain: Cost-Efficient Needle-Free Technology Transforming the Healthcare Industry

For years researchers have sought alternatives to the finger-pricking method for measuring blood glucose levels. People with diabetes typically test their glucose levels several times a day by pricking their finger and analyzing their blood. But the pain of this constant finger-pricking drives many patients to avoid checking their blood sugar levels, which places them at higher risk for poor health.
Needle-free devices and technologies offer alternatives to needles and syringes that avoid the issues of needle phobia, needlestick injuries and the transmission of blood-borne diseases. Because needle-free devices are painless, effective and safe drug delivery methods, pharmaceutical companies will continue to invest billions on new delivery technologies during the next five to 10 years. Also, continuous innovation and availability of newer needle-free drug delivery systems have the potential to deliver highly viscous drug products that traditional needle and syringe methods are unable to administer, adding to the utility of the technology.
In the glucose monitoring segment of the needle-free drug delivery market, a new invention may offer people with diabetes relief from the pain of the finger-pricking method. Researcher Amay Bandodkar and his colleagues at Professor Joseph Wang’s laboratory at the University of California at San Diego have created a flexible sensor that measures a person’s blood sugar levels using a mild electrical current.  The device, a thin tattoo paper printed with electrodes of silver and silver chloride ink and a blood glucose sensor made of a glucose-sensitive enzyme, is applied to the skin like a rub-on tattoo. A mild electrical current applied to the skin for 10 minutes draws sodium ions, which carry glucose molecules, from the fluid between skin cells toward the electrodes. The sensor in the tattoo then measures the strength of the electrical charge produced by the glucose to determine blood sugar levels.
The tattoo sensor currently doesn’t provide a readout of glucose measures (the device has to be removed and analyzed for that), but researchers are working on that particular feature. According to Bandodkar, “The readout instrument will also eventually have Bluetooth capabilities to send this information directly to the patient's doctor in real-time, or store data in the cloud. The team is also working on ways to make the tattoo last longer while keeping its overall cost down, he added. In its current form, the device lasts for about a day and costs a few cents.
Needle-free devices like the tattoo sensor and other technologies are driving growth in the needle-free drug delivery markets. The global market for needle-free drug delivery technologies is expected to almost double from $1.1 billion in 2014 to $2.1 billion in 2019, reflecting a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 14.3%. Within the needle-free device and technology market, the needle-free injector segment is anticipated as one of the fastest growing segments.
For our BCC Research report on needle-free drug delivery technologies, visit the following link:
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Monday, February 9, 2015

Breast Cancer Deaths Declining as Detection and Treatment Improve

According to GLOBOCAN 2012, there were 14.1 million new cancer cases, 8.2 million cancer deaths and a staggering 32.6 million people living with cancer (within five years of diagnosis) worldwide in 2012. The World Health Organization (WHO) has stated that currently, about one-third of the world’s cancer burden can be decreased if cancer cases are detected earlier and treatment is provided immediately.

Breast cancer in particular is the second-leading cause of cancer death in women with nearly 1.7 million new cases diagnosed worldwide in 2012. . According to the National Cancer Institute (NCI), more than 200,000 women in the U.S. are diagnosed with breast cancer annually.
Early detection and new treatments have improved survival rates for breast cancer patients, helping the five-year survival rate for women diagnosed with cancer to reach nearly 80%. Death rates from breast cancer have been declining since about 1989; these decreases are believed to be the result of earlier detection through screening and increased awareness, as well as improved treatment. Sales of breast cancer diagnostic and drug technologies reached about $22.3 billion globally in 2014 and are expected to reach $27 billion in 2019, equating to a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 4% (2014–2019).

According to El Camino Hospital’s Radiologist Dr. Sila Yitta, routine mammograms and self-screening are the best defense, although many women don't always take advantage. "In my experience it is hit or miss; some women are consistent in doing breast exams at home, some women don't do them at all," Yitta said.

New experimental technology could help thousands of women and doctors screen for breast cancer in a new way, revolutionizing the screening process. A device called  iTBra by Cyrcadia Health is about to begin its clinical trials in the Bay Area, California, USA. Rather than a mammogram or ultrasound, this system can be used at home, with potentially life-saving information transmitted through a smartphone.

The clinical trial being conducted at El Camino Hospital will study the results on women wearing the device for different lengths of time. The goal is to produce accurate readings in roughly two hours, ultimately making the system more convenient for women to use. If the trial is successful, Cyrcadia Health hopes to have the iTBra on the market later this year.
Cancer Vaccines: Technologies and Global Markets (PHM173A)

Cyrcadia Health CEO Rob Royea says, "It's a wearable device with a number of sensors that check what happens with your circadian patterns of heat change on your breast over time." The results are then processed using sophisticated algorithms and transmitted to a smartphone. "You wear the device for a few hours, and that information is automatically communicated to your physician," Royea added.

Because the system is heat based, developers believe it may also offer advantages for some women with denser breast tissue, which can be more difficult to image using traditional mammography.

In addition to R&D efforts in early detection, improved cancer treatment is making a difference as well, resulting in fewer mastectomies. "The therapeutic approaches to breast cancer have changed radically since the 1990s," say Stefano Zurrida, MD, and Umberto Veronesi, MD, from the European Institute of Oncology in Milan, "and the pace of change shows no signs of slacking."

For related BCC Research market analysis reports on breast cancer, visit the following links:
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Tuesday, January 13, 2015

2015 FLAME CONFERENCE - Recent Advances in Flame Retardancy of Polymeric Materials

Losses caused by fire are disastrous. Most notable are the victims and firefighters who are killed and injured. Displacement and devastation of property can be significant. Economic losses are huge; countries globally spend a not-insignificant portion of their GDP on loss, prevention, and firefighting. Accordingly, there are people and companies worldwide dedicated to fire prevention and protection, and the development of fireproof, non-burning, flame retardant, and flame resistant materials, without whom the losses would be orders of magnitude greater. We salute them.

For 25 years, BCC Research has hosted “the Flame Conference,” as a forum for people in the fire retardant (FR) industry to meet, share, and learn from each other. The conference – called Annual Conference on Recent Advances in Flame Retardancy of Polymeric Materials – focuses on the development of flame retardant chemicals and materials such as plastics, textiles, and surface coatings that inhibit, suppress, or delay the production of flames to prevent the spread of fire.

Now in its 26th year, the Flame Conference is the premier fire retardant (FR) event in the United States. It brings together scientists and other technical specialists for an intensive seminar that fosters learning and networking among the industry’s best and brightest. The single track of sessions covers both the government/academia and commercial/industrial sectors.
“If you want to know about the latest breakthrough in flame retardant research, the Flame Conference is the conference to attend,” said one of the Conference’s attendees in 2014. Another commented, “…it was very good to hear from companies… that offer real world products that are cost effective.... Everything starts in the lab but at some point it has to be viable for the market not just in efficacy but in cost, processing, and value in use.”
The 2015 Flame Conference is scheduled to be held from May 17th to 20th, 2015 in Stamford, Connecticut, USA. Register now to take advantage of this opportunity as seating is limited. Each year this intelligent and intimate conference brings back many of the same attendees, who rely on it as an irreplaceable and on-point source of knowledge about the science, technology, design, and manufacture of flame-retardant materials and coatings.
For information on the 2015 Flame Conference, visit
For information on a BCC Research report on the flame retardant chemicals market, visit
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