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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