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Image: little boy falling asleep over his laptop; Copyright: panthermedia.net/WavebreakmediaMicro

Why do we fall asleep when bored?

09/10/2017

University of Tsukuba researcher discovers why we have the tendency to fall asleep in the absence of motivating stimuli, when bored.
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Image: Illustration of the Leipzig spoon, which is pushed to the back of the eye; Copyright: University of Leipzig/M. Francke

The "Leipzig Spoon" to cure pathological myopia

22/09/2017

Many people all over the world suffer from myopia, also known as nearsightedness. A severe elongation of the eyeball is the cause behind it. If it continues to progress, it ultimately leads to complete loss of vision. Now an innovative medical device intends to stop this progression in the future.
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Image: Colored sonographic image of the human heart from Doppler ultrasonography; Copyright: panthermedia.net/Belish

Imaging techniques: ultrasound, MRI, CT, catheters and other procedures to keep a healthy heart

01/09/2017

Many people are affected by heart disease today because - among other reasons- our modern unhealthy lifestyle is taking a toll on our hearts. A reliable diagnosis and treatment are crucial for patients with heart disease since all other organs depend on the pumping of our vital organ. Modern imaging techniques are a key to understanding the heart.
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Image: interferometric detection of scattered light, iSCAT; Copyright: MPL

Interface between Physics and Medicine: new interdisciplinary center

22/08/2017

Physics has always supported medical science, especially when it comes to practical implementation. Now physicists and health professionals join in collaborative research at an interdisciplinary Center in Erlangen and incorporate fundamental principles of theoretical physics in their studies of diseases.
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Image: A man is working at a laboratory bench, his screen is showing a program that recognizes his gestures; Copyright: Fraunhofer IPA/Heike Quosdorf

Laboratory automation: from note book to gesture recognition

08/08/2017

For centuries, scientific research has succeeded by chronicling experiments with pinpoint accuracy. Yet despite all the progress in the actual laboratory, recording is often still done manually, in notebooks, logs or computer systems for instance. In the future, a gesture recognition system could perform this task for scientists.
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Image: An eye surgeon and an assistant are treating a patient with a surgical laser; Copyright: University Hospital Dresden/Felix Koopmann

Eye surgery: precision and prevention with femtosecond lasers

03/07/2017

Precision work is absolutely essential in eye surgery since the surgical site is very minute and sensitive. This is why eye surgeons have been using lasers for years. Femtosecond lasers are especially well suited to serve this purpose because they are able to cut tissue with great precision and little energy, which prevents unwanted side effects of surgery.
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Image: A dermatology laser is used to remove a mole; Copyright: panthermedia.net/Michael Krause

Laser surgery: usability, flexibility, treatment quality

03/07/2017

The scalpel is considered the classic surgical instrument and as such, has remained unchanged for quite some time. However, today’s technology opens up a world of new possibilities for cutting tissue. Next to high-frequency electrosurgical scalpels that work with electric power, surgeons also use a variety of different lasers. They promise great usability and better treatment.
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Image: User interface of a software; Copyright: Helmholtz Zentrum München

Cell under observation: "The software lets us study the development on video"

08/08/2016

What happens when stem cells differentiate? What molecular characteristics do they have? Questions that can now be easier answered with the help of a new open-source software. We spoke with Prof. Fabian Theis at the Helmholtz Center Munich, who participated in the software development.
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Photo: Old woman with a smartphone

Health Apps: "Mobile Applications for smartphones have strengths and weaknesses"

22/03/2016

Medical apps like diabetes or high blood pressure diaries are becoming increasingly popular with smartphone users. There are many available choices out there but they are not always clear. Added to this is the question of how the data collected by the apps can be sensibly incorporated into treatment.
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Graphic: The pancreas and the surrounding organs

Pancreatic cancer: diagnosis via signature analysis

08/03/2016

Pancreatic cancer is one of the deadliest forms of cancer because it is difficult to diagnose and only presents with symptoms in the later stages. In the future, a laboratory test developed at the Greifswald University Medicine could make an early detection of this type of cancer and consequently a faster and better treatment possible.
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Wanted: rapid test to prevent deep vein thrombosis

01/07/2015

Deep vein thrombosis is not just a risk factor for frequent flyers but also for wearers of cardiovascular implants and newly operated patients. Blood thinners prevent these dangerous blood clots from forming, but they need to be carefully adjusted and do not work the same way in every patient. A detailed analysis of platelets (thrombocytes) could prevent complications in the future.
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Photo: Silicon model of the lung in a bluely lit water tank

Lungs: "Liquid ventilation is still not sufficiently researched"

09/03/2015

All swimmers know the unpleasant feeling when you breathe in at the wrong time and then have water enter into your windpipe. At best, it immediately triggers the cough reflex, which is intended to keep the water away from the airways and prevent suffocation. However, liquid in the lungs can also save people - especially if it allows them to breathe again.
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Hospital crisis communication: A crisis knows no rules

02/03/2015

Crises come in many shapes and sizes. Whether it’s poor hygiene, thefts or treatment errors – once the crisis has arrived, things need to move quickly. For hospitals in particular, the right crisis communication is key. Yet many medical facilities still neglect the fact that crisis communication starts before the actual crisis takes place.
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Photo: Tissue sections on object slides

Digital pathology: From microscope slide to virtual microscopy

02/02/2015

The digitization of medicine moves on. Researchers, physicians and patients equally benefit from this development – thanks to improved diagnostics with highly sensitive devices, today findings can be comprehensively analyzed and treatment decisions made on a broadened basis. Digitization also offers the area of pathology interesting fields of application.
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Photo: Blue box at optical bench

Continuous glucose monitoring: "Our method is based on the principles of infrared photometry"

22/10/2014

Patients in intensive care units do not just have to struggle with the consequences of a severe injury or disease – they are also subject to acute glucose fluctuations that compromise the healing success. These sometimes happen so quickly that they cannot be caught in time with existing discrete measurement methods.
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Photo: Nanodiamond

Nanodiamonds: "Our goal is not to be able to diagnose a specific disease, but to offer medicine a universal tool"

22/09/2014

They are not just “a girl's best friend“, but are also important helpers in medicine: diamonds. Yet the latter are so tiny that they are not visible to the naked eye. Dr. Patrick Happel at the Ruhr University Bochum in Germany studies so-called nanodiamonds. Someday soon, they are supposed to help in significantly improving medical imaging.
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RESCUER: "Crowds should take an active part in ensuring their own safety during major events"

01/04/2014

Thousands of people push through a tight tunnel: 21 people died while several hundred people were injured this way during the Love Parade 2010 disaster in Duisburg, Germany. Today we know that such disasters could be prevented, if communication between event participants and rescue workers would be better.
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"We don’t know why certain pharmaceuticals bind especially well while others bind barely at all"

10/02/2014

Prof. Joachim Heberle from the Free University of Berlin wants to make the smallest protein structures visible under the microscope. He wants to accomplish this with an infrared microscope, originating in the field of physics. He told MEDICA.de which technology is behind all this and what he also wants to examine with it in the future.
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Surgery: "Our camera detects the tiniest remainder of a tumor"

03/02/2014

Differentiating tumor tissue from healthy tissue isn’t always easy for surgeons. Scattered cancer cells and early cancer are often hard to detect with the naked eye. A special camera now makes even the tiniest remainder of a tumor visible during surgery.
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