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Image: Graphic rendering of several cells in a petri dish; Copyright: panthermedia.net/dani3315

Organ-on-a-chip systems: limited validity?

01/02/2019

Organ-on-a-chip systems are technically a great enhancement of medical research because they facilitate testing of active ingredients on cell cultures in the chambers of a plastic chip. This replaces animal testing and improves patient safety. That being said, they are not a true-to-life replication of the human body and can only simulate a few functions and activities.
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Image: A female researcher is looking at a sample on a glass slide; Copyright: Tristan McGuirk

How to train lab-grown heart cells

01/02/2019

Heart muscle cells need exercise - even when they grow outside the human body. A new device designed by U of T Engineering researchers uses a rigorous training regimen to grow small amounts of cardiac tissue and measure how strongly it beats. The platform is ideal for testing the effects of potential drug molecules and could help bring personalized medicine closer to reality.
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Image: Cell cultivation in a Petri dish; Copyright: panthermedia.net / matej kastelic

Organ-on-a-chip – Organs in miniature format

01/02/2019

In vitro processes and animal tests are used to develop new medications and novel therapeutic approaches. However, animal testing raises important ethical concerns. Organ-on-a-chip models promise to be a feasible alternative. In a system the size of a smartphone, organs are connected using artificial circulation.
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Image: Collage made of two images, one show a round, transparent plastic disc with micro channels, one shows a plastic chip; Copyright: Hahn-Schickard, Image Bernd Müller

Prenatal diagnosis: genetic analysis using droplet PCR

24/07/2017

A new analysis method that uses fetal DNA extracted from the mother’s blood is designed to non-invasively reach a prenatal diagnosis of genetic disorders in a child. A task force of the Hahn Schickard Society for Applied Research is an active part of the "ANGELab" project and co-developed this diagnostic procedure.
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Light instead of darkness – Seeing with the Argus II Implant

29/03/2017

Retinitis pigmentosa is a hereditary eye disorder, which can lead to night blindness, restriction of the peripheral visual field and ultimately to blindness. The University Hospital Aachen, Germany, implants the Argus II retinal prosthesis system made by the Second Sight Company. It allows people with retinitis pigmentosa to perceive light and improve orientation.
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