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Image: robot hand and human hand are going to shake hands in front of a laptop; Copyright: MedUni Vienna

Bionic reconstruction after amputation of a hand

15/01/2019

Modern prostheses offer patients who have had a hand amputated much greater capability in everyday life than was possible with previous prosthetic reconstructive techniques. Redundant nerves from the amputated extremity can be surgically transferred to provide a much better connection between the patient’s body and the prosthesis.
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Image: fluorescent marker in use; Copyright: Colin Watts

New fluorescent marker

05/11/2018

A chemical that highlights tumour cells has been used by surgeons to help spot and safely remove brain cancer in a trial presented at the 2018 NCRI Cancer Conference.
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Image: Blood-slide-mcmaster ; Copyright: Kevin Patrick Robbins, McMaster University

New surfaces create safer implants

24/10/2018

Researchers at McMaster University have solved a vexing problem by engineering surface coatings that can repel everything, such as bacteria, viruses and living cells, but can be modified to permit beneficial exceptions.
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Image: View over the shoulders of two doctors at a screen showing a model of a heart; Copyright: panthermedia.net/Wavebreakmedia ltd

Regenerative heart valves: from simulation to replacement

23/07/2018

Every year, more than 250,000 patients worldwide receive heart valve implants. Children require repeated replacement surgery because their bodies are still growing, the prosthetic heart valves are not. Regenerative heart valves solve this problem. Until now, we have only been able to monitor how these living implants develop in the body after the fact. Computer models now make this predictable.
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Image: OR nurse is standing in front of a screen and holds surgical pincers in her hand; Copyright: ASANUS Medizintechnik GmbH

Eye on material flow: network solutions for hospital logistics

01/02/2018

Hospitals need an accurate assessment of the location and quantity of their materials to eliminate sources of error. Automated processes can also help employees to make these materials available at the right time and at the right place. Digital network systems will substantially support the logistics in the hospital of the future.
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Image: one of Fiagon's electromagnetic surgical navigation systems; Copyright: Fiagon

The surgeon's co-pilot: pin-point accuracy through electromagnetic navigation systems

04/01/2018

The position and alignment of surgical tools in the patient’s body must always be kept in view during the operation process to guarantee success and safety. With fine sensors at the tip of the instruments and an electromagnetic signal, Fiagon's electromagnetic navigation systems accurately reproduce their position in the body.
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Image: Doctor with a laptop, around him various medical images, behind him an ECG; Copyright: panthermedia.net/realinemedia

Surgical navigation systems: Safely guiding the scalpel

04/01/2018

Imaging, navigation, integration – these are terms that describe the modern operating room. All of these components play a key role in accurate surgical procedures. They are integrated into surgical navigation systems, which make complicated medical surgeries considerably safer.
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Image: OR with very modern equipment; Copyright; Swen Reichhold

OR of the future: Surgical navigation systems and integrated devices

04/01/2018

While it is commonplace for operating room staff to work together as a team, the collaboration of operating room systems does not always work so well – many devices are still separated from one another, causing the OR processes to be prone to mistakes. The same applies to surgical navigation technologies that represent the interface between imaging, the surgeon and therapeutic devices.
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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: 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 flat device with a touch screen; Copyright: biolitec AG

Surgical lasers: the quest to be compact, mobile, and user-friendly

03/07/2017

Not all lasers are the same – especially in the surgical field, it all depends on what’s inside: the different operational wavelengths of laser light also affect human tissue in different ways. This is why a single laser for a variety of applications drastically simplifies the job of physicians.
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Image: Black-and-white picture, with some structures of the human body highlighted in color; Copyright: ARTORG Center for Biomedical Engineering Research, University of Bern

Cochlear implants: safe procedure thanks to surgical robots

22/05/2017

For many years, cochlear implants have restored a sense of hearing in people with certain types of hearing loss. For surgeons, the implantation requires a precise attention to detail under the microscope. The results for the patients improve significantly with a more precise placement of the electrode array. The use of a surgical robot can increase the accuracy of the procedure.
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Image: A women with a bald head and a headscarf, smiling, sitting on a sofa talking ot another woman; Copyright:Katharina Bia asiewic

Irreversible Electroporation – Last hope for liver cancer patients

24/04/2017

Liver cancer is the fifth most common malignant tumor in the world. The tumor can be removed through surgery or by utilizing thermal ablation techniques. If a treatment with conservative methods is no longer possible, there is an alternative: irreversible electroporation (IRE). The effectiveness of this method was now confirmed by a clinical study.
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Image: Computer-generated graphic showing two hip balls next to each other. Implantation of a sleeve is demonstrated on them; Copyright: revomotion GmbH Köln

Hip joint: sleeve versus endoprosthesis

10/04/2017

People with hip osteoarthritis often suffer from severe pain and only an endoprosthesis implantation can provide relief. This involves a major intervention and long-term rehabilitation because the implant requires the removal of a section of the thigh bone. The "MioHIP" research project looks for an elastic alternative.
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Image: A monitor and different displays in the OR, behind this the OR team; Copyright: panthermedia.net/chanawit

Smart versus big: how data can assist in the OR

01/03/2017

The OR is the centerpiece of every hospital and also the most expensive resource that should be used efficiently. Yet in reality, there are often delays when interventions are not intelligently scheduled and take place back-to-back. This is why the InnOPlan Research Consortium wants to make surgical device data usable and useful to improve the operating room planning process.
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Image: Surgeon is working at a simulator of the human back with two instruments; Copyright: HTWK Leipzig/Rebecca Schweier

RealSpine: realistic surgical simulation

22/02/2017

Surgeons need a great sense of touch. They first have to acquire this skill in simulation training before they can perform surgery on actual patients. Having said that, simulators are not just meant to teach the right movements; ideally, they should also provide a true-to-life experience of the surgical field – as is the case in RealSpine surgical training.
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Image: Look over the shoulder of an eye surgeon who is operating at a microscope; Copyright: panthermedia.net/mearicon

Ophthalmology today and tomorrow: surgery and more

01/02/2017

Ophthalmology procedures and eye surgeries have been around since ancient times. Today we can hardly imagine the types of circumstances that surrounded any surgical procedures to our perhaps most important sense organ in those days and later eras. Meanwhile, the present and future of this medical specialty looks all the more promising.
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Image: Open surgery at the forearm of a patient; Copyright: panthermedia.net/Chanawit Sitthisombat

Hemodialysis: Creating the AV fistula using catheters

08/09/2016

For many patients, the start of hemodialysis marks the lifelong dependency on needing their blood purified. But before they can actually begin treatments, a blood vessel in the patient's arm needs to be enlarged to where it can move enough blood and withstand being connected to the dialysis machine several times per week.
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Image: Hybrid OR; Copyright: Philips GmbH

Hybrid Operating Room: The OR of the Future Today?

01/09/2016

Patients take center stage during surgery. Their treatment should be as gentle and effective as possible, which is why there is a trend towards minimally invasive surgery (MIS). But minimal procedures require better supporting technologies. The hybrid operating room combines surgery and imaging systems and increasingly replaces conventional open surgery approaches with MIS.
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Image: OR with modern equipment, large screens and lamps; Copyright: Erwin Keeve, Charité

OR of the future: technology benefits surgeons

01/09/2016

When it comes to the future of medicine, we often ponder how we would like to be treated. On the other hand, there is the issue of how physicians would like to treat their patients. The surgical procedures are determined by the technology that doctors are surrounded by. That’s why technology development also needs to be adapted to the needs of surgeons in the operating room of the future.
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Photo: Large metal device with a pink glowing window in the fron

Plasmasterilization: active ingredient cocktail to fight bacteria

01/06/2016

Until now, plasma, the fourth state of matter,was consideredfascinatingonly to astrophysicists and science fiction fans. But at this point, it also attracts the interest of medicine because plasma can have many uses in this field. In the future, plasma sterilization could become an important component of hospital hygiene-provided that the right device is being used.
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Photo: ceramic joints

Knee at your fingertips

22/04/2016

How can you print ceramics, what purpose do they have and how benefits medical technology? Answers provides Dr. Tassilo Moritz from Fraunhofer Institute for Ceramic Technologies and Systems IKTS.
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Photo: Three-dimensional model of the right ventricle

Ultrasound: four dimensions for pediatric cardiac diagnostics

01/03/2016

Fortunately, only a handful of newborns are affected by them, though this determines if not the rest of their lives then, at least, the first few years of affected children: congenital heart defects. After the necessary surgeries, the small patients repeatedly need to return for checkups. Until now, these were conducted using MRI scans. 4D ultrasound can be an alternative.
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Photo: Knee implant

Customized Implants cover bones optimally

22/01/2016

It may fits, but somewhere it still tweaks. Although a suit off the rack serves its purpose, it is still far from being an ideal solution. With a custom made heart it is different. It is similar with implants. Often patients complain about the fact that those implants feel strange. 3D printing is on the best way to change this. Here, the implants are adapted to the carrier.
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Photo: Surgeon uses command devices for a robot

Robotics: surgery with feeling

02/11/2015

Minimally invasive surgeries are gentler on the patient but have one distinct disadvantage for the surgeon: he is not able to interact directly with the operating field. Sometimes he misses impressions that are very important to the success of the intervention. The MiroSurge robot for surgical applications which transmits feedback to the surgeon can help.
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Photo: Smiling man - Sven Seifert

A new world: hybrid operating room workstation

02/11/2015

Performing surgery in a hybrid operating room is meant to be a relief for the staff and offer patients new options for treatment. What is actually so different about this hybrid operating room, what can you expect and what should you keep in mind during the planning process?
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Transcatheter Pacing System: The world’s smallest cardiac pacemaker

01/07/2015

In the case of cardiac arrhythmia, the normal heart rate gets out of balance due to various reasons. In some cases, it is necessary to implant a cardiac pacemaker. Just like with any intervention, this type of surgery also involves risks. In the worst-case scenario, this can lead to abnormal wound healing or obliteration of the vascular system.
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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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Early cancer detection: "Physicians and patients need a good database"

04/05/2015

Whether it is a mammogram, colonoscopy or a skin cancer screening – after a certain age, we are subject to various early cancer detection screenings. Yet many of us don’t know that these screening tests are also associated with risks. This is something what Dr. Sylvia Sänger from the University Medical Center Hamburg-Eppendorf discovered in a study.
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Photo: Spinal disc stress simulator

Spinal disc herniation: causal research with the simulator

01/10/2014

Herniated discs can have very different effects: some cause no discomfort and are only discovered by accident; others can cause paralysis or cause patients to be in great pain. For the most part, these problems develop suddenly after an awkward movement – at least that is what patients report.
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Pediatric anesthesia: "I would object to a specialty medical training"

01/09/2014

When very young children already need to be in the operating room, it’s not just the parents that are concerned. This type of situation is a special challenge for the entire operating team, because children are always very special patients - especially since they are not just simply small grown-ups!
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Cultured skin makes large-scale transplantations possible

01/07/2014

Large burns require skin grafting. Surgeons remove split-thickness skin grafts and apply them to the injured areas. Now skin that has been made in a laboratory is meant to help in covering burns as well as chronic wounds and thus promote the healing process. Researchers in Zurich have been working on this for more than 13 years.
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Fat is the best medicine: "Adipose tissue contains many multipotent stem cells, approximately 500 times more than bone marrow"

01/07/2014

The not so popular “love handles“ could revolutionize medicine in the near future. In cooperation with the University of Rostock (Professor Hermann Seitz), the human med AG Company currently seeks to develop a device that is able to gently remove adipose tissue during surgery and subsequently isolate stem cells.
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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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Clinical trials: "Registry-embedded clinical trials are the way of the future"

06/01/2014

Even medical risk products are not always tested as thoroughly as would be necessary – be it because of criminal energy, lack of know-how or financial reasons. A revision of clinical trial procedures could not only fix loop holes and methodological flaws. Products and methods could also be brought into general medical care more quickly under new rules.
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Study approach: surgical trials mean more safety in the operating room

06/01/2014

Whether a surgical suture is better applied manually or with a surgical stapler can be determined through trial and error. Determining which method guarantees patient safety best should also not just be based on a surgeon’s experience. Controlled studies are the method of choice to assess both well-proven and new techniques in the operating room.
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Photo: Removal of a colon polyp with a snare

Endoscopy: "A small section of the colonic wall is completely removed"

05/01/2014

Eventually, all adults need to see a physician for colon cancer prevention. While the exam goes by quickly thanks to sedation, it sometimes leads to a follow-up procedure if a growth in the colon could not be removed with the endoscope and requires open surgery.
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