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Image: Small brown mole on the back of a hand; Copyright: panthermedia.net/Mario Hahn

Early detection: Tattoo signals cancer – and more

09/07/2018

People who are not ill and do not show any symptoms typically do not visit the doctor. And while most people know that preventive medical checkups for cancer, for example, are important, they still avoid them. They tend to be very hesitant because the doctor might detect a serious illness. In the future, a new type of implant could make it easier to go to a screening test.
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Image: Signals from the electrically conductive hydrogel while someone is smiling or frowning; Copyright: KAUST

Electronic skin stretched to new limits

02/07/2018

A metal carbide within a hydrogel composite senses, stretches and heals like human skin for use in medicine and robotics.
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Image: illustration showing the temperatures in a car parked in the sun; Copyright: Safwat Saleem/ASU

Hot cars can hit deadly temperatures in as little as one hour

31/05/2018

A lot can happen at 160 degrees Fahrenheit: Eggs fry, salmonella bacteria dies, and human skin will suffer third-degree burns.
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Image: bright colours that flow into each other: illustration of EMT; Copyright: Université libre de Bruxelles

Cancer: Tumor transition states

24/04/2018

Tumor heterogeneity describes the differences between different cells within a given tumor. These differences have major implications for the diagnosis, prognosis, and therapy of cancer patients. Different mechanisms have been proposed to account for tumor heterogeneity such as epithelial to mesenchymal transition (EMT).
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Image: DermaFC developed by Magnosco; Copyright: Magnosco

A startup makes melanin glow: skin cancer diagnostics with Magnosco

09/04/2018

When a skin lesion is suspected to exhibit malignant changes, it is usually promptly removed. However, not all cases require an excision of the affected tissue. The startup company Magnosco has developed a procedure that uses a laser to support the diagnosis and early detection of malignant melanoma.
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Image: Woman holding a doll in a glowing pyjamas; Copyright: Empa

Illuminated pyjamas treat jaundice in mommy's arms

20/12/2017

Sixty percent of newborns are affected by jaundice during their first days of life. In most cases, the condition is harmless. The ailment is more pronounced in premature babies, whose treatment involves irradiation with blue light in a special incubator – naked and alone.
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Image: Three-dimensional image of a colored vessel structure; Copyright: René Hägerling

Pathology: detecting lymphedema with 3D microscopy

23/10/2017

According to the WHO, 300 million people throughout the world are affected by lymphedema. This condition occurs when fluid that flows between cells is no longer transported back into the blood circulation and accumulates in the skin. Triggers can be surgeries, injuries or genetic defects for example. A new microscopy technique could now also indicate the causes.
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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: 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: 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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Photo: Hospital  bed

Textiles used in hospitals and medical offices – germs don’t stand a chance

01/06/2016

Some hospitals have long banned the status symbol of physicians – the white coat. Research has shown that especially the sleeves were contaminated with various types of bacteria. But it’s not just lab coats that can spread germs in healthcare settings. This field uses a variety of different textiles. Wouldn’t it, therefore, make sense to apply antimicrobial finishes?
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Photo: physicians at station

Gram-negative bacteria pose a major challenge for hospitals

01/06/2016

Every day, people are admitted to the hospital, discharged or they visit patients. This large number of people increases the risk of bacteria transmission. Preventative measures such as short-sleeved uniforms and copper surfaces can help by improving hospital hygiene but they cannot replace the legal requirements for hygiene measures.
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Small companions: How wearables change our lives

01/09/2015

They can be seen everywhere: at the wrists, in the ear, clipped to the belt. Wearables are small technical assistants who are built to collect and partially also to analyze data. Some of them collect measurable health data, others "only" count their user’s steps or measure the surrounding UV radiation. The fact is, however, that wearables are en vogue and are used for many different cases.
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Statutory Skin Cancer Screening: "This is not just about mortality rates"

04/05/2015

Since the end of April 2015, the long-awaited evaluation report on the skin cancer screening programs offered by German health insurance providers is now finally available. We spoke with Dr. Ralph von Kiedrowski, Board Member of the German Dermatologist Association (German: Berufsverband Deutscher Dermatologen) on what the screening can accomplish and his take on the G-BA report.
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Wound treatment with fish skin

03/11/2014

The treatment of chronic wounds is extremely problematic. Chronic wounds can take months or years to heal and some even never heal resulting in over 100.000 amputations taking place annually in the US alone. A new technology from Iceland, that is based on fish skin and is already used clinically, allows for improved healing of chronic and burn wounds.
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Multi-resistant bacteria want to conquer the world

01/08/2014

Bacteria lurk everywhere: on the skin, in the intestines and in every puddle. Most of them that are hanging out in the human body are good bacteria. But not all of them. Those pathogens that exhibit resistance and are thus very hard to combat are the most dangerous kind. Their spread threatens people all over the world.
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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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Diagnosing Parkinson's: the skin is revealing

01/07/2014

In patients with Parkinson's, neural cells in the brain die off that produce the neurotransmitter dopamine. Certain physical symptoms that can indicate the disease follow years later. But a reliable diagnosis can only be made through examination of the brain after the patient's death, and not during his lifetime.
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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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