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Image: Screen showing an image from cardiovascular angiography; Copyright: panthermedia.net/fly_wish

Coronary heart disease: non-invasive imaging reduces catheter examinations

01/09/2017

Coronary heart disease (CHD) can cause heart arrhythmia, heart insufficiency or heart attack. All the more important is an early, reliable diagnosis that helps to treat it and to reduce risk factors. But what is the best method for diagnosis? A recent study found that functional imaging methods can often spare patients the trouble and risks of a coronary angiography.
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Image: Collage of several MRI images of the heart, in which different locations are marked with red arrows; Copyright: University Hospital Münster/Ali Yilmaz

Myocarditis: more specific diagnosis thanks to molecular imaging

01/09/2017

There are many causes of myocarditis or inflammation of the heart muscle. Oftentimes, the culprits are viruses or bacteria and sometimes even an acute heart attack. Regardless of the cause, it creates a challenge for cardiologists: a diagnosis tends to be only nonspecific without a biopsy. A cardiac MRI and molecular imaging promise to provide assistance.
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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 sleeping newborn; Copyright: panthermedia.net/mschlake

The brains of newborns distinguish between caresses

25/08/2017

The ability to distinguish between different kinds of caresses on the skin already exists at a very early age. This is evident from a study by the Sahlgrenska Academy, in which the blood supply in brains of infants 6 to 10 weeks old was investigated.
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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: Empa’s multicellular model, which is mimicking the placental barrier: a core of connective tissue cells, surrounded by trophoblast cells; Copyright: Empa

Medication for the unborn baby

21/08/2017

An Empa team has succeeded in developing a new three-dimensional cell model of the human placental barrier. The "model organ" can quickly and reliably deliver new information on the intake of substances, such as nano-particles, by the placental barrier and on any possible toxic effects for the unborn child.
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Image: Examples of ex vivo photography (left) and autoradiography (right) of aortae and carotid arteries ; Copyright: Yale Cardiovascular Research Center

New imaging tracer allows early assessment of abdominal aortic aneurysm risk

11/08/2017

Yale University researchers have developed a way in which medical imaging could potentially be used to assess a patient's rupture risk for abdominal aortic aneurysm. Delaying surgical treatment can be life-threatening, and this new type of imaging could allow physicians to diagnose disease and better plan its management.
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Image: heart 3D scan; Copyright: Manchester University

Scientists reveal source of human heartbeat in 3D

09/08/2017

A team of scientists from Liverpool John Moores University (LJMU), The University of Manchester, Aarhus University and Newcastle University, have developed a way of producing 3D data to show the cardiac conduction system – the special cells that enable our hearts to beat – in unprecedented detail. The findings were published in Scientific Reports.
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Image: Collage of images showing how a new surgical adhesive works; Copyright: IBS

New harmless radiopaque glue to seal bleeding and guide surgery

25/07/2017

First nanoparticle-based adhesive with imaging contrast effect in CT and ultrasound was successfully tested in animals and showed less toxicity than the FDA-approved glue CA-Lp.
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Image: A large medical device with a treatment couch and four movable boxes; Copyright: panthermedia.net/Thomas Hecker

Cancer: refined treatment with proton minibeams

10/07/2017

Radiation therapies are an essential component of today’s oncology because they enable the treatment of localized tumors. Yet they have one major drawback: radiation damages not just tumor cells but also healthy tissue. One solution to solve this problem could be proton minibeam therapy, which uses finely focused beams.
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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 physician holding a 3D image of a golden liver in his hands; Copyright: panthermedia.net/SectoR_2010

Using body noise to improve cancer detection

03/07/2017

Elastography, sometimes referred as seismology of the human body, is an emerging technology used to enhance medical ultrasound imaging. It does this by measuring the elasticity of biological tissue to diagnose cancer or liver and thyroid disease more accurately and at the earliest stages.
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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: Cavitation Microstreaming Generated by a Sonovue Microbubble and Marked by Fluorescent Beads; Copyright: Miles M. Aron, courtesy of BUBBL, University of Oxford, England

Tiny bubbles offer sound solution for drug delivery

27/06/2017

Your brain is armored. It lives in a box made of bones with a security system of vessels. These vessels protect the brain and central nervous system from harmful chemicals circulating in the blood. Yet this protection system - known as the blood-brain barrier - also prevents delivery of drugs that could help treat patients with brain cancers and brain diseases such as Alzheimer's disease.
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Image: Computer generated model of the brain that consists of many small boxes; Copyright: Legato Team/University of Luxembourg

Modeling the brain with "Lego bricks"

20/06/2017

Researchers from the University of Luxembourg, in cooperation with the University of Strasbourg, have developed a computational method that could be used to guide surgeons during brain surgery.
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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: Demonstrator; Copyright: Leibniz-IPHT

Medical imaging is onto septic fungi

03/04/2017

Instant treatment is absolute vital for patients developing sepsis. Providing a specific therapy early on is key. To manage this the pathogenic organisms need to be identified accurately. But a fungal sepsis can still be a hard nut to crack.
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Image: Children playing outside, getting wet in the water; Copyright: panthermedia.net/Wavebreakmedia ltd

Pneumonia in Children: Ultrasound or X-Rays?

08/03/2017

Pneumonia is the most frequent respiratory disease in children and can even cause death. That is why it is extremely important to make an accurate diagnosis as quickly as possible. If this requires imaging tests, normally X-rays are taken. But there is an alternative: ultrasound.
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Image: Graphic of an ebola virus against a blue background; Copyright: panthermedia.net/krishna creations

Who am I? Viruses on Nanosprings

21/12/2016

Within the scope of the VIRUSCAN project that is funded by the Horizon 2020 Research and Innovation Program of the European Union, Dr. Charlotte Uetrecht from Hamburg/Germany investigates individual viruses to be able to later identify them on a nanospring structure. MEDICA.de wanted to know: how does this work?
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Image: Zebrafish brain, fluorescence image (left) and 3D image (right); Copyright: private

"A 3D movie of the brain in action"

08/12/2016

Watching millions of neurons in the brain interacting with each other – for a long time this was possible only to a limited extent. The current techniques can visualize only superficial layers or the imaging they use is too slow. But now, Prof Daniel Razansky and his team have found a new method to visualize the brain activity – by using optoacoustics.
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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: surgery Copyright: Klinikum Weiden/private

Intraoperative imaging – added benefit or high-tech gadget?

01/09/2016

Monitoring individual results during surgery with an angiography system? This is already an option in approximately 200 hospitals in Germany. Thanks to intraoperative imaging, major medical procedures can be replaced by minimally invasive surgery because physicians are able to monitor the results immediately. This is gentler on patients and decreases the number of subsequent revision surgeries.
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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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Image: girl in the MRI, physican besides; Copyright: Klinikum Dortmund/Dr. Lindel

MRI scan: Video projections help children overcome their fear

22/08/2016

A beautiful field of flowers, a trip to the beach or a visit to the zoo. Children can experience all of these at the Clinical Center Dortmund in a 270- degree projection on the wall. The Center created a space that is designed to help its little patients overcome their fear of MRI scans.
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Photo: Three men pose during an award ceremony

Cardiac insufficiency: early diagnosis with ultrasound

02/05/2016

Heart failure or cardiac insufficiency presents an extra strain on patients because it severally limits everyday performance and deprives them of energy. Due to their intense need for movement, children are particularly strongly affected. However, the disease is frequently not detected until the physical performance is already declining. An early diagnosis could prevent this.
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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: Male nurse slides an incubator into the MRI; Copyright: LMT Medical Systems GmbH

An incubator suitable for MRI scans

01/03/2016

Every little thing can be a matter of life or death for premature babies. That is why the right diagnosis plays an extremely important role. This includes examining infants with an MRI scan. Until now, sliding premature babies into an MRI scanner without an incubator was only possible to a limited degree. Now this problem could be solved.
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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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Theranostics: Complex particles for tomorrow's medicine

01/10/2015

It is a portmanteau, a mixture of two words. This way it saves us time and trouble while speaking because the human speech apparatus is lazy. And it describes a mixture of procedures: the combination of two procedures that would normally be separate in medicine. We are talking about theranostics.
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Fighting myomas with ultrasound

01/10/2015

A proper diagnosis is a part of great therapy. However, it can also be beneficial to be able to quickly respond to changes during a treatment. One example of this is the treatment of uterine myomas. Female patients at the University Hospital Bonn are treated using so-called high-intensity focused ultrasound, HIFU in short. Prof. Holger Strunk explains this procedure.
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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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Prostate cancer: Agent with theranostic potential

03/08/2015

Endoradiotherapy can be very unpleasant for cancer patients, since it does not only harm tumor cells, but also healthy ones. Sometimes, patients even need to stop therapy because of the side effects. Physicians and researchers are thus continuously searching for ways to transport radiopharmaceuticals directly and exclusively to their target.
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Fast and low radiation exposure: The newest generation gamma camera

03/08/2015

Nuclear medicine physicians use so-called gamma cameras for myocardial perfusion scintigraphy. The devices record radioactive substances that are injected into the patient and show changes in the heart muscle (myocardium). Now a new gamma camera is able to record images faster and by using much less radiation.
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Radiopharmaceuticals: Individualized diagnostics and therapy

03/08/2015

Malignant tumors can be fought with X-rays – usually with radiation therapy from outside the body. Nuclear medicine physicians can also accomplish this inside the body with radioactive materials, called radiopharmaceuticals. They also offer big benefits for clinical diagnostics as long as a specific target can be assigned to them.
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Photo: Image with red luminous bladder, next cystoscope

Making the invisible visible with fluorescence

22/06/2015

Bladder tumors have different growth characteristics. In most cases, they are limited to the inner wall of the bladder and thus well resectable. Unlike carcinoma in situ, which becomes muscle invasive after a certain amount of time. To be able to completely remove the tumor during resection, photodynamic diagnostics (PDD) can make sense.
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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: Application of the NanoKnife therapy

Prostate cancer: gentle removal with irreversible electroporation

08/10/2014

The NanoKnife® therapy practiced at the Prostate Center in Offenbach am Main removes prostate tumors in a gentle manner im comparison to prostatectomy or radiation therapy. In this interview with MEDICA.de, Professor Michael K. Stehling explains the advantages of the focal therapy.
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Photo: Dr. Anna-Maria Liphardt

Laboratory in Space: Hot on the Trails of Cartilage Degradation

01/10/2014

On November 10, 2014, astronaut Alexander Gerst will return to Earth from the International Space Station (ISS). He is not just anxiously expected by his family, but also by Dr. Anna-Maria Liphardt from the Institute of Biomechanics and Orthopedics at the German Sport University Cologne
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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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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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Photo: Modern OR at the Charité

OR technology: developing more flexibility and usability

08/07/2014

Gentle, safe, precise, fast – surgical interventions need to meet many demands: laws and regulations concerning safety, the desire for the best possible health outcome, economic requirements of hospitals and ever-changing technology make up today’s framework for surgery. As a consequence, operating theaters and the way they are equipped change, too.
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Football: "We want to globally determine deaths for the first time"

02/06/2014

Sudden deaths of football players make headlines time after time: competitive athletes who are the idols of many people die just when they are on the playing field and in the limelight. Congenital heart defects often cause their death. Sports physicians and FIFA now plan to ascertain data that can help improve preventive examinations in competitive football.
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Sonography: "Unfortunately, hospitals are not being required to train well"

04/03/2014

Prenatal care, cancer check-up, vascular examinations – sonography is versatile, provides reliable imaging to physicians and does not tax patients with radiation. It is comprehensively available, from doctor’s office to university medical center. A sound continuing education of sonography users is essential for good diagnostics, also since different devices have different strong points.
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Photo: Researcher in the lab

"An MRI device the size of two to three shoeboxes could soon sit on your desk"

24/02/2014

Magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) is a well-established procedure in clinical diagnostics. It creates a signal with millions of nuclear spins, which in turn is converted into images. Very large magnets are being used to align the nuclear spins. Researchers at the University Medical Center Freiburg study a new method that can do without expensive magnets.
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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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KOHALA: digital student for cancer treatment

03/02/2014

Shortening a time-consuming procedure from four hours to five minutes and automate it at the same time sounds like a dream come true for employees in all fields and industry sectors. This dream could soon become a reality for radiologists. Software could take away the tedious processing of CT images, which is required before cancer radiation therapy.
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Radiology and technology: "Numerous phantom studies have been conducted that prove the advantages of this new CT system"

03/02/2014

Radiologists usually do their work after oncologists when it comes to cancer treatment. Yet modern radiology also provides treatments at this point. MEDICA.de spoke with Professor Stefan Schönberg, Director of the Institute of Clinical Radiology and Nuclear Medicine at the University Medical Center Mannheim, Germany, about the use of a new computer tomograph and its benefits for patients.
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"The Virus Manipulates the Host Cell on Different Levels"

08/01/2014

Heart diseases can be triggered by special viruses that affect the cardiac muscle. Preventive drugs could definitely be developed – if the virus does not mutate.
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