Interviews 2018 -- MEDICA - World Forum for Medicine

Image: Structure of the SARS-CoV-2 protein NSP1 (blue) in complex with a host ribosome (grey); Copyright: Seán O’Donoghue/Garvan Institute of Medical Research

Machine learning assisted structure analysis reveals SARS-CoV-2 virus tactics

15/09/2021

The proteins of SARS-CoV-2 play key roles in how the virus manages to evade immune defense and replicate itself in patients’ cells. An international research team has now compiled the most detailed view of the virus' protein structures available to date. The analysis employing artificial intelligence methods has revealed surprising findings.
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Image: Human skin cells cultures (gray and cyan) are reprogrammed by the uptake of synthetic exosomes (purple); Copyright: Max Planck Institute for Medical Research

Programming synthetic exosomes to optimize wound healing

06/09/2021

Scientists from the MPI for Medical Research and colleagues have engineered synthetic exosomes that regulate cellular signaling during wound closure. The synthetic structures resemble naturally occurring extracellular vesicles (EV) that play a fundamental role in communication between cells.
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Image: Closeup view with selective focus of shiny glittering  water balls hydrogel; Copyright: PantherMedia/PhotoChowk

Improving strength, stretchiness and adhesion in hydrogels for wound healing

31/08/2021

Scientists use the adhesive capabilities of mussels as a model for optimizing hydrogels’ mechanical properties.
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Image: Human stem cells previously prepared in the laboratory are implemented into the CubeLab bioreactor; Copyright: Julian Raatschen, Airbus Defence and Space

University of Zurich and Airbus to grow miniature human tissue on the ISS

27/08/2021

The process for the joint 3D Organoids in Space project originated from the University of Zurich (UZH) researchers Oliver Ullrich and Cora Thiel. Together with Airbus, the two pioneers in research on how gravity affects and regulates human cells have developed the process to project maturity
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Image: Home page of the online AIMe Registry, above a picture of medical devices including tablets and a clipboard; Copyright: AIMe

AIMe - a standard for Artificial Intelligence in biomedicine

26/08/2021

An international research team with participants from several universities including the University of Hamburg has proposed a standardised registry for artificial intelligence (AI) work in biomedicine to improve the reproducibility of results and create trust in the use of AI algorithms in biomedical research and, in the future, in everyday clinical practice.
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Image: Tumour boundary in blue, tumor tissue above on the left, Collagen in green, cell nuclei in red; Copyright: ETH Zurich

Illuminating tissue formation

10/08/2021

Collagen is the most abundant protein in the human body. It makes up a third of protein content and single strands assemble to form stable fibres that give structure to connective tissue such as skin, tendons, cartilage and bones. Researchers at ETH Zurich have now developed a multi-component molecule that interacts with collagen and can be used to illuminate new tissue growth in the body.
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Image: a bacteria under the microscope; Copyright: 2021 EPFL

Organoid bladders reveal secrets of UTIs

02/08/2021

Urinary tract infections (UTIs) are among the most common bacterial infections. They usually require treatment with antibiotics, and almost a quarter of treated cases lead to recurrent infection. The vast majority of UTIs are caused by a subspecies of the bacterium Escherichia coli, which infect cells that line the bladder wall and form what are known as "intracellular bacterial communities".
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Image: A physician puts a bandage around the foot of a patient; Copyright: PantherMedia/Wavebreakmedia (YAYMicro)

Chronic wounds: new, inexpensive wound dressing

29/07/2021

An MSU-led team is developing an inexpensive biopolymer dressing to heal injuries like diabetic foot ulcers that affect millions of patients all over the world.
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Image: A neurologist is examining the hand of a man; Copyright: PantherMedia/Elnur_

Novel method for the rapid repair of peripheral nerve injuries

28/07/2021

Bar-Ilan University researchers have developed nerve guidance conduits filled with smart gel that accelerate regeneration of torn nerve fibers.
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Image: A white plastic chip with green, yellow and blue microfluidic chambers; Copyright: ETH Zurich / Julia Boos

Toxicity testing on the placenta and embryo

27/07/2021

Drugs must be safe not just for the patients; in the case of pregnant patients, drugs must also be safe for the unborn children still in the womb. Therefore, at an early stage in the development of new medicines, candidate substances are tested in the Petri dish on embryonic stem cells from mouse cell lines.
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Image: Artist’s rendering of small star-shaped machines between red blood cells; Copyright: PantherMedia/Michael Osterrieder

Autonomous medical devices: running well in your body

01/02/2021

In theory, autonomous medical technologies can be used in a diagnostic or therapeutic capacity inside the body under certain conditions. This may not sound like a new invention at first. After all, implantable cardioverter-defibrillators have monitored and fixed abnormal heart rhythm for many years.
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Image: Artist’s rendering of small robots with grapplers and searchlights that swim between red blood cells; Copyright: PantherMedia/Andreus

Autonomous medical technology: independently in the body

01/02/2021

Therapies need to be carried out with high reliability by trained personal. This will not change in the future. But maybe we will be able to let systems in the patient’s body do some of the work. Some approaches are already aiming to make implants more independent so they will be able to flexibly react to changes. Read more in our Topic of the Month!
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Image: cell matrix; Copyright: TU Wien

Multi-photon lithography: printing cells with micrometer accuracy

01/12/2020

How do cells react to certain drugs? And how exactly is new tissue created? This can be analyzed by using bioprinting to embed cells in fine frameworks. However, current methods are often imprecise or too slow to process cells before they are damaged. At the TU Vienna, a high-resolution bioprinting process has now been developed using a new bio-ink.
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Image: three vials, one with hydrogels, one with bio ink and one with unmodified gelatine; Copyright: Fraunhofer IGB

"Cells are highly sensitive" – material development for bioprinting

01/12/2020

The big hope of bioprinting is to someday be able to print whole human organs. So far, the process has been limited to testing platforms such as organs-on-a-chip. That's because the actual printing process already poses challenges. Scientists need suitable printing materials that ensure the cell's survival as it undergoes the procedure. The Fraunhofer IGB is researching and analyzing this aspect.
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Image: 3D printer with a human heart inside, next to a box with

Bioprinting: life from the printer

01/12/2020

It aims at the production of test systems for drug research and gives patients on the waiting lists for donor organs hope: bioprinting. Thereby biologically functional tissues are printed. But how does that actually work? What are the different bioprinting methods? And can entire organs be printed with it? These and other questions are examined in our Topic of the Month.
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Image: A miniaturized, round sensor under a fingertip; Copyright: TU Dresden

SmartLab: all-in-one automation, digitalization, and miniaturization

01/09/2020

Laboratories have to analyze and interpret an ever-increasing number of samples for research and diagnostic services, generating lots of data in the process. At the same time, labs are required to produce quality results and operate with speed. Processes that could once be managed using laboratory notebooks and isolated systems must become smart in the future to improve lab efficiency.
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Image: medical symbols around the earth in the hands of a person; Copyright: PantherMedia/everythingposs

Israeli medical devices showcase digital innovations at MEDICA

24/08/2020

For the annual MEDICA trade fair, companies from all over the world assemble in Düsseldorf. The Israel Export Institute has been a part of it for the last couple of years. They present medical devices and digital innovations from different Israeli companies at their joint booth.
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Image: Computer-generated image of an arborizing blood vessel; Copyright: panthermedia.net/Ugreen

Angiogenesis: light shows blood vessels the way

03/02/2020

Regenerative medicine aims to replace damage in the body with functional tissue and restore normal function. The first defense for large defects are implants made of hydrogels, designed to promote cell growth. They need their own blood supply, which is a problem when it comes to larger implants because you cannot regulate where and how the blood vessels grow - until now.
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Image: A half-transparent red piece of tissue in a glass filled with a yellow fluid; Copyright: United Therapeutics

rhCollagen: genetically engineered building block for regenerative medicine

03/02/2020

Collagen is the stuff that holds our bodies together and that houses our cells. In regenerative medicine, it is also the stuff that can be applied to wounds to support healing. However, collagen from animal or human sources has some drawbacks for today’s medicine. This is where rhCollagen from the Israeli company CollPlant comes into play.
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Image: Two knees of a woman next to each other, the left knee has a surgical suture; Copyright: panthermedia.net/wujekspeed

Regenerative medicine: creating a new body?

03/02/2020

Regenerative medicine aims to repair the human body after injuries, accidents or major cancer surgery. Unfortunately, we are still not at a stage where this process can achieve optimal results for every conceivable situation. Having said that, various new methods are on the cusp of breakthrough.
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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: 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: Two hands are holding a tubular frame that is carrying a glistening wet, white tube; Copyright: Leibniz University of Hanover/Institute of Technical Chemistry

Tissue engineering: how to grow a bypass

23/04/2018

A bypass is a complicated structure. It is either made of synthetic materials that can cause blood clots and infections or created by using the patient’s veins. However, the latter often does not yield adequate material. A newly developed bioreactor could solve this problem in the future. It is designed to tissue engineer vascular grafts by using the body’s own material.
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