13/04/2021In cancer, cells get out of control. They proliferate and push their way into tissues, destroying organs and thereby impairing essential vital functions. This unrestricted growth is usually induced by an accumulation of DNA changes in cancer genes – i.e. mutations in these genes that govern the development of the cell.
05/04/2021A team from the Universitat Politècnica de València (UPV) and the CIBER Bioengineering, Biomaterials and Nanomedicine (CIBER-BBN) has designed and tested, at a preclinical level, a new biomaterial for the treatment and recovery of muscle injuries.
26/03/2021Scientists have produced the first high-resolution 3D image of the sarcomere, the basic contractile unit of skeletal and heart muscle cells, by using electron cryo-tomography (cryo-ET).
25/03/2021A research team consisting of materials scientists from the Max Planck Institute of Colloids and Interfaces (MPICI) in Potsdam and biologists from Cornell University in Ithaca, USA revealed that bones may grow in response to certain signals from a distant breast tumor. This may be a preemptive defense mechanism against skeletal metastasis.
22/03/2021The Research Group on Synthetic Biology for Biomedical Applications at Pompeu Fabra University in Barcelona, Spain, has designed a cellular device capable of computing by printing cells on paper. For the first time, they have developed a living device that could be used outside the laboratory without a specialist, and it could be produced on an industrial scale at low cost.
18/03/2021Deep learning is a potential tool for scientists to glean more detail from low-resolution images in microscopy, but it is often difficult to gather enough baseline data to train computers in the process. Now, a new method developed by scientists at the Salk Institute could make the technology more accessible - by taking high-resolution images, and artificially degrading them.
15/03/2021Non-alcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD) is the most prevalent chronic liver disease worldwide. It is found in 30% of people in developed countries and occurs in approximately 25% of people in the United States. Risk factors for the disease include obesity, diabetes, high cholesterol and poor eating habits, although this does not exclude individuals without these risk factors.
24/02/2021Researchers who focus on fat know that some adipose tissue is more prone to inflammation-related comorbidities than others, but the reasons why are not well understood. Thanks to a new analytical technique, scientists are getting a clearer view of the microenvironments found within adipose tissue associated with obesity.
22/02/2021Working with colleagues from Germany and the US, researchers at Leipzig University have achieved a breakthrough in research into how cancer cells spread. In experiments, the team of biophysicists led by Professor Josef Alfons Käs, Steffen Grosser and Jürgen Lippoldt demonstrated for the first time how cells deform in order to move in dense tumor tissues and squeeze past neighboring cells.
19/02/2021With the help of artificial intelligence (AI) a German-American team of scientists deciphered some of the more elusive instructions encoded in DNA. Their neural network trained on high-resolution maps of protein-DNA interactions uncovers subtle DNA sequence patterns throughout the genome, thus providing a deeper understanding of how these sequences are organized to regulate genes.
15/02/2021To study early stages in embryonic development in the cell culture dish, scientists use so-called human pluripotent stem cells (hPSC). These are cells with have remarkable special properties that can be multiplied as they can indefinitely multiply and are capable of forming any functional cell type of the body.
15/02/2021For the first time, engineered heart muscle (EHM) from human induced pluripotent stem cells (iPSCs) will be used to treat patients with heart failure. After regulatory approval, recruitment of the first patient for the first-in-class, first-in-patient BioVAT-HF early clinical trial has started in Göttingen, Germany.
12/02/2021A specialized laboratory of the ARTORG Center for Biomedical Engineering Research, University of Bern, headed by Olivier Guenat has developed a new generation of in-vitro models called organs-on-chip for over 10 years, focusing on modeling the lung and its diseases.
11/02/2021A team of engineers and scientists has developed a method of 'multiplying' organoids: miniature collections of cells that mimic the behavior of various organs and are promising tools for the study of human biology and disease.
28/01/2021A group of KAIST researchers and collaborators have engineered a tiny brain implant that can be wirelessly recharged from outside the body to control brain circuits for long periods of time without battery replacement. The device is constructed of ultra-soft and bio-compliant polymers to help provide long-term compatibility with tissue.
27/01/2021Drug research and artificial skin replacement - these are the areas in which tissue engineering and bioprinting are already used today. What else could be possible in the future? We asked Dr. Nadine Nottrodt from Fraunhofer ILT and Prof. Sabine Neuß-Stein from RWTH Aachen University Hospital!
22/01/2021The neocortex is the part of the brain that humans use to process sensory impressions, store memories, give instructions to the muscles, and plan for the future. These computational processes are possible because each nerve cell is a highly complex miniature computer that communicates with around 10,000 other neurons. This communication happens via special connections called synapses.
22/01/2021Successful precision cancer diagnosis through an AI analysis of multiple factors of prostate cancer. Potential application of the precise diagnoses of other cancers by utilizing a urine test.
21/01/2021Chronic inflammatory bowel disease (CIBD) in particular is suspected to be closely linked to the composition and (im-)balance of the intestinal microbiome. However, the causal relationship between the microbiome and the development of disease and determining factors of the composition of the microbiome in the individual are still largely unexplained.
21/01/2021Researchers at Lund University in Sweden, in collaboration with colleagues in Dresden, Germany, have developed a way of combining a bone substitute and drugs to regenerate bone and heal severe fractures in the thigh or shin bone.
20/01/2021Just a few millimetres thick, articular cartilage plays a crucial role in our musculoskeletal system, since it is responsible for smooth (in the truest sense of the word) movement. However, the downside of its particular structure is that even minor injuries do not regenerate. Timely treatment of cartilage damage is therefore essential.
19/01/2021Imagine going to a surgeon to have a diseased or injured organ switched out for a fully functional, laboratory-grown replacement. This remains science fiction and not reality because researchers today struggle to organize cells into the complex 3D arrangements that our bodies can master on their own.
01/12/2020How 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.
01/12/2020Implants, prostheses and various other components made of plastic, metal or ceramics are already being produced by additive manufacturing. But skin, blood vessels or entire organs from the printer – is that possible? For years now, intensive research has been underway into the production of biologically functional tissue using printing processes. Some things are already possible with bioprinting.
01/12/2020The 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.
01/12/2020It 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.
03/02/2020Severe wounds heal slowly and leave scars. This is why we have been using regenerative therapies for some time now to accelerate and improve healing. They also help to avoid permanent damage. Still, complex applications like replacing organs or limbs will rather remain vision than become reality for a long time.
03/02/2020Regenerative 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.
08/10/2019The healthcare market offers a multitude of microscopes that make cells visible to the human eye. The same applies to AI-based software for image analysis. After taking the microscopic images, scientist are faced with large volumes of scans with usually low resolution. Yet when all aspects merge together, they open up a the world of digital pathology.
01/02/2019In 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.
01/02/2019The liver, nervous tissue or the intestines: all are important human organs that have in the past been tested for their function and compatibility using animal or in vitro test methods. In recent years, TissUse GmbH, a spin-off of the Technical University of Berlin (TU Berlin), has launched multi-organ chip platforms. But that’s not all.
01/02/2019Organ-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.
21/11/2018Our blood reveals a lot about our physical health. The shape of our blood cells sheds light on several hereditary diseases for example. For a diagnosis, the cells must first be examined under the microscope and categorized into a specific cell class. We met with Dr. Stephan Quint and Alexander Kihm of the Institute of Physics at the Saarland University, who explained how this classification works.
09/07/2018People 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.
22/06/2018A drop of blood provides a lot of valuable information. However, it takes several hours to analyze the blood of a patient and make a diagnosis. This takes away a lot of time that's crucial for treatment. A new method intends to considerably speed up this process by testing the cells in the blood in terms of their deformability and immune response.
23/04/2018A 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.
01/03/2018Everyone is different. This statement also applies to our health. Cancer, in particular, can look and progress differently depending on the individual person. That’s why every patient ideally also needs a customized treatment that is tailored to their individual needs. But how feasible is this idea?
22/02/2018Here on Earth, all experiments are bound by gravitation. Yet, freed from gravity's grip, tumor cells, for example, behave in an entirely different way. As part of the "Thyroid Cancer Cells in Space" project by the University of Magdeburg, smartphone-sized containers carrying poorly differentiated thyroid cancer cells are sent into space.
08/01/2018Few patients with heart failure are fortunate enough to receive a donor's heart. Ventricular assist devices (or heart pumps) have been around for several years and are designed to buy time as patients wait for a transplant. Unfortunately, the body doesn't always tolerate these devices.