Interviews 2018 -- MEDICA - World Forum for Medicine

Image: Doctor checks an elderly gentleman's eye health with a beam of light; Copyright: twenty20photos

twenty20photos

New hope for a therapy against retinitis pigmentosa

27/06/2022

Retinitis pigmentosa, a degenerative genetic disease of the eye, is characterized by progressive vision loss, usually leading to blindness.
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Image: Scientist working in a laboratory; Copyright: twenty20photos

twenty20photos

New material paves the way for remote-controlled medication and electronic pills

23/06/2022

Biomedicines are produced by living cells and are used to treat cancer and autoimmune diseases among other things. One challenge is that the medicines are very expensive to produce, something that limits global access. Now researchers from Chalmers have invented a material that uses electrical signals to capture and release biomolecules.
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Bild: A man in glasses and a jacket, Ludovic Vallier, poses for the camera ; Copyright: BIH/David Ausserhofer

BIH/David Ausserhofer

Ludovic Vallier grows liver tissue from stem cells

16/06/2022

Effective July 1, 2022, Ludovic Vallier will take up the W3 Einstein Strategic Professorship for Stem Cells in Regenerative Therapies at the Berlin Institute of Health at Charité (BIH).
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Image: A smiling man is sitting behind a laboratory device; Copyright: Universität Bielefeld/M.-D. Müller

Universität Bielefeld/M.-D. Müller

Making drug interactions in the liver visible

15/06/2022

Bielefeld University is coordinating a new EU-research project that seeks to produce microscopic liver tissue cultures that can survive for 14 days, while also using imaging methods to investigate how liver cells react to combinations of different medications.
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Image: Tim Whelan stands at a radiation therapy machine and poses for the camera; Copyright: Georgia Kirkos/McMaster University

Georgia Kirkos/McMaster University

Radiotherapy not always needed for early breast cancer

13/06/2022

Older women with early stage breast cancer may not need radiotherapy after undergoing surgery, McMaster University researcher Timothy Whelan and his team has found.
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Image: Neurologist doctor analyzing nervous system with EEG headset scanning in a woman; Copyright: DC_Studio

DC_Studio

Nerve stimulation promotes resolution of inflammation

10/06/2022

The nervous system is known to communicate with the immune system and regulate inflammation in the body. Researchers at Karolinska Institutet in Sweden now show how electrical activation of a specific nerve can promote healing in acute inflammation. The finding, which is published in the journal PNAS, opens new ways to accelerate resolution of inflammation.
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Image: Visualization about how researchers developed a microbubble-assisted ultrasound-guided immunotherapy; Copyright: UT Southwestern Medical Center

UT Southwestern Medical Center

Microbubble technology to enhance cancer immunotherapy

08/06/2022

Researchers at UT Southwestern have developed a first-of-its-kind ultrasound-guided cancer immunotherapy platform that delivers immune-stimulating agents to cells for the development of systemic anti-tumor immunity.
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Image: Colored cells that are marked with arrows; Copyright: Paula Heinke

Paula Heinke

Your liver is just under three years old

07/06/2022

The liver has a unique ability to regenerate after damage. However, it was unknown whether this ability decreases as we age. International scientists led by Dr. Olaf Bergmann at the Center for Regenerative Therapies Dresden (CRTD) at TU Dresden used a technique known as retrospective radiocarbon birth dating to determine the age of the human liver.
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Image: A tube made of a fiber mesh; Copyright: Andreas Heddergott/TUM

Andreas Heddergott/TUM

3D printed, bioinspired heart valves

06/06/2022

Researchers have developed 3D printed artificial heart valves designed to allow a patient’s own cells to form new tissue. To form these scaffolds using melt electrowriting – an advanced additive manufacturing technique – the team has created a new fabrication platform that enables them to combine different precise, customized patterns and hence to fine-tune the scaffold’s mechanical properties.
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Image: Drawn schematic of a work flow in a laboratory; Copyright: Juliet Percival/MPI für Biochemie

Juliet Percival/MPI für Biochemie

New method revolutionizes cancer diagnosis

24/05/2022

A German-Danish team led by Prof. Matthias Mann has developed a ground-breaking technology called 'Deep Visual Proteomics'. This method provides researchers and clinicians with a protein read-out to understand cancer at single cell-type resolution. The technology was published in the journal Nature Biotechnology and demonstrates its potential in a first application to cancer cells.
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A diagram intended to illustrate genetic manipulation of the female reproductive tract ; Copyright: AG Chumduri

AG Chumduri

Cervix: Research progress thanks to mini organs

23/05/2022

Life-like organ replicas - so-called 3D organoids - are a good way to research disease processes. A team from the University of Würzburg has now presented a kind of blueprint for such a model of the cervix.
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Image: A three-dimensional view of cell activities of skin cancer squamous cell carcinoma.; Copyright: M. Schober/E. Fuchs, Rockefeller University

M. Schober/E. Fuchs, Rockefeller University

New method melds data to make a 3-D map of cells’ activities

20/05/2022

HZI researchers develop molecular probes to detect pathogens in clinical samples.
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Image: Assembly of biochips with attached tubes; Copyright: Fraunhofer ILT, Aachen

Fraunhofer ILT, Aachen

Process chains for isolation and analysis: from single cells to organoids

17/05/2022

Researchers at the Fraunhofer Institute for Laser Technology ILT are working on new tools for the preparation and analysis of single cells and cell assemblies. The team developed the "Liftoscope", a system for cell sorting for subsequent cultivation that can analyze and transfer biomaterials precisely and in a way that is gentle on cells.
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Image: illustration with colored circles to illustrate the immune system's defences; Copyright: Michele Kellett and James Anderson/University of Washington

Michele Kellett and James Anderson/University of Washington

Model finds COVID-19 deaths among elderly may be due to genetic limit on cell division

13/05/2022

Your immune system’s ability to combat COVID-19, like any infection, largely depends on its ability to replicate the immune cells effective at destroying the SARS-CoV-2 virus that causes the disease. These cloned immune cells cannot be infinitely created, and a key hypothesis of a new study is that the body’s ability to create these cloned cells falls off significantly in old age.
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Image: Man holding his back from pain; Copyright: gpointstudio

gpointstudio

High-frequency spinal cord stimulation shows improved longer lasting pain relief

09/05/2022

Compared to older, low-frequency treatments, but study also finds some differences in perceived pain reduction between male and female patients
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Image: Shaopeng Wang poses for the camera; Copyright: The Biodesign Institute at Arizona State University

The Biodesign Institute at Arizona State University

A sharper image for proteins

05/05/2022

To fully understand proteins and their myriad functions, researchers have developed sophisticated means to see and study them using advanced microscopy, enhanced light detection, imaging software and the integration of advanced hardware systems. A new study from Arizona State University describes a new technique that promises to revolutionize the imaging of proteins and other vital biomolecules.
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Image: The new multi-organ chip is shown; Copyright: Kacey Ronaldson-Bouchard/Columbia Engineering

Kacey Ronaldson-Bouchard/Columbia Engineering

Plug-and-play organ-on-a-chip can be customized to the patient

05/05/2022

Major advance from Columbia Engineering team demonstrates first multi-organ chip made of engineered human tissues linked by vascular flow for improved modeling of systemic diseases like cancer
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Image: MRI scan of patient's head, neck and brain; Copyright: Nikita_Karchevskyi

Nikita_Karchevskyi

Subgroups of glioblastoma associated with disease prognosis

02/05/2022

Researchers have detected different subgroups of the brain tumour form glioblastoma, where the cancer cells’ properties depend on which cell type they originate from. The used analysis method could also separate glioblastoma patients with significant differences in survival. The findings open up for identifying specific therapeutic targets for the new subgroups of glioblastoma.
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Image: Scientist fills microplates ; Copyright: microgen

microgen

Want to 3D print a kidney? Start by thinking small

21/04/2022

Stevens computational model aims to accelerate microfluidic bio-printing that opens up a pathway for 3D printing any kind of organ at any time.
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Image: A CT device; Copyright: Pressmaster

Pressmaster

Tumors partially destroyed with sound don't come back

20/04/2022

Technique pioneered in rats at the University of Michigan could improve outcomes for cancer and neurological conditions.
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Image: A smiling man with glasses, beard and blue jacket – Dr. Michael Kreutz; Copyright: Unimedizin Magdeburg

Unimedizin Magdeburg

HFSP funding to study synaptic lipid signatures

19/04/2022

The astonishing capacity of the brain to process and store information crucially relies on properly functioning synapses. They provide the connecting entities within neural circuits and their properties define circuit function.
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Image: demonstration of a gel that rapidly self-heals after injection to form a solid-like gel; Copyright: Abigail K. Grosskopf

Abigail K. Grosskopf

Simple delivery method enhances promising cancer treatment

13/04/2022

One cutting-edge cancer treatment exciting researchers today involves collecting and reprogramming a patient’s T cells – a special set of immune cells – then putting them back into the body ready to detect and destroy cancerous cells. Although effective for widespread blood cancers like leukemia, this method rarely succeeds at treating solid tumors.
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Image: Colored 3D-model of parts of a cell; Copyright: University of Freiburg

University of Freiburg

Insights into the dynamic ultrastructure of the heart

12/04/2022

What happens below the cellular level when the heart contracts and relaxes has long been unexplored. Thanks to new ultra-high-resolution electron microscopy techniques, scientists can now watch the heart beating – almost at a molecular level.
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Image: A round, flat, blue-violet disc in a petri dish; Copyright: TU Graz/Lunghammer

TU Graz/Lunghammer

Nerve stimulation with the help of implantable mini solar cells

12/04/2022

An international research team has successfully developed and tested a concept in which nerves are stimulated with light pulses. The method provides considerable advantages for medicine and opens up a wide range of possible applications.
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Image: MediSCAPE imaging of the living human tongue. Copyright: Kripa Patel-Hillman Lab/Columbia Engineering

Kripa Patel-Hillman Lab/Columbia Engineering

New technology could make biopsies a thing of the past

04/04/2022

MediSCAPE, a high-speed 3D microscope designed by Columbia Engineers, can see real-time cellular detail in living tissues to guide surgery, speed up tissue analyses, and improve treatments
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Image: Man uses breathing aid ; Copyright: PantherMedia  / Andriy Popov

PantherMedia / Andriy Popov

Finger-nail sized sensor monitors respiratory function

30/03/2022

Over the next three years, researchers at Friedrich-Alexander-Universität Erlangen-Nürnberg (FAU) hope to design a wearable device for monitoring the breathing of patients with chronic diseases such as asthma or bronchitis.
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Image: Illustrations of various 3D-printed prostheses, implants and organs; Copyright: PantherMedia/annyart

Printed life – possibilities and limits of bioprinting

01/12/2020

Implants, 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.
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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: 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: 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: 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: The shoulder of a man with a surgical suture; Copyright: panthermedia.net/JPCPROD

Regenerative medicine: helps the body healing

03/02/2020

Severe 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.
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Image: Volker Bruns; Copyright: Fraunhofer ISS

Fraunhofer ISS

AI software: "iSTIX opens your world to the possibilities of digital pathology"

08/10/2019

The 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.
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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: Cell cultivation in a Petri dish; Copyright: panthermedia.net / matej kastelic

Organ-on-a-chip – Organs in miniature format

01/02/2019

In 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.
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Image: Man and woman in a laboratory presenting a multi-organ chip; Copyright: TissUse GmbH

Multi-Organ Chips – The Patients of Tomorrow?

01/02/2019

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

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: AcCellerator research device at an exhibition stand; Copyright: Daniel Klaue, ZELLMECHANIK DRESDEN GmbH

Daniel Klaue, ZELLMECHANIK DRESDEN GmbH

Cells in the speed trap – diagnosis in a matter of seconds

22/06/2018

A 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.
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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

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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Image: a container with the nutrient medium for cancer cells; Copyright: Dr. Markus Wehland

Dr. Markus Wehland

Cells in space – extraterrestrial approaches in cancer research

22/02/2018

Here 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.
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Image:

Empa

"Spray-On" muscle fibers for biomimetic surfaces

08/01/2018

Few 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.
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