04/03/2021A new, highly accurate COVID-19 test is being trialed at the Royal Lancaster Infirmary. Virus Hunter 6 (VH6) has been developed by Lancaster University in partnership with Brunel University London and the University of Surrey in collaboration with commercial partner Vidiia Ltd.
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.
19/02/2021Mass spectrometry (MS) is a powerful method for biomarker analysis because it enables highly sensitive and accurate measurement of target molecules in clinical samples. The application of MS to clinical diagnosis, such as neonatal metabolic screening, has been progressing with a focus on metabolite markers.
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.
18/02/2021Is the tissue healthy or pathologically altered? Is the antibiotic effective against a certain bacterium or is the bacterium resistant to it? Raman spectroscopy can help to answer such questions quickly and precisely. However, one challenge for the use of the light-based analysis method in everyday clinical practice is that the results can be highly sensitive to the measurement conditions.
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.
29/01/2021A team from the Gamma and Neutron Spectroscopy Group of the Corpuscular Physics Institute (IFIC) has patented a new device for real-time guided biopsies, with direct application in any type of cancer that requires a biopsy and whose process must be carried out using ultrasound.
28/01/2021Rapid, sensitive diagnosis of COVID-19 is essential for early treatment, contact tracing and reducing viral spread. However, some people infected with SARS-CoV-2 receive false-negative test results, which might put their and others' health at risk.
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!
27/01/2021The Institute for Research in Biomedicine (IRB; Bellinzona, Switzerland), affiliated to the Università della Svizzera italiana (USI) developed a second-generation 'double antibody' that protects from SARS-CoV-2, the virus causing COVID-19, and all its tested variants. It also prevents the virus from mutating to resist the therapy.
25/01/2021Viral respiratory diseases are easily transmissible and can spread rapidly across the globe, causing significant damage. The ongoing covid-19 pandemic is a testament to this. In the past too, other viruses have caused massive respiratory disease outbreaks: for example, a subtype of the influenza virus, the type A H1N1 virus, was responsible for the Spanish flu and the Swine flu outbreaks.
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.
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.
19/01/2021Organoids are increasingly being used in biomedical research. These are organ-like structures created in the laboratory that are only a few millimetres in size. Organoids can be used to study life processes and the effect of drugs. Because they closely resemble real organs, they offer several advantages over other cell cultures.
18/01/2021One of the most vexing aspects of the COVID-19 pandemic is doctors' inability to predict which newly hospitalized patients will go on to develop severe disease, including complications that require the insertion of a breathing tube, kidney dialysis or other intensive care.
10/12/2020When wounded, our body sets off a complex immune response. As part of it, the wound produces small antimicrobial molecules to fight off the pathogens locally. They signal across tissues from the site of injury to the brain, sending a message to increase sleep and raise the chances for surviving the injury. The results have been published in the journal "Current Biology".
08/12/2020As the COVID-19 pandemic continues to spread across the world, testing remains a key strategy for tracking and containing the virus. Bioengineering graduate student, Maha Alafeef, has co-developed a rapid, ultrasensitive test using a paper-based electrochemical sensor that can detect the presence of the virus in less than five minutes.
08/12/2020If Kevin was alone in the lab at night, the next morning, the workers will not find chaos, but labeled tubes and prepared samples. Kevin is a laboratory robot developed by Fraunhofer IPA to relieve the strain on laboratory workers so that they can concentrate on the essentials: research and diagnostics.
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.
01/09/2020Diagnostics, biomedical research, screening active ingredient candidates - laboratories perform many functions and must be flexible. Growing and evolving healthcare demands mean labs have to process an increasing number of samples. Modern laboratory information management systems can already support high-throughput, but a smart laboratory environment can make things even more efficient.
01/09/2020Laboratories 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.
01/09/2020There is likely no other branch of medicine where you can find as many high-tech devices as in modern laboratories. A major part of diagnostic and biomedical research is done here. A lot of individual steps in work processes need to be followed precisely to ensure the results’ quality. Also, a lot of data is generated here.
01/09/2020Accuracy is paramount in laboratory settings and ensures that lab results are valid. Errors in a lab can render series of tests unusable and waste precious time and money. In the medical realm, this might even result in clinical trial errors. Augmented reality (AR) can help laboratory technicians to prevent errors and guide their work in the future.
24/08/2020For 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.
08/07/2020A key to preventing SARS-CoV-2 spread is frequent, comprehensive testing. This allows the early detection of infections and helps break the chain of infection. It always comes down to Coronavirus testing capacity. In Germany's southwest state of Saarland, the mobile epiLab (epidemiological laboratory) supports the search for infections lurking in nursing homes and long-term care facilities.
22/05/2020Athletes not only have to be fit and stay in shape, but they also have to achieve peak performance, especially when they get ready for athletic events. Optimized and individualized performance training requires data from external laboratories and institutes. The [i/med] Sports platform from DORNER Health IT Solutions provides a complete workflow − from anamnesis to diagnostic report.
01/04/2020When working with infectious materials and organisms in the laboratory, safe handling and appropriate training are of utmost importance. Another central component is personal protective equipment designed to prevent contact with tissue, liquids and aerosols and protect the wearer.
01/04/2020Laboratories are sectioned into four biosafety levels to dictate the precautions required to isolate dangerous biological agents. The highest level of biological safety, BSL-4, is perhaps the most well-known when we think of containing pathogens and microbes. However, the fewest number of laboratories actually fall into the BSL-4 category.
01/04/2020When biomedical researchers or diagnosticians work with potentially contagious materials like cell cultures, blood or tissue, they need absolute protection from pathogens. Both safety measures in the workspace and the correct tools and materials are key here. Learn in our Topic of the Month what is important for protection in the lab and what a safe laboratory looks like.
01/04/2020What goes in, must not come out - and must also not cause harm to anyone working inside the lab. That's perhaps a nice way of summing up "laboratory safety" in one sentence - at least wherever pathogens are handled in biological and medical settings. The necessary laboratory safety precautions primarily depend on what is waiting "inside".
12/12/2019Diagnostic testing usually takes some time and a sterile environment to get the results. To cut down on the costs and effort spend on these tasks there are different diagnostic tests. One of them are single-use tests offered by SensDx S.A. The technology behind them not only makes the process faster and easier, but provides the opportunity to expand into home use in the future as well.
08/11/2019If physicians suspect an acute myocardial infarction, they first order an ECG. This test is very established and allows cardiologists to quickly diagnose acute heart attacks – though the test does not detect less common heart attack symptoms. So far, those patients had to wait up to twelve hours before a heart attack could be accurately diagnosed or ruled out. But things are about the change.
04/11/2019Laboratories are medicine’s secret weapon because they handle the lion’s share of diagnostics often without patients even realizing it. That’s why the continuing workforce shortage in both laboratory medicine and companies is especially troubling. The MEDICA LABMED FORUM 2019 plans to address and counteract this development.
04/11/2019Soon, the world's largest trade fair for medical technology will open its doors again: More than 5.000 exhibitors will present their newest products and ideas at MEDICA from 18 to 21 November. You will not only meet well-known companies here, but also lots of young start-ups. Or, you can visit the MEDICA forums and conferences to experience a rich program of lectures and discussions.
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.
01/10/2019When the halls of MEDICA are open to the world to showcase medical innovations, one joint exhibition booth is guaranteed to attract special attention - the MEDICA START-UP PARK. The startups that present their advances in this setting are interesting to visitors and investors, yet long-time exhibitors and big businesses can also benefit from building relationships with these young companies.
23/09/2019For patients waiting for donor organs, every day can mean the difference between life and death. Making things even more complicated is the fact that not every organ is a compatible match with the patient. It would mean enormous progress if we could grow organs from the patient's own cells in the lab. That's why patients with heart disease place big hope in tissue engineering.
22/08/2019The German Medical Award will take place on November 18, 2019, as part of the MEDICA trade fair in Düsseldorf. The ceremony emphasizes the commitment to excellence in cutting-edge care for patients. Doctors, clinical centers and companies in the medical and healthcare industry can demonstrate their achievements in medicine and management in hopes of receiving the coveted award.
08/08/2019After their tumor has been removed, some patients have to return to the hospital to undergo surgery again. That's because the tumor was not precisely identified and was subsequently not completely removed. That's both an ethical and financial dilemma. A new surgery-adjacent procedure is designed to rapidly and accurately detect tumors.
01/08/2019Antibiotic resistance is modern medicine's greatest challenge. Some bacteria only respond to a handful of antibiotics, prompting hospitals to spend a lot of time finding an effective drug. That’s why it is critical for physicians to rapidly identify antibiotic resistance to avoid ineffective treatments.
01/08/2019An untreatable infection is a nightmare for physicians and potentially life-threatening to the patient. Unfortunately, more and more pathogens emerge that are resistant to drugs, especially antibiotics. We need to use our drugs smartly and come up with technical solutions as well to prevent our weapons from blunting in the future.
08/07/2019On November 18th, 2019, parallel to the first day of MEDICA, the world forum for medicine, the Diagnostics Partnering Conference (DxPx Conference) will take place in Düsseldorf, bringing together stakeholders in the diagnostics and research tool industry. The DxPx Conference focuses on discovering technologies, finding financing and investment opportunities and forming collaborative partnerships.
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.
02/11/2018This is what diagnostic investigation normally looks like: a patient sample is collected, sent to the laboratory and analyzed. Once that's completed, the patient is told of the lab test result. But if the patient is a high-performance athlete and has to follow and stick to a rigid training schedule, he or she needs these results immediately. What makes this possible? Point-of-care testing!
10/09/2018About eight in ten Germans suffer from back pain during their lifetime. Too much or the wrong movements can also cause problems. "Ran Rücken", the interdisciplinary research project aims to determine the right minimum dose of exercise that proves effective. (Explanatory note: "Ran Rücken" can be loosely translated as "Target the Back")
22/08/2018Mix-ups, contamination and sample loss – most errors in pathology happen when specimen are received. Countless samples arrive daily at the laboratory, while the sample entry process is very monotonous. As a result, the work is inefficient. The start-up company inveox has now developed a system that automates the processes in the pathology laboratory, thus making them more efficient.
30/04/2018Medicine is getting more and more personalized. This is particularly interesting for oncology, since a cancer is as individual as the respective patient. When choosing a therapy, both the characteristics of the tumor and the personal characteristics of the patient must be considered. To see exactly what this looks like, we visited the diagnostics company TherapySelect, based in Heidelberg.
01/03/2018Conventional cancer treatment selection typically depends on the location of the tumor. However, this approach ignores the distinct gene mutations in the tumor of the individual patient. New cancer research approaches increasingly emphasize the concept of personalized therapy.
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.
01/02/2018During a visit to the hospital, patients naturally expect to receive comprehensive care. Not only does this include the proper treatment, but also a hospital bed and regular meals for example. Patients typically don't ask about the transport logistics this entails for the hospital.
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.