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Image: graphic representation of the miniature optics inside a vein; Copyright: Florian Sterl, Sterltech Optics

Endoscopy: images from the inside of blood vessels

29/07/2020

Researchers of the Universities of Stuttgart and Adelaide in cooperation with medical research centers in Australia developed a special microoptical tool with a thickness of only 125 microns. This enables endoscopic examimations within blood vessels whose diameter is smaller than 0.5 mm and helps detecting plaques or thrombs to reduce the danger of a stroke or a heart attack.
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Image: endoscope in an artery; Copyright: Simon Thiele and Jiawen Li

World's smallest imaging device focuses on a heart disease

23/07/2020

The camera-like imaging device can be inserted into blood vessels to provide high quality 3D images to help scientists better understand the causes of heart attack and heart disease progression and could lead to improved treatment and prevention.
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Image: 3D lattice structure of a tissue implanted directly onto a soft living tissue; Copyright: Ohio State University

Directly printing 3D tissues within the body

18/06/2020

In the TV series Westworld, human body parts are built on robotic frames using 3D printers. While still far from this scenario, 3D printers are being increasingly used in medicine. For example, 3D printing can be used to produce parts of the body such as orthopedic joints and prosthetics, as well as portions of bone, skin and blood vessels.
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Image: 3D-printed tissue; Copyright: University of Colorado Denver

3D-printable material that mimics biological tissues

12/06/2020

Biological tissues have evolved over millennia to be perfectly optimized for their specific functions. Take cartilage as an example. It's a compliant, elastic tissue that's soft enough to cushion joints, but strong enough to resist compression and withstand the substantial load bearing of our bodies: key for running, jumping, and our daily wear and tear.
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Image: feet bones; Copyright: Texas A&M University College of Engineering

Bioprinting: 3D-functional bone tissues

20/05/2020

Dr. Akhilesh K. Gaharwar, associate professor, has developed a highly printable bioink as a platform to generate anatomical-scale functional tissues. This study was recently published in the American Chemical Society's Applied Materials and Interfaces.
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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: 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: 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: doctor consoles patients before surgery; Copyright: panthermedia.net/luckybusiness

Endoprosthetic surgery: modern and traditional approaches

01/01/2020

Surgery is required if you need an artificial joint. Patients and doctors must select the type of surgery that’s best suited and choose between robot-assisted, traditional or minimally invasive surgical approaches. Post-operative risks should be kept to a minimum, while benefits should outweigh any possible complications.
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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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