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Image: Scalable stem cell processing technology in suspension bioreactors; Copyright: Fraunhofer IBMT/Bernd Müller

Stem cells from the bioreactor

04/11/2021

With the aid of artificial stem cells, it will soon be possible to establish new treatments for previously incurable diseases such as Alzheimer’s disease. At the Fraunhofer Project Center for Stem Cell Process Engineering SPT, a process for the mass production of these so called induced pluripotent stem cells is being developed. This process involves new materials.
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Image: lexandra Hansard, Sanjay Gokhale and George Alexandrakis; Copyright: UT Arlington

Wearable device could reduce racial disparities in blood measurements

29/10/2021

Bioengineers and scientists at The University of Texas at Arlington, in collaboration with Austin’s Shani Biotechnologies, LLC, have developed a new noninvasive technology that may help real-time monitoring of key blood parameters, such as hemoglobin, especially in Black patients.
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Image: A Woman with a wearable; Copyright: Asociación RUVID

Researchers stimulate the vision of a blind person

21/10/2021

A new brain implant based on intracortical microelectrodes can allow a blind person to see shapes and letters. New research by the Miguel Hernández Univresity shows that the implantation of this micro device in the human brain can be done safely, and that the direct stimulation of the cerebral cortex produces visual perceptions with a much higher resolution than had been achieved until now.
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Image: Muthukumaran Packirisamy; Copyright: Concordia University

Concordia researchers develop a new way to find cancer at the nanometre scale

20/10/2021

Diagnosing and treating cancer can be a race against time. By the time the disease is diagnosed in a patient, all too often it is advanced and able to spread throughout the body, decreasing chances of survival. Early diagnosis is key to stopping it.
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Image: The biofabrication exhibit at the Deutsches Museum Nürnberg; Copyright: Deutsches Museum Nürnberg

On our way to the production of artificial heart tissue

11/10/2021

At the newly opened Deutsches Museum Nuremberg, the University of Bayreuth offers insights into its expertise in the field of biofabrication involving unique materials, for example spider silk. The research combines natural growth processes and technical systems with the aim of specifically rebuilding damaged tissue in organs, skin, nerves, and tendons.
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Image: Scheme of the new detection principle; Copyright: Rettke et al

Consumer protection: Novel method for detecting hormonally active substances

08/10/2021

Scientists from the Universities of Dresden and Leipzig have presented a new method for detecting hormonally active substances in food, cosmetics and water in the journal "Biosensors & Bioelectronics".
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Image: Dr. Gerti Beliu in his laboratory; Copyright: Judith Flurer / Rudolf-Virchow-Zentrum (PSC)

Sharper images through artificial amino acids

07/10/2021

Dr. Gerti Beliu has started a new research group at the Rudolf Virchow Center of the University of Würzburg in September. He uses novel techniques to exploit the resolution of microscopy more effectively and to develop new applications for biomedicine.
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Image: UCLA-designed self-powered, stretchable, waterproof magnetoelastic generator for bioelectronics.; Copyright: Jun Chen/UCLA

UCLA bioengineers develop new class of human-powered bioelectronics

04/10/2021

A team of bioengineers at the UCLA Samueli School of Engineering has invented a novel soft and flexible self-powered bioelectronic device. The technology converts human body motions — from bending an elbow to subtle movements such as a pulse on one’s wrist — into electricity that could be used to power wearable and implantable diagnostic sensors.
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Image: This 3D graphic shows the SINQ, which helps to produce radionuclides for medical purposes; Copyright: Paul Scherrer Institut/Mahir Dzambegovic

Novel and emerging medical radionuclides

29/09/2021

PRISMAP – The European medical radionuclides programme sets out to substantially change the European landscape for novel and emerging medical radionuclides.
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Image: Empa researcher Peter Nirmalraj analyzes blood samples using atomic force microscopy; Copyright: Empa

Detecting dementia in the blood

27/09/2021

Empa researcher Peter Nirmalraj wants to image proteins with unprecedented precision – and thus gain insights into the molecular pathogenesis of Alzheimer's. This should pave the way for an earlier diagnosis of the dementia disorder via a simple blood test. Together with neurologists from the Kantonsspital St.Gallen, a successful pilot study has now been completed.
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Image: Man with a pair of Blue-Light Goggles designed to imprive skeeo; Copyright: Courtesy oft he Figueiro Lab, Mount SinAi, N.Y., N.Y.

Novel light therapy for people with Alzheimers

24/09/2021

Researchers will test out whether exposing patients to a combination of light therapies will slow Alzheimer’s debilitating effects. One therapy will use pulses of light designed to enhance cognition-boosting electrical brain waves, while the other one aims to help patients sleep better.
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Image: A scanning electron microscope image shows a cell-size robotoc swimmer that can be powered and steered by ultrasound waves; Copyright: Cornell University

Inspired by bacteria and sperm, scientists make micro-robot swimmers

24/09/2021

Scientists at Cornell University have created cell-size robots that can be powered and steered by ultrasound waves. Despite their tiny size, these micro-robotic swimmers – whose movements were inspired by bacteria and sperm – could one day be a formidable new tool for targeted drug delivery.
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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: 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: 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: 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: 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: 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: 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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