News from the Editors -- MEDICA - World Forum for Medicine

MEDICA Newsletter

Social Media

Image: A colored image of a cell putting out long arms; Copyright: Washington University in St. Louis

New insights into wound healing

04/08/2020

When we get a wound on our skin, the cells in our bodies quickly mobilize to repair it. While it has been known how cells heal wounds and how scars form, a team led by researchers from Washington University in St. Louis has determined for the first time how the process begins, which may provide new insight into wound healing, fibrosis and cancer metastasis.
Read more
Image: biofilm of a chronic wound under the microscope; Copyright: University of Huddersfield

Biofilm early detection findings will advance chronic wound care

31/07/2020

Biofilms, microscopic entities not visible by the naked eye, go undetected by health professionals damaging healing tissue and causing delays in wound healing by reducing the susceptibility of microorganisms to antibiotic, antimicrobial and host immune treatments.
Read more
Image: scan of a broken bone in a leg; Copyright: PantherMedia/plepraisaeng

Rebuilding broken bones with electricity

01/07/2020

Healing broken bones could get easier with a device that provides both a scaffold for the bone to grow on and electrical stimulation to urge it forward, UConn engineers reported on June 27 in the Journal of Nano Energy.
Read more
Image: Images of macrophages; Copyright: Hala Al Khoury / Uni Halle

Special coatings to reduce complications after implant surgery

01/07/2020

New coatings on implants could help make them more compatible. Researchers at the Martin Luther University Halle-Wittenberg (MLU) have developed a new method of applying anti-inflammatory substances to implants in order to inhibit undesirable inflammatory reactions in the body. Their study was recently published in the International Journal of Molecular Sciences.
Read more
Image: artificial heart valve on a finger; Copyright: Professor Raimondo Ascione, University of Bristol

New heart valve could transform open heart surgery

30/06/2020

A new polymeric heart valve with a life span potentially longer than current artificial valves that would also prevent the need for the millions of patients with diseased heart valves to require life-long blood thinning tablets has been developed by scientists at the universities of Bristol and Cambridge. The team’s latest in-vitro results suggest that the PoliValve could last for up to 25 years.
Read more
Image: retinal neuron membrane; Copyright: IIT-Istituto Italiano di Tecnologia (M. Bramini)

Nanotechnology: first liquid retina prosthesis

30/06/2020

Researchers at IIT-Istituto Italiano di Tecnologia has led to the revolutionary development of an artificial liquid retinal prosthesis to counteract the effects of diseases such as retinitis pigmentosa and age-related macular degeneration that cause the progressive degeneration of photoreceptors of the retina, resulting in blindness. The study has been published in Nature Nanotechnology.
Read more
Image: hand-held LED light; Copyright: UCL

Looking at deep red light improves eyesight

29/06/2020

Staring at a deep red light for three minutes a day can significantly improve declining eyesight, finds a new UCL-led study, the first of its kind in humans. Scientists believe the discovery, published in the Journals of Gerontology, could signal the dawn of new affordable home-based eye therapies, helping the millions of people globally with naturally declining vision.
Read more
Image: A collage of differently colored microscopic images; Copyright: Images courtesy of the GSK Center for Optical Molecular Imaging

Microscopy technique for noninvasive evaluation of wound healing

26/06/2020

Researchers at the GSK Center for Optical Molecular Imaging have developed a new microscope that looks at the different parameters that change during wound healing. They hope to use this technique to understand how skin disorders, such as foot ulcers in diabetic patients and psoriasis, can be treated.
Read more
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.
Read more
Image: head of a man next to a machine; Copyright: Anne Günther

Self-healing bone cement

16/06/2020

Material scientists at the University of Jena have developed a bone replacement based on calcium phosphate cement and reinforced with carbon fibers. The fibers increase damage tolerance and ensure that cracks in the material repair themselves.
Read more
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.
Read more
Image: Microneedles attached to a strip of tape; Copyright: Khademhosseini Lab

Delivering stem cells for localized MSC therapy

10/06/2020

Mesenchymal stem cells (MSCs) are multipotent in that they naturally replenish the cell types that build our bone, cartilage and adipose tissues. However, their much broader regenerative potential, based on their capacity to migrate and engraft in injured tissues, makes them exquisite candidates for cell-based therapies for diseases.
Read more
Image: miniature implantable neural stimulators laying on rice; Copyright: Jeff Fitlow/Rice University

Implant: tiny, magnetically powered neural stimulator

09/06/2020

Rice University neuroengineers have created a tiny surgical implant that can electrically stimulate the brain and nervous system without using a battery or wired power supply. The neural stimulator draws its power from magnetic energy and is about the size of a grain of rice.
Read more
Image: Microscope image of black fibers on white ground; Copyright: Johanna Zech

Ultra-thin fibers designed to protect nerves after brain surgery

05/06/2020

The drug nimodipine could prevent nerve cells from dying after brain surgery. Pharmacists at Martin Luther University Halle-Wittenberg (MLU), in cooperation with neurosurgeons at University Hospital Halle (Saale) (UKH), have developed a new method that enables the drug to be administered directly in the brain with fewer side effects.
Read more
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.
Read more
Image: system for integrating artificial neurons; Copyright: Institute of Industrial Science, The University of Tokyo

Prosthesis: Artificial pieces of brain communicate with real neurons

20/05/2020

A prosthesis is an artificial device that replaces an injured or missing part of the body. You can easily imagine a stereotypical pirate with a wooden leg or Luke Skywalker's famous robotic hand. Less dramatically, think of old-school prosthetics like glasses and contact lenses that replace the natural lenses in our eyes. Now try to imagine a prosthesis that replaces part of a damaged brain.
Read more
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.
Read more
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.
Read more
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.
Read more
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.
Read more
Image: Man with mouthguard and laboratory glasses holding Petri dish up; Copyright: panthermedia.net/kasto

Cardiac Tissue Engineering: a heart out of the Petri dish

23/09/2019

For 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.
Read more
Image: Marathon runner; Copyright: panthermedia.net/adamgregor

Sports medicine – keep moving to stay healthy

01/07/2019

Physical activity plays a big role in today's society. Whether you are an amateur or professional athlete – incorporating exercise into your life positively impacts your mental and physical health. Ideally, sport should be fun, pressure-free and not overburden you. But can you measure individual performance and align it with sports?
Read more
Image: View over the shoulders of two doctors at a screen showing a model of a heart; Copyright: panthermedia.net/Wavebreakmedia ltd

Regenerative heart valves: from simulation to replacement

23/07/2018

Every year, more than 250,000 patients worldwide receive heart valve implants. Children require repeated replacement surgery because their bodies are still growing, the prosthetic heart valves are not. Regenerative heart valves solve this problem. Until now, we have only been able to monitor how these living implants develop in the body after the fact. Computer models now make this predictable.
Read more
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.
Read more