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Image: Prototype of the airlock; Copyright: Fraunhofer IBP

Covid-19: protective canopy prevents infection

19/01/2021

The risk of infection with SARS-CoV-2 is particularly high indoors. This is because, in addition to smear and droplet infection, infection via aerosols that accumulate and spread in the air is also possible there. Sufficient air exchange or air purification help to prevent this. The protective canopy developed by Fraunhofer IBP also follows such an approach.
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Image: A transparent chip; Copyright: Advanced Manufacturing and Materials Lab

Detecting COVID-19 antibodies in 10-12 seconds

15/01/2021

Researchers at Carnegie Mellon University report findings on an advanced nanomaterial-based biosensing platform that detects, within seconds, antibodies specific to SARS-CoV-2, the virus responsible for the COVID-19 pandemic. In addition to testing, the platform will help to quantify patient immunological response to the new vaccines with precision.
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Image: A nurse is donning a red cloth mask; Copyright: PantherMedia/Jakub Mrocek

Reviewing the evidence for cloth mask use among health care workers

13/01/2021

A rapid, evidence-based review summarizes the effectiveness of cloth masks in protecting health care clinicians from respiratory viral infections, such as COVID-19. Nine studies were included in the review, and all but one were conducted prior to the COVID-19 pandemic.
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Image: electrochemical sensing platform; Copyright: University of Illinois

Detecting COVID-19 with paper-based electrochemical sensor

08/12/2020

As 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.
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Image: in-droplet cell separation microfluidic chip; Copyright: Dr. Arum Han/Texas A&M University College of Engineering

Microfluidic system may unravel how novel pathogens attack

02/12/2020

To develop effective therapeutics against pathogens, scientists need to first uncover how they attack host cells. An efficient way to conduct these investigations on an extensive scale is through high-speed screening tests called assays.
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Image: device for detecting antibiotic-resistant bacteria; Copyright: Seokheun

New device offers faster way to detect antibiotic-resistant bacteria

01/12/2020

Bacterial infections have become one of the biggest health problems worldwide, and a recent study shows that COVID-19 patients have a much greater chance of acquiring secondary bacterial infections, which significantly increases the mortality rate.
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Image: researchers in the laboratory next to a microscope wearing masks; Copyright: Alexander Spreinat

Detecting bacteria with fluorescent nanosensors

01/12/2020

Researchers from Bochum, Göttingen, Duisburg and Cologne have developed a new method for detecting bacteria and infections. They use fluorescent nanosensors to track down pathogens faster and more easily than with established methods.
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Image: red image of a heart on a blue background; Copyright: Michelle Lehman, Jill Hemman/ORNL

X-ray study explores potential of hepatitis C drugs to treat COVID-19

17/11/2020

Experiments led by researchers at the Department of Energy's Oak Ridge National Laboratory have determined that several hepatitis C drugs can inhibit the SARS-CoV-2 main protease, a crucial protein enzyme that enables the novel coronavirus to reproduce.
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Image: fully covered doctor with diagnostic test in his hand; Copyright: PantherMedia / Erika Eros

Rapid test can ID unknown causes of infections throughout the body

12/11/2020

UC San Francisco scientists have developed a single clinical laboratory test capable of zeroing in on the microbial miscreant afflicting patients hospitalized with serious infections in as little as six hours -- irrespective of what body fluid is sampled, the type or species of infectious agent, or whether physicians start out with any clue as to what the culprit may be.
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Image: blue image of an algorythm; Copyright: PantherMedia / dacasdo

Machine learning models to predict critical illness and mortality in COVID-19 patients

11/11/2020

Mount Sinai researchers have developed machine learning models that predict the likelihood of critical events and mortality in COVID-19 patients within clinically relevant time windows. The new models outlined in the study could aid clinical practitioners at Mount Sinai and across the world in the care and management of COVID-19 patients.
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Image: Head of a mannequin with transparent face shield and surgical mask; Copyright: Messe Düsseldorf/Achim Wiese

virtual.MEDICA 2020: Experience medicine online

02/11/2020

This year is completely different! Normally, we would offer you an advanced peek into the MEDICA’s halls in Dusseldorf at this point. But due to the corona pandemic, the trade fair takes place online as virtual.MEDICA. We nevertheless took a look at this year’s topics of special interest.
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Image: A white medical face mask is coming out of a production line; Copyright: Fraunhofer IPT

Personal protective equipment: ramping up medical mask production to 50,000 pieces per day

22/07/2020

Necessity is the mother of invention: While many companies have been hit hard by the coronavirus pandemic, some were able to find the hidden business opportunities the unique situation has created. One example of how companies can benefit from the Covid-19 crisis is the production of medical protective gear.
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Image: Two people wearing protective suits stand next to a workbench in a laboratory; Copyright: Fraunhofer IBMT/Foto Bernd Müller

epiLab: Coronavirus testing in the mobile safety laboratory

08/07/2020

A 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.
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Image: man running in a lane on a sports field; Copyright: PantherMedia/stetsik

A Safe Return to Sports amid the COVID-19 Pandemic

22/06/2020

After professional sports and other sporting activities had been drastically limited to prevent COVID-19 spread, training facilities are now reopening to welcome recreational and competitive athletes. However, due to the ongoing pandemic, restrictions are still in place to lower the risk of human infection. EFSMA presents recommendations on a uniform approach to keeping athletes safe.
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Image: A female researcher with face mask, gloves and cap puts an object slide on a microscope; Copyright: PantherMedia/Kzenon

Laboratory work: the right personal protective equipment is crucial

01/04/2020

When 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.
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Image: Researcher with gloves and protective suit is working at a microscope; Copyright: PantherMedia/EvgeniyShkolenko

BSL-4 laboratories: highest levels of safety and protection

01/04/2020

Laboratories 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.
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Image: A researcher sits at a laboratory bench and puts gloves at his hands; Copyright: PantherMedia/dragana.stock@gmail.com

The safe laboratory – protection through technology

01/04/2020

When 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.
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Image: Microscope next to a screen showing pictures of bacteria cultures; Copyright: PantherMedia/shmeljov

Laboratory safety: infection prevention in the work area

01/04/2020

What 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".
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Image: UV Visual Lift; Copyright: by UVentions

Hygiene: Smart protection against pathogens like the coronavirus

23/03/2020

Germs such as bacteria, viruses or pathogenic fungi can spread from one person to another through direct contact when we shake hands or touch objects. People touch door handles and push elevator buttons in public places and constantly move in and out of spaces. Regular manual high-level disinfection is practically impossible. UVentions GmbH has found an intelligent solution for this problem.
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Image: patient with pain in fingers; Copyright: panthermedia.net/Milkos

APRICOT-project: implant "help(s) patients heal themselves"

01/01/2020

Today, people tend to live longer, while an increasing number of patients suffer from osteoarthritis. Even younger generations are now at a higher risk of getting osteoarthritis due to the frequent use of mobile devices. The EU research project APRICOT aims to develop a novel type of implant for the treatment of osteoarthritis of the hands – helping patients heal themselves.
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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: diagnostic test on a table; Copyright: beta web GmbH/Melanie Prüser

Single-use tests: sensitivity and easy use combined for diagnostics

12/12/2019

Diagnostic 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.
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Image: Flags are blowing in the wind to the backdrop of a dark evening sky; Copyright: Messe Düsseldorf/ctillmann

Medicine at the pulse of time: Innovations and trends at MEDICA 2019

04/11/2019

Soon, 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.
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Image: A physician is standing in front of a floating image of the brain and is touching one point; Copyright: panthermedia.net/Igor Vetushko

Medicine 5.0: machine learning algorithms in healthcare

04/11/2019

Artificial intelligence holds the promise of salvation when it comes to medicine: it is meant to unburden medical professionals, save time and money and perform tasks reliably and tirelessly. But before AI algorithms are allowed to diagnose diseases, many technical and ethical questions still need answers.
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Image: Two petri dishes with different kinds of agar plates on which bacterial cultures are growing; Copyright: panthermedia.net/photographee.eu

Antibiotic resistance: technical tricks against pathogens

01/08/2019

An 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.
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Image: A lab technician is using a pipette to fill a solution into a petri dish; Copyright: panthermedia.net/Arne Trautmann

Last-resort antibiotics: "We can identify carbapenemases within half an hour"

01/08/2019

Antibiotic 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.
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Image: A greenly lit laboratory device; Copyright: Sven Döring

Photonics: "We want a rapid and easy method to identify pathogens and antibiotic resistance"

01/08/2019

The medical devices value chain has gaps between academic research and industrial practice that slow down innovation processes. This also applies to time-sensitive and urgently needed products such as rapid diagnostic tests to identify resistant pathogens. At the InfectoGnostics Research Campus in Jena, partners from research and medicine team up to close these gaps.
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Image: A man is holding a hand full of pill blisters with antibiotics; Copyright: panthermedia.net/alexkalina

Combating antibiotic resistance: One step ahead through technology

01/08/2019

Antibiotic resistance is on the rise in all parts of the world, complicating medical treatment of serious bacterial infections in patients. The World Health Organization estimates that approximately 33,000 people die each year from antibiotic-resistant bacteria in Europe alone. Bacteria that are resistant to multiple or even all known antibiotics pose an ever-increasing threat.
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Image: Ellipsoid of revolution with a gold coating to detect backscattered photons from the skin tissue; Copyright: Sven Delbeck/Fachhochschule Südwestfalen

Blood Sugar Monitoring: Using Infrared Instead of Invasive Techniques

22/03/2019

Over six million people in Germany have diabetes. It is estimated that almost 400 million people are affected by this disease worldwide. Diabetes sufferers must prick their fingers several times a day to monitor their blood sugar.
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Image: two men in the laboratory next to the Organ Care System with a pig's lung inside; Copyright: Kaiser/MHH

Organ Care System: treatment under extreme conditions

08/05/2018

Multidrug-resistant organisms that are treated with a dosage that exceeds the regular dose a hundred times and at temperatures of over 40 degrees Celsius – the human organism is unable to handle it. Yet if the diseased organ is treated outside of the body, extreme conditions are an option. For the first time, physicians have succeeded in treating a severe case of pneumonia by using the OCS.
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