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Image: A white prosthetic hand on the keyboard of a laptop; Copyright: PantherMedia/Andriy Popov

Bionic touch does not remap the brain

14/01/2021

A new study of people with amputations who used a bionic hand for over one year highlights future challenges for developing realistic prosthetic devices.
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Image: Computer-generated image of a foot prothesis with glowing dots under the sole; Copyright: ETH Zürich

Perceiving prosthesis as lighter thanks to neurofeedback

14/01/2021

Leg amputees are often not satisfied with their prosthesis, even though the sophisticated prostheses are becoming available. One important reason for this is that they perceive the weight of the prosthesis as too high, despite the fact that prosthetic legs are usually less than half the weight of a natural limb.
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Image: A hand in a blue glove holding a small electronic device; Copyright: Texas A&M University College of Engineering

Tiny wireless device sheds light on combating obesity

12/01/2021

Texas A&M researchers have designed a device that stimulates the endings of the vagus nerve, which is responsible for the regulation of food intake.
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Image: a weather forecast with brains instead of clouds; Copyright: UNIGE/Mélanie Proix

A weather station for epileptic seizure

22/12/2020

Neuroscientists from the University of Geneva and the University Hospital of Bern have succeeded in developing a technique that can predict seizures days in advance. By recording neuronal activity over at least six months using a device implanted directly in the brain, it's possible to detect individual cycles of epileptic activity and provide information about the probability of a future seizure.
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Image: Microimplant; Copyright: Fraunhofer IZM

Microimplants: electricity instead of pills

23/11/2020

Active implants such as pacemakers revolutionized healthcare decades ago. But they also have disadvantages: their size and relatively short life span, for example. At Fraunhofer IZM, research is therefore being conducted on durable microimplants that stimulate nerve cells electrically in a targeted manner and are even to be used to treat multiple sclerosis.
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Image: 3D printed artificial heart in doctors hand; Copyright: Carnegie Mellon University College of Engineering

3D bioprinted heart provides new tool for surgeons

19/11/2020

Professor of Biomedical Engineering Adam Feinberg and his team have created the first full-size 3D bioprinted human heart model using their Freeform Reversible Embedding of Suspended Hydrogels (FRESH) technique.
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Image: 3D printer printing something red; Copyright: PantherMedia / RomboStudio

Researchers 3D print biomedical parts with supersonic speed

11/11/2020

Forget glue, screws, heat or other traditional bonding methods. A Cornell University-led collaboration has developed a 3D printing technique that creates cellular metallic materials by smashing together powder particles at supersonic speed.
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Image: blood stream; Copyright: PantherMedia / decade3d

Implantable sensor could measure bodily functions and then safely biodegrade

10/11/2020

Sensors that monitor a patient's condition during and after medical procedures can be expensive, uncomfortable and even dangerous. Now, an international team of researchers has designed a highly sensitive flexible gas sensor that can be implanted in the body -- and, after it's no longer needed, safely biodegrade into materials that are absorbed by the body.
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Image: implant in hand and attached to heart; Copyright: University of Houston

Implantable device can monitor and treat heart disease

04/11/2020

Pacemakers and other implantable cardiac devices used to monitor and treat arrhythmias and other heart problems have generally had one of two drawbacks - they are made with rigid materials that can't move to accommodate a beating heart, or they are made from soft materials that can collect only a limited amount of information.
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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: Athlete with knee pain; Copyright: panthermedia.net/Wavebreakmedia Itd

Endoprotheses: between possibility and reality

01/01/2020

When natural joints lose their ability to function, they can be completely or partially replaced by artificial joints, also called endoprotheses. Endoprotheses must be of a certain quality, as they should remain in the body as long as possible. In addition to some risks, endoprotheses can also contribute to a mobile and carefree life for young and old.
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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: cemented artificial hip endoprostheses; Copyright: panthermedia.net/coddie

Endoprotheses: regaining independence and mobility

01/01/2020

Joints can suddenly or gradually deteriorate and lose their natural strength, whether it’s due to accidents, diseases or simple wear and tear. In some of these cases, implants of artificial joints – endoprostheses - can help. As a joint replacement, they are designed to stay in the body for as long as needed and as such improve the patient’s quality of life and mobility.
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Image: Leg implants; Copyright: panthermedia.net/ monstArrr

Orthopedic implant: More comfortable thanks to full weight-bearing capacity

08/03/2019

Orthopedic implants – they are a necessity when it comes to congenital or acquired limb length discrepancies. However, full weight-bearing during the limb lengthening process is not feasible with previous implant models. For the first time, the 3D Surgery division at the Medical Center of the University of Munich has succeeded in using an implant that facilitates immediate weight-bearing.
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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.
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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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Image: Preview picture of video

Surgical navigation systems – with precision to the destination

06/03/2018

With the help of surgical navigation systems, prostheses or implants can be better inserted. During the procedure, surgeons can see exactly where they need to operate on a screen. Just like a navigation system in the car, navigation in the OR guides you precisely to your destination. At the Uniklinik RWTH Aachen we can find out what advantages this has for physicians and patients.
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