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Image: leaf electrode lying on a book next to tweezers; Copyright: Sven Döring/ Leibniz-IPHT

Electrodes from leaves: efficient, economical and aesthetic

10/07/2020

A research team from Leibniz IPHT in Jena has built electrodes with outstanding optical and electronic properties from leaves. The researchers have coated leaf veins with copper and thus transformed them into electrically conductive and optically transparent electrodes. Designed on the basis of nature, the leaf-structure electrodes could be used to design novel solar cells, LEDs or displays.
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Image: X-ray image of a human chest with the implant at the place of the heart; Copyright: Gwangju Institute of Science and Technology

Active photonic wireless system to power medical implants

08/07/2020

Over the past few decades, medical technology seen various advances in terms of the scope and efficiency of implant devices. Developments in medical research have led to the emergence of electronic implants, such as pacemakers to regulate the heart rate and cerebral spinal shunts to control the flow of spinal fluid. Most of these medical devices require a constant source of energy to operate.
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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.
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Image: tweezers holding bioresorbable wearable skin patch; Copyright: Purdue University/Chi Hwan Lee

Wearable patch may provide treatment option for skin cancer

17/06/2020

Conventional melanoma therapies, including chemotherapy and radiotherapy, suffer from the toxicity and side effects of repeated treatments due to the aggressive and recurrent nature of melanoma cells. Less invasive topical chemotherapies have emerged as alternatives, but their widespread uses have been hindered by both the painful size of the microneedles and the dissolving behavior of polymers.
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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.
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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: 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: 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: the model of a kidney with gripping tools and the adhesive; Copyright: Purenum GmbH

A clean kidney: Break then glue

08/11/2018

Not enough exercise, an unhealthy diet: Kidney stones develop when urine contains too many insoluble compounds and are now one of the most common diseases worldwide. The ailment annually affects 1.2 million people in Germany alone. The stones are broken up and taken out via endoscopic surgery. Now it’s possible to remove even the tiniest residual fragments. The solution: a biocompatible adhesive.
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