30/11/2021A new form of CRISPR technology that takes advantage of a compact RNA-editing protein could lead to improved diagnostic tests for COVID-19.The platform, developed by bioengineer Magdy Mahfouz and his KAUST colleagues, relies on a miniature form of the Cas13 protein that some microbes use to defend themselves from viruses.
26/11/2021A lot of laboratory tasks require high precision on one hand, on the other they tend to be repetitive and tiring. While humans can only work for a limited time here while staying effective, robots are able to work without taking a break. The start-up bAhead wants to make collaborative robots, CoBots, adaptable helpers with the help of AI. We learn more from CEO & Founder Rainer Treptow.
23/11/2021An international team of scientists developed a new method and visualized specific receptor proteins in nerve cells that are important for learning. The results were published in the renowned journal Nature Communications.
04/11/2021With 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.
03/11/2021Resistance to antibiotics is on the rise worldwide. Researchers at the Fraunhofer Institute for Physical Measurement Techniques IPM alongside the Ludwig Maximilian University of Munich have developed a process for rapidly detecting multidrug-resistant pathogens. The unique feature: Even one single molecule of DNA is sufficient for pathogen detection.
02/11/2021Take a nice, deep breath. Now imagine your lungs: myriad airways like branches, each with tiny alveoli like leaves. This alveolar structure is key to the absorption of oxygen and excretion of carbon dioxide that we call "breath." As we breathe, the volume of gases in the lungs is continually changing with varying degrees of inhalation and exhalation.
26/10/2021Using specialized carbon nanotubes, MIT engineers have designed a novel sensor that can detect SARS-CoV-2 without any antibodies, giving a result within minutes. Their new sensor is based on technology that can quickly generate rapid and accurate diagnostics, not just for Covid-19 but for future pandemics, the researchers say.
19/10/2021Lymphocytes belong to the white blood cells. They consist of several subgroups with different tasks in immune defence. Which and how many lymphocytes are in the blood provides information about our current state of health as well as congenital or acquired immune deficiencies. This composition in the blood can be determined precisely with the help of the most modern flow cytometry.
07/10/2021Dr. 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.
01/10/2021Unpacking and sorting of blood samples from general practitioners is a monotonous and time-consuming task. The Aalborg University Hospital has now automated the process: Up to 3000 blood samples every day are unpacked and sorted by two lab robots provided by LT Automation. Furthermore, the samples are temperature monitored and tracked, using the Intelligent Transport Boxes.
01/10/2021In the laboratory, there is some work that is time-consuming and monotonous – making it the perfect place for digital solutions such as artificial intelligence or robotics. But what work can these systems really take on in a meaningful way, in which areas of the lab are they present today, and where do they still need to be improved?
01/10/2021They have probably never been in the spotlight as much as during the pandemic: laboratories. In Germany alone, around 73 million COVID-19-tests have been evaluated since the beginning of 2020. And even away from Corona, laboratory physicians have a lot to do – blood, urine and aspirates have to be evaluated every day. That results in an enormous amount of work, just in terms of organization.
01/10/2021Huge amounts of data are generated in the laboratory every day, which have to be analyzed by hand. This is where artificial intelligence (AI) comes into play as a perfect helper: Because it evaluates such data volumes faster than humans ever could. The only problem with AI is: when it is developed, there is hardly any guideline or standard that makes AI systems comparable with each other.
22/09/2021High-risk human papillomaviruses (HPV) can be detected at diagnosis in saliva samples from the vast majority of patients with HPV-driven head and neck cancers, improving disease identification and monitoring, according to a new study in The Journal of Molecular Diagnostics.
20/09/2021The University of Bonn shows how machine learning improves the evaluation of blood analysis data and Artificial intelligence helps to diagnose leukemia.
16/09/2021Researchers at Umeå University, Sweden, divide in their new method organs by the use of a 3D-printed matrix, creating portions of tissue with the optimal size for optical imaging using 3D technology. Specific cell types in human organs can be studied with micrometer precision to study for example other human organs and diseases.
15/09/2021Researchers have presented a method for profiling tissue-specific secretory proteins in live mice.
06/09/2021Scientists from the MPI for Medical Research and colleagues have engineered synthetic exosomes that regulate cellular signaling during wound closure. The synthetic structures resemble naturally occurring extracellular vesicles (EV) that play a fundamental role in communication between cells.
01/06/2021Making an informed and immediate treatment decision near or at the patient’s bedside – point-of-care testing (also known as POCT) makes this possible. Unlike stationary devices, special exam rooms or other service infrastructure, POC diagnostic devices offer a multitude of benefits including more flexibility, faster results, and lower costs.
01/06/2021The sooner diagnosis can be made during an emergency, the faster the patient receives help. While most diagnostics still take place at the hospital, emergency physicians use more and more mobile devices directly at the deployment site. This is how they can save precious time. We take a look at some point-of-care applications in our Topic of the Month.
08/03/2021Things need to move fast in an emergency. Making the right call in this setting can be a challenge for emergency medical services – especially when symptoms are ambiguous, which is the case if a patient has difficulty breathing or exhibits a cardiovascular or poisoning emergency. A blood analysis is paramount to deliver a fast and accurate diagnosis. This is where mobOx comes in.
08/12/2020If Kevin was alone in the lab at night, the next morning, the workers will not find chaos, but labeled tubes and prepared samples. Kevin is a laboratory robot developed by Fraunhofer IPA to relieve the strain on laboratory workers so that they can concentrate on the essentials: research and diagnostics.
01/12/2020It 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.
01/12/2020The 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.
01/12/2020How 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.
01/12/2020Implants, prostheses and various other components made of plastic, metal or ceramics are already being produced by additive manufacturing. But skin, blood vessels or entire organs from the printer – is that possible? For years now, intensive research has been underway into the production of biologically functional tissue using printing processes. Some things are already possible with bioprinting.
01/09/2020Diagnostics, biomedical research, screening active ingredient candidates - laboratories perform many functions and must be flexible. Growing and evolving healthcare demands mean labs have to process an increasing number of samples. Modern laboratory information management systems can already support high-throughput, but a smart laboratory environment can make things even more efficient.
01/09/2020Accuracy is paramount in laboratory settings and ensures that lab results are valid. Errors in a lab can render series of tests unusable and waste precious time and money. In the medical realm, this might even result in clinical trial errors. Augmented reality (AR) can help laboratory technicians to prevent errors and guide their work in the future.
01/09/2020There is likely no other branch of medicine where you can find as many high-tech devices as in modern laboratories. A major part of diagnostic and biomedical research is done here. A lot of individual steps in work processes need to be followed precisely to ensure the results’ quality. Also, a lot of data is generated here.
01/09/2020Laboratories 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.
24/08/2020For 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.
08/07/2020A 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.
22/05/2020Athletes not only have to be fit and stay in shape, but they also have to achieve peak performance, especially when they get ready for athletic events. Optimized and individualized performance training requires data from external laboratories and institutes. The [i/med] Sports platform from DORNER Health IT Solutions provides a complete workflow − from anamnesis to diagnostic report.
01/04/2020When 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.
01/04/2020What 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".
01/04/2020When 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.
01/04/2020Laboratories 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.
12/12/2019Diagnostic 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.
08/11/2019If physicians suspect an acute myocardial infarction, they first order an ECG. This test is very established and allows cardiologists to quickly diagnose acute heart attacks – though the test does not detect less common heart attack symptoms. So far, those patients had to wait up to twelve hours before a heart attack could be accurately diagnosed or ruled out. But things are about the change.
04/11/2019Laboratories are medicine’s secret weapon because they handle the lion’s share of diagnostics often without patients even realizing it. That’s why the continuing workforce shortage in both laboratory medicine and companies is especially troubling. The MEDICA LABMED FORUM 2019 plans to address and counteract this development.
04/11/2019Soon, 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.
08/10/2019The healthcare market offers a multitude of microscopes that make cells visible to the human eye. The same applies to AI-based software for image analysis. After taking the microscopic images, scientist are faced with large volumes of scans with usually low resolution. Yet when all aspects merge together, they open up a the world of digital pathology.
01/10/2019When the halls of MEDICA are open to the world to showcase medical innovations, one joint exhibition booth is guaranteed to attract special attention - the MEDICA START-UP PARK. The startups that present their advances in this setting are interesting to visitors and investors, yet long-time exhibitors and big businesses can also benefit from building relationships with these young companies.
23/09/2019For 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.
22/08/2019The German Medical Award will take place on November 18, 2019, as part of the MEDICA trade fair in Düsseldorf. The ceremony emphasizes the commitment to excellence in cutting-edge care for patients. Doctors, clinical centers and companies in the medical and healthcare industry can demonstrate their achievements in medicine and management in hopes of receiving the coveted award.
08/08/2019After their tumor has been removed, some patients have to return to the hospital to undergo surgery again. That's because the tumor was not precisely identified and was subsequently not completely removed. That's both an ethical and financial dilemma. A new surgery-adjacent procedure is designed to rapidly and accurately detect tumors.
01/08/2019Antibiotic 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.
01/08/2019An 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.
08/07/2019On November 18th, 2019, parallel to the first day of MEDICA, the world forum for medicine, the Diagnostics Partnering Conference (DxPx Conference) will take place in Düsseldorf, bringing together stakeholders in the diagnostics and research tool industry. The DxPx Conference focuses on discovering technologies, finding financing and investment opportunities and forming collaborative partnerships.
01/02/2019Organ-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.
01/02/2019In vitro processes and animal tests are used to develop new medications and novel therapeutic approaches. However, animal testing raises important ethical concerns. Organ-on-a-chip models promise to be a feasible alternative. In a system the size of a smartphone, organs are connected using artificial circulation.
01/02/2019The liver, nervous tissue or the intestines: all are important human organs that have in the past been tested for their function and compatibility using animal or in vitro test methods. In recent years, TissUse GmbH, a spin-off of the Technical University of Berlin (TU Berlin), has launched multi-organ chip platforms. But that’s not all.
21/11/2018Our blood reveals a lot about our physical health. The shape of our blood cells sheds light on several hereditary diseases for example. For a diagnosis, the cells must first be examined under the microscope and categorized into a specific cell class. We met with Dr. Stephan Quint and Alexander Kihm of the Institute of Physics at the Saarland University, who explained how this classification works.
02/11/2018This is what diagnostic investigation normally looks like: a patient sample is collected, sent to the laboratory and analyzed. Once that's completed, the patient is told of the lab test result. But if the patient is a high-performance athlete and has to follow and stick to a rigid training schedule, he or she needs these results immediately. What makes this possible? Point-of-care testing!
10/09/2018About eight in ten Germans suffer from back pain during their lifetime. Too much or the wrong movements can also cause problems. "Ran Rücken", the interdisciplinary research project aims to determine the right minimum dose of exercise that proves effective. (Explanatory note: "Ran Rücken" can be loosely translated as "Target the Back")
22/08/2018Mix-ups, contamination and sample loss – most errors in pathology happen when specimen are received. Countless samples arrive daily at the laboratory, while the sample entry process is very monotonous. As a result, the work is inefficient. The start-up company inveox has now developed a system that automates the processes in the pathology laboratory, thus making them more efficient.
30/04/2018Medicine is getting more and more personalized. This is particularly interesting for oncology, since a cancer is as individual as the respective patient. When choosing a therapy, both the characteristics of the tumor and the personal characteristics of the patient must be considered. To see exactly what this looks like, we visited the diagnostics company TherapySelect, based in Heidelberg.
01/03/2018Everyone is different. This statement also applies to our health. Cancer, in particular, can look and progress differently depending on the individual person. That’s why every patient ideally also needs a customized treatment that is tailored to their individual needs. But how feasible is this idea?
01/03/2018Conventional cancer treatment selection typically depends on the location of the tumor. However, this approach ignores the distinct gene mutations in the tumor of the individual patient. New cancer research approaches increasingly emphasize the concept of personalized therapy.
22/02/2018Here on Earth, all experiments are bound by gravitation. Yet, freed from gravity's grip, tumor cells, for example, behave in an entirely different way. As part of the "Thyroid Cancer Cells in Space" project by the University of Magdeburg, smartphone-sized containers carrying poorly differentiated thyroid cancer cells are sent into space.
01/02/2018During a visit to the hospital, patients naturally expect to receive comprehensive care. Not only does this include the proper treatment, but also a hospital bed and regular meals for example. Patients typically don't ask about the transport logistics this entails for the hospital.
08/01/2018Few patients with heart failure are fortunate enough to receive a donor's heart. Ventricular assist devices (or heart pumps) have been around for several years and are designed to buy time as patients wait for a transplant. Unfortunately, the body doesn't always tolerate these devices.