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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: cell matrix; Copyright: TU Wien

Multi-photon lithography: printing cells with micrometer accuracy

01/12/2020

How 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.
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Image: three vials, one with hydrogels, one with bio ink and one with unmodified gelatine; Copyright: Fraunhofer IGB

"Cells are highly sensitive" – material development for bioprinting

01/12/2020

The 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.
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Image: 3D printer with a human heart inside, next to a box with

Bioprinting: life from the printer

01/12/2020

It 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.
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Image: cancer cell; Copyright: PantherMedia / dtkutoo

Cell therapies for cancer powered by big data

27/11/2020

Finding medicines that can kill cancer cells while leaving normal tissue unscathed is a Holy Grail of oncology research. In two new papers, scientists at UC San Francisco and Princeton University present complementary strategies to crack this problem with "smart" cell therapies.
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Image: close-up image of lung-on-chip model; Copyright: Vivek Thacker (CC BY 4.0)

Lung-on-chip: body's response to early tuberculosis infection

25/11/2020

Findings reveal the early events that take place during tuberculosis infection, and provide a model for future research into respiratory and other infections. Scientists have developed a lung-on-chip model to study how the body responds to early tuberculosis (TB) infection, according to findings published today in eLife.
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Image: mouse fibroblast cell imaged on a metasurface; Copyright: Kaoru Tamada, Kyushu University

Higher-resolution imaging of cells using plasmonic metasurfaces

09/11/2020

In the quest to image exceedingly small structures and phenomenon with higher precision, scientists have been pushing the limits of optical microscope resolution, but these advances often come with increased complication and cost.
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Image: Chromosome segregation in a human stem cell; Copyright: Carolina Pereira & Inês Milagre

Stem cells: new insights for future regenerative medicine approaches

30/10/2020

Researchers discover that a specialized part of the chromosomes, essential for a correct cell division, is smaller and weaker in stem cells, when compared to the ones of differentiated cells.
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Image: microfluidic platform; Copyright: Department of Chemistry, University of Basel

An artificial cell on a chip

29/10/2020

Researchers at the University of Basel have developed a precisely controllable system for mimicking biochemical reaction cascades in cells. This "cell on a chip" is useful not only for studying processes in cells, but also for the development of new synthetic pathways for chemical applications or for biological active substances in medicine.
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Image: 3D printed negative mould of a tongue; Copyright: University of Leeds

3D printing the first biomimetic tongue surface

28/10/2020

Scientists have created synthetic soft surfaces with tongue-like textures for the first time using 3D printing, opening new possibilities for testing oral processing properties of food, nutritional technologies, pharmaceutics and dry mouth therapies.
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Image: Conceptual diagram of bio-organizational crushing technology ; Copyright: Korea Institue of Science and Technology(KIST)

Destroying cancer cells with non-surgical ultrasound treatment

28/10/2020

Demonstrated the mechanism behind the secondary generation of cavitation clouds that mechanically fractionates surrounding tissue in focused ultrasound treatment. Laid the groundwork for precise removal of the target tissue.
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Image: multiple IM30 proteins ; Copyright: Dirk Schneider, Benedikt Junglas

A membrane-attached protein protects bacteria from stress

26/10/2020

Stress is present everywhere, even bacteria and plant cells have to cope with it. They express various specific stress proteins, but how exactly this line of defense works is often not clear. A group of scientists headed by Professor Dirk Schneider of Johannes Gutenberg University Mainz (JGU) has now discovered a protective mechanism in cyanobacteria as well as in chloroplasts of plant cells.
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Image: Microscopic images of cells; Copyright: E. Rath/TUM

An alternative to animal experiments

22/10/2020

Researchers of the Technical University of Munich (TUM) have cultured so-called intestinal organoids from human intestinal tissue, which is a common byproduct when performing bowel surgery. These small “miniature intestines” can be used for molecular biological examinations and allow for a direct application of research results to humans, thereby making animal experiments redundant.
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Image: A model of the human skull with a 3D printed implant in it; Copyright: PNAS

Bioceramic implant induces cranial regrowth

20/10/2020

A bioceramic implant has proved to stimulate regeneration of natural skull bone, so that even large cranial defects can be repaired in a way that has not been possible before. The research, led from the University of Gothenburg, is presented in the scientific journal PNAS.
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Image: graphic shows links between inflammation and Parkinson's disease; Copyright: University Of Luxembourg

Links between inflammation and Parkinson's disease

16/10/2020

Around 15 percent of Parkinson's disease cases are related to a known genetic background, out of which mutations in the Parkin and PINK1 genes are among the most frequent ones. Thus, revealing cellular mechanisms which are altered by these mutations is crucial for the development of new therapeutic approaches.
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Image: heart cells; Copyright: Disease Biophysics Group/Harvard SEAS

Reviving cells after a heart attack

16/10/2020

Extracellular vesicles (EVs) - nanometer sized messengers that travel between cells to deliver cues and cargo - are promising tools for the next generation of therapies for everything from autoimmune and neurodegenerative diseases to cancer and tissue injury.
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Image: blood in testing tubes; Copyright: PantherMedia / Kiyoshi Takahase Segundo

Blood test developed for brain tumors

15/10/2020

Genetic mutations that promote the growth of the most common type of adult brain tumors can be accurately detected and monitored in blood samples using an enhanced form of liquid biopsy developed by researchers at Massachusetts General Hospital (MGH).
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Image: cells in organoids; Copyright: Yiwei Li

Mini-organs grow faster with a squeeze

15/10/2020

The closer people are physically to one another, the higher the chance for exchange, of things like ideas, information, and even infection. Now researchers at MIT and Boston Children's Hospital have found that, even in the microscopic environment within a single cell, physical crowding increases the chance for interactions, in a way that can significantly alter a cell's health and development.
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Image: view into cells; Copyright: Alexandre Kitching

Virtual reality software allows scientists to 'walk' inside cells

13/10/2020

Virtual reality software which allows researchers to 'walk' inside and analyse individual cells could be used to understand fundamental problems in biology and develop new treatments for disease.
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Image: Microneedles; Copyright: Khademhosseini Lab

Microneedles for therapeutic gene delivery

09/10/2020

There is great potential in gene therapy for treating certain types of cancer and genetic defects, immunological diseases, wounds and infections. The therapies work by delivering genes into the patients' cells, which then produce therapeutic proteins to treat the affliction.
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Image: dry blood sample card in laboratory; Copyright: University of Birmingham

COVID-19: dried blood spot sampling

07/10/2020

Using dried blood spot samples (DBS) is an accurate alternative to venous blood in detecting SARS-CoV-2 antibody tests, a new study by immunology experts at the University of Birmingham has found.
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Image: depiction of sensor for COVID-19; Copyright: Caltech

Sensor that rapidly detects COVID-19 infection

05/10/2020

One feature of the COVID-19 virus that makes it so difficult to contain is that it can be easily spread to others by a person who has yet to show any signs of infection. The carrier of the virus might feel perfectly well and go about their daily business–taking the virus with them to work, to the home of a family member, or to public gatherings.
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Image: Serena Psoroulas with the experimental set-up in Gantry 1; Copyright: Paul Scherrer Institute/Mahir Dzambegovic

New technique for ultrafast tumour therapy

02/10/2020

For the first time, researchers at the Centre for Proton Therapy at the Paul Scherrer Institute PSI in Switzerland have tested ultrafast, high-dose irradiation with protons. This new, experimental FLASH technique could revolutionise radiation therapy for cancer and save patients many weeks of treatment.
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Image: Schematic representation of the function of BATF3; Copyright: Dr. Marco Ataide

Memory training for the immune system

02/10/2020

The immune system will memorize the pathogen after an infection and can therefore react promptly after reinfection with the same pathogen. Now, scientists at the University of Würzburg have deciphered new details of this process.
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Image: Chemical waves of protein activation ; Copyright: Tsuyoshi Hirashima

Wound-healing waves

01/10/2020

Many cells in our bodies are on the move and somehow seem to "know" where to go. But how do they learn the location of their destination? This question is key to understanding phenomena such as the renewal of cells in our body, the migration of cancer cells, and especially how wounds heal.
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Image: A screenshot of MarrowQuant annotating a bone marrow trephine biopsy from a patient surfing from chemotherapy-induced aplasia.; Copyright: Olaia Naveiras (EPFL)

MarrowQuant: a new digital-pathology tool

30/09/2020

The bone marrow is the soft tissue inside our bones. Its main role is to produce stem cells that will go on to become various cells of the blood, including white blood cells that fight infections, red blood cells that carry oxygen throughout the body, and platelets that control bleeding.
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Image: Symbol image of a spinal column; Copyright: PantherMedia  / pixologic

Spinal injuries: the recovery of motor skills thanks to nanomaterials

30/09/2020

A new study conducted by SISSA and the University of Trieste shows the efficacy of carbon nanotube implants to restore motor functions and paves the way for a new therapeutic approach for spinal cord injuries
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Image: Smartphone with opened app; Copyright: DR IRA DEVESON

App analyzes coronavirus genome on a smartphone

29/09/2020

A new mobile app has made it possible to analyse the genome of the SARS-CoV-2 virus on a smartphone in less than half an hour.
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Image: Prof. Oliver Lieleg and Ceren Kimna in the laboratory; Copyright: Uli Benz / TUM

Secure nano-carrier delivers medications directly to cells

28/09/2020

Medications often have unwanted side-effects. One reason is that they reach not only the unhealthy cells for which they are intended, but also reach and have an impact on healthy cells. Researchers at the Technical University of Munich (TUM), working together with the KTH Royal Institute of Technology in Stockholm, have developed a stable nano-carrier for medications.
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Image: lung model; Copyright: La Jolla Institute for Immunology

Lungs: a step toward helping patients breathe deeply

25/09/2020

Damaged lungs can't open properly. Patients with asthma, idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis and systemic sclerosis suffer from fibrosis and tissue remodeling, where a build-up of tissue and immune cells, and proteins that form a glue-like substance, keep the airways from expanding. As fibrosis gets worse, taking a breath feels like blowing up a balloon filled with concrete.
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Image: depiction of lung cancer; Copyright: PantherMedia / decade3d

No benefit for PORT in non-small-cell lung cancer

21/09/2020

Post-operative radiotherapy (PORT) used in patients with non-small-cell lung cancer (NSCLC) following complete resection and after (neo) adjuvant chemotherapy shows no statistically significant difference in 3-year disease-free survival (DFS), according to data presented at ESMO 2020. These results give the oncology community a long-awaited answer.
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Image: human skull with puzzle optic missing a piece; Copyright: PantherMedia / vampy1

Alteration in the brain of people with Alzheimer's

21/09/2020

Despite the important advances in research in recent years, the etiopathogenesis of Alzheimer's disease is still not fully clarified. One of the key questions is to decipher why the production of beta amyloid, the protein that produces the toxic effect and triggers the pathology, increases in the brain of people with Alzheimer's.
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Image: Artist's rendition of a cancer cell surrounded be long molecules; Copyright: MPI-P

New method to fight cancer with molecular fibers

16/09/2020

According to the Federal Statistical Office of Germany, cancer is one of the most frequent causes of death, accounting for almost 25% of all death cases. Chemotherapy is often used as a treatment, but also brings side effects for healthy organs.
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Image: Image of blue cilia that are covered in red virus particles; Copyright: Ehre Lab, UNC School of Medicine

UNC researchers publish striking images of SARS-CoV-2 infected cells

14/09/2020

The UNC School of Medicine lab of Camille Ehre, PhD, generated high-powered microscopic images showing startlingly high SARS-CoV-2 viral loads on human respiratory surfaces, ready to spread infection in infected individuals and to others
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Image: Computer-generated rendering of a viral protein that connects to a protein in a cell membrane; Copyright: PantherMedia/animaxx3d

Using machine learning to combat the Coronavirus

14/09/2020

Research project developed by TU Berlin and the University of Luxembourg receives funding of 125,000 US dollars from Google.org.
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Image: miniature chip; Copyright: Felix Petermann, MDC

Improving healthcare through cell-based interceptive medicine

08/09/2020

Hundreds of innovators, research pioneers, clinicians, industry leaders and policy makers from all around Europe are united by a vision of how to revolutionize healthcare. In 2 publications they now present a detailed roadmap of how to leverage the latest scientific breakthroughs and technologies over the next decade, to track, understand and treat human cells throughout an individual's lifetime.
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Image: Illustration of tumor growth; Copyright: Kemal Avican

How prostate cancer causes secondary tumors

04/09/2020

An increased awareness on a molecular level of what mechanisms prostate cancer cells use to become mobile and start spreading may in the long run provide new opportunities for treatment of aggressive prostate cancer. This according to a new study by researchers at Umeå University, Sweden, in collaboration with researchers in Uppsala and Tokyo.
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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.
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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.
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Image: Volker Bruns; Copyright: Fraunhofer ISS

AI software: "iSTIX opens your world to the possibilities of digital pathology"

08/10/2019

The 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.
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Image: Cell cultivation in a Petri dish; Copyright: panthermedia.net / matej kastelic

Organ-on-a-chip – Organs in miniature format

01/02/2019

In 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.
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Image: Man and woman in a laboratory presenting a multi-organ chip; Copyright: TissUse GmbH

Multi-Organ Chips – The Patients of Tomorrow?

01/02/2019

The 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.
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Image: Graphic rendering of several cells in a petri dish; Copyright: panthermedia.net/dani3315

Organ-on-a-chip systems: limited validity?

01/02/2019

Organ-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.
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Photo: Preview picture of video

From algorithm to rapid test – Artificial Intelligence classifies blood cells

21/11/2018

Our 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.
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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: AcCellerator research device at an exhibition stand; Copyright: Daniel Klaue, ZELLMECHANIK DRESDEN GmbH

Cells in the speed trap – diagnosis in a matter of seconds

22/06/2018

A drop of blood provides a lot of valuable information. However, it takes several hours to analyze the blood of a patient and make a diagnosis. This takes away a lot of time that's crucial for treatment. A new method intends to considerably speed up this process by testing the cells in the blood in terms of their deformability and immune response.
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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: yellow tape measure with capsules in front of it; Copyright: panthermedia.net/Jiri Hera

Personalized cancer medicine: customized treatment

01/03/2018

Everyone 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?
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Image: a container with the nutrient medium for cancer cells; Copyright: Dr. Markus Wehland

Cells in space – extraterrestrial approaches in cancer research

22/02/2018

Here 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.
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Image:

"Spray-On" muscle fibers for biomimetic surfaces

08/01/2018

Few 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.
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