16/06/2021Gene expression patterns associated with pandemic viral infections provide a map to help define patients' immune responses, measure disease severity, predict outcomes and test therapies - for current and future pandemics.
15/06/2021Many modern fitness trackers and smartwatches feature integrated LEDs. The green light emitted, whether continuous or pulsed, penetrates the skin and can be used to measure the wearer's heart rate during physical activity or while at rest.
15/06/2021Research teams from TU Darmstadt, British and US universities are focusing on one possible main process that leads to the death of brain cells – chemical reactions between different proteins in the brain and essential metals such as copper and iron – in their investigation of the causes and mechanisms of Alzheimer's disease.
14/06/2021In medicine, it is still standard practice to evaluate microscopy images of tissue sections by hand. This is used, for example, to assess how many cancer cells are in a lymph node.
10/06/2021As part of preparing for an experiment aboard the International Space Station, researchers explored new ways to culture living heart cells for microgravity research.
07/06/2021RNA sequencing is a powerful technology for studying cells and diseases. In particular, single-cell RNA sequencing helps uncover the heterogeneity and diversity of our body. This is the central technology of the "Human Cell Atlas" in its quest to map all human cells.
27/05/2021Researchers have flipped traditional 3D printing to create some of the most intricate biomedical structures yet, advancing the development of new technologies for regrowing bones and tissue.
25/05/2021The pancreas is a little organ behind the stomach and has two main functions – digestion and blood sugar regulation. How the human pancreas develops has been relatively unexplored for ethical and practical reasons.
24/05/2021A team of Spanish researchers have developed, at the laboratory level, a prototype of a new biosensor to help detect breast cancer in its earliest stages.
24/05/2021Self-organizing heart organoids developed at IMBA – Institute of Molecular Biotechnology of the Austrian Academy of Sciences – are also effective injury- and in vitro congenital disease models. These “cardioids” may revolutionize research into cardiovascular disorders and malformations of the heart. The results are published in the journal Cell.
20/05/2021A group of scientists at Nagoya University, Japan, have developed an incredibly versatile DNA fluorescent dye, named 'Kakshine' after a former NU student of its members, Dr. Kakishi Uno, but it also means to make the nucleus shine brightly, since the nucleus is pronounced 'Kaku' in Japanese.
19/05/2021A new, patented method called Progressive Mechanoporation makes it possible to mechanically disrupt the membranes of cells for a short time period and let drugs or genes inside cells. In this way, researchers can test new therapies more easily than before.
07/05/2021Professor Arda Gozen looks to a future someday in which doctors can hit a button to print out a scaffold on their 3-D printers and create custom-made replacement skin, cartilage, or other tissue for their patients.
05/05/2021A team of University of Alberta researchers has discovered a way to use 3-D bioprinting technology to create custom-shaped cartilage for use in surgical procedures. The work aims to make it easier for surgeons to safely restore the features of skin cancer patients living with nasal cartilage defects after surgery.
03/05/2021A team of researchers led by Nanyang Technological University, Singapore (NTU Singapore) has developed a device that offers a quicker and less invasive way to seal tears and holes in blood vessels, using an electrically-activated glue patch applied via a minimally invasive balloon catheter.
29/04/2021Modern medicine needs better quality samples than traditional biopsy needles can provide. Ultrasonically oscillating needles can improve treatment and reduce discomfort.
28/04/2021In the arms race "mankind against bacteria", bacteria are currently ahead of us. Our former miracle weapons, antibiotics, are failing more and more frequently when germs use tricky maneuvers to protect themselves from the effects of these drugs.
13/04/2021In cancer, cells get out of control. They proliferate and push their way into tissues, destroying organs and thereby impairing essential vital functions. This unrestricted growth is usually induced by an accumulation of DNA changes in cancer genes – i.e. mutations in these genes that govern the development of the cell.
05/04/2021A team from the Universitat Politècnica de València (UPV) and the CIBER Bioengineering, Biomaterials and Nanomedicine (CIBER-BBN) has designed and tested, at a preclinical level, a new biomaterial for the treatment and recovery of muscle injuries.
26/03/2021Scientists have produced the first high-resolution 3D image of the sarcomere, the basic contractile unit of skeletal and heart muscle cells, by using electron cryo-tomography (cryo-ET).
25/03/2021A research team consisting of materials scientists from the Max Planck Institute of Colloids and Interfaces (MPICI) in Potsdam and biologists from Cornell University in Ithaca, USA revealed that bones may grow in response to certain signals from a distant breast tumor. This may be a preemptive defense mechanism against skeletal metastasis.
22/03/2021The Research Group on Synthetic Biology for Biomedical Applications at Pompeu Fabra University in Barcelona, Spain, has designed a cellular device capable of computing by printing cells on paper. For the first time, they have developed a living device that could be used outside the laboratory without a specialist, and it could be produced on an industrial scale at low cost.
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.
01/12/2020It 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.
01/12/2020Implants, 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.
01/12/2020The 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.
03/02/2020Severe 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.
03/02/2020Regenerative 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.
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.
01/02/2019Organ-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.
01/02/2019The 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.
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.
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.
09/07/2018People 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.
22/06/2018A 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.
23/04/2018A 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.
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?
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.
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.