The laboratory 4.0: networked analyses -- MEDICA - World Forum for Medicine

Image: Doctor checks an elderly gentleman's eye health with a beam of light; Copyright: twenty20photos

twenty20photos

New hope for a therapy against retinitis pigmentosa

27/06/2022

Retinitis pigmentosa, a degenerative genetic disease of the eye, is characterized by progressive vision loss, usually leading to blindness.
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Image: Scientist working in a laboratory; Copyright: twenty20photos

twenty20photos

New material paves the way for remote-controlled medication and electronic pills

23/06/2022

Biomedicines are produced by living cells and are used to treat cancer and autoimmune diseases among other things. One challenge is that the medicines are very expensive to produce, something that limits global access. Now researchers from Chalmers have invented a material that uses electrical signals to capture and release biomolecules.
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Bild: A man in glasses and a jacket, Ludovic Vallier, poses for the camera ; Copyright: BIH/David Ausserhofer

BIH/David Ausserhofer

Ludovic Vallier grows liver tissue from stem cells

16/06/2022

Effective July 1, 2022, Ludovic Vallier will take up the W3 Einstein Strategic Professorship for Stem Cells in Regenerative Therapies at the Berlin Institute of Health at Charité (BIH).
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Image: A smiling man is sitting behind a laboratory device; Copyright: Universität Bielefeld/M.-D. Müller

Universität Bielefeld/M.-D. Müller

Making drug interactions in the liver visible

15/06/2022

Bielefeld University is coordinating a new EU-research project that seeks to produce microscopic liver tissue cultures that can survive for 14 days, while also using imaging methods to investigate how liver cells react to combinations of different medications.
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Image: Three physicians in OR clothing work with a medical device; Copyright: USZ

USZ

Human liver treated in a machine and transplanted for the first time

07/06/2022

The multidisciplinary Zurich research team Liver4Life has succeeded in doing something during a treatment attempt that had never been achieved in the history of medicine until now: it treated an originally damaged human liver in a machine for three days outside a body and then implanted the recovered organ into a cancer patient. One year later, the patient is doing well.
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Image: A tube made of a fiber mesh; Copyright: Andreas Heddergott/TUM

Andreas Heddergott/TUM

3D printed, bioinspired heart valves

06/06/2022

Researchers have developed 3D printed artificial heart valves designed to allow a patient’s own cells to form new tissue. To form these scaffolds using melt electrowriting – an advanced additive manufacturing technique – the team has created a new fabrication platform that enables them to combine different precise, customized patterns and hence to fine-tune the scaffold’s mechanical properties.
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Image: Drawn schematic of a work flow in a laboratory; Copyright: Juliet Percival/MPI für Biochemie

Juliet Percival/MPI für Biochemie

New method revolutionizes cancer diagnosis

24/05/2022

A German-Danish team led by Prof. Matthias Mann has developed a ground-breaking technology called 'Deep Visual Proteomics'. This method provides researchers and clinicians with a protein read-out to understand cancer at single cell-type resolution. The technology was published in the journal Nature Biotechnology and demonstrates its potential in a first application to cancer cells.
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A diagram intended to illustrate genetic manipulation of the female reproductive tract ; Copyright: AG Chumduri

AG Chumduri

Cervix: Research progress thanks to mini organs

23/05/2022

Life-like organ replicas - so-called 3D organoids - are a good way to research disease processes. A team from the University of Würzburg has now presented a kind of blueprint for such a model of the cervix.
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Image: Electron micrograph of Staphylococcus aureus; Copyright: HZI/Manfred Rohde

HZI/Manfred Rohde

A bright spot for microbiological diagnostics

19/05/2022

HZI researchers develop molecular probes to detect pathogens in clinical samples.
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Image: Close-up of a little baby's hand with pacifier: Copyright: twenty20photos

twenty20photos

Smart pacifier to monitor infant health in the hospital

18/05/2022

A wireless, bioelectronic pacifier could eliminate the need for invasive, twice-daily blood draws to monitor babies’ electrolytes in Newborn Intensive Care Units or NICUs.
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Image: A woman in the bathroom is holding her stomach because of pain; Copyright: gpointstudio

gpointstudio

Nanosensor platform could advance detection of ovarian cancer

18/05/2022

Lehigh University researchers, part of multi-institution team, use the fluorescence of carbon nanotubes and machine learning to create a ‘spectral fingerprint’ of a hard-to-diagnose cancer.
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Image: Assembly of biochips with attached tubes; Copyright: Fraunhofer ILT, Aachen

Fraunhofer ILT, Aachen

Process chains for isolation and analysis: from single cells to organoids

17/05/2022

Researchers at the Fraunhofer Institute for Laser Technology ILT are working on new tools for the preparation and analysis of single cells and cell assemblies. The team developed the "Liftoscope", a system for cell sorting for subsequent cultivation that can analyze and transfer biomaterials precisely and in a way that is gentle on cells.
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Image: The new multi-organ chip is shown; Copyright: Kacey Ronaldson-Bouchard/Columbia Engineering

Kacey Ronaldson-Bouchard/Columbia Engineering

Plug-and-play organ-on-a-chip can be customized to the patient

05/05/2022

Major advance from Columbia Engineering team demonstrates first multi-organ chip made of engineered human tissues linked by vascular flow for improved modeling of systemic diseases like cancer
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Image: Shaopeng Wang poses for the camera; Copyright: The Biodesign Institute at Arizona State University

The Biodesign Institute at Arizona State University

A sharper image for proteins

05/05/2022

To fully understand proteins and their myriad functions, researchers have developed sophisticated means to see and study them using advanced microscopy, enhanced light detection, imaging software and the integration of advanced hardware systems. A new study from Arizona State University describes a new technique that promises to revolutionize the imaging of proteins and other vital biomolecules.
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Image: Depiction of a cochlea from yello and red dots on black backdrop; Copyright: umg/Institut für Auditorische Neurowissenschaften

umg/Institut für Auditorische Neurowissenschaften

Decoding the hearing: ERC grant for Tobias Moser

03/05/2022

Tobias Moser, MD, Director of the Institute for Auditory Neuroscience at the University Medical Center Göttingen (UMG) was awarded an Advanced Grant of the European Research Council (ERC). The ERC supports his research project "Solving the dynamic range problem of hearing: deciphering and harnessing cochlear mechanisms of sound intensity coding (DynaHear)" over five years with 2,5 million euros.
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Image: A small rectangular sensor in a petri dish is lying on the hand of a person; Copyright: Antonie Bierling/TUD

Antonie Bierling/TUD

Electronic noses to track down body odors

03/05/2022

Human body odor is influenced by diet, inflammatory processes, and hormone balance, among other factors, and consequently changes in body odor can provide clues to disease - sometimes much earlier than through currently established diagnostic methods.
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Image: Microscope image: damage to lung tissue caused by the invasive fungal infection aspergillosis.; Copyright: Zoltán Cseresnyés/Leibniz-HKI

Zoltán Cseresnyés/Leibniz-HKI

How do fungal infections spread in the human lung?

22/04/2022

A chip model allows us to observe growth in the tissue.
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Image: Scientist fills microplates ; Copyright: microgen

microgen

Want to 3D print a kidney? Start by thinking small

21/04/2022

Stevens computational model aims to accelerate microfluidic bio-printing that opens up a pathway for 3D printing any kind of organ at any time.
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Image: A smiling man with glasses, beard and blue jacket – Dr. Michael Kreutz; Copyright: Unimedizin Magdeburg

Unimedizin Magdeburg

HFSP funding to study synaptic lipid signatures

19/04/2022

The astonishing capacity of the brain to process and store information crucially relies on properly functioning synapses. They provide the connecting entities within neural circuits and their properties define circuit function.
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Image: Example of the microcapilliary strips loaded with samples; Copyright: Sarah Needs, Cygnus smartphone testing technology

Sarah Needs, Cygnus smartphone testing technology

Dengue detection smartphone tech shows new hope for low-cost diagnostics

14/04/2022

Accurate home testing could be used for a wider range of illnesses, as new research shows the capability of smartphone-powered tests for Dengue Fever.
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Image: demonstration of a gel that rapidly self-heals after injection to form a solid-like gel; Copyright: Abigail K. Grosskopf

Abigail K. Grosskopf

Simple delivery method enhances promising cancer treatment

13/04/2022

One cutting-edge cancer treatment exciting researchers today involves collecting and reprogramming a patient’s T cells – a special set of immune cells – then putting them back into the body ready to detect and destroy cancerous cells. Although effective for widespread blood cancers like leukemia, this method rarely succeeds at treating solid tumors.
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Image: A person in a white t-shirt is holding an anatomical model of the kidney in front of their abdomen; Copyright: PantherMedia/benschonewille

PantherMedia/benschonewille

Technology against organ shortage – Support for the successful transplant

03/02/2022

The waiting time for a donor organ is long nowadays since the need for organs vastly exceeds their availability. But we have possibilities to improve the situation and help as many people as possible to survive despite organ failure: Some organ functions can already be substituted by technology. But medicine is also researching ways to make more organs available for transplant.
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Image: Image showing part of an ECMO machine – a square part through which blood is channeled; Copyright: PantherMedia/Richmanphoto

PantherMedia/Richmanphoto

COPD: How long before the implantable lung is here?

03/01/2022

Extracorporeal membrane oxygenation (ECMO) is often a last resort treatment for patients with acute respiratory failure. The method uses an external pump to circulate blood through an artificial lung back into the bloodstream. However, the use of ECMO for long-term support is not possible for patients with chronic respiratory failure.
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Image: Man with a bare upper-body is showing an implanted cardiac support system; Copyright: PantherMedia/NikD51

PantherMedia/NikD51

Donor organs: Solving the shortage with technology

03/01/2022

Patients waiting for a donor organ must have a lot of patience and a bit of luck. Aging and a rise in chronic disease prevalence means the need for donor organs is much greater than the number that is available. To help those who need organ transplants, scientists must create new technologies.
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Image: A normothermic perfusion machine; Copyright: Charité – Universitätsmedizin Berlin

Charité – Universitätsmedizin Berlin

Machine Perfusion: Increasing the Safety of Marginal Organ Transplants

03/01/2022

The shortage of donor organs is a major global issue. An aging population, a reluctance towards organ donation, and logistical challenges related to organ shipping play an important role in this setting. Machine perfusion can be a way to expand and preserve the donor pool for eligible transplant recipients.
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Image: Face and eye of a young woman in a close-up shot; Copyright: PantherMedia/Meseritsch Herby

PantherMedia/Meseritsch Herby

Implants for the senses – Hearing and seeing with technology

01/12/2021

We can replace certain functions of the body with implants nowadays, others we cannot. When it comes to the human senses, we are still quite at the beginning. The technologies and materials we can use are way to coarse compared to our nervous system. But implants can also help us to maintain senses.
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Image: Artist’s rendering of small star-shaped machines between red blood cells; Copyright: PantherMedia/Michael Osterrieder

Autonomous medical devices: running well in your body

01/02/2021

In theory, autonomous medical technologies can be used in a diagnostic or therapeutic capacity inside the body under certain conditions. This may not sound like a new invention at first. After all, implantable cardioverter-defibrillators have monitored and fixed abnormal heart rhythm for many years.
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Image: Artist’s rendering of small robots with grapplers and searchlights that swim between red blood cells; Copyright: PantherMedia/Andreus

Autonomous medical technology: independently in the body

01/02/2021

Therapies need to be carried out with high reliability by trained personal. This will not change in the future. But maybe we will be able to let systems in the patient’s body do some of the work. Some approaches are already aiming to make implants more independent so they will be able to flexibly react to changes. Read more in our Topic of the Month!
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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: 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: 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: A miniaturized, round sensor under a fingertip; Copyright: TU Dresden

SmartLab: all-in-one automation, digitalization, and miniaturization

01/09/2020

Laboratories 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.
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Image: medical symbols around the earth in the hands of a person; Copyright: PantherMedia/everythingposs

PantherMedia/everythingposs

Israeli medical devices showcase digital innovations at MEDICA

24/08/2020

For 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.
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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: 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: 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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Image: Small brown mole on the back of a hand; Copyright: panthermedia.net/Mario Hahn

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

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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