03/05/2022Tobias 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.
20/04/2022Expert in hearing prosthetics receives renowned ERC funding award from the European Union.
12/04/2022An international research team has successfully developed and tested a concept in which nerves are stimulated with light pulses. The method provides considerable advantages for medicine and opens up a wide range of possible applications.
31/03/2022Researchers have been awarded a $2.6 million, four-year National Institutes of Health grant to evaluate a safer and more durable stent design, using techniques licensed by the UAB spinoff company Endomimetics LLC.
01/03/2022People who suffer from partial or total loss of vision caused by illness must use assistive technology to replace their sense of sight. In recent years, implants offered hope of restoring limited functional vision. Now an innovative microchip designed to help with age-related macular degeneration (AMD) is currently undergoing international testing.
03/02/2022The 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.
03/01/2022Extracorporeal 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.
03/01/2022Patients 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.
01/12/2021Disease, injury, or a condition you were born with – reasons why some people must live without one or several of their five senses. Fortunately, there are many modern sensory aids that help replace one sense with another, which is especially the case when it comes to vision and hearing. Given technology's advancements, can artificial or biological implants someday soon be a viable alternative?
01/12/2021Chronic conditions require close monitoring to ensure a successful therapeutic outcome. Unfortunately, patients aren't always able to perform their own measurements and the exam intervals between appointments are frequently too long. An innovative implant is designed to address this gap in glaucoma care and treatment and enable patients to make intraocular pressure measurements on their own.
01/12/2021We 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.
01/12/2021Cochlear implants are devices that partially restore hearing in wearers. Unfortunately, the signal transmission from the implant to the auditory nerve is still rather basic, thus limiting the sound quality. Future implants could be more accurate in this setting by using light versus electrical pulses to stimulate nerve cells in the ear.
09/08/2021Stroke rehabilitation exercises are essential to regain mobility and strength in the body. Each patient recovers lost skills and function differently. A recent study has now examined how vagus nerve stimulation with electrical impulses during stroke rehab could improve arm mobility.
25/05/2021Diseases can affect the lungs in different ways that can be challenging. If the lungs are badly damaged and artificial ventilation (also called artificial respiration) is no longer effective, an ECMO machine comes into play. Right now, artificial lungs reside outside the body and cannot be implanted.
01/04/2021Surgeons have only limited options to practice surgical techniques before they enter the operating room. The implantation of an endoprosthesis requires extensive practical training since it necessitates strength and utmost precision. The "Dynamic HIPS" project develops a virtual reality hip implant simulator that provides realistic haptic feedback.
01/02/2021In 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.
01/02/2021Drugs always have undesired side effects. Cytostatics are powerful drugs used to treat cancer. They reach almost all cells in the body, killing healthy cells as well as cancer cells in the process. A targeted delivery to the specific cellular site would be a gentler treatment.
01/02/2021Today we use implants to stabilize or compensate for injuries inside the body and to aid in the healing process. Implants cannot act autonomously and treat the patient if they deem it necessary. However, it is just a matter of time before this happens because research on intelligent implant materials that respond to stimuli is on the cusp of a breakthrough.
01/02/2021Therapies 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!
23/11/2020Active implants such as pacemakers revolutionized healthcare decades ago. But they also have disadvantages: their size and relatively short life span, for example. At Fraunhofer IZM, research is therefore being conducted on durable microimplants that stimulate nerve cells electrically in a targeted manner and are even to be used to treat multiple sclerosis.
03/02/2020Regenerative 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.
01/01/2020Today, 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.
01/01/2020When natural joints lose their ability to function, they can be completely or partially replaced by artificial joints, also called endoprostheses. Endoprostheses must be of a certain quality, as they should remain in the body as long as possible. In addition to some risks, endoprostheses can also contribute to a mobile and carefree life for young and old.
01/01/2020Joints can suddenly or gradually deteriorate and lose their natural strength, whether it’s due to accidents, diseases or simple wear and tear. In some of these cases, implants of artificial joints – endoprostheses - can help. As a joint replacement, they are designed to stay in the body for as long as needed and as such improve the patient’s quality of life and mobility.
08/03/2019Orthopedic implants – they are a necessity when it comes to congenital or acquired limb length discrepancies. However, full weight-bearing during the limb lengthening process is not feasible with previous implant models. For the first time, the 3D Surgery division at the Medical Center of the University of Munich has succeeded in using an implant that facilitates immediate weight-bearing.
23/07/2018Every year, more than 250,000 patients worldwide receive heart valve implants. Children require repeated replacement surgery because their bodies are still growing, the prosthetic heart valves are not. Regenerative heart valves solve this problem. Until now, we have only been able to monitor how these living implants develop in the body after the fact. Computer models now make this predictable.
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.
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.