Autonomous medical technology: independently in the body -- MEDICA - World Forum for Medicine

Image: A white plastic chip with green, yellow and blue microfluidic chambers; Copyright: ETH Zurich / Julia Boos

Toxicity testing on the placenta and embryo

27/07/2021

Drugs must be safe not just for the patients; in the case of pregnant patients, drugs must also be safe for the unborn children still in the womb. Therefore, at an early stage in the development of new medicines, candidate substances are tested in the Petri dish on embryonic stem cells from mouse cell lines.
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Image: Two women and a man in front of a building - Sonja Langthaler, Christian Baumgartner, Theresa Rienmüller; Copyright: Helmut Lunghammer/TU Graz

World's first digital model of a cancer cell

16/07/2021

The computer model, developed under the lead management of researchers at TU Graz, simulates the cyclical changes in the membrane potential of a cancer cell using the example of human lung adenocarcinoma and opens up completely new avenues in cancer research.
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Image: A chip connected to different cables; Copyright: Fraunhofer ENAS

Miniature spectrometer for the smartphone

15/07/2021

Recognizing fake drugs? Testing water samples ourselves? Checking the quality of air? In the future, it could be possible to do all this using a smartphone in a quick, cost-effective and straightforward way. The process is being made possible by a spectrometer from the Fraunhofer Institute for Electronic Nano Systems ENAS.
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Image: A young male physician with a white coat sitting in front of a computer; Copyright: PantherMedia/DragosCondreaW

EHR alerts go unread, do not lead to deprescribing of medicines

12/07/2021

The vast majority of electronic health record (EHR) alerts attempting to reduce the prescribing of high-risk medications linked to dementia in older adults went unread in a study led by research scientists from Regenstrief Institute, Purdue University and Indiana University School of Medicine.
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Image: A long blue stent with spikes; Copyright: MIT

Stents inspired by paper-cutting art can deliver drugs to the GI tract

24/06/2021

Inspired by kirigami, the Japanese art of folding and cutting paper to create three-dimensional structures, MIT engineers and their collaborators have designed a new type of stent that could be used to deliver drugs to the gastrointestinal tract, respiratory tract, or other tubular organs in the body.
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Image: Image of a piece of tissue in three different colors with different markings; Copyright: Joel Greenberg, Duke University

X-ray scanner spots cancers and analyzes drugs in minutes

18/06/2021

Engineers at Duke University have demonstrated a prototype X-ray scanning machine that reveals not just the shape of an object but its molecular composition. With unprecedented resolution and accuracy, the technology could revolutionize a wide range of fields such as cancer surgery, pathology, drug inspection and geology.
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Image: White pills are treated with a small blue flame that comes out of a nozzle; Copyright: Falko Oldenburg/Fraunhofer IST

Research from Braunschweig enables innovative pharmaceutical products

11/06/2021

Braunschweig continues to expand its strengths in the manufacture of individualized pharmaceutical products. For this purpose, the Fraunhofer Institute for Surface Engineering and Thin Films IST and the Center of Pharmaceutical Engineering (PVZ) of the Technische Universität Braunschweig are cooperating for the first time.
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Microfluidics: efficiently smuggling drugs into cells

19/05/2021

A 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.
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Image: Two men are standing on a ledge over a big device - Martin Hengesbach and Andreas Schlundt; Copyright: Goethe University Frankfurt

SARS-CoV-2: protocols for laboratories

18/05/2021

For the development of drugs or vaccines against COVID-19, research needs virus proteins of high purity. For most of the SARS-CoV-2 proteins, scientists at Goethe University Frankfurt and a total of 36 partner laboratories have now developed protocols that enable the production of several milligrams of each of these proteins with high purity.
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Image: A female researcher in a laboratory, holding a pipette - Prof. Illana Gozes; Copyright: Tel Aviv University

Orthopedic implants: effective inflammation prevention

18/05/2021

Dental and orthopedic implants are widely used around the world. Common causes for implant failure are the immune response against oral bacteria and titanium particles shed by the implant.
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Image: A male and a female researcher standing in a laboratory - Prof. Raz Jelinek and student Ravit Malishev; Copyright: Dani Machlis/BGU

Molecular tweezers attack antibiotic resistant bacteria

17/05/2021

Researchers from Ben-Gurion University (BGU), together with American and German colleagues, have developed new "molecular tweezers" to combat antibiotic-resistant bacteria. Their recently announced findings were published in Cell Chemical Biology.
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Image: Two small, angular-shaped, electrical devices that are held with tweezers; Copyright: Fraunhofer EMFT/Bernd Müller

Tumor therapy: drug delivery pump instead of injection

01/02/2021

Drugs 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.
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Image: A group of researchers is discussing a chemical structural formula in front of a whiteboard; Copyright: PantherMedia/depositedhar

Intelligent implants: when the material is the key to the solution

01/02/2021

Today 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.
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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: Drawing of a man and woman talking about a medication plan; Copyright: mein.klinikplan.de

eMMa: medication management app improves patient care

08/05/2020

A conversation between the patient and the doctor is always at the start of the health journey. The idea is to set the stage and share important information. This process can be shortened if information is already available in digital form. In the future, patients can submit their medication plan via app thanks to "eMMa".
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Medicine at the pulse of time: Innovations and trends at MEDICA 2019

04/11/2019

Soon, 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.
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Image: A greenly lit laboratory device; Copyright: Sven Döring

Photonics: "We want a rapid and easy method to identify pathogens and antibiotic resistance"

01/08/2019

The medical devices value chain has gaps between academic research and industrial practice that slow down innovation processes. This also applies to time-sensitive and urgently needed products such as rapid diagnostic tests to identify resistant pathogens. At the InfectoGnostics Research Campus in Jena, partners from research and medicine team up to close these gaps.
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Image: Two petri dishes with different kinds of agar plates on which bacterial cultures are growing; Copyright: panthermedia.net/photographee.eu

Antibiotic resistance: technical tricks against pathogens

01/08/2019

An 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.
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Image: A lab technician is using a pipette to fill a solution into a petri dish; Copyright: panthermedia.net/Arne Trautmann

Last-resort antibiotics: "We can identify carbapenemases within half an hour"

01/08/2019

Antibiotic 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.
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Image: A man is holding a hand full of pill blisters with antibiotics; Copyright: panthermedia.net/alexkalina

Combating antibiotic resistance: One step ahead through technology

01/08/2019

Antibiotic resistance is on the rise in all parts of the world, complicating medical treatment of serious bacterial infections in patients. The World Health Organization estimates that approximately 33,000 people die each year from antibiotic-resistant bacteria in Europe alone. Bacteria that are resistant to multiple or even all known antibiotics pose an ever-increasing threat.
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All-round care for COPD: diagnosis, treatment, self-management

01/03/2019

COPD affects more than 200 million people in the world. Those affected by this chronic pulmonary disease are often slow to notice the symptoms and get a medical diagnosis. This results in secondary complications and high medical costs. That's why an early diagnosis, comprehensive treatment, and frequent monitoring are very important. Various devices and tools support this all-round care.
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Image: Dosage inhaler and stethoscope in front of a shelf; Copyright: panthermedia.net/liudmilachernetska@gmail.com

React early, breathe free – comprehensive COPD management

01/03/2019

COPD is considered the third most common cause of death worldwide and mainly affects smokers. It is not curable, but with the right combination of early diagnosis, therapy and self-management, a significant part of the quality of life can be regained. The comprehensive care is supported by various devices and technical tools. Learn more about the all-round care of COPD in our Topic of the Month.
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Image: Preemie doll with drug delivery system on the nose; Copyright: Fraunhofer ITEM/Till Holland

Gentle medication for the little ones – with every breath

22/02/2019

According to the WHO, ten percent of babies worldwide are born prematurely. Since most organs of these tiny babies have not fully developed yet, it can quickly lead to complications and disorders and most notably affect the lungs of the premature infants. What's more, infections require gentle treatment, as the preemies themselves are fragile and susceptible – making this a challenging situation.
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Hybrid Imaging – Two Views of the Lungs

25/01/2019

CT scan, MRI or X-ray: All these methods allow doctors to see inside the body - including inside the lungs - and make a diagnosis. The clinic for Nuclear Medicine at the RWTH Aachen University Hospital uses a state-of-the-art gamma camera that combines SPECT and CT.
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The cure is in the capsule: carbon monoxide to treat chronic inflammation

22/05/2018

This unusual ally can be extremely valuable in the fight against inflammation in the body: CO (carbon monoxide). As a therapeutic gas, it also promises relief for inflammatory gastrointestinal diseases. Having said that, it is difficult to transport the active ingredient to the exact desired location.
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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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