Background Reports 2019 -- MEDICA - World Forum for Medicine

Image: mini-gut organoid generated in the lab; Copyright: UC San Diego Health Sciences

Gut-in-a-dish model to define gut leaks

11.02.2020

Leaky gut is most often experienced by older people, patients with cancers or other chronic ailments, and people with especially stressful lifestyles. Stressors break down the zipper-like junctions between the cells that form the gut lining. Microbes and molecules that subsequently leak out through these cell gaps can trigger an immune response, contributing to a variety of diseases.
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Image: movement points classified for and with AI; Copyright: Neuro Event Labs

AI: analyzing myoclonus severity from video footage

10.02.2020

Fast, reliable and automatic assessment of the severity of myoclonic jerks from video footage is now possible, thanks to an algorithm using deep convolutional neural network architecture and pretrained models that identify and track keypoints in the human body.
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Image: A computer-generated image of the circulatory system surrounding the heart; Copyright: panthermedia.net/Sebastian Kaulitzki

Implants: researchers lay foundation for next generation aortic grafts

04.02.2020

A new study by researchers at McGill University has measured the dynamic physical properties of the human aorta, laying the foundation for the development of grafts capable of mimicking the native behavior of the human body's largest artery.
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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: 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: Colored image of a tissue sample; Copyright: UC San Diego Health Sciences

Regenerative medicine: new injection technique for spinal cord repair

03.02.2020

In rodent studies, a new method reduced likelihood of further spinal cord trauma while delivering large doses of potentially reparative stem cells. This approach may have utility for multiple neurodegenerative conditions.
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Image: 2D and 3D fluidic networks by modularized stereolithography; Copyright: SUTD

3D printing of finer, more complex microfluidic networks

31.01.2020

First introduced in the 1980s, stereolithography (SL) is an additive manufacturing process that prints 3D objects by the selective curing of liquid polymer resin using an ultra-violet (UV) light source in a layer-by-layer fashion. The polymer employed undergoes a photochemical reaction which turns it from liquid to solid when exposed to UV illumination.
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Image: Organoids grown in the laboratory on some kind of bottles; Copyright: AlessioCoser for University of Trento

Organoids to study pediatric brain tumors

30.01.2020

Researchers are at work to find effective treatments to help young patients with brain tumors. Hundreds of brain organoids have been developed in the laboratories of the University of Trento to understand the genetic mechanisms responsible for these hard to treat diseases.
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Image: A smartphone is held above a petri dish with test strips; Copyright: University of Bath

Smartphone cameras can speed up urinary tract infection diagnosis

13.01.2020

Biological Engineers at the University of Bath have developed a test that could help medics quickly diagnose urinary tract infections (UTIs), using a normal smartphone camera.
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Image: professor shows the microfluidic chip to the camera; Copyright: The University of Texas at Dallas

Lab-on-a-chip: fabricated corneal tissue shows how eyes heal

10.01.2020

Cells called corneal keratocytes are innately programmed to come to the rescue if the eye is injured. This natural healing process sometimes fails, however, resulting in scarring and blindness. Scientists are still trying to understand why.
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Image: view on the hands of a laboratory worker; Copyright: K. Dobberke für Fraunhofer ISC

Tissue Engineering: new ways to avoid animal testing

26.11.2019

Around 60 international experts met on November 7 at the Fraunhofer Institute for Silicate Research ISC in Wuerzburg to report on the state of the art in the field of 3D tissue models and prevention of animal experiments in the development of pharmaceuticals and medical devices.
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Image: printed test electrodes; Copyright: Fraunhofer IBMT

Wearables: mental disorder diagnosis and functional restoration

26.11.2019

NanoEDGE, coordinated by Fraunhofer IBMT, is a research project aiming at converging production techniques for functionalized electrodes with expertise in nanomaterial fabrication and characterization, state-of-the-art engineering, and neuroscience to pave the way for the production of multi-level sensors that can rigorously enhance the performance of established monitoring methods like EEG.
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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

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

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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