Interviews 2018 -- MEDICA - World Forum for Medicine

Image: lung tissue under a microscope; Copyright: Takezaki et al., 2019

Gene: new therapeutic target for pulmonary fibrosis

11.10.2019

Researchers in Japan have identified a genetic mutation that causes idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis (IPF) by killing the cells lining the lung's airways. The study, which will be published October 10 in the Journal of Experimental Medicine (JEM), suggests that protecting these cells by inhibiting a cell death pathway called necroptosis could be a new therapeutic approach to treating IPF.
Read more
Image: close-up of a liver cancer stem-like cell; Copyright: Dr Toh Tan Boon, NUS N.1 Institute for Health

Cells: potential liver cancer treatment

10.10.2019

Liver cancer is the second leading cause of cancer-related deaths worldwide. The most common primary liver cancer in adults is known as hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC), and accounts for approximately 780.000 deaths every year. Even with advanced surgical treatments or transplantation, the 5-year survival rate for HCC patients remains poor due to frequent recurrence.
Read more
Image: model image of pathogens; Copyright: Sebastian Geibel

Pathogens: new insights in tuberculosis

10.10.2019

Researchers at the University of Würzburg and the Spanish Cancer Research Centre have gained new insights into the pathogen that causes tuberculosis. The work published in Nature provides the basis for a new approach in antibiotic therapy.
Read more
Image: ink is applied to a carrier plate with a 3D-Printer; Copyright: Empa

3D-Printing: Wood on our Skin

09.10.2019

Physiological parameters in our blood can be determined without painful punctures. Empa researchers are currently working with a Canadian team to develop flexible, biocompatible nanocellulose sensors that can be attached to the skin. The 3D-printed analytic chips made of renewable raw materials will even be biodegradable in future.
Read more
Image: blood vessel; Copyright: panthermedia.net/thelightwriter

Blood vessels: overly permeable

09.10.2019

In Germany alone there are around 400,000 patients who suffer from chronic inflammatory bowel diseases. For the first time, researchers have discovered that dysfunctions in blood vessels play a significant role in the development of such diseases. In experimental model systems, the progression of the disease slowed down significantly by eliminating these dysfunctions.
Read more
Image: Volker Bruns; Copyright: Fraunhofer ISS

AI software: "iSTIX opens your world to the possibilities of digital pathology"

08.10.2019

The 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.
Read more
Image: immunofluorescence of spleen sections of a mice; Copyright: IMP

Pathogens: a mechanism to control autoimmunity

08.10.2019

The immune system relies on B cells and their ability to make antibodies against an extremely broad range of pathogens. This broad responsiveness bears some risk, as B cells can also turn against healthy tissue - a phenomenon called autoimmunity.
Read more
Image: interneuron string on a black background; Copyright: Leonie Pothmann/Uni Bonn

Cells: epilepsy disrupting "brake cells" functions

07.10.2019

In some forms of epilepsy, the function of certain "brake cells" in the brain is presumed to be disrupted. This may be one of the reasons why the electrical malfunction is able to spread from the point of origin across large parts of the brain. A current study by the University of Bonn, in which researchers from Lisbon were also involved, points in this direction.
Read more
Image: cells devouring tumor cells under a microscope; Copyright: Dr Fotini Vogiatzi

Immunotherapy: a promising antibody

07.10.2019

Acute lymphoblastic leukaemia (ALL) is the most common cancer in children. This form of blood cancer is caused by malignant abnormal precursor cells of certain white blood cells, and usually leads to a rapidly progressive reduction of bone marrow function, and thus impaired blood formation.
Read more
Image: cancer cells; Copyright: The University of Texas at Dallas

Imaging: brighter way for capturing cancer during surgery

04.10.2019

University of Texas at Dallas researchers have demonstrated that imaging technology used to map the universe shows promise for more accurately and quickly identifying cancer cells in the operating room.
Read more
Image: scientist researches with light; Copyright: panthermedia.net / lightpoet

Optoceutics: A new technique using light for regenerative medicine

03.10.2019

Using light to facilitate the formation of new blood vessels: it is the breakthrough outcome of a research study carried out by researchers at Istituto Italiano di Tecnologia (IIT) in Milan (Italy). The study was published in Science Advances.
Read more
Image: Printer head on a solvent-cast 3D printer depositing the functionalized polymer inks layer-by-layer from a needle; Copyright: Lehigh University/Stephanie Veto

Regenerative medicine: biofabrication for multiple tissues

01.10.2019

Organs, muscles and bones are composed of multiple types of cells and tissues that are carefully organized to carry out a specific function. For example, kidneys are able to filter waste from the blood because of how their specialized cells and tissues are arranged. Disrupting this organization dramatically affects how cells and tissues do their job effectively.
Read more
Image: Close up of synthetic multiepitope display scaffold; Copyright: University of Bristol

Vaccination: new synthetic vaccines to combat epidemics

26.09.2019

Infectious diseases continue to plague populations worldwide. Among the means at our disposal to counter this threat, vaccination has proven to be exceptionally powerful. A new type of vaccine that can be stored at warmer temperatures, removing the need for refrigeration, has been developed for mosquito-borne virus Chikungunya in a major advance in vaccine technology.
Read more
Image: Blood in test tubes; Copyright: panthermedia.net/scanrail

Cells: mechanism for the formation of new blood vessels

24.09.2019

Researchers from Uppsala University have revealed for the first time a mechanism for how new blood vessels are formed and have shown the importance of this mechanism for embryo survival and organ function. The results could be developed to control the formation of new blood vessels in different diseases. The new study is published in the journal EMBO Reports.
Read more
Image: Illustrated DNA string; Copyright: Yen Strandqvist/Chalmers University of Technology

DNA: held together by hydrophobic forces

23.09.2019

Researchers at Chalmers University of Technology, Sweden, disprove the prevailing theory of how DNA binds itself. It is not, as is generally believed, hydrogen bonds which bind together the two sides of the DNA structure. Instead, water is the key. The discovery opens doors for new understanding in research in medicine and life sciences. The researchers' findings are presented in the journal PNAS.
Read more
Image: nanomaterial structural image; Copyright: Santos Lab

Nanotechnology: nanomedicine for efficient chemotherapy

23.09.2019

Researchers at the University of Helsinki in collaboration with researchers from Åbo Akademi University,Finland and Huazhong University of Science and Technology,China have developed a new anti-cancer nanomedicine for targeted cancer chemotherapy. This new nano-tool provides a new approach to use cell-based nanomedicines for effcient cancer chemotherapy.
Read more
Image: high-resolution fluorescence imaging of activated fibroblasts; Copyright: Wang Mao, Duke-NUS Medical School

Genetics: cardiac fibrosis study identifies key proteins

13.09.2019

Using cutting-edge technologies, researchers at Duke-NUS Medical School, Singapore, have developed the first genome-wide dataset on protein translation during fibroblast activation, revealing a network of RNA-binding proteins (RBPs) that play a key role in the formation of disease-causing fibrous tissue in the heart.
Read more
Image: tissue grown on a capillary bridge; Copyright: MPI of Colloids and Interfaces/ Sebastian Ehrig

Tissue engineering: Form is function

12.09.2019

Liquid-like tissue behavior is a key principle for the formation of structures in biological systems. Researchers at the Max Planck Institute of Colloids and Interfaces in Potsdam have shown that growing bone tissue behaves like a viscous liquid on long time scales, thereby accepting forms with minimal surface area.
Read more
Image: fat cells; Copyright: panthermedia.net/sciencepics

Genetics: women's deep belly fat strongly linked to diabetes

12.09.2019

A comprehensive study from Uppsala University, with over 325,000 participants, shows that deep belly fat is a major contributing risk factor for developing diabetes and cardiovascular disease. Moreover, the scientists investigated how our genes affect the accumulation of fat and present a new, simpler method to estimate the amount of deep belly fat.
Read more
Image: dna strings in yellow, blue and red; Copyright: panthermedia.net/khenghotoh

DNA: construction kit replaces expensive antibody medication

11.09.2019

Researchers at KU Leuven in Belgium have developed a technique to make sheep produce new antibodies simply by injecting the DNA building blocks. This approach is much cheaper and more efficient than producing antibodies industrially and administering them afterwards. The study in animals with a similar size as humans brings us a step closer to the clinical use of antibody gene therapy.
Read more
Image: electronic platforms in different shapes; Copyright: Muhammad Hussain

Wearables: reconfigurable electronics promising innovations

11.09.2019

Medical implants of the future may feature reconfigurable electronic platforms that can morph in shape and size dynamically as bodies change or transform to relocate from one area to monitor another within our bodies.
Read more
Image: scan of a lung; Copyright: panthermedia.net/Guzel

Imaging: reducing lung cancer mortality

10.09.2019

A combination of the EarlyCDT-Lung Test followed by CT imaging in Scottish patients at risk for lung cancer resulted in a significant decrease in late stage diagnosis of lung cancer and may decrease lung cancer specific mortality, according to research presented at IASLC 2019 World Conference on Lung Cancer hosted by the International Association for the Study of Lung Cancer (IASLC).
Read more
Image: woman sitting down; Copyright: panthermedia.net/photographee

Stem cells: antihistamines can kill leukaemic stem cells

09.09.2019

The IJC Leukaemic Stem Cell research group, led by Ruth M. Risueño, has discovered in preclinical trials that a particular group of antihistamines can kill leukaemic stem cells. This group investigates Acute Myeloid Leukaemia (AML) and the cell population responsible for the disease spreading, persisting, and if it has been treated and overcome, reappear.
Read more
 Image: reasearcher in laboratory; Copyright: panthermedia.net/kasto

Islet-on-a-chip: miniature device for diabetes research

30.08.2019

In a study led by Harvard University's Kevin Kit Parker, microfluidics and human, insulin-producing beta cells have been integrated in an "Islet-on-a-Chip". The new device makes it easier for scientists to screen insulin-producing cells before transplanting them into a patient, test insulin-stimulating compounds, and study the fundamental biology of diabetes.
Read more
Image: DNA strand; Copyright: panthermedia.net/everythingposs

Analyzing systems: technique stores cellular 'memory' in DNA

29.08.2019

Engineers program human and bacterial cells to keep a record of complex molecular events. Using a technique that can precisely edit DNA bases, MIT researchers have created a way to store complex "memories" in the DNA of living cells, including human cells.
Read more
Image: Tissue engeneering – mouse pulmonary artery model; Copyright: Alain Herzog / 2019 EPFL

Tissue Engeneering: bioprinting complex living tissue

26.08.2019

Tissue engineers create artificial organs and tissues that can be used to develop and test new drugs, repair damaged tissue and even replace entire organs in the human body. However, current fabrication methods limit their ability to produce free-form shapes and achieve high cell viability.
Read more
Image: Rodins The Thinker with yellow-brownish structures around it; Copyright:

Laboratory medicine: biomaterials smarten up with CRISPR

23.08.2019

The CRISPR-Cas system has become the go-to tool for researchers who study genes in an ever-growing list of organisms, and is being used to develop new gene therapies that potentially can correct a defect at a single nucleotide position of the vast reaches of the genome.
Read more
Image: Two ellbows affected by psoriasis; Copyright: panthermedia.net/Hriana

Shedding light on PUVA light therapy for skin diseases

22.08.2019

Together with their Munich-based colleagues, a team of physical chemists from Heinrich Heine University Düsseldorf (HHU) has clarified which chemical reactions take place during PUVA therapy. The therapy involves light-induced damage to the DNA of diseased cells. The team working under Prof. Peter Gilch has now published its findings in the Journal of the American Chemical Society.
Read more
Image: blood samples; Copyright: Max Planck Institute for Biology of Ageing

Biomarker: health indication in old age

21.08.2019

Researchers on ageing from the Max Planck Institute for Biology of Ageing and the Leiden University Medical Center (LUMC) collaborate to link basic insights from model organisms to the causes of ageing in humans. They can determine the disease vulnerability of older people using a defined set of substances in the blood.
Read more
Image: nanoparticles in a close-up; Copyright: panthermedia.net/raimund14

Precision medicine: graphene nanoflakes as a new tool

20.08.2019

Chemists funded by the SNSF have created a new compound for flexible drug delivery that specifically targets prostate cancer cells. Incorporating four different molecules, the compound prevents tumour cells from multiplying, can be detected by medical imaging and has staying power in the bloodstream.
Read more
Image: Cells of the retinal pigment epithelium; Copyright: Julia Johansson and Teemu Ihalainen, Tampere University

Sensory cells: new insight on retinal diseases

19.08.2019

Finnish researchers have found cellular components in the epithelial tissue of the eye, which have previously been thought to only be present in electrically active tissues, such as those in nerves and the heart. A study at Tampere University found that these components, voltage-gated sodium (Nav) channels, are involved in the renewal of sensory cells in the adjacent neural tissue, the retina.
Read more
Image: self-calibrating endoscope; Copyright: J. Czarske, TU Dresden, Germany

Imaging: 3D images of objects smaller than a cell

19.08.2019

Researchers have developed a new self-calibrating endoscope that produces 3D images of objects smaller than a single cell. Without a lens or any optical, electrical or mechanical components, the tip of the endoscope measures just 200 microns across, about the width of a few human hairs twisted together.
Read more
Image: illustration of nanodestructive characterization of stem cell differentiation through exosomal miRNA detection; Copyright: Jin-Ho Lee/Rutgers University-New Brunswick

Nanotechnology: better stem cell transplantation research

15.08.2019

Nanotechnology developed at Rutgers University-New Brunswick could boost research on stem cell transplantation, which may help people with Alzheimer's disease, Parkinson's disease, other neurodegenerative diseases and central nervous system injuries.
Read more
Image: man - Muhammed Murtaza - in the laboratory; Copyright: Courtesy of TGen

Blood test: liquid biopsy improves breast cancer diagnostics

14.08.2019

A new type of blood test for breast cancer could help avoid thousands of unnecessary surgeries and otherwise precisely monitor disease progression, according to a study led by the Translational Genomics Research Institute (TGen) and Mayo Clinic in Arizona.
Read more
Image: two men in the laboratory; Copyright: DGIST

Diagnostics: mass spectrometric technique using laser and graphene

12.08.2019

A technology that can obtain high-resolution, micrometer-sized images for mass spectrometric analysis without sample preparation has been developed. DGIST Research Fellow Jae Young Kim and Chair-professor Dae Won Moon's team succeeded in developing the precise analysis and micrometer-sized imaging of bio samples using a small and inexpensive laser.
Read more
Image:  bone tissue replicated with 3D technology; Copyright: panthermedia.net/eranicle

Regenerative medicine: 'Bone in a dish'

07.08.2019

Like real bone, the material developed at Oregon Health & Science University has a 3D mineral structure populated with living cells, providing a unique model to study bone function, diseases, regeneration.
Read more
Image: Mouse cochlea with hair cells shown in green and auditory nerves shown in red.; Copyright: Doetzlhofer lab

Tissue engineering: restoring damaged cells in the ear

06.08.2019

Using genetic tools in mice, researchers at Johns Hopkins Medicine say they have identified a pair of proteins that precisely control when sound-detecting cells, known as hair cells, are born in the mammalian inner ear. The proteins, described in a report published June 12 in eLife, may hold a key to future therapies to restore hearing in people with irreversible deafness.
Read more
Image: Multi-Electrode Layout for Parallel Analysis of Multiple Cell Samples in Microfluic-Chips.; Copyright: Fraunhofer EMFT, Bernd Müller

Cell observation: new approach in the fight against viruses

06.08.2019

In the ViroSens project, researchers from the Fraunhofer-Gesellschaft in Sulzbach and Regensburg are working together with industrial partners on a novel analytical method to make the potency testing of vaccines more efficient and cost-effective.
Read more
Image: The signalling protein Fyn moving and forming clusters in living brain cells - viewed using super-resolution microscopy.; Copyright: Meunier Lab, University of Queensland

Dementia: Super-resolution microscopy sheds light

05.08.2019

University of Queensland researchers have used super-resolution microscopy to observe key molecules at work inside living brain cells, further unravelling the puzzle of memory formation and the elusive causes of dementia.
Read more
Image: A researcher displays the pliability of a trileaf heart valve bioprinted in collagen.; Copyright: Carnegie Mellon University College of Engineering

Tissue engineering: 3D printing the human heart

05.08.2019

A team of researchers from Carnegie Mellon University has published a paper in Science that details a new technique allowing anyone to 3D bioprint tissue scaffolds out of collagen, the major structural protein in the human body. This first-of-its-kind method brings the field of tissue engineering one step closer to being able to 3D print a full-sized, adult human heart.
Read more
Image: Man who had a stroke might be treated with thrombectomy; Copyright: panthermedia.net/olegdudko

Thrombectomy: potential treatment for larger strokes

31.07.2019

Building on research results published today in JAMA Neurology showing patients with larger ischemic strokes could benefit from endovascular thrombectomy, an international, multicenter Phase III clinical trial will be starting at The University of Texas Health Science Center at Houston (UTHealth).
Read more
Image: sterile titanium blanks; Copyright: Sergey Gnuskov/NUST MISIS

Implants: hybrid implant imitates bone structure

25.07.2019

The National University of Science and Technology MISIS together with their colleagues from the N.N. Blokhin National Medical Research Centre of oncology developed a unique implant to replace the damaged bone fragment. The implant, which imitates real bone structure, was installed to a domestic cat with osteosarcoma by surgeons of the veterinary clinic "Biocontrol".
Read more
Image: blood test; Copyright: panthermedia.net/belchonock

Blood test: may also identify people at most TB risk

23.07.2019

A new study conducted by researchers in Leicester and Nottingham has shown the potential for a new blood test to not only diagnose human tuberculosis (TB) but also identify those at most risk of developing the disease.
Read more
Image: Two men in the zoo holding turtles in their hands; Copyright: Oliver Dietze

Diagnostics: Animal blood samples help predict human diseases

17.07.2019

Penguins, Asian elephants and many other animal species live in the zoos of Saarbrücken and Neunkirchen. As they come from different continents, blood is regularly taken from the animals to check their health.
Read more
Image: Cell cultivation in a Petri dish; Copyright: panthermedia.net / matej kastelic

Organ-on-a-chip – Organs in miniature format

01.02.2019

In 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.
Read more
Image: Man and woman in a laboratory presenting a multi-organ chip; Copyright: TissUse GmbH

Multi-Organ Chips – The Patients of Tomorrow?

01.02.2019

The 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.
Read more
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.
Read more
Photo: Preview picture of video

From algorithm to rapid test – Artificial Intelligence classifies blood cells

21.11.2018

Our 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.
Read more
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.
Read more
Image: AcCellerator research device at an exhibition stand; Copyright: Daniel Klaue, ZELLMECHANIK DRESDEN GmbH

Cells in the speed trap – diagnosis in a matter of seconds

22.06.2018

A 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.
Read more
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.
Read more
Image: yellow tape measure with capsules in front of it; Copyright: panthermedia.net/Jiri Hera

Personalized cancer medicine: customized treatment

01.03.2018

Everyone 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?
Read more
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.
Read more
Image:

"Spray-On" muscle fibers for biomimetic surfaces

08.01.2018

Few 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.
Read more
Image: interferometric detection of scattered light, iSCAT; Copyright: MPL

Interface between Physics and Medicine: new interdisciplinary center

22.08.2017

Physics has always supported medical science, especially when it comes to practical implementation. Now physicists and health professionals join in collaborative research at an interdisciplinary Center in Erlangen and incorporate fundamental principles of theoretical physics in their studies of diseases.
Read more
Image: blood is taken from a finger and analysed by a blood testing device; Copyright:hes_so_valais_wallis

Without any delay: drug dose adjustment at the point of care

01.08.2017

Many therapeutic drugs are very powerful, but they are also very toxic at the same time. Thus, they have to be measured regularly, again and again, so that an adjustment of the individual drug dosage can be made. Until now, the "normal" way was to take the blood sample, send it to a central laboratory and get the results after some days. A new point-of-care test can measure it in 15 minutes.
Read more
Image: Preview picture of video

Light microscope ChipScope - a glimpse into living cells

14.07.2017

A microscope that is only a few millimeters in size and that can help to consider cell changes in real time. This is the goal of the EU project ChipScope. Scientists led by Dr. Hutomo Wasisto in Braunschweig help to make this project come true.
Read more
Image: An eye surgeon and an assistant are treating a patient with a surgical laser; Copyright: University Hospital Dresden/Felix Koopmann

Eye surgery: precision and prevention with femtosecond lasers

03.07.2017

Precision work is absolutely essential in eye surgery since the surgical site is very minute and sensitive. This is why eye surgeons have been using lasers for years. Femtosecond lasers are especially well suited to serve this purpose because they are able to cut tissue with great precision and little energy, which prevents unwanted side effects of surgery.
Read more