Interviews 2019 -- MEDICA - World Forum for Medicine

Image: A man with short grey-black hair and beard and a red sweater is sitting in a laboratory - Nicola Crosetto; Copyright: Stefan Zimmerman

Low-cost method for finding new coronavirus variants

30/06/2021

Researchers at Karolinska Institutet in Sweden have developed a technology for cost-effective surveillance of the global spread of new SARS-CoV-2 variants. The technique is presented in Nature Communications.
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Image: A laboratory employee takes a black test cartridge out of a testing device; Copyright: Sebastian Kissel/TUM

Automated microarray rapid test for detecting SARS-CoV-2 antibodies

28/06/2021

During the continued progression of the Corona pandemic, rapid, inexpensive, and reliable tests will become increasingly important to determine whether people have the associated antibodies – either through infection or vaccination.
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Image: A young man holding a rapid test for the Corona virus in one hand; Copyright: PantherMedia/Patrick Daxenbichler

Research finds ways to improve accuracy of Lateral Flow Tests

24/06/2021

Research published in the journal ACS Materials and Interfaces has provided new understanding of how false-negative results in Lateral Flow Tests occur and provides opportunity for simple improvements to be made.
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Image: A blue surface where round craters are marked by white arrows; Copyright: Northwestern University

New material could remove respiratory droplets from air

23/06/2021

Although plexiglass barriers are seemingly everywhere these days - between grocery store lanes, around restaurant tables and towering above office cubicles - they are an imperfect solution to blocking virus transmission.
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Image: A modern hospital room with two beds; Copyright: Tom Bauer/TU Braunschweig

Patient room of the future comes to Braunschweig

22/06/2021

Architecture can prevent infections in hospitals. The walk-in model of a new type of patient room shows how this can be done. It was developed by a team from the fields of architecture, medicine and molecular biology in the KARMIN research project.
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Image: A gloved hand holding up a petri dish with bacterial cultures; Copyright: PantherMedia/photographee.eu

Web tool fights antibacterial resistance

21/06/2021

Technology developed by a Texas A&M School of Public Health researcher takes a decades-old experiment to the next level.
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Image: A man and a woman in front of a metal sculpture - Sana Anbuhi, Hamid Tali; Copyright: Concordia University

COVID-19: breaking down the diagnostic arsenal

21/06/2021

For a new paper published in Clinical Microbiology Reviews, a team of researchers led by Concordia engineers sifted through hundreds of papers on COVID-19 detection tools and technologies. They wanted to categorize and understand what exists, what is lacking and what can be improved.
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Image: Three men in a laboratory, on checks how a face mask is fitting another - Rupak Banerjee, Israel Ajiboye, Sheyash Manegaonker; Copyright: Ravenna Rutledge/UC Creative

COVID-19: better-fitting face masks greatly improve protection

18/06/2021

Even the best face masks work only as well as their fit. And poorly fitting face masks greatly increase the risk of infection from airborne pathogens compared to custom-fitted masks, according to a new study by the University of Cincinnati.
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Image: An image of a colored tissue section; Copyright: UC San Diego Health Sciences

AI predicts how patients with viral infections will fare

16/06/2021

Gene expression patterns associated with pandemic viral infections provide a map to help define patients' immune responses, measure disease severity, predict outcomes and test therapies - for current and future pandemics.
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Image: A swab is lying across a sample vial; Copyright: PantherMedia/fotoquique

Point-of-care tests: rapid diagnosis in emergency situations

01/06/2021

In emergency medicine, a faster diagnosis leads to a faster treatment of the patient. Point-of-care test solutions can provide immediate on-site insights into the patient’s condition. COVID-19 adds another dimension: the devices can provide a level of security and safety – one that goes beyond intensive care.
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Image: A sheet of gold leaf cut into a circular shape next to a coin; Copyright: Adapted from ACS Central Science 2021

Gold leaf could help diagnose viral infections in low-resource settings

21/05/2021

Gold leaf - gold metal hammered into thin sheets - is used by artists and crafters to gild picture frames, artwork and clothing. Despite its luxurious appearance, the material is affordable and available at most craft stores.
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Image: A researcher in a lab is holding a microfluidic chip in his hand - Tza-Huei Wang; Copyright: Will Kirk/Johns Hopkins University

Device for fast gonorrhea diagnosis

21/05/2021

A Johns Hopkins University-led team has created an inexpensive portable device and cellphone app to diagnose gonorrhea in less than 15 minutes and determine if a particular strain will respond to frontline antibiotics.
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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 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: Male physician washing his hands; Copyright: Panthermedia/robertprzybysz

Seconds save lives – clean your hands! - World Hand Hygiene Day 2021

05/05/2021

In the spring of 2020, the onset of the Corona pandemic brought the importance of clean hands to the public's attention. Washing hands with soap for 30 seconds was one of the first precautions advised against the virus. But even without Corona, clean hands save lives, especially in healthcare settings.
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Image: A female laboratory employee is operating a large device; Copyright: Matthews Septimus/The Rockerfeller University

'Breakthrough' cases suggest COVID testing may be here to stay

30/04/2021

In rare cases, people who have been fully vaccinated against COVID and are immune to the virus can nevertheless develop the disease. New findings from The Rockefeller University now suggest that these so-called breakthrough cases may be driven by rapid evolution of the virus, and that ongoing testing of immunized individuals will be important to help mitigate future outbreaks.
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Image: A young man with an oxygen tube attached to the nose is sitting next to a large mirror; Copyright: Amayu Wakoya Gena/Bauhaus-Universität Weimar

COVID-19: investigating the risk of infection from ventilated patients

29/04/2021

Together with intensive care physicians at the Kloster Grafschaft-Fachkrankenhaus, scientists at the Bauhaus-Universität Weimar are investigating how virus-infected air spreads among ventilated patients. The goal is to prevent the spread of infection in hospitals and care homes.
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Image: Coloured image of a bacterial cell; Copyright: Empa

Fighting harmful bacteria with nanoparticles

28/04/2021

In the arms race "mankind against bacteria", bacteria are currently ahead of us. Our former miracle weapons, antibiotics, are failing more and more frequently when germs use tricky maneuvers to protect themselves from the effects of these drugs.
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Image: A sick woman in lying in bed, blowing her nose and wearing a smartwatch at her wrist; Copyright: PantherMedia/ryanking999

Coronavirus: "A pandemic is a behavioral phenomenon"

31/03/2021

At the virtual.MEDICA 2020 trade fair, Prof. Dirk Brockmann delivered the keynote address in the MEDICA CONNECTED HEALTHCARE FORUM on digital epidemiology, which got a big boost thanks to the coronavirus pandemic. It can help us understand how human behavior influences the course of the pandemic.
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Image: disinfection of a door handle around which coronaviruses are flying; Copyright: PantherMedia/AntonMatyukha

Necessity is the mother of invention – innovations in the corona pandemic

01/03/2021

Keeping your distance, washing your hands, wearing a mask – such protective measures have been the order of the day since the SARS-CoV-2 pandemic began. But appropriate products or procedures are not suitable for everyone, are often unavailable or, despite everything, carry a residual risk. The need for new, better solutions is high. But necessity is the mother of invention.
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Image: A long hallway in a hospital with a lot of doors; Copyright: PantherMedia/dlpn

Disinfection: antibacterial coating on surfaces in the ICU

01/03/2021

All hospitalized patients are susceptible to contracting a nosocomial infection, with ICU patients being particularly at risk. The effects of these hospital-acquired infections are often more dangerous than the original reason for the in-patient hospitalization. The "PACMAN" project is now testing an antimicrobial coating for frequently used contact surfaces at high risk of pathogen transmission.
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Image: Finger of a woman touches sketch of a luminous light bulb; Copyright: PantherMedia/Andreus

Hygiene and disinfection: innovations against Covid-19

01/03/2021

When urgently needed products such as masks become scarce or conventional disinfection processes reach their limits, inventiveness is called for. And there is usually plenty of it in times of crisis. What innovations has the current corona pandemic already produced? How can they supplement or even replace existing products and processes?
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Image: Pharmacist with the transparent mask miama; Copyright: iuvas medical GmbH

Miama: transparent face mask uncovers facial expressions

01/03/2021

Over 50% of our communication is made up of facial expressions and gestures. Nonverbal communication is especially important to deaf or hearing-impaired people or people with dementia. A conventional mask makes this more difficult, may promote miscommunication and contribute to medical errors in extreme cases. Yet it is paramount to use a mask amid this pandemic. Miama helps solve this problem.
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Image: Self-disinfecting mask and associated battery are held up to the camera; Copyright: ZHAW/Hannes Heinzer

Self-disinfecting mask: germ-free at the push of a button

08/02/2021

Disinfection and masks are essential to prevent the spread of Covid-19. Swiss scientists from ZHAW and Osmotex AG have now combined the two and developed a mask that disinfects itself at the push of a button. It is to be launched on the market as early as this spring.
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Image: A physician is looking at a tablet computer while two nurses care for an intensive care patient in the background; Copyright: PantherMedia/SimpleFoto

BabSim.Hospital: forecasting hospital bed needs

04/02/2021

Amid the coronavirus pandemic, capacity of intensive care units is a hot-button issue as this determines the number of severe COVID-19 cases hospitals can treat. The percentage of currently infected patients can deliver insights into the projected need for ICU beds down the road. The TH Köln developed a tool to help with this planning process.
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Image: A hospital employee is cleaning an endoscope; Copyright: PantherMedia/sielemann

Medical devices: hygienic design combats pathogens

03/02/2021

Medical hygiene does not just play a key role during the COVID-19 pandemic. Preventing the transmission of infectious diseases and especially the spread of multidrug-resistant organisms is paramount even in non-pandemic times. While hygiene practices in hospitals and medical offices are essential, the industry can also make an important contribution with hygienic product design.
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Image: Patient in the intensive care unit; Copyright: PantherMedia/halfpoint

Biostatistics: using data and models to fight Covid-19

27/01/2021

We are all familiar with these images from some countries: Completely full intensive care units, doctors working frantically despite being ill, being forced to decide who lives and who dies due to critical shortages of respirators. How can you forecast Covid-19 impact on healthcare systems to avoid overload? Biostatistician Professor Frank Klawonn studies this issue.
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Image: Prototype of the airlock; Copyright: Fraunhofer IBP

Covid-19: protective canopy prevents infection

19/01/2021

The risk of infection with SARS-CoV-2 is particularly high indoors. This is because, in addition to smear and droplet infection, infection via aerosols that accumulate and spread in the air is also possible there. Sufficient air exchange or air purification help to prevent this. The protective canopy developed by Fraunhofer IBP also follows such an approach.
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Image: Head of a mannequin with transparent face shield and surgical mask; Copyright: Messe Düsseldorf/Achim Wiese

virtual.MEDICA 2020: Experience medicine online

02/11/2020

This year is completely different! Normally, we would offer you an advanced peek into the MEDICA’s halls in Dusseldorf at this point. But due to the corona pandemic, the trade fair takes place online as virtual.MEDICA. We nevertheless took a look at this year’s topics of special interest.
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Image: A white medical face mask is coming out of a production line; Copyright: Fraunhofer IPT

Personal protective equipment: ramping up medical mask production to 50,000 pieces per day

22/07/2020

Necessity is the mother of invention: While many companies have been hit hard by the coronavirus pandemic, some were able to find the hidden business opportunities the unique situation has created. One example of how companies can benefit from the Covid-19 crisis is the production of medical protective gear.
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Image: Two people wearing protective suits stand next to a workbench in a laboratory; Copyright: Fraunhofer IBMT/Foto Bernd Müller

epiLab: Coronavirus testing in the mobile safety laboratory

08/07/2020

A key to preventing SARS-CoV-2 spread is frequent, comprehensive testing. This allows the early detection of infections and helps break the chain of infection. It always comes down to Coronavirus testing capacity. In Germany's southwest state of Saarland, the mobile epiLab (epidemiological laboratory) supports the search for infections lurking in nursing homes and long-term care facilities.
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Image: man running in a lane on a sports field; Copyright: PantherMedia/stetsik

A Safe Return to Sports amid the COVID-19 Pandemic

22/06/2020

After professional sports and other sporting activities had been drastically limited to prevent COVID-19 spread, training facilities are now reopening to welcome recreational and competitive athletes. However, due to the ongoing pandemic, restrictions are still in place to lower the risk of human infection. EFSMA presents recommendations on a uniform approach to keeping athletes safe.
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Image: Microscope next to a screen showing pictures of bacteria cultures; Copyright: PantherMedia/shmeljov

Laboratory safety: infection prevention in the work area

01/04/2020

What goes in, must not come out - and must also not cause harm to anyone working inside the lab. That's perhaps a nice way of summing up "laboratory safety" in one sentence - at least wherever pathogens are handled in biological and medical settings. The necessary laboratory safety precautions primarily depend on what is waiting "inside".
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Image: A researcher sits at a laboratory bench and puts gloves at his hands; Copyright: PantherMedia/dragana.stock@gmail.com

The safe laboratory – protection through technology

01/04/2020

When biomedical researchers or diagnosticians work with potentially contagious materials like cell cultures, blood or tissue, they need absolute protection from pathogens. Both safety measures in the workspace and the correct tools and materials are key here. Learn in our Topic of the Month what is important for protection in the lab and what a safe laboratory looks like.
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Image: A female researcher with face mask, gloves and cap puts an object slide on a microscope; Copyright: PantherMedia/Kzenon

Laboratory work: the right personal protective equipment is crucial

01/04/2020

When working with infectious materials and organisms in the laboratory, safe handling and appropriate training are of utmost importance. Another central component is personal protective equipment designed to prevent contact with tissue, liquids and aerosols and protect the wearer.
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Image: Researcher with gloves and protective suit is working at a microscope; Copyright: PantherMedia/EvgeniyShkolenko

BSL-4 laboratories: highest levels of safety and protection

01/04/2020

Laboratories are sectioned into four biosafety levels to dictate the precautions required to isolate dangerous biological agents. The highest level of biological safety, BSL-4, is perhaps the most well-known when we think of containing pathogens and microbes. However, the fewest number of laboratories actually fall into the BSL-4 category.
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Image: UV Visual Lift; Copyright: by UVentions

Hygiene: Smart protection against pathogens like the coronavirus

23/03/2020

Germs such as bacteria, viruses or pathogenic fungi can spread from one person to another through direct contact when we shake hands or touch objects. People touch door handles and push elevator buttons in public places and constantly move in and out of spaces. Regular manual high-level disinfection is practically impossible. UVentions GmbH has found an intelligent solution for this problem.
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Image: patient with pain in fingers; Copyright: panthermedia.net/Milkos

APRICOT-project: implant "help(s) patients heal themselves"

01/01/2020

Today, 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.
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Image: doctor consoles patients before surgery; Copyright: panthermedia.net/luckybusiness

Endoprosthetic surgery: modern and traditional approaches

01/01/2020

Surgery is required if you need an artificial joint. Patients and doctors must select the type of surgery that’s best suited and choose between robot-assisted, traditional or minimally invasive surgical approaches. Post-operative risks should be kept to a minimum, while benefits should outweigh any possible complications.
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Image: diagnostic test on a table; Copyright: beta web GmbH/Melanie Prüser

Single-use tests: sensitivity and easy use combined for diagnostics

12/12/2019

Diagnostic testing usually takes some time and a sterile environment to get the results. To cut down on the costs and effort spend on these tasks there are different diagnostic tests. One of them are single-use tests offered by SensDx S.A. The technology behind them not only makes the process faster and easier, but provides the opportunity to expand into home use in the future as well.
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Image: Flags are blowing in the wind to the backdrop of a dark evening sky; Copyright: Messe Düsseldorf/ctillmann

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 physician is standing in front of a floating image of the brain and is touching one point; Copyright: panthermedia.net/Igor Vetushko

Medicine 5.0: machine learning algorithms in healthcare

04/11/2019

Artificial intelligence holds the promise of salvation when it comes to medicine: it is meant to unburden medical professionals, save time and money and perform tasks reliably and tirelessly. But before AI algorithms are allowed to diagnose diseases, many technical and ethical questions still need answers.
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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 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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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: 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: Ellipsoid of revolution with a gold coating to detect backscattered photons from the skin tissue; Copyright: Sven Delbeck/Fachhochschule Südwestfalen

Blood Sugar Monitoring: Using Infrared Instead of Invasive Techniques

22/03/2019

Over six million people in Germany have diabetes. It is estimated that almost 400 million people are affected by this disease worldwide. Diabetes sufferers must prick their fingers several times a day to monitor their blood sugar.
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Image: two men in the laboratory next to the Organ Care System with a pig's lung inside; Copyright: Kaiser/MHH

Organ Care System: treatment under extreme conditions

08/05/2018

Multidrug-resistant organisms that are treated with a dosage that exceeds the regular dose a hundred times and at temperatures of over 40 degrees Celsius – the human organism is unable to handle it. Yet if the diseased organ is treated outside of the body, extreme conditions are an option. For the first time, physicians have succeeded in treating a severe case of pneumonia by using the OCS.
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