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Digitalization in orthopedic technology – A craft is changing

22/11/2021

Orthopedic auxiliary means are mostly still produced in manual labor today. But orthopedic technology is also trying out new ways by using tools like 3D scanners, digital models and 3D printing. Nadja Singer from Ottobock explains in our video interview how this changes the production of auxiliary means.
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Image: The biofabrication exhibit at the Deutsches Museum Nürnberg; Copyright: Deutsches Museum Nürnberg

On our way to the production of artificial heart tissue

11/10/2021

At the newly opened Deutsches Museum Nuremberg, the University of Bayreuth offers insights into its expertise in the field of biofabrication involving unique materials, for example spider silk. The research combines natural growth processes and technical systems with the aim of specifically rebuilding damaged tissue in organs, skin, nerves, and tendons.
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Image: Structure of the SARS-CoV-2 protein NSP1 (blue) in complex with a host ribosome (grey); Copyright: Seán O’Donoghue/Garvan Institute of Medical Research

Machine learning assisted structure analysis reveals SARS-CoV-2 virus tactics

15/09/2021

The proteins of SARS-CoV-2 play key roles in how the virus manages to evade immune defense and replicate itself in patients’ cells. An international research team has now compiled the most detailed view of the virus' protein structures available to date. The analysis employing artificial intelligence methods has revealed surprising findings.
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Image: SFU School of mechatronic systems engineering’s associate Professor Woo Soo Kim Holds the 3D-Printed Portable Ventilator; Copyright: Simon Fraser University

Technology takes the art of origami into the fight against COVID-19

13/09/2021

3D-printed origami technology at the heart of low-cost, portable ventilators aimed at improving pandemic treatment and revolutionizing healthcare delivery.
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Image: The foot of a patient is being scanned; Copyright: PantherMedia/Rainer Plendl

Getting from 3D scan to 3D print: computer-aided prostheses and orthoses

01/07/2021

Orthopedic technology is a true craft: That's because prostheses and orthoses are rarely off-the-shelf products. Orthopedic technicians must typically use different materials to custom create and fit the devices. Many of these processes are manual. For several years now, 3D scanning and 3D printing have modernized the industry thanks to digital design freedom and flexible production.
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Image: A young boy is sitting in front of a computer, looking at a 3D scan of his head; Copyright: Artec 3D

Orthopedic technology: 3D scanners change the industry

01/07/2021

Orthopedic technology involves taking a measurement of a specific body part and then creating a medical device, be it prosthesis or orthosis, that fits. While optical scanners are already used for some of these measurements, others are still performed through manual labor and craft to create molds of the body. 3D scanners are changing this.
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Image: a 3D-printed orthosis designed by Luxinergy and kerkoc; Copyright: Luxinery/kerkoc

Customized and freshly printed: 3D printing in orthopedics

01/07/2021

Creating custom-made medical devices to target individual patient needs: that is the core function and primary objective of orthopedics. Using 3D printers for this will make sense in the future. Luxinergy is an innovative Austrian technology company that specializes in the development of biocompatible resins and large-format 3D printers.
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Image: Sheath of a leg prosthesis that gets printed by a 3D printer; Copyright: PantherMedia/Markov81

Digital orthopedic technology: scan, customize, print

01/07/2021

When auxiliary means like orthoses or prostheses do not come from the shelf, but are adapted to the wearer, this means true crafting: In the past, a plaster mold of a body part had to be made as a template to create an individual aid from it step by step. Fortunately, we have come a long way until today.
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Image: 3D printer with a human heart inside, next to a box with

Bioprinting: life from the printer

01/12/2020

It aims at the production of test systems for drug research and gives patients on the waiting lists for donor organs hope: bioprinting. Thereby biologically functional tissues are printed. But how does that actually work? What are the different bioprinting methods? And can entire organs be printed with it? These and other questions are examined in our Topic of the Month.
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Image: three vials, one with hydrogels, one with bio ink and one with unmodified gelatine; Copyright: Fraunhofer IGB

"Cells are highly sensitive" – material development for bioprinting

01/12/2020

The big hope of bioprinting is to someday be able to print whole human organs. So far, the process has been limited to testing platforms such as organs-on-a-chip. That's because the actual printing process already poses challenges. Scientists need suitable printing materials that ensure the cell's survival as it undergoes the procedure. The Fraunhofer IGB is researching and analyzing this aspect.
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Image: Illustrations of various 3D-printed prostheses, implants and organs; Copyright: PantherMedia/annyart

Printed life – possibilities and limits of bioprinting

01/12/2020

Implants, prostheses and various other components made of plastic, metal or ceramics are already being produced by additive manufacturing. But skin, blood vessels or entire organs from the printer – is that possible? For years now, intensive research has been underway into the production of biologically functional tissue using printing processes. Some things are already possible with bioprinting.
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Image: cell matrix; Copyright: TU Wien

Multi-photon lithography: printing cells with micrometer accuracy

01/12/2020

How do cells react to certain drugs? And how exactly is new tissue created? This can be analyzed by using bioprinting to embed cells in fine frameworks. However, current methods are often imprecise or too slow to process cells before they are damaged. At the TU Vienna, a high-resolution bioprinting process has now been developed using a new bio-ink.
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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: The shoulder of a man with a surgical suture; Copyright: panthermedia.net/JPCPROD

Regenerative medicine: helps the body healing

03/02/2020

Severe wounds heal slowly and leave scars. This is why we have been using regenerative therapies for some time now to accelerate and improve healing. They also help to avoid permanent damage. Still, complex applications like replacing organs or limbs will rather remain vision than become reality for a long time.
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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: 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: 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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