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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.
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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.
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Image: imaging chip detail picture; Copyright: Ella Maru Studio

Imaging: nanophotonic microwave imager chip

27.09.2019

Researchers have developed a new microwave imager chip that could one day enable low-cost handheld microwave imagers, or cameras. Because microwaves can travel through certain opaque objects, the new imagers could be useful for imaging through walls or detecting tumors through tissue in the body.
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Image: artificial skin on the index finger; Copyright: EPFL

Biotechnology: artificial skin for rehabilitation

27.09.2019

Just like our senses of hearing and vision, our sense of touch plays an important role in how we perceive and interact with the world around us. And technology capable of replicating our sense of touch - also known as haptic feedback - can greatly enhance human-computer and human-robot interfaces for applications such as medical rehabilitation and virtual reality.
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Image: tissue in a glass container; Copyright: Fraunhofer FEP

Implants: innovative multi-component procedure

25.09.2019

The Fraunhofer FEP has developed a process, called SULEEI, which makes it possible to sterilize and preserve decellularized pericardial tissue by means of photo-initiated ultraviolet crosslinking with low-energy electron irradiation.
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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.
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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.
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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.
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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.
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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.
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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.
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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.
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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.
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Image: Bacteria in the gut are pulled into the helical channels by an osmotic 'pump' in the pill.; Copyright: Nano Lab, Tufts University

Diagnostics: 3D-printed pill samples aid diagnosis and treatment

29.07.2019

The pill is the first known working device capable of non-invasively and accurately assessing the profile of bacterial species inhabiting any stage of the gastrointestinal tract. The ability to profile bacterial species inhabiting the gut could have important implications for conditions that affect and are affected by the intestinal microbiome.
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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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Image: In a movement laboratory, a man is wearing sensors on his legs and armst, while walking. During this he is being recorded and observed; Copyright: DAS BILD für ZHAW Gesundheit

"XoSoft" Project – Wearable Intelligent Exoskeleton

01.06.2017

After a stroke or as a result of aging, there are many situations when people are impaired in their walking ability and rely on a personal assistant or auxiliary aids and services. The XoSoft Project offers a solution: a soft exoskeleton that can be worn like a pair of leggings and stiffens or softens, depending on the situation.
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