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Image: Man using a machine for producing cells; Copyright: Empa

Bone: dissolving screws

07.11.2019

Where bones fracture, surgeons often have to join the fragments with implants. Magnesium orthopaedic screws, which over time dissolve in the body, spare patients another operation after healing is completed and reduce the risk of infection. To develop optimized alloys and orthopaedic screws with functionalized surfaces, Empa researchers are now investigating magnesium corrosion.
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Image: material with scaffold structure; Copyright: Tomsk Polytechnic University

Regenerative medicine: material for cell immune response

04.11.2019

Scientists of Tomsk Polytechnic University jointly with the University of Montana (USA) proposed a new promising material for regenerative medicine for recovery of damaged tissues and blood vessels.
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Image: smart watch on the skin of a hand; Copyright: Adapted from ACS Materials Letters 2019, DOI: 10.1021/acsmaterialslett.9b00376.

Smart watch: a stretchable stopwatch lights up human skin

31.10.2019

Imagine a runner who doesn't need to carry a stopwatch or cell phone to check her time: She could just gaze at the glowing stopwatch display on the back of her hand. Such human-machine interfaces are no longer science fiction, but they still have a way to go before becoming mainstream.
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Image: cancer cell gets treated with sound; Copyright: Tohoku University

Cancer treatment: attacking with sound

30.10.2019

Drugs can be safely delivered to cancerous lymph nodes via the lymphatic system and then released inside the nodes using sound waves. Tohoku University researchers tested the treatment on mice with metastatic breast cancer and published their findings in the journal Scientific Reports.
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Image: triple-coaxial cell printing technology to construct biomimetic tissue-engineered blood vessels; Copyright: Gao et al.

Implant: 3D printing, bioinks create blood vessels

24.10.2019

A biomimetic blood vessel was fabricated using a modified 3D cell printing technique and bioinks, which were formulated from smooth muscle cells from a human aorta and endothelial cells from an umbilical vein.
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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.
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Image: detail of the microneedle biosensor; Copyright: Imperial College London

Biosensor: detecting patient's antibiotic levels with microneedles

02.10.2019

Small, non-invasive patches worn on the skin can accurately detect the levels of medication in a patient's system, matching the accuracy of current clinical methods. In a small-scale clinical evaluation, researchers at Imperial College London have shown for the first time how microneedle biosensors can be used to monitor the changing concentration of antibiotics.
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Image: silver nanopillars on a blue background; Copyright: Northwestern University

Nanotechnology: tiny biocompatible laser

25.09.2019

Nanolaser has potential to treat neurological disorders or sense disease biomarkers. Researchers have developed a tiny nanolaser that can function inside of living tissues without harming them. Just 50 to 150 nanometers thick, the laser is about 1/1,000th the thickness of a single human hair.
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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: 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.
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Image: vascular prosthesis for the aorta; Copyright: JOTEC GmbH

Prosthesis: new lease of life thanks to new aorta

20.09.2019

Patients with the rare Loeys-Dietz syndrome suffer from aortic enlargement which may result in sudden over-expansion and a fatal aortic tear. In order to prevent this from happening, an aortic prosthesis must be implanted.
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Image: bacterial syringe structure on a black background; Copyright: Shikuma Lab

Bacteriology: structures can be tapped to deliver drugs

19.09.2019

Not all bacteria spread diseases, many are beneficial and this strain has nanoscale syringes that deliver proteins which cause metamorphosis in marine animals, and could be modified as a novel drug delivery tool for future vaccines and cancer care.
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Image: new patch pictured below a traditional needle-based flu shot; Copyright: University of Rochester Medical Center

Commodities: needle-free flu vaccine patch

18.09.2019

A new needle-free flu vaccine patch revved up the immune system much like a traditional flu shot without any negative side effects, according to a study. Though the research is in the early stages, it's an important step toward a technology that could replace needle-based vaccination methods that require administration by health care workers and biohazard waste removal.
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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: 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.
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Image: the model of a kidney with gripping tools and the adhesive; Copyright: Purenum GmbH

A clean kidney: Break then glue

08.11.2018

Not enough exercise, an unhealthy diet: Kidney stones develop when urine contains too many insoluble compounds and are now one of the most common diseases worldwide. The ailment annually affects 1.2 million people in Germany alone. The stones are broken up and taken out via endoscopic surgery. Now it’s possible to remove even the tiniest residual fragments. The solution: a biocompatible adhesive.
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