News from the Editors -- MEDICA - World Forum for Medicine

MEDICA Newsletter

Social Media

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: 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: 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.
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: Man with mouthguard and laboratory glasses holding Petri dish up; Copyright: panthermedia.net/kasto

Cardiac Tissue Engineering: a heart out of the Petri dish

23.09.2019

For patients waiting for donor organs, every day can mean the difference between life and death. Making things even more complicated is the fact that not every organ is a compatible match with the patient. It would mean enormous progress if we could grow organs from the patient's own cells in the lab. That's why patients with heart disease place big hope in tissue engineering.
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: 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: 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:  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: 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: View over the shoulders of two doctors at a screen showing a model of a heart; Copyright: panthermedia.net/Wavebreakmedia ltd

Regenerative heart valves: from simulation to replacement

23.07.2018

Every year, more than 250,000 patients worldwide receive heart valve implants. Children require repeated replacement surgery because their bodies are still growing, the prosthetic heart valves are not. Regenerative heart valves solve this problem. Until now, we have only been able to monitor how these living implants develop in the body after the fact. Computer models now make this predictable.
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:

"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