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Image: Professor Sir John Burn and Ms Rachel Phelps; Copyright: National Cancer Research Institute

Simple and cheap urine test can detect urothelial cancers in Lynch Syndrome patients

12/11/2021

Researchers have shown for the first time that it is possible to detect signs of urothelial cancer using a simple, postal, urine test in Lynch Syndrome (LS) patients who are at high risk of developing tumours.
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Image: Appendicitis CT scan; Copyright: PantherMedia  / Genrix20061.mail.ru

Doctors can use CT scans with less radiation to diagnose appendicitis

12/11/2021

A new paper in the British Journal of Surgery, published by Oxford University Press, indicates it's now possible to diagnose appendicitis using low-dose CT scans, decreasing the radiation exposure, which is of significant clinical importance especially in young patients.
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Image: Tropical frog

AI: New insights into kidney disease with tropical frog models

08/11/2021

Using cutting-edge genetic engineering, UZH researchers have developed a model to study hereditary kidney disease with the help of tropical frogs. The method allows them to collect large amounts of data on anomalies, which can then be analyzed using artificial intelligence. The research opens up new opportunities in the search for new treatment approaches for the hitherto incurable disease.
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Image: Professor Dr. Danny Jonigk and Christopher Werlein; Copyright: Karin Kaiser / MHH

New X-ray technique shows vascular damage in intact COVID-19 lungs for first time

05/11/2021

When the coronavirus enters the lung, it causes massive tissue damage. Now, an international research team has been able to demonstrate for the first time, using a highly innovative X-ray technique in a non-destructive manner, that severe COVID-19 causes massive remodelling of the finest blood vessels by causing normally separate blood systems to join together with unusual frequency.
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Image: Biological heart valve with metal scaffold; Copyright: Fraunhofer IKTS

Preventing calcification of bioprosthetic heart valves

03/11/2021

A defective heart valve is the second most common form of heart disease. Most cases involve a narrowed aortic valve, but often the mitral valve can also be affected. Prostheses significantly increase the life expectancy of those with the disease. While bioprosthetic heart valves have some advantages over mechanical ones, they can become calcified relatively quickly.
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Image: Professor Thomas Vorup-Jensen and Postdoc Kristian Juul Madsen; Copyright: Simon Byrial Fischel

New technique identifies pathogenic particles in the blood

18/10/2021

Autoimmune diseases – that is diseases where our own immune system damages the body – are growing, but we know little about what triggers them. Researchers are now a step closer to finding an explanation. With the help of a new technique, researchers from Aarhus University have succeeded in identifying the particles in the blood that determine the development of autoimmune diseases.
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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: Max Hahn, doctoral student at Umeå Center for Molecular Biology, studies a tissue sample with a light sheet fluorescence microscope; Copyright: Mattias Petterson

New method enables 3D microscopy of human organs

16/09/2021

Researchers at Umeå University, Sweden, divide in their new method organs by the use of a 3D-printed matrix, creating portions of tissue with the optimal size for optical imaging using 3D technology. Specific cell types in human organs can be studied with micrometer precision to study for example other human organs and diseases.
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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: 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: 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: 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: 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: Computer-generated image of an arborizing blood vessel; Copyright: panthermedia.net/Ugreen

Angiogenesis: light shows blood vessels the way

03/02/2020

Regenerative medicine aims to replace damage in the body with functional tissue and restore normal function. The first defense for large defects are implants made of hydrogels, designed to promote cell growth. They need their own blood supply, which is a problem when it comes to larger implants because you cannot regulate where and how the blood vessels grow - until now.
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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: Endoscope capsule (left) next to an endoscope tube (right); Copyright: panthermedia.net/phonlamai

A new type of endoscopy – small, easy, comfortable

22/01/2020

Patients have to undergo a gastroscopy to rule out gastrointestinal conditions. Many dread this procedure since a thin, flexible tube is being pushed through the esophagus and stomach. Ovesco Endoscopy AG has teamed up with other project partners in the nuEndo research project to develop a capsule endoscopy device that is tiny, easy to swallow and makes the test more comfortable for the patient.
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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: 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: Blood sample labelled

Cardiac diagnostics – prompt and personalized

08/11/2019

If physicians suspect an acute myocardial infarction, they first order an ECG. This test is very established and allows cardiologists to quickly diagnose acute heart attacks – though the test does not detect less common heart attack symptoms. So far, those patients had to wait up to twelve hours before a heart attack could be accurately diagnosed or ruled out. But things are about the change.
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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.
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Image: Lung monitoring of a patient with PulmoVista 500 by Draeger; Copyright: Drägerwerk AG & Co. KGaA

Restoring Pulmonary Function

01/03/2019

People suffering from lung disease temporarily need ventilator support because they are unable to breathe naturally. Mechanical ventilation is designed to ensure the survival of these patients. The goal is to adapt the ventilator settings and tailor them the patient's specific needs and prevent lung tissue damage.
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Image: Preemie doll with drug delivery system on the nose; Copyright: Fraunhofer ITEM/Till Holland

Gentle medication for the little ones – with every breath

22/02/2019

According to the WHO, ten percent of babies worldwide are born prematurely. Since most organs of these tiny babies have not fully developed yet, it can quickly lead to complications and disorders and most notably affect the lungs of the premature infants. What's more, infections require gentle treatment, as the preemies themselves are fragile and susceptible – making this a challenging situation.
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Image: Man and woman in a laboratory presenting a multi-organ chip; Copyright: TissUse GmbH

Multi-Organ Chips – The Patients of Tomorrow?

01/02/2019

The liver, nervous tissue or the intestines: all are important human organs that have in the past been tested for their function and compatibility using animal or in vitro test methods. In recent years, TissUse GmbH, a spin-off of the Technical University of Berlin (TU Berlin), has launched multi-organ chip platforms. But that’s not all.
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Image: Cell cultivation in a Petri dish; Copyright: panthermedia.net / matej kastelic

Organ-on-a-chip – Organs in miniature format

01/02/2019

In vitro processes and animal tests are used to develop new medications and novel therapeutic approaches. However, animal testing raises important ethical concerns. Organ-on-a-chip models promise to be a feasible alternative. In a system the size of a smartphone, organs are connected using artificial circulation.
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Image: Woman at her desk holding her back; Copyright: panthermedia.net/Andrey Popov

AI ensures dynamic sitting

22/01/2019

Whether in the office, at school or behind the wheel: we spend a lot of time sitting and often stay in the same position for too long. The possible side effects are stiffness, back problems and pain. The SensA-Chair smart seating solution combats decreased mobility and ensures dynamic sitting.
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Image:Lung; Copyright: panthermedia.net/CLIPAREA

Lung Imaging – Keeping the Respiratory System Healthy

05/10/2018

Many people have damaged or suboptimally functioning lungs. An accurate diagnosis and subsequent treatment are vital to protect this life-sustaining organ. Modern imaging solutions help physicians and patients understand what happens inside the lungs.
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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.
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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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Image: Photograph of hands with hyperspectral imaging; Copyright: Diaspective Vision GmbH

Precision surgery thanks to informative hyperspectral imaging

08/02/2018

When body tissue is reconnected during a tumor operation in the gastrointestinal tract, surgeons need information about the current state of these so-called anastomoses. The new, non-invasive hyperspectral imaging technology now makes it possible to measure the crucial parameters during surgery and thereby increase surgical precision.
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