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

MEDICA Newsletter

Social Media

Image: Two men in the zoo holding turtles in their hands; Copyright: Oliver Dietze

Diagnostics: Animal blood samples help predict human diseases

17.07.2019

Penguins, Asian elephants and many other animal species live in the zoos of Saarbrücken and Neunkirchen. As they come from different continents, blood is regularly taken from the animals to check their health.
Read more
Image: A drawn image of the human spine with a hole in it; Copyright: panthermedia.net/lightsource

Nanotechnology: an 'EpiPen' for spinal cord injuries

15.07.2019

An injection of nanoparticles can prevent the body's immune system from overreacting to trauma, potentially preventing some spinal cord injuries from resulting in paralysis. The approach was demonstrated in mice at the University of Michigan, with the nanoparticles enhancing healing by reprogramming the aggressive immune cells.
Read more
Image: sensor; Copyright: Purdue University

Diagnostics: 3D mapping technology to monitor and track cells and tissues

11.07.2019

Medical advancements can come at a physical cost. Often following diagnosis and treatment for cancer and other diseases, patients' organs and cells can remain healed but damaged from the medical condition. In fact, one of the fastest growing medical markets is healing and/or replacing organs and cells already treated, yet remain damaged by cancer, cardiovascular disease and other medical issues.
Read more
Image: imCMS model; Copyright: University of Zurich

AI: molecular tumor classification and prognosis in patients with colorectal cancer

09.07.2019

Treating physicians need information about the molecular subtype of the tumor if they are to provide targeted therapy for colorectal carcinoma. A research team from University Hospital Zurich and the University of Oxford have now developed a method to predict the molecular classification of colorectal cancer from digital pathology slides.
Read more
Image: elderly man in the lab injecting a liquid into a chip; Copyright: panthermedia.net/matej kastelic

Human-on-a-chip: prediction of in vivo results based on in vitro model

08.07.2019

Hesperos Inc., pioneers of the human-on-a-chip in vitro system has announced the use of its innovative multi-organ model to successfully measure the concentration and metabolism of two known cardiotoxic small molecules over time, to accurately describe the drug behavior and toxic effects in vivo. The findings support the potential of body-on-a-chip systems to transform the drug discovery process.
Read more
 Image: researchers on a laptop; Copyright: panthermedia.net/Monkeybusiness Images

Cybersecurity: Software uncovers vulnerability

05.07.2019

Researchers at Sandia National Laboratories identified the weakness and notified the software developers. The issue has also been fixed in the latest release of the software. While no attack from this vulnerability is known, the National Institutes of Standards and Technology recently described it in a note to software developers, genomics researchers and network administrators.
Read more
Image: doctor and assistant investigating patient`s data; Copyright: panthermedia.net/sabthai

Computer model supports cancer therapy

05.07.2019

Researchers from the Life Sciences Research Unit (LSRU) of the University of Luxembourg have developed a computer model that simulates the metabolism of cancer cells. They used the programme to investigate how combinations of drugs could be used more effectively to stop tumour growth.
Read more
Image: schematic of stem cells; Copyright: panthermedia.net/ktsdesign

Cell therapies: homing instinct shows cells "home"

04.07.2019

In a world first, scientists have found a new way to direct stem cells to heart tissue. The findings, led by researchers at the University of Bristol and published in Chemical Science, could radically improve the treatment for cardiovascular disease.
Read more
 Image: doctors hand on the monitoring system; Copyright: panthermedia.net/skvalval

Monitoring system: Body mapping treats damaged organs

02.07.2019

Medical advancements can come at a physical cost. Often following diagnosis and treatment for cancer and other diseases, patients' organs and cells can remain healed but damaged from the medical condition.
Read more
Image: The BlooDe device; Copyright: Université de Franche-Comté

Haematology: problems of anti-bleeding detected in 60 mins

01.07.2019

Researchers from the Universities of Geneva and Franche-Comté have developed an innovative device that investigates a patient's platelet capacity in near real-life conditions so that bleeding can be stopped (haemostasis).
Read more
Image: black box - new device for rapid cancer diagnosis during surgery; Copyright: Leibniz-IPHT

Optical method: compact device for rapid tissue analysis during surgery

24.06.2019

A team of researchers from Jena is presenting a groundbreaking new method for the rapid, gentle and reliable detection of tumors with laser light. For the first time, the Leibniz IPHT will present a compact device for rapid cancer diagnosis during surgery. The optical method will help surgeons to remove tumors more precisely and could make cancer operations possible without a scalpel.
Read more
Image: response of sickle cells observed under a microscope, on the right the chip next to a coin; Copyright: Florida Atlantic University

Microfluidic sensor: monitoring sickle cell disease

19.06.2019

Sickle cell disease is a hereditary disorder that affects red blood cells, distorting their natural disc shape into a crescent moon or "sickle" shape. Normal red blood cells move freely through small vessels throughout the body to deliver oxygen. With sickle cell disease, the misshapen red blood cells become hard and sticky, making it difficult for them to move through blood vessels.
Read more
Image: cells are placed on a microfluidic organ-chip; Copyright: Dr. Gad Vatine/BGU

Blood-brain barrier chip: using stem cells for the first time

18.06.2019

Researchers at Ben-Gurion University of the Negev (BGU) and Cedars-Sinai Medical Center in Los Angeles have, for the first time, duplicated a patient's blood-brain barrier (BBB), creating a human BBB chip with stem cells, which can be used to develop personalized medicine and new techniques to research brain disorders.
Read more
Image: microscope images of the human Blood-Brain Barrier-on-Chip; Copyright: Wyss Institute at Harvard University

Blood-Brain Barrier Chip: in vivo-like drug and antibody transport

17.06.2019

Like airport security barriers that either clear authorized travelers or block unauthorized travelers and their luggage from accessing central operation areas, the blood-brain-barrier (BBB) tightly controls the transport of essential nutrients and energy metabolites into the brain and staves off unwanted substances circulating in the blood stream.
Read more
Image: Reasearchers who developed FEAST to diagnose bacteria-related health conditions; Copyright: UCLA Samueli Engineering

Computational system: tool pinpoints gut's bacteria

14.06.2019

A UCLA-led research team has developed a faster and more accurate way to determine where the many bacteria that live in, and on, humans come from. Broadly, the tool can deduce the origins of any microbiome, a localized and diverse community of microscopic organisms.
Read more
Image:

Surgery devices: 'virtual biopsy' device detects skin tumor

14.06.2019

has developed a new "virtual biopsy" device that can quickly determine a skin lesion's depth and potential malignancy without using a scalpel.
Read more
Image: doctor investigates skin of a patient; Copyright: panthermedia.net / belchonock

AI: diagnosis of skin lesions is superior to humans

13.06.2019

When it comes to the diagnosis of pigmented skin lesions, artificial intelligence is superior to humans. In a study conducted under the supervision of the MedUni Vienna human experts "competed" against computer algorithms. The algorithms achieved clearly better results, yet their current abilities cannot replace humans.
Read more
Image: Woman investigates cell in a laboratory; Copyright: panthermedia.net/alexraths

Cell analysis: deep learning dive to cell division

10.06.2019

Combining tissue imaging and artificial intelligence, Hollings Cancer Center researchers at the Medical University of South Carolina probed deeper into how cell division cycles are regulated, in this study released online in the May 2019 issue of Cell Reports.
Read more
Image: A male and a female researcher in front of a laboratory bench; Copyright: Westmead Institute for Medical Research

Cell analysis: predicting islet transplant rejection

07.06.2019

Researchers from The Westmead Institute for Medical Research have developed a standardized method of measuring the immune response in islet transplant recipients, helping predict patient outcomes.
Read more
Image: A coloured microscopic image of an organoid; Copyright: Cincinnati Children's

Organ-on-a-chip: Bioengineered human liver disease

04.06.2019

Scientists successfully bioengineered human liver organoids that faithfully mimic key features of fatal liver disease in the laboratory. This allowed them to uncover underlying disease biology in the organoids and test a potential therapy that in preclinical lab tests reversed an often-fatal childhood condition called Wolman disease.
Read more
Image: female researcher holds up a test strip; Copyright: Andrew Higley/UC Creative Services

Diagnostic test: simple test can tell if you're stressed out

29.05.2019

Stress is often called "the silent killer" because of its stealthy and mysterious effects on everything from heart disease to mental health. Now researchers at the University of Cincinnati have developed a new test that can easily and simply measure common stress hormones using sweat, blood, urine or saliva.
Read more
Image: illustration of the production of tissues and organs with lithography; Copyright: F. Pampaloni, BRIGHTER, 2019

Tissue Engineering: producing tissue and organs through lithography

28.05.2019

The production of artificial organs is a hot research topic. In the near future, artificial organs will compensate for the lack of organ donations and replace animal experiments. Although there are already promising experiments with 3D printers that use a "bio-ink" containing living cells, a functional organ has never been created in this way.
Read more
Image: blood sample tubes; Copyright: panthermedia.net / scanrail

Blood test: How effective is stem cell transplantation?

24.05.2019

University of Maryland School of Medicine study shows the potential of transplanted stem cell secretions as a liquid biopsy.
Read more
Image: Man with prostate cancer at the doctor; Copyright: panthermedia.net / imagepointfr

Diagnostic tests: Better detection of prostate cancer

24.05.2019

Prostate cancer is the second-leading cause of male cancer deaths worldwide. Deaths from prostate cancer are primarily due to metastasized cancer, in which cancer cells have migrated through the body and begun to grow in other areas. Results reported in Biomicrofluidics, from AIP Publishing, promise a new way to detect this deadly disease through a simple, inexpensive device.
Read more
Image: woman suffering from colon cancer; Copyright: panthermedia.net / Tharakorn

Diagnostic tests: Identifying cancer treatment in five days

23.05.2019

UNIGE researchers have developed a cell co-culture platform that can reproduce a patient's tumour in 3D and test the best treatment combinations for its specific case in just five days.
Read more
Image: Researcher with a microfluidic chip; Copyright: panthermedia.net / hquality

Microfluidic chip: New technology to capture tumor cells

20.05.2019

Instead of searching for a needle in a haystack, what if you were able to sweep the entire haystack to one side, leaving only the needle behind? That's the strategy researchers in the University of Georgia College of Engineering followed in developing a new microfluidic device that separates elusive circulating tumor cells (CTCs) from a sample of whole blood.
Read more
Image: Preview picture of video

Multi-organ chips: Drug research without animal testing at vasQlab

15.05.2019

New active substances that are suitable for drugs are initially tested in animal experiments. However, the results cannot always be transferred to the human organism. At the Karlsruhe Institute of Technology, Prof. Ute Schepers from vasQlab explains how active substances can be tested in human tissue without endangering human health.
Read more
Image: graphic of cells; Copyright: panthermedia.net / Wolfgang Rieger

Analyser system: New approach catalogues vast cell number

14.05.2019

Data-sampling method makes "sketches" of unwieldy biological datasets while still capturing the full diversity of cell types. MIT researchers are now bringing that concept to computational biology, with a novel method that extracts comprehensive samples of massive cell datasets that are easier to analyze for biological and medical studies.
Read more
Image: doctor points at an brain imaging; Copyright: panthermedia.net / sudok1

Imaging: New technique uses protein of scorpion venom

13.05.2019

A novel imaging technique that uses a synthesized form of scorpion venom to light up brain tumors has shown promise in a clinical trial. The imaging system enables neurosurgeons to better see malignant growths that often are difficult to fully eliminate.
Read more
Image: close-up of liquid metal drop, used to make the mini-centrifuge; Copyright: RMIT University

Organ-on-a-chip: mini-centrifuge for simpler study of blood cells

10.05.2019

A simple innovation the size of a grain of sand means we can now analyse cells and tiny particles as if they were inside the human body. The new micro-device for fluid analysis will enable more tailored experiments in drug development and disease research via new 'organ-on-chip' systems.
Read more
Image: man in the laboratory, in front of him a screen; Copyright: Joseph Xu, UM College of Engineering

Laboratory medicine: new method for liquid biopsies

07.05.2019

Advancing technology is allowing scientists increasingly to search for tiny signs of cancer and other health issues in samples of patients' blood and urine. These "liquid biopsies" are less invasive than a traditional biopsy, and can provide information about what's happening throughout the body instead of just at a single site.
Read more
Image: Graphic of a spinglass of human gene interactions; Copyright: Graeme Benstead-Hume, University of Sussex

Computational system: Algorithms for cancer treatments

02.05.2019

While network algorithms are usually associated with finding friends on social media, researchers at the University of Sussex have shown how they could also be used improve the effectiveness of cancer treatment, by predicting the interactions between genes.
Read more
Image: Stetoscope on a medical document about ovarian cancer; Copyright: panthermedia.net / Premium shots

Imaging: System helps to remove tiny ovarian tumors

01.05.2019

Ovarian cancer is usually diagnosed only after it has reached an advanced stage, with many tumors spread throughout the abdomen. Most patients undergo surgery to remove as many of these tumors as possible, but because some are so small and widespread, it is difficult to eradicate all of them.
Read more
Image: laboratory devices; Copyright: panthermedia.net / Robert Przybysz

Diagnostics: Test for effective treatment of breast cancer

30.04.2019

A breast cancer test has been found that helps doctors make treatment decisions for some breast cancer patients, following research carried out at Queen Mary University of London and funded by Cancer Research UK.
Read more
Image: A large number of round microwells on a plate; Copyright: Tetsuhiro Harimoto/Columbia Engineering

Precision medicine: bacterial therapy in a dish

26.04.2019

Columbia engineers develop a new platform that recreates cancer in a dish to quickly determine the best bacterial therapy.
Read more
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.
Read more
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.
Read more
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.
Read more
Photo: Preview picture of video

From algorithm to rapid test – Artificial Intelligence classifies blood cells

21.11.2018

Our blood reveals a lot about our physical health. The shape of our blood cells sheds light on several hereditary diseases for example. For a diagnosis, the cells must first be examined under the microscope and categorized into a specific cell class. We met with Dr. Stephan Quint and Alexander Kihm of the Institute of Physics at the Saarland University, who explained how this classification works.
Read more
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.
Read more
Image: AcCellerator research device at an exhibition stand; Copyright: Daniel Klaue, ZELLMECHANIK DRESDEN GmbH

Cells in the speed trap – diagnosis in a matter of seconds

22.06.2018

A drop of blood provides a lot of valuable information. However, it takes several hours to analyze the blood of a patient and make a diagnosis. This takes away a lot of time that's crucial for treatment. A new method intends to considerably speed up this process by testing the cells in the blood in terms of their deformability and immune response.
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: yellow tape measure with capsules in front of it; Copyright: panthermedia.net/Jiri Hera

Personalized cancer medicine: customized treatment

01.03.2018

Everyone is different. This statement also applies to our health. Cancer, in particular, can look and progress differently depending on the individual person. That’s why every patient ideally also needs a customized treatment that is tailored to their individual needs. But how feasible is this idea?
Read more
Image: a container with the nutrient medium for cancer cells; Copyright: Dr. Markus Wehland

Cells in space – extraterrestrial approaches in cancer research

22.02.2018

Here on Earth, all experiments are bound by gravitation. Yet, freed from gravity's grip, tumor cells, for example, behave in an entirely different way. As part of the "Thyroid Cancer Cells in Space" project by the University of Magdeburg, smartphone-sized containers carrying poorly differentiated thyroid cancer cells are sent into space.
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
Image: interferometric detection of scattered light, iSCAT; Copyright: MPL

Interface between Physics and Medicine: new interdisciplinary center

22.08.2017

Physics has always supported medical science, especially when it comes to practical implementation. Now physicists and health professionals join in collaborative research at an interdisciplinary Center in Erlangen and incorporate fundamental principles of theoretical physics in their studies of diseases.
Read more
Image: blood is taken from a finger and analysed by a blood testing device; Copyright:hes_so_valais_wallis

Without any delay: drug dose adjustment at the point of care

01.08.2017

Many therapeutic drugs are very powerful, but they are also very toxic at the same time. Thus, they have to be measured regularly, again and again, so that an adjustment of the individual drug dosage can be made. Until now, the "normal" way was to take the blood sample, send it to a central laboratory and get the results after some days. A new point-of-care test can measure it in 15 minutes.
Read more
Image: Preview picture of video

Light microscope ChipScope - a glimpse into living cells

14.07.2017

A microscope that is only a few millimeters in size and that can help to consider cell changes in real time. This is the goal of the EU project ChipScope. Scientists led by Dr. Hutomo Wasisto in Braunschweig help to make this project come true.
Read more
Image: An eye surgeon and an assistant are treating a patient with a surgical laser; Copyright: University Hospital Dresden/Felix Koopmann

Eye surgery: precision and prevention with femtosecond lasers

03.07.2017

Precision work is absolutely essential in eye surgery since the surgical site is very minute and sensitive. This is why eye surgeons have been using lasers for years. Femtosecond lasers are especially well suited to serve this purpose because they are able to cut tissue with great precision and little energy, which prevents unwanted side effects of surgery.
Read more