Organ-on-a-chip - the mini organs of the future? -- MEDICA - World Forum for Medicine

Image: A woman in the lab, Tina Bürki from Empa's Particles-Biology Interactions lab in St. Gallen, inspects a set of biochips; Copyright: Empa


Empa's Zukunftsfonds – Funding ambitious research: A chip to replace animal testing


New drugs made from nanoparticles that can easily penetrate any interface within our bodies are a great hope in medicine. For such hopefuls to reach the market, their safety must be ensured. In this context, it must also be clarified what happens if a substance manages to penetrate the natural barrier between baby and mother, the placenta, in the body of pregnant women.
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Image: A small square apparatus, an electrochemical sensing platform for studying in vitro vascular systems. The channels and reservoirs were visualized using blue ink.; Copyright: Tohoku University

Tohoku University

Sensing platform for studying in vitro vascular systems


The costliness of drug development and the limitations of studying physiological processes in the lab are two separate scientific issues that may share the same solution.
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Image: Close-up of hands in blue gloves holding left and right petri dishes; Copyright: RossHelen


Inspired by nature: Silencing bacteria


Cerium dioxide nanoparticles work in biological processes like natural enzymes and change signaling molecules, thereby preventing the formation of biofilms.
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Image: Maria Pau Ginebra in the laboratory smiles at the camera; Copyright: BarcelonaTech (UPC)

BarcelonaTech (UPC)

Maria Pau Ginebra awarded Advanced Grant by ERC


The European Research Council (ERC) has awarded UPC researcher Maria Pau Ginebra an Advanced Grant to study the mechanisms of biomaterial and bacteria interaction and to develop surfaces that can fight infections and promote bone regeneration.
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Image: A scientist fills plasma-treated liquids into a test tube with a pipette; Copyright: Toni Santiso / Rectimepro

Toni Santiso / Rectimepro

Boosting new gas plasma-based treatments for cancer


Exploring the possibilities of atmospheric-pressure plasmas to develop and consolidate new medical therapies is the main objective of the PlasTHER network, an initiative funded by the European Union under the COST Actions.
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Image: The research team, consists of three men, poses in front of an institute building; Copyright: LIT


Synthetic biosensors reprogram Treg cells to tame autoimmunity and chronic inflammation


Scientists from the Division of Immunology at the Leibniz Institute for Immunotherapy (LIT) have now developed new types of synthetic biosensors, so-called artificial immune receptors (AIRs), which can be used to reprogram Treg cells into intelligent "smart" Tregs.
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Image: Hand wearing blue gloves holding a multi-organ chip; Copyright: TissUse GmbH

TissUse GmbH

Multi-organ chip detects dangerous nanoparticles


What happens when we breathe in nanoparticles emitted by a laser printer, for example? Could these nanoparticles damage the respiratory tract or perhaps even other organs? To answer these questions, Fraunhofer researchers are developing the "NanoCube" exposure device.
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Image: A woman in a white coat sits in the laboratory and smiles at the camera; Copyright: Alex Dolce, Florida Atlantic University

Alex Dolce, Florida Atlantic University

'Placenta-on-a-chip' mimics malaria-infected nutrient exchange between mother-fetus


Researchers from Florida Atlantic University’s College of Engineering and Computer Science and Schmidt College of Medicine have developed a placenta-on-a-chip model that mimics the nutrient exchange between the fetus and mother under the influence of placental malaria.
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Image: Brain surgeon examining a brain via 3D imaging on a monitor; Copyright: DC_Studio


Project GLADIATOR - New technologies for cancer monitoring and therapy


The Fraunhofer Institute for Biomedical Engineering IBMT is contributing its expertise in the field of medical biotechnology and ultrasound to an EC project to work on the next generation of theranostics for brain pathologies using autonomous externally controllable nanonetworks.
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Image: Microbiologist during an inspection of a petri dish; Copyright: microgen


Muscle models mimic diabetes, inform personalized medicine


Abnormally high blood sugar (glucose) levels can result in Type 2 diabetes when things go awry with the body's skeletal muscle, which plays a key role in regulating glucose.
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Image: Long structure of DNA double helix shown in dept; Copyright: ktsimage


Ten new risk genes for Crohn's disease


The results of the international study involving the Cluster of Excellence PMI also point to a previously unknown process in the development of this chronic inflammatory bowel disease.
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Image: A photo in a dark room with weak green light shows a novel biohybrid sensor technology; Copyright: Fraunhofer IPA

Fraunhofer IPA

Biointelligent sensor for measuring viral activity


Fraunhofer IPA is the overall coordinator of the European biointelligence project BioProS, which is funded with over 6 million euros as part of the HORIZON Europe programme. In this project, a biointelligent sensor for measuring viral activity for the production of therapeutics is being developed.
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Bild: Two men in lab coats, Dr. Robert Zweigerdt and Professor Dr. Ulrich Martin, talk in the laboratory on equipment for biotechnology; Copyright: Karin Kaiser / MHH

Karin Kaiser / MHH

New cells for the diseased heart


EU funds research project on cell-based heart repair with 6.1 million euros.
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Image: Man in a lab is holding a long instrument in his hand – Dr. Danila Barskiy; Copyright: Danila Barskiy

Danila Barskiy

Portable spectroscopy devices could soon become real


Nuclear magnetic resonance (NMR) is an analytical tool with a wide range of applications, including the magnetic resonance imaging that is used for diagnostic purposes in medicine. However, NMR often requires powerful magnetic fields to be generated, which limits the scope of its use.
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Image: Image of the inside of a blood vessel; Copyright: DZNE/LAT


Drug testing with artificial brain vessels


In Biomaterials, DZNE researchers present a novel method for testing chemical agents that could help in the development of drugs against neurodegenerative diseases. This analytical technique allows to study in the laboratory whether new drug candidates have a realistic chance of reaching the brain.
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Image: Graphic rendering of several cells in a petri dish; Copyright:

Organ-on-a-chip systems: limited validity?


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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