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

Image: A person in a white t-shirt is holding an anatomical model of the kidney in front of their abdomen; Copyright: PantherMedia/benschonewille

Technology against organ shortage – Support for the successful transplant

03/02/2022

The waiting time for a donor organ is long nowadays since the need for organs vastly exceeds their availability. But we have possibilities to improve the situation and help as many people as possible to survive despite organ failure: Some organ functions can already be substituted by technology. But medicine is also researching ways to make more organs available for transplant.
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Image: Finger clip device; Copyright: University of Missouri

Custom finger clip offers a new way to measure blood pressure and other vitals

10/01/2022

Monitoring a person's blood pressure on a regular basis can help health care professionals with early detection of various health problems such as high blood pressure, which has no warning signs or symptoms. University of Missouri engineers have designed a prototype of a novel blood pressure monitoring device using two photoplethysmography (PPG) sensors.
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Image: Image showing part of an ECMO machine – a square part through which blood is channeled; Copyright: PantherMedia/Richmanphoto

COPD: How long before the implantable lung is here?

03/01/2022

Extracorporeal membrane oxygenation (ECMO) is often a last resort treatment for patients with acute respiratory failure. The method uses an external pump to circulate blood through an artificial lung back into the bloodstream. However, the use of ECMO for long-term support is not possible for patients with chronic respiratory failure.
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Image: Man with a bare upper-body is showing an implanted cardiac support system; Copyright: PantherMedia/NikD51

Donor organs: Solving the shortage with technology

03/01/2022

Patients waiting for a donor organ must have a lot of patience and a bit of luck. Aging and a rise in chronic disease prevalence means the need for donor organs is much greater than the number that is available. To help those who need organ transplants, scientists must create new technologies.
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Image: Saliva Test Swab; Copyright: PantherMedia  / Andriy Popov

An aptasensor has been designed to detect the SARS-CoV-2 virus in saliva

21/12/2021

Scientists at the Universidad Carlos III de Madrid have developed the first photo-electrochemical aptasensor that detects the SARS-CoV-2 virus in a saliva sample. This sensor, which uses aptamers, is more sensitive that antigen-based sensors and detects the virus more quickly and cheaply than PCR tests. These new devices can be incorporated into portable diagnostic systems and are easy to use.
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Wearable biosensors can help people with complex health conditions

20/12/2021

Remote monitoring of health-related behaviour with wearable sensor technology is feasible for people with complex health conditions, shows a recent University of Waterloo study.
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Implants for the senses – Hearing and seeing with technology

01/12/2021

We can replace certain functions of the body with implants nowadays, others we cannot. When it comes to the human senses, we are still quite at the beginning. The technologies and materials we can use are way to coarse compared to our nervous system. But implants can also help us to maintain senses.
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Image: Scalable stem cell processing technology in suspension bioreactors; Copyright: Fraunhofer IBMT/Bernd Müller

Stem cells from the bioreactor

04/11/2021

With the aid of artificial stem cells, it will soon be possible to establish new treatments for previously incurable diseases such as Alzheimer’s disease. At the Fraunhofer Project Center for Stem Cell Process Engineering SPT, a process for the mass production of these so called induced pluripotent stem cells is being developed. This process involves new materials.
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Image: lexandra Hansard, Sanjay Gokhale and George Alexandrakis; Copyright: UT Arlington

Wearable device could reduce racial disparities in blood measurements

29/10/2021

Bioengineers and scientists at The University of Texas at Arlington, in collaboration with Austin’s Shani Biotechnologies, LLC, have developed a new noninvasive technology that may help real-time monitoring of key blood parameters, such as hemoglobin, especially in Black patients.
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Image: A Woman with a wearable; Copyright: Asociación RUVID

Researchers stimulate the vision of a blind person

21/10/2021

A new brain implant based on intracortical microelectrodes can allow a blind person to see shapes and letters. New research by the Miguel Hernández Univresity shows that the implantation of this micro device in the human brain can be done safely, and that the direct stimulation of the cerebral cortex produces visual perceptions with a much higher resolution than had been achieved until now.
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Image: Muthukumaran Packirisamy; Copyright: Concordia University

Concordia researchers develop a new way to find cancer at the nanometre scale

20/10/2021

Diagnosing and treating cancer can be a race against time. By the time the disease is diagnosed in a patient, all too often it is advanced and able to spread throughout the body, decreasing chances of survival. Early diagnosis is key to stopping it.
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Image: Artist’s rendering of small star-shaped machines between red blood cells; Copyright: PantherMedia/Michael Osterrieder

Autonomous medical devices: running well in your body

01/02/2021

In theory, autonomous medical technologies can be used in a diagnostic or therapeutic capacity inside the body under certain conditions. This may not sound like a new invention at first. After all, implantable cardioverter-defibrillators have monitored and fixed abnormal heart rhythm for many years.
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Image: Artist’s rendering of small robots with grapplers and searchlights that swim between red blood cells; Copyright: PantherMedia/Andreus

Autonomous medical technology: independently in the body

01/02/2021

Therapies need to be carried out with high reliability by trained personal. This will not change in the future. But maybe we will be able to let systems in the patient’s body do some of the work. Some approaches are already aiming to make implants more independent so they will be able to flexibly react to changes. Read more in our Topic of the Month!
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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: 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: 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: A miniaturized, round sensor under a fingertip; Copyright: TU Dresden

SmartLab: all-in-one automation, digitalization, and miniaturization

01/09/2020

Laboratories have to analyze and interpret an ever-increasing number of samples for research and diagnostic services, generating lots of data in the process. At the same time, labs are required to produce quality results and operate with speed. Processes that could once be managed using laboratory notebooks and isolated systems must become smart in the future to improve lab efficiency.
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Israeli medical devices showcase digital innovations at MEDICA

24/08/2020

For the annual MEDICA trade fair, companies from all over the world assemble in Düsseldorf. The Israel Export Institute has been a part of it for the last couple of years. They present medical devices and digital innovations from different Israeli companies at their joint booth.
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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: A half-transparent red piece of tissue in a glass filled with a yellow fluid; Copyright: United Therapeutics

rhCollagen: genetically engineered building block for regenerative medicine

03/02/2020

Collagen is the stuff that holds our bodies together and that houses our cells. In regenerative medicine, it is also the stuff that can be applied to wounds to support healing. However, collagen from animal or human sources has some drawbacks for today’s medicine. This is where rhCollagen from the Israeli company CollPlant comes into play.
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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: 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.
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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.
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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.
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