Antibiotic resistance: technical tricks against pathogens -- MEDICA - World Forum for Medicine

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The smart lab: The shift to more digitization is picking up speed

01/10/2021

They have probably never been in the spotlight as much as during the pandemic: laboratories. In Germany alone, around 73 million COVID-19-tests have been evaluated since the beginning of 2020. And even away from Corona, laboratory physicians have a lot to do – blood, urine and aspirates have to be evaluated every day. That results in an enormous amount of work, just in terms of organization.
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Image: a robot arm holding a small glass; Copyright: PantherMedia / Bork

The smart lab: Between manual work and digitization

01/10/2021

In the laboratory, there is some work that is time-consuming and monotonous – making it the perfect place for digital solutions such as artificial intelligence or robotics. But what work can these systems really take on in a meaningful way, in which areas of the lab are they present today, and where do they still need to be improved?
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Image: Gabriel Popescu, professor of electrical and computer engineering at the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign; Copyright: Beckman Institute for Advanced Science and Technology

Microscopy plus AI equals rapid COVID-19 detection

14/09/2021

Researchers at the Beckman Institute for Advanced Science and Technology combined label-free microscopic imaging with artificial intelligence to quickly detect and classify SARS-CoV-2.
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Image: Hyperspectral imaging system and Saliva samples on a table; Copyright: University of Seville

Remote detection of viruses on surfaces

24/08/2021

Researchers from the University of Seville have developed and patented a prototype to detect remotely viruses (including synthetic SARS-CoV-2) deposited on surfaces, analyzing images taken at multiple wavelengths – the so-called hyperspectral imaging – a technique commonly used in astrophysics.
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Image: NUS researcher Mr Douglas Tay in a hospital room at the NCID demonstrating how the Gesundheit II exhalation collection equipment is used; Copyright: National University of Singapore

Fine aerosols emitted during talking and singing may play a crucial role in COVID-19 transmission

24/08/2021

A new study led by researchers from the National University of Singapore (NUS), and conducted at the National Centre for Infectious Diseases (NCID), revealed that severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus (SARS-CoV-2) particles can be aerosolised by an infected person during talking and singing.
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Image: Graphic of a semi-sphere with a jagged edge trapping a virus; Copyright: Elena-Marie Willner, DietzLab/TUM

Hollow nano-objects made of DNA could trap viruses

28/07/2021

To date, there are no effective antidotes against most virus infections. An interdisciplinary research team at the Technical University of Munich (TUM) has now developed a new approach: they engulf and neutralize viruses with nano-capsules tailored from genetic material using the DNA origami method.
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Disinfection: antibacterial coating on surfaces in the ICU

01/03/2021

All hospitalized patients are susceptible to contracting a nosocomial infection, with ICU patients being particularly at risk. The effects of these hospital-acquired infections are often more dangerous than the original reason for the in-patient hospitalization. The "PACMAN" project is now testing an antimicrobial coating for frequently used contact surfaces at high risk of pathogen transmission.
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Medical devices: hygienic design combats pathogens

03/02/2021

Medical hygiene does not just play a key role during the COVID-19 pandemic. Preventing the transmission of infectious diseases and especially the spread of multidrug-resistant organisms is paramount even in non-pandemic times. While hygiene practices in hospitals and medical offices are essential, the industry can also make an important contribution with hygienic product design.
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Image: Prototype of the airlock; Copyright: Fraunhofer IBP

Covid-19: protective canopy prevents infection

19/01/2021

The risk of infection with SARS-CoV-2 is particularly high indoors. This is because, in addition to smear and droplet infection, infection via aerosols that accumulate and spread in the air is also possible there. Sufficient air exchange or air purification help to prevent this. The protective canopy developed by Fraunhofer IBP also follows such an approach.
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Image: A blue, box-shaped device with a handle and a nozzle; Copyright: 99Technologies S.A.

Disinfection: let mist do the work

02/11/2020

Healthcare settings require sharp weapons to fight both hospital-acquired infections and pathogens like SARS-CoV-2. Besides protective equipment, regular room disinfection is one of them. But they require time and are also prone to error if done manually. Fully automated solutions are needed to relief hospital staff from this exhausting work and perform it reliably. So, why not fog the room?
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Image: A researcher sits at a laboratory bench and puts gloves at his hands; Copyright: PantherMedia/dragana.stock@gmail.com

The safe laboratory – protection through technology

01/04/2020

When biomedical researchers or diagnosticians work with potentially contagious materials like cell cultures, blood or tissue, they need absolute protection from pathogens. Both safety measures in the workspace and the correct tools and materials are key here. Learn in our Topic of the Month what is important for protection in the lab and what a safe laboratory looks like.
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Image: A female researcher with face mask, gloves and cap puts an object slide on a microscope; Copyright: PantherMedia/Kzenon

Laboratory work: the right personal protective equipment is crucial

01/04/2020

When working with infectious materials and organisms in the laboratory, safe handling and appropriate training are of utmost importance. Another central component is personal protective equipment designed to prevent contact with tissue, liquids and aerosols and protect the wearer.
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Image: Microscope next to a screen showing pictures of bacteria cultures; Copyright: PantherMedia/shmeljov

Laboratory safety: infection prevention in the work area

01/04/2020

What goes in, must not come out - and must also not cause harm to anyone working inside the lab. That's perhaps a nice way of summing up "laboratory safety" in one sentence - at least wherever pathogens are handled in biological and medical settings. The necessary laboratory safety precautions primarily depend on what is waiting "inside".
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Image: Researcher with gloves and protective suit is working at a microscope; Copyright: PantherMedia/EvgeniyShkolenko

BSL-4 laboratories: highest levels of safety and protection

01/04/2020

Laboratories are sectioned into four biosafety levels to dictate the precautions required to isolate dangerous biological agents. The highest level of biological safety, BSL-4, is perhaps the most well-known when we think of containing pathogens and microbes. However, the fewest number of laboratories actually fall into the BSL-4 category.
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Image: UV Visual Lift; Copyright: by UVentions

Hygiene: Smart protection against pathogens like the coronavirus

23/03/2020

Germs such as bacteria, viruses or pathogenic fungi can spread from one person to another through direct contact when we shake hands or touch objects. People touch door handles and push elevator buttons in public places and constantly move in and out of spaces. Regular manual high-level disinfection is practically impossible. UVentions GmbH has found an intelligent solution for this problem.
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Endoprostheses: between possibility and reality

01/01/2020

When natural joints lose their ability to function, they can be completely or partially replaced by artificial joints, also called endoprostheses. Endoprostheses must be of a certain quality, as they should remain in the body as long as possible. In addition to some risks, endoprostheses can also contribute to a mobile and carefree life for young and old.
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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: cemented artificial hip endoprostheses; Copyright: panthermedia.net/coddie

Endoprostheses: regaining independence and mobility

01/01/2020

Joints can suddenly or gradually deteriorate and lose their natural strength, whether it’s due to accidents, diseases or simple wear and tear. In some of these cases, implants of artificial joints – endoprostheses - can help. As a joint replacement, they are designed to stay in the body for as long as needed and as such improve the patient’s quality of life and mobility.
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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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Medicine at the pulse of time: Innovations and trends at MEDICA 2019

04/11/2019

Soon, the world's largest trade fair for medical technology will open its doors again: More than 5.000 exhibitors will present their newest products and ideas at MEDICA from 18 to 21 November. You will not only meet well-known companies here, but also lots of young start-ups. Or, you can visit the MEDICA forums and conferences to experience a rich program of lectures and discussions.
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Image: A greenly lit laboratory device; Copyright: Sven Döring

Photonics: "We want a rapid and easy method to identify pathogens and antibiotic resistance"

01/08/2019

The medical devices value chain has gaps between academic research and industrial practice that slow down innovation processes. This also applies to time-sensitive and urgently needed products such as rapid diagnostic tests to identify resistant pathogens. At the InfectoGnostics Research Campus in Jena, partners from research and medicine team up to close these gaps.
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Image: A man is holding a hand full of pill blisters with antibiotics; Copyright: panthermedia.net/alexkalina

Combating antibiotic resistance: One step ahead through technology

01/08/2019

Antibiotic resistance is on the rise in all parts of the world, complicating medical treatment of serious bacterial infections in patients. The World Health Organization estimates that approximately 33,000 people die each year from antibiotic-resistant bacteria in Europe alone. Bacteria that are resistant to multiple or even all known antibiotics pose an ever-increasing threat.
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Image: A lab technician is using a pipette to fill a solution into a petri dish; Copyright: panthermedia.net/Arne Trautmann

Last-resort antibiotics: "We can identify carbapenemases within half an hour"

01/08/2019

Antibiotic resistance is modern medicine's greatest challenge. Some bacteria only respond to a handful of antibiotics, prompting hospitals to spend a lot of time finding an effective drug. That’s why it is critical for physicians to rapidly identify antibiotic resistance to avoid ineffective treatments.
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Image: Two petri dishes with different kinds of agar plates on which bacterial cultures are growing; Copyright: panthermedia.net/photographee.eu

Antibiotic resistance: technical tricks against pathogens

01/08/2019

An untreatable infection is a nightmare for physicians and potentially life-threatening to the patient. Unfortunately, more and more pathogens emerge that are resistant to drugs, especially antibiotics. We need to use our drugs smartly and come up with technical solutions as well to prevent our weapons from blunting in the future.
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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.
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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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