COMPAMED Newsletter

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Image: Two scientists look at a screen which shows red and green dots; Copyright: J. Hillmer, DWI

An injectable guidance system for nerve cells

11/04/2017

In many tissues of the human body, such as nerve tissue, the spatial organization of cells plays an important role. Nerve cells and their long protrusions assemble into nerve tracts and transport information throughout the body. When such a tissue is injured, an accurate spatial orientation of the cells facilitates the healing process.
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Image: a cell structure in blue; Copyright: panthermedia.net/Ralwel

How to hack a cell

05/04/2017

The human body is made up of trillions of cells, microscopic computers that carry out complex behaviors according to the signals they receive from each other and their environment. Synthetic biologists engineer living cells to control how they behave by converting their genes into programmable circuits.
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Image: A black and white radiographic image of a nozzle; Copyright: Dominik Oberthür, DESY

Novel nozzle saves crystals

23/03/2017

Scientists are interested in the spatial structure of proteins, as it reveals much about the workings of these biomolecules. This knowledge can lead to a better understanding of the functions of biomolecules and to tailored medicines. X-ray crystallography is the prime tool to solve protein structures. However, it requires to grow crystals of the proteins under investigation.
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Image: A cell clinging to an uneven surface; Copyright: UC San Diego

New nano-implant could one day help restore sight

21/03/2017

A team of engineers at the University of California San Diego and La Jolla-based startup Nanovision Biosciences Inc. have developed the nanotechnology and wireless electronics for a new type of retinal prosthesis that brings research a step closer to restoring the ability of neurons in the retina to respond to light.
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Image: Female doctor with an AIDS ribbon; Copyright: panthermedia.net / Denis Nata

MRI scans can help spot HIV in the brain

16/03/2017

Scientists at UCL have developed a way to use MRI scans to help identify when HIV is persisting in the brain despite effective drug treatment.
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Image: Male scientist is working in a lab; Copyright: University of Houston

MRI-powered mini-robots could offer targeted treatment

15/03/2017

Invasive surgical techniques - cutting through the breastbone for open heart surgery or making a large incision to inspect an abdominal tumor - allow physicians to effectively treat disease but can lead to sometimes serious complications and dramatically slow healing for the patient.
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Image: Different image of the brain; Copyright: panthermedia.net/tushchakorn

Tiny fibers open new windows into the brain

28/02/2017

For the first time ever, a single flexible fiber no bigger than a human hair has successfully delivered a combination of optical, electrical, and chemical signals back and forth into the brain, putting into practice an idea first proposed two years ago.
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Photo: Producing a pancreas chip; Copyright: Matthias Meier, Universität Freiburg

BMBF funding for diabetes research on pancreas chip

24/02/2017

Germany's BMBF will be funding the new "PancChip" consortium for the next three years. This group will be coordinated at the Helmholtz Zentrum München. The objective is further development of the culture and differentiation of stem cells into functional beta cells on a chip, and consequently the resolution of issues regarding the formation and treatment of diabetes and other pancreatic disorders.
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Image: I-Wire Heart-on-chip; Copyright: VIIBRE Vanderbilt University

Organ-on-a-chip mimics heart's biomechanical properties

23/02/2017

The human heart beats more than 2.5 billion times in an average lifetime. Now scientists at Vanderbilt University have created a three-dimensional organ-on-a-chip that can mimic the heart's amazing biomechanical properties.
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Image: Shop window doll with sensor on the chest ; Copyright: Shanshan Yao

Wearable: low-cost sensor to measure skin hydration

31/01/2017

Researchers from North Carolina State University have developed a wearable, wireless sensor that can monitor a person's skin hydration for use in applications that need to detect dehydration before it poses a health problem. The device is lightweight, flexible and stretchable and has already been incorporated into prototype devices that can be worn on the wrist or as a chest patch.
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Image: Graphic of the microneedles that deliver insulin; Copyright: American Chemical Society

Toward a 'smart' patch that automatically delivers insulin when needed

24/01/2017

Treatment for certain diabetes cases involves constant monitoring of blood-glucose levels and daily insulin shots. But scientists are now developing a painless "smart" patch that monitors blood glucose and releases insulin when levels climb too high.
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