COMPAMED Newsletter

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Image: Tubulogenesis; Copyright: Rice University

3-D bioprinting: One step closer to growing capillaries


In their work toward 3-D printing transplantable tissues and organs, bioengineers and scientists from Rice University and Baylor College of Medicine have demonstrated a key step on the path to generate implantable tissues with functioning capillaries.
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Photo: 3-D printed heart valve; Copyright: Rob Felt

3-D printed models could improve patient outcomes in heart valve replacements


Heart valve models created with advanced 3-D printers could soon assist cardiologists in preparing to perform life-saving heart valve replacements. Researchers at Georgia Institute of Technology and Piedmont Heart Institute are using standard medical imaging and new 3-D printing technologies to create patient-specific heart valve models that mimic the physiological qualities of the real valves.
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Image: Red rubies in a yellow fluid; Copyright: Sven Otto/JGU

Molecular thermometer for contactless measurement using infrared light


Chemists at Johannes Gutenberg University Mainz (JGU) in cooperation with researchers of the German Federal Institute for Materials Research and Testing (BAM) in Berlin have developed a molecular thermometer. The gemstone ruby served as the source of inspiration.
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Image: A test strip sucks up a drop of blood from a person's finger; Copyright: Popov

New flu test: one drop of blood could save your life


Australian researchers have developed a world first test to identify which influenza patients will need urgent, life-saving, medical treatment. The High-risk Influenza Screen Test (HIST) measures 'an early warning signal' released by the patient's body into their blood to 'kick start' their immune system's fight against the infection.
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Image: Bluely colored tissue sample; Copyright: Somsanuk

Using light to reach higher precision in cell mechanic research


Not only muscle cells, but also all other cell types continually generate forces in the human body. An interdisciplinary cooperation of biologists and physicists including Heidelberg researcher Prof. Ulrich Schwarz now succeeded in performing high-resolution measurements of cell forces using light to switch them on and off in a controlled manner.
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Image: Graphic in blue and black - Domain Walls; Copyright: Queen's University Belfast

Breakthrough by Queen's University paves way for smaller electronic devices


Queen's University Belfast researchers have discovered a new way to create extremely thin electrically conducting sheets, which could revolutionise the tiny electronic devices that control everything from smart phones to banking and medical technology.
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Image: Peptide Nanofibers; Copyright: Hartgerink Research Group/Rice University

Mussels add muscle to biocompatible fibers


Rice University chemists develop hydrogel strings using compound found in sea creatures.
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Image: A colony of bacillar bacteria forming a biofilm; Copyright: Vernita Gordon/U. of Texas at Austin

Biofilm discovery suggests way to prevent infections


Microbial biofilms - dense, sticky mats of bacteria that are hard to treat and can lead to dangerous infections - often form in medical equipment, such as flexible plastic tubing used in catheters or in tubes used to help patients breathe. By some estimates, more than 1 million people contract infections from medical devices in U.S. hospitals each year, many of which are due to biofilms.
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Image: old man with no hands; Copyright: / Tawatchai Khid-arn

Hand that sees offers new hope to amputees


A new generation of prosthetic limbs which will allow the wearer to reach for objects automatically, without thinking -- just like a real hand -- are to be trialled for the first time.
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Image: Medical glass vials in a production line; Copyright: Nernamov

Tiny 'cages' could keep vaccines safe at high temperatures


Vaccines and antibodies could be transported and stored without refrigeration by capturing them in tiny silica 'cages', a discovery which could make getting vital medicines to remote or dangerous places much easier, cheaper and safer.
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Image: A preemie in an incubator; Copyright:

Lab on a chip designed to minimize preterm births


In the United States alone, a half million babies are born preterm; worldwide, the number is an estimated 15 million. Complications associated with preterm birth are the no. 1 cause of death for children under 5, and those who live often face a range of health problems.
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