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COMPAMED Newsletter

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New drug hope for rare bone cancer patients


Patients with a rare bone cancer of the skull and spine - chordoma - could be helped by existing drugs, suggest scientists from the Wellcome Trust Sanger Institute, University College London Cancer Institute and the Royal National Orthopaedic Hospital NHS Trust.
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Image: illustration of a cell with an on/off-button; Copyright: MIPT Press Office

New proton 'starter' for optogenetics


Scientists have examined a protein that will find application in optogenetics and could be used to control muscle and neuronal cells. The paper on the light-sensitive NsXeR protein of the xenorhodopsin class was published in Science Advances by the international team of researchers from MIPT, Forschungszentrum Jülich, and Institut de Biologie Structurale.
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Meeting an unmet need: A surgical implant that grows with a child


A novel, growth-accommodating implant could revolutionize cardiac repair.
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Liquid biopsy may be new way to detect liver cancer earlier, easier


Researchers discover blood-based DNA test for effective, minimally invasive diagnosis of hepatocellular carcinoma.
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Watertight capsules for target drug delivery


Scientists from Tomsk Polytechnic University and Queen Mary's University of London proposed a new technique for the fabrication of polymeric microcarriers for target drug delivery in the body. They combined a hydrophobic material polylactic acid and a biodegradable polymer calcium carbonate to encapsulate water-soluble drugs.
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Photo: The researchers Ross-Sandberg-Savolainen; Copyright: Johan Bodell/Chalmers University of Technology

Biomarkers in the blood prove strong role of food for type 2 diabetes


A pioneering method, developed at Chalmers University of Technology, has demonstrated its potential in a large study, showing that metabolic fingerprints from blood samples could render important new knowledge on the connection between food and health.
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Photo: Test person drawing a spiral on a digital drawing tablet; Copyright: RMIT University

New diagnostic tool spots first signs of Parkinson's disease


Researchers develop first tool that can diagnose Parkinson's disease when there are no physical symptoms
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Clinical study: prototype UT equipment can detect rheumatoid arthritis


According to a first clinical study published in the scientific journal 'Photoacoustics', the University of Twente and various European partners have designed a device that shows the difference between healthy fingers and arthritic fingers.
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MRI contrast agent locates and distinguishes aggressive from slow-growing breast cancer


Case Western Reserve University researchers target tumor protein.
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Image: representative PET/CT mouse brain images at days 3, 6 and 10 post-infection with Zika virus; Copyright: US Army Medical Research Institute of Infectious Diseases

PET imaging tracks Zika virus infection, disease progression in mouse model


For the first time, scientists have used Positron Emission Tomography (PET) imaging to study brain inflammation following Zika virus infection in mice, according to a study recently published online in the journal Molecular Imaging and Biology. The technology has the added benefit of allowing investigators to study the progression of the disease over time.
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Image: scientists holding the various applications containing ANGPTL4, which included a sponge, filler, gel patch, paste, hydrogel and injection ; Copyright: NTU Singapore

NTU scientists develop patch which could improve healing and reduce scarring


Scientists from Nanyang Technological University, Singapore (NTU Singapore) have developed a new gel patch prototype that could speed up the healing of a skin wound while minimising the formation of scars. The team unveiled the patch today as a proof-of-concept.
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3-D printed brain allows surgeons to practice


Plastic printout lets doctors get a feel for the anatomy, for a fraction of the cost of a computer simulation.
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New software turns mobile-phone accessory into breathing monitor


Researchers have developed new software that makes it possible to use low-cost, thermal cameras attached to mobile phones to track how fast a person is breathing. This type of mobile thermal imaging could be used for monitoring breathing problems in elderly people living alone, people suspected of having sleep apnea or babies at risk for sudden infant death syndrome (SIDS).
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Image: illustration of a 3D protein structure; Copyright: Zhou et al./Nature 2017

3-D protein structure offers insight into rapid communication by brain cells


An intricate new three-dimensional protein structure is providing a detailed look into how brain cells communicate rapidly. By visualizing how three neural proteins interact with one another, researchers have revealed how they help groups of brain cells release chemical messages at the same time.
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Image: four different measurements of the test with increased sensibility; Copyright: Xiaohu Xia/Michigan Tech

Test strips for cancer detection get upgraded with nanoparticle bling


The most common test strip people might think of for diagnosis is a home pregnancy test. Pregnant women have steadily increasing levels of the biomarker human chorionic gonadotropin (hCG), which is easily detectable in urine and a thin, colorful strip of antibodies will appear when hCG is present.
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Radioactive metal complexes for tumour diagnosis and therapy


A team under the direction of chemist Prof. Peter Comba is investigating radioactive metal complexes for use in the diagnosis and treatment of tumours. In their recent studies at Heidelberg University's Institute of Inorganic Chemistry, the researchers demonstrated that developing radiopharmaceutical tracers based on indium and actinium shows great promise for new radiopharmaceuticals.
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Image: finger touching a medical implant; Copyright: Queen's University Belfast

Innovation could mean flexible rechargeable batteries for pacemakers


Experts at Queen's University Belfast have designed a flexible and organic alternative to the rigid batteries that power up medical implants.
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Image:3-D-print custom-made models of the hip joint; Copyright: University of California San Diego

Smart underwear proven to prevent back stress with just a tap


Vanderbilt University engineering Ph.D. student Erik Lamers helped develop the design, garnering a Young Investigator Award last month at the Congress of the International Society of Biomechanics in Brisbane, Australia.
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Image:3-D-print custom-made models of the hip joint; Copyright: University of California San Diego

Engineers harness the power of 3-D printing to help train surgeons, shorten surgery times


A team of engineers and pediatric orthopedic surgeons are using 3D printing to help train surgeons and shorten surgeries for the most common hip disorder found in children ages 9 to 16. In a recent study, researchers showed that allowing surgeons to prep on a 3D-printed model of the patient's hip joint cut by about 25 percent the amount of time needed for surgery when compared to a control group.
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Adoption of robotics into a hospital's daily operations requires broad cooperation


VTT Technical Research Centre of Finland studied the implementation of a logistics robot system at the Seinäjoki Central Hospital in South Ostrobothnia. The aim is to reduce transportation costs, improve the availability of supplies and alleviate congestion on hospital hallways by running deliveries around the clock on every day of the week.
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Image: Digital 3D reconstruction of a healthy human skin biopsy. The spatial arrangement of the blood and lymph vessels can be seen; Copyright: JCI Insight

New method of analysing lymphoedema - Making digital 3D images of tissue


Researchers at the Cells-in-Motion Cluster of Excellence have developed a new method for producing digital 3D reconstructions of blood and lymphatic vessels from tissue samples and then creating images of them for analysis. The study has been published in the JCI Insight journal.
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Personalised medicine: Researchers are developing "smart" heart pumps


Using an algorithm developed at the Medical University of Vienna together with the Ludwig Boltzmann Cluster for Cardiovascular Research and a recording device that was also designed there, it is now possible, for the first time in the world, to accurately monitor people fitted with cardiac pumps – what the technical jargon refers to as "smart pumping".
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Gut-on-chip good predictor of drug side-effects


Research conducted at Leiden has established that guts-on-chips respond in the same way to aspirin as real human organs do. This is a sign that these model organs are good predictors of the effect of medical drugs on the human body. Publication in Nature Communications on 15 August.
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Robotic system monitors specific neurons


Success rate is comparable to that of highly trained scientists performing the process manually.
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Artificial intelligence predicts dementia before onset of symptoms


Imagine if doctors could determine, many years in advance, who is likely to develop dementia. Such prognostic capabilities would give patients and their families time to plan and manage treatment and care. Thanks to artificial intelligence research conducted at McGill University, this kind of predictive power could soon be available to clinicians everywhere.
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New imaging technique spots prostate tumours starved of oxygen


A new imaging technique uncovers oxygen levels in prostate tumours and could lead to a non-invasive way to determine which tumours are more difficult to treat, according to a Cancer Research UK-funded study published in Theranostics.
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Image: molecule structure; Copyright: Ostrovsky

Cutting-edge technology: research on new drugs at gigahertz magnetic field at the University of Bayreuth


The University of Bayreuth supports research in the forefront of structural biology applied to molecular medicine, a field that was very successful in recent years. Scientists at this university focus, among others, on the development of antiviral drugs, novel antibiotics, and strategies against allergies.
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Image: the 3-D droplet bioprinter; Copyright: Sam Olof/ Alexander Graham

A new method for the 3-D printing of living tissues


Scientists at the University of Oxford have developed a new method to 3D-print laboratory- grown cells to form living structures. The approach could revolutionise regenerative medicine, enabling the production of complex tissues and cartilage that would potentially support, repair or augment diseased and damaged areas of the body.
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Drug-delivering micromotors treat their first bacterial infection in the stomach


Nanoengineers at the University of California San Diego have demonstrated for the first time using micromotors to treat a bacterial infection in the stomach. These tiny vehicles, each about half the width of a human hair, swim rapidly throughout the stomach while neutralizing gastric acid and then release their cargo of antibiotics at the desired pH.
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Image: Properties of the photostable dye; Copyright: ITbM/Nagoya University

Super-photostable fluorescent labeling agent for super-resolution microscopy


Chemists at ITbM, Nagoya University have developed a super-photostable fluorescent dye, PhoxBright 430 (PB430), to visualize cellular ultrastructure by super resolution microscopy.
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New terahertz imaging approach could speed up skin cancer detection


Researchers have developed a new terahertz imaging approach that, for the first time, can acquire micron-scale resolution images while retaining computational approaches designed to speed up image acquisition. This combination could allow terahertz imaging to be useful for detecting early-stage skin cancer without requiring a tissue biopsy from the patient.
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New measure of insulin-making cells could gauge diabetes progression


Researchers at the University of Wisconsin-Madison have developed a new measurement for the volume and activity of beta cells, the source of the sugar-regulating hormone insulin.
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Image: lower part of human torso with kidneys, highlighted red; Copyright: Kaulitzki

Early diagnostic imaging to prevent kidney disease


Osaka University researchers, in collaboration with several Japanese companies, translate neuroimaging tools to study renal fibrosis in rat kidney. The technique is expected to replace the invasive biopsies currently used to identify patients at risk of developing chronic kidney disease.
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Electrical grounding technique may improve health outcomes of NICU babies


A technique called "electrical grounding" may moderate preterm infants' electromagnetic exposure in the neonatal intensive care unit (NICU) and improve their health outcomes, according to Penn State College of Medicine researchers.
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Image: Illustration of the speaker seperation; Copyright: Nima Mesgarani/Columbia Engineering

Cognitive hearing aid filters out the noise


Columbia Engineers make major advance in helping the hearing impaired follow a conversation in a noisy environment: new method brings cognitive hearing aids a step closer to reality.
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Image: Illustration of the CTC Testing for BCBM patients; Copyright: Houston Methodist

Researchers working on blood test to detect brain metastases while still treatable


Houston Methodist cancer researchers are now closer to creating a blood test that can identify breast cancer patients who are at increased risk for developing brain metastasis, and also monitor disease progression and response to therapy in real time.
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Bioprinted veins reveal new drug diffusion details


Artificially constructed human tissues and organs have been developed with a number of different purposes in mind, from advanced robotics and novel materials to drug screening. The precision demanded by drug screening applications puts especially large demands on how accurately biomimetic constructs replicate tissue characteristics and behaviors involved in drug absorption.
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Image: conventional endoscopy; woman lying and doctor standing next to her; Copyright:

Smaller, smarter, softer robotic arm for endoscopic surgery


Flexible endoscopes can snake through narrow passages to treat difficult to reach areas of the body. However, once they arrive at their target, these devices rely on rigid surgical tools to manipulate or remove tissue. These tools offer surgeons reduced dexterity and sensing, limiting the current therapeutic capabilities of the endoscope.
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New 3-D imaging reveals how human cell nucleus organizes DNA and chromatin of its genome


Structure determines function. Revealing the dynamic and structural interactions of DNA in the nucleus has been a critical missing link in genotype to phenotype.
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Simulations signal early success for fractal-based retinal implants


University of Oregon researchers seeking to build devices using nature's geometry report that their approach uses less voltage and reaches more neurons than current technologies.
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Image: woman and doctors in front of a tomograph; Copyrigh: Olson

Seeing more with PET scans: New chemistry for medical imaging


Surprising new mechanism for attaching chemical tracers discovered by team at Berkeley Lab, UC Berkeley.
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Image: A nurse is putting a patch on a patient's upper arm; Copyright: Jobst

Skin vaccination with microneedle patch, influenza fusion protein


A boosting skin vaccination with a biodegradable microneedle patch and protein constructed from sequences of influenza virus subtypes could improve the effectiveness of conventional influenza vaccines, according to a study led by Georgia State University.
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Image: Collage of images showing how a new surgical adhesive works; Copyright: IBS

New harmless radiopaque glue to seal bleeding and guide surgery


First nanoparticle-based adhesive with imaging contrast effect in CT and ultrasound was successfully tested in animals and showed less toxicity than the FDA-approved glue CA-Lp.
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