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Bild:PANBioRA is a new testing system which will be able to perform multiple analyses on cell and micro-tissue levels such as bone tissue; Copyright:  Bildagentur PantherMedia/eranicle

New integrated biomaterial risk assessment testing system


PANBioRA is a four-year "Research and Innovation Action" funded by the European Union’s Horizon 2020 programme aiming to develop a modular system using cross-disciplinary techniques that will predict the patient-specific response to a given biomaterial and methods for analysing novel biomaterials. After six months new advances in different aspects of the system have been reached in the project.
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Image: doctor next to a woman who is doing a breath test; Copyright:

Detecting Parkinson's with sensors and nanoparticles


Symptoms of Parkinson's disease include tremor, loss of smell and neuropsychiatric problems. However, many people aren't diagnosed until their disease is well-advanced, which could limit their treatment options.
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Image: graphic showing the function of the nanocarrier; Copyright: Stefan Schuhmacher

Targeting headaches and tumors with nano-submarines


Scientists at the Mainz University Medical Center and the Max Planck Institute for Polymer Research (MPI-P) have developed a new method to enable miniature drug-filled nanocarriers to dock on to immune cells, which in turn attack tumors. In the future, this may lead to targeted treatment that can largely eliminate damage to healthy tissue.
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Image: close-up of the binary code; Copyright: Prod

A molecular label: traceability for medical implants


A team of researchers at CNRS, Aix-Marseille Université and Université Paris 13 has demonstrated effective molecular labelling to unequivocally identify biomedical implants, even after a prolonged period inside the living being. These results were published in Angewandte Chemie International Edition on July 5, 2018.
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Image: man touching a prosthetic hand equipped with the e-dermis; Copyright: Larry Canner/JHU

New 'e-dermis' brings sense of touch to prosthetic hands


Amputees often experience the sensation of a "phantom limb" – a feeling that a missing body part is still there. That sensory illusion is closer to becoming a reality thanks to a team of engineers at the Johns Hopkins University that has created an electronic skin. When layered on top of prosthetic hands, this e-dermis brings back a real sense of touch through the fingertips.
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Image: headset; Copyright: UTA

New headset scans the user's eye movements


People with disabilities such as ALS, spinal injury or Lou Gehrig's disease, often lose use of their legs, arms or hands. Even at advanced stages of the disease, one may still retain movement in their eyes. Some technologies have incorporated eye-tracking to enable disabled persons to interact with a computer to communicate messages to a caregiver.
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Image: Showing how gold nanoparticles trigger sequential unfolding of 3D structures; Copyright: Sumeet Mishra

Using gold nanoparticles to trigger sequential unfolding of 3D structures


Researchers from North Carolina State University have developed a new technique that takes advantage of gold nanoparticles to trigger the sequential unfolding of three-dimensional structures using different wavelengths of light.
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Graphic: Graphic showing how the electrically conductive hydrogel sends different data on different facial expressions; Copyright: 2018 KAUST

Electronic skin stretched to new limits


An electrically conductive hydrogel that takes stretchability, self-healing and strain sensitivity to new limits has been developed at KAUST. "Our material outperforms all previously reported hydrogels and introduces new functionalities," says Husam Alshareef, professor of materials science and engineering.
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Photo: low-impedance, transparent graphene microelectrode array; Copyright: Yichen Lu/Advanced Functional Materials

A sprinkle of platinum nanoparticles onto graphene makes brain probes more sensitive


Graphene electrodes could enable higher quality imaging of brain cell activity thanks to new research by a team of engineers and neuroscientists at the University of California San Diego.
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Image: detailed picture of the smart stent; Copyright: University of British Columbia

'Smart stent' detects narrowing of arteries


For every three individuals who have had a stent implanted to keep clogged arteries open and prevent a heart attack, at least one will experience restenosis - the renewed narrowing of the artery due to plaque buildup or scarring - which can lead to additional complications.
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Image: smiling man - Jörg Standfuss at the injector; Copyright: Paul Scherrer Institute/Mahir Dzambegovic

Biological light sensor filmed in action


Using X-ray laser technology, a team led by researchers of the Paul Scherrer Institute PSI has recorded one of the fastest processes in biology. In doing so, they produced a molecular movie that reveals how the light sensor retinal is activated in a protein molecule. Such reactions occur in numerous organisms that use the information or energy content of light.
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Image: young woman in front of a laptop, filming her hand movements; Copyright: Oliver Dietze

A webcam is enough to produce a real-time 3D model of a moving hand


Capturing hand and finger movements within milliseconds is becoming increasingly important for many applications, from virtual reality to human-machine interaction and Industry 4.0. So far, it has required enormous technical effort, which in turn has limited the possible applications.
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Image: Resonator Outcoupler Microscopy (PROM) image that highlights focal adhesions of live dental stem cells; Copyright: Yue Zhuo/Brian Cunningham

Novel microscopy technique developed to analyze cellular focal adhesion dynamics


Focal adhesions are large specialized proteins that are located in the area where a cell membrane meets the extracellular matrix (ECM), a collection of molecules surrounding the cells that provide support and regulate micromechanical signals to the cells.
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Image: scientist holding a multiwall plate containing hydrogels with pancreatic islet cells; Copyright: Georgia Tech

Biomaterial particles educate immune system to accept transplanted islets


By instructing key immune system cells to accept transplanted insulin-producing islets, researchers have opened a potentially new pathway for treating type 1 diabetes. If the approach is ultimately successful in humans, it could allow type 1 diabetes to be treated without the long-term complications of immune system suppression.
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