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Image: FlyPi with fluorescence module; Copyright: Tom baden

"FlyPi": an affordable do-it-yourself microscope


It is portable, cheap and can be adapted to many individual experiments – Tom Baden and André Maia Chagas developed the "FlyPi", a modular labware system, based on 3D printing, an open-source manual and self-programmed electronics. The question arises if these open source solutions and the current maker-movement have the potential to transform science.
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Image: Collage of several images that show the function of printed, flexible electronics; Copyright: Leibniz INM

Hybrid inks: printed electronics without sintering


Printed electronics play an ever-increasing role, both in medical technology and other sectors: it is a flexible and space-saving solution and can be manufactured in large quantities at low cost. Right now, newly developed hybrid inks simplify the production of printed electronics and open up new applications thanks to their biocompatible properties.
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Image: Chip with two seperate microcirculations. Next to it lies a one euro coin as a reference size; Copyright: Fraunhofer IWS

Microphysiological Systems: ethically correct and highly realistic


Nobody wants to miss out on the blessing of modern medicine. But despite all of its advances, there is still one downside: animal testing. It's hotly contested for a variety of reasons. On the one hand, it is ethically questionable, while the transfer of results and application to humans is not always accurate on the other. The microphysiological systems of the Fraunhofer IWS offer an alternative.
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Picture: A green plastic frame, in which a picture of the lacewing eggs can be seen. Before this, a film is stretched, which consists of artificial silk of green lacewings; Copyright: Fraunhofer IAP

Artificial silk of green lacewings for medical technology


Researchers have often "looked over nature’s shoulder", sometimes with amazing results. Now the lacewing was given this honor. The way they put their eggs on bend-resistant stems, researchers want to use for new films, globules or capsules. COMPAMED has asked how far the process has progressed.
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Image: A metal cylinder with a small blue-white flame coming from its tip; Copyright: FH Aachen

Surgery: precise incisions with microwave plasma


Gentle surgical techniques support a faster patient recovery process. This also includes high-frequency surgery, where electric current passes through the body via the scalpel. This makes tiny, precise surgical cuts (incisions) possible and promotes vascular closure in the wound area. However, this technique is not without risk for the patient.
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Image: Computer-generated image of a head with an implant in the throat hit by ultrasonic waves; Copyright: Fraunhofer IBMT; Copyright: Fraunhofer IBMT

Ultrasound: energy source for active implants


Implants require sufficient and permanent energy to function as desired. However, unlike a mobile phone or a camera, the size of the battery plays an important role in implants. Researchers are therefore looking for ways to deliver energy from outside.
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 Image: MRI-pictures of a brain. Left, a hand, holding a pen, pointing at an MRI-picture; Copyright: panthermedia.net/olegdudko

Nanoparticles for the MRI – Smart contrast agents


Contrast agents improve the imaging of tissue made by MRI and thus are essential for getting more detailed imaging. But commonly used contrast agents, that are usually based on the metal gadolinium, cannot show enough contrast in early stage of diseases without increasing their concentration up to high levels.
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Graphic: Tiny robots with arms are swimming alondside red blood cells

Nanotechnology: a key to the future of medicine


Even though the field of medical technology has already discovered the nanoworld a long time ago, it is still not as fully researched as it should be. Physicians dream about curing diseases such as cancer with an injection containing nanoparticles. But this is still a long way off in the future since research is continuously facing obstacles.
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Photo: Man wears a boilersuit

Sensor suit to alert you when your posture is bad


SIRKA: this acronym stands for "sensor suit for individual feedback of physical activity". In a joint project, the DFKI is developing a suit designed to prevent problems with poor posture. Inertial sensors are integrated into a work overall. Physiotherapists are also meant to benefit from the results.
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Photo: Laboratory sample of a handpiece for temperature controlled laser coagulation

Laser Coagulation: an alternative to stitches


Wounds in the oral and maxillofacial area are often difficult to suture. Sometimes only simple compression bandages are being used in the oral cavity, which temporarily close the wound. This is why the BI-TRE project, coordinated by the Fraunhofer ILT, is searching for a reliable post-surgical wound closure method.
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