Nanomedicine is the medical application of nanotechnology. Nanomedicine ranges from the medical applications of nanomaterials and biological devices, to nanoelectronic biosensors, and even possible future applications of molecular nanotechnology such as biological machines.

  • About injured hearts that grow back - Heart regeneration mechanism in zebrafish revealed

    Zebrafish have a wonderful characteristic trait: they have extraordinary regenerative powers that go beyond the ability to regrow injured extremities. Even heart injuries heal up completely in this fish species. For cardiologists, who regularly treat heart attack patients, this would be a dream come true. Scientists at Utrecht University and Ulm University now have unravelled a central molecular mechanism that coordinates this healing process.
  • Better Contrast Agents Based on Nanoparticles

    Scientists at the University of Basel have developed nanoparticles which can serve as efficient contrast agents for magnetic resonance imaging. This new type of nanoparticles produce around ten times more contrast than common contrast agents and are responsive to specific environments. The journal Chemical Communications has published these results.

  • Biodegradable composites: a significant advance in medical implant technology

    • Evonik is conducting research on new composite materials for the fixation of fractured bones
    • Bioresorbable polymers degrade naturally in the body, eliminating the need for additional surgery
    • Medical implant technology is an attractive and growing market

  • Bipolare Störung: Hinweise auf mögliche genetische Veranlagung des Ansprechens auf Lithiumtherapie

    The International Consortium on Lithium Generics (ConLiGen) – ein Bündnis zur Erforschung der Lithiumtherapie bei Bipolarer Störung. Wissenschaftler eines internationalen Forschungsverbundes haben auf Chromosom 21 genetische Varianten identifiziert, die möglicherweise darüber mit entscheiden, ob ein mit Lithium behandelter manisch-depressiver (auch: bipolarer) Patient auf dieses Medikament anspricht oder nicht. Lithium wird schon seit über 60 Jahren zur Verhinderung von depressiven und manischen Episoden bei bipolar Erkrankten eingesetzt. Es spricht allerdings nur bei ungefähr einem Drittel aller Patienten an. Warum dies so ist und wie Lithium genau wirkt, ist allerdings noch ungeklärt. Unter anderem werden genetische Faktoren als mitverantwortlich angesehen. 

  • Blood pressure medication paves the way for approaches to managing Barrett's syndrome

    Svein Olav Bratlie

    New ways of using mechanisms behind certain blood pressure medications may in the future spare some patient groups both discomfort and lifelong concern over cancer of the esophagus. This, in any case, is the goal of several studies of patients with Barrett's syndrome at Sahlgrenska Academy. “If we could filter out those who are not at greater risk, it would represent huge gains for both patients and health care providers,” says Svein Olav Bratlie, a researcher in gastro surgery and clinician at Sahlgrenska University Hospital. It is estimated that between one and two percent of the Swedish population has Barrett's syndrome, a condition in which the membrane in the lower part of the esophagus becomes more like that of the intestine and more acid-resistant. Barrett's syndrome is preceded by the common reflux affliction that involves long-term leakage of stomach acid up into the esophagus.

  • Blut-Abbau im Akkord: Zell-Einwanderer schützen vor Eisenvergiftung

    Blut Abbau im Akkord Zell Einwanderer schützen vor Eisenvergiftung | Können Monozyten nicht in die Leber einwandern und sich zu Eisen-verwertenden Zellen entwickeln, lagert sich giftiges Eisen in Organen wie der Niere ab. (Eisen-frei: blau, Eisen-Protein-Komplex:braun) Abbildung: CSB Massachusetts General Hospital

    Freiburger Forscher entschlüsseln, wie der Körper rote Blutkörperchen abbaut, ohne sich dabei selbst zu vergiften. Der neue Ansatz könnte Komplikationen nach Blutvergiftungen und Hämolyse vermindern.

  • Bluttest für Tuberkulose

    Biomarker sollen in Zukunft das Ausbruchsrisiko einer Tuberkulose voraussagen können

  • Cell culture experiments reveal antiviral activity of Cistus incanus extracts against HIV and Ebola

    Scientists at the Helmholtz Zentrum München discover that extracts of the medicinal plant Cistus incanus (Ci) prevent human immunodeficiency viruses from infecting cells. Active antiviral ingredients in the extracts inhibit docking of viral proteins to cells. Antiviral activity of Cistus extracts also targets Ebola- and Marburg viruses. The results were published in Scientific Reports*.

  • Cellular “Light Switch” Analysed Using Neutron Scattering

    The internal movements of proteins can be important for their functionality; researchers are discovering more and more examples of this. Now, with the aid of neutron spectroscopy, dynamic processes have also been detected in so-called “LOV photoreceptors” by scientists from Jülich, Aachen, Dusseldorf and Garching near Munich. These proteins are widely distributed throughout nature and are of biotechnological relevance. The results highlight the immense potential of neutron scattering experiments for the analysis of cellular processes. The research has recently been published in “Biophysical Journal” (DOI:10.1016/j.bpj.2016.01.021).

  • Chemists Create Clusters of Organelles by Mimicking Nature

    Two polymersomes assemble by DNA hybridization: the single DNA strands on the surface of the compartments interconnect, creating an extremely stable DNA bridge. University of Basel

    Scientists from the University of Basel have succeeded in organizing spherical compartments into clusters mimicking the way natural organelles would create complex structures. They managed to connect the synthetic compartments by creating bridges made of DNA between them. This represents an important step towards the realization of so-called molecular factories. The journal Nano Letters has published their results.

  • Circulating Immune Cells as Biomarkers for Idiopathic Pulmonary Fibrosis

    Staining of surface molecules (CD11 in red, CD33 in green) on cells in lung tissue, nuclei in blue. MDSC are positive for both surface markers and consequently appear orange (arrow). Source: Helmholtz Zentrum München

    Researchers at Helmholtz Zentrum München, a partner in the German Center for Lung Research (DZL), have discovered that the number of myeloid-derived suppressor cells (MDSC) is increased in the blood of patients with idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis (IPF). The higher the number of MDSC, the more limited the lung function. The findings on this new biomarker have now been published in the ‘European Respiratory Journal’.

  • Closed-loop stimulation promises fewer side effects

    How adaptive stimulation could make a significant difference for patients with neurological disorders such as Parkinson’s disease

    Could potential side effects in the treatment of Parkinson’s disease with stimulation be avoided with a closed-loop approach, which constantly adapts to the symptoms? This is one of the key questions Dr. Ioannis Vlachos and his colleagues Taskin Deniz, Prof. Dr. Ad Aertsen, and Prof. Dr. Arvind Kumar address in a study that was now published in the journal “PLoS Computational Biology.”

  • COMPAMED 2016 connected medical devices and people

    Materialise NV from Belgium speaking on “Innovation in 3D Printed Wearables” at COMPAMED HIGH-TECH Forum 2016. IVAM

    Miniaturized connected systems and outstanding business contacts: forming networks on both technical and business level was one of the key features of COMPAMED 2016, the international trade fair for suppliers and manufacturers of medical technologies. This trend was visible at and enhanced by the joint trade fair booth of the IVAM Microtechnology Network in hall 8a, the accompanying presentation forum and numerous B2B meetings between companies from Germany and Japan.

  • COPD – what causes the lungs to lose their ability to heal?

    The molecule Wnt5a prevents the repair of structures in the lung of COPD patients. Shown here are the alveolar epithelium (green) and immune cells (red). Source: Helmholtz Zentrum München

    In chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), the patients’ lungs lose their ability to repair damages on their own. Scientists at the Helmholtz Zentrum München, partner in the German Center for Lung Research (DZL) now have a new idea as to why this might be so. In the ‘Journal of Experimental Medicine’, they blame the molecule Wnt5a for this problem. The first indication of COPD is usually a chronic cough. As the disease progresses, the airways narrow and often pulmonary emphysema develops. This indicates irreversible expansion and damage to the alveoli, or air sacks. "The body is no longer able to repair the destroyed structures," explains Dr. Dr. Melanie Königshoff, head of the Research Unit Lung Repair and Regeneration (LRR) at the Comprehensive Pneumology Center (CPC) of Helmholtz Zentrum München. She and her team have made it their job to understand how this happens.

  • Diabetes: Risk Factor Air Pollution

    Modelled PM 2.5 concentration in the Augsburg area.   Source: Helmholtz Zentrum München using data of GeoBasis-DE / BKG 2016

    Exposure to air pollution at the place of residence increases the risk of developing insulin resistance as a pre-diabetic state of type 2 diabetes. Scientists of Helmholtz Zentrum München, in collaboration with colleagues of the German Center for Diabetes Research (DZD), reported these results in the journal ‘Diabetes’.

  • Diabetesforschung: Neuer Mechanismus zur Regulation des Insulin-Stoffwechsels gefunden

    Die Abbildung zeigt das isolierte Nervensystem einer Drosophila Larve. Farblich markiert sind die Kerne jener Zellen, die das untersuchte Enzym produzieren. Foto: Universität Osnabrück

    OSNABRÜCK/KOPENHAGEN.- Insulin stellt ein für alle Wirbeltiere lebensnotwendiges Hormon dar, da es unter anderem die Körperzellen anregt, Glukose aus dem Blut aufzunehmen und somit den Blutzuckerspiegel zu senken. Eine fehlerhafte Regulation des Insulin-Stoffwechsels führt zu vielfältigen Krankheiten, wobei Diabetes die weltweit größte Verbreitung aufweist. Basierend auf dieser hohen medizinischen Relevanz arbeiten international zahlreiche Forschergruppen daran, Faktoren zu identifizieren, die den Insulin-Stoffwechsel regulieren. So auch an der Universität Osnabrück.

  • Die Blitzabwehr der Bakterien: Immunzellen werden direkt beim ersten Kontakt getötet

    Die Blitzabwehr der Bakterien Immunzellen werden direkt beim ersten Kontakt getötet | Die genetische Ausstattung ihres Virulenzplasmids ermöglicht es Bakterien der Gattung Yersinia, die Immunabwehr auszuschalten. HZI/M. Rohde

    Dringen Bakterien in den Körper eines Menschen oder eines Tieres ein, werden sie vom Immunsystem als fremd erkannt. Daraufhin versuchen die Immunzellen, diese Fremdkörper zu beseitigen. Wissenschaftler des Helmholtz-Zentrums für Infektionsforschung (HZI) in Braunschweig haben nun gemeinsam mit Kollegen der Universität Umeå in Schweden herausgefunden, wie es Bakterien der Gattung Yersinia schaffen, Immunzellen direkt beim ersten Kontakt abzutöten: Sie vervielfältigen die genetische Information für ihre krankmachenden Werkzeuge und schießen gleichzeitig Substanzen in die Immunzelle, die sie schnell inaktivieren und umbringen.

  • Die Genetik der schwachen Herzen

    Das Deutsche Zentrum für Herzinsuffizienz (DZHI), das unter dem gemeinsamen Dach des Universitätsklinikums Würzburg (UKW) und der Julius-Maximilians-Universität (JMU) die Volkskrankheit Herzschwäche systematisch erforscht und behandelt, hat vielversprechenden Forscherzuwachs bekommen: Die renommierte Kardiologin und Genetikerin Professor Brenda Gerull hat den Ruf des DZHI auf die Forschungsprofessur „Kardiovaskuläre Genetik“ angenommen und damit ihre Wirkungsstätte von Calgary, Kanada, nach Würzburg verlegt. Als Ärztin will sie eine Spezialambulanz für familiär bedingte Herzerkrankungen im UKW einrichten, als Wissenschaftlerin wird sie die Genetik der schwachen Herzen entschlüsseln.
  • Dissecting bacterial infections at the single-cell level

    Left: a macrophage (nucleus in blue) infected with a non-replicating bacteria in yellow indicated by an arrow and on the right infected with bacteria that has replicated (red). (Picture: Antoine-Emmanuel Saliba)

    Technological advances are making the analysis of single bacterial infected human cells feasible, Würzburg researchers have used this technology to provide new insight into the Salmonella infection process. The study has just been published in “Nature Microbiology”. Infectious diseases are a leading cause of mortality worldwide. The development of novel therapies or vaccines requires improved understanding of how viruses, pathogenic fungi or bacteria cause illnesses.

  • Doppelschlag gegen Bakterien und Viren

    Doppelschlag gegen Bakterien und Viren picture1 | Das Bakterium Staphylococcus aureus (rot) bildet häufig Resistenzen gegen Antibiotika aus und ist besonders für Patienten gefährlich, die bereits unter einer Infektion mit dem AIDS-Erreger HIV leiden Abbildung: HZI/M. Rohde

    Dualer Wirkstoff hemmt die Vermehrung des AIDS-Erregers HIV und von resistenten MRSA-Bakterien zugleich, indem er sowohl virale als auch baktrielle Enzyme hemmt.