Medical devices

  • 3D-microdevice for minimally invasive surgeries

    Figures 1 and 2. Microswimmer CAD and microswimmer micrograph. © MPI IS

    Scientists take challenge of developing functional microdevices for direct access to the brain, spinal cord, eye and other delicate parts of human body. A tiny robot that gets into the human body through the simple medical injection and, passing healthy organs, finds and treats directly the goal – a non-operable tumor… Doesn’t it sound at least like science-fiction? To make it real, a growing number of researchers are now working towards this direction with the prospect of transforming many aspects of healthcare and bioengineering in the nearest future. What makes it not so easy are unique challenges pertaining to design, fabrication and encoding functionality in producing functional microdevices.

  • A Fine-tuned Laser Welds More Effectively

    Cardiac pacemakers are usually housed in a titanium housing that is welded together from two parts. Empa has optimized the frequency of the working laser so that no black edges appear during welding, which would reduce the value of the medical product. Image: istockphoto

    Using laser technology Empa scientists optimized a technique to weld the electronics of implantable pacemakers and defibrillators into a titanium case. The medtech company Medtronic is now using the method worldwide to produce these devices. In Tolochenaz (Canton of Vaud) the US medtech company Medtronic produces one out of five heart pacemakers available on the global market and one out of four defibrillators. The electronics of these implantable devic-es are housed in titanium cases, which thus far were welded hermetically with a solid state flash laser. However, the lasers are high-maintenance and often the source of irregularities. Moreover, they require water cooling and take up a lot of space.

  • COMPAMED '18 Presents International Medical Technology Experts with their Future Trend Technologies

    Concept of the Sens-o-Spheres with power receiver, microcontroller and signal processing, battery as well as encapsulation. (c) TU Dresden

    The COMPAMED, which takes place annually co-located to the MEDICA in Dusseldorf, Germany, is an established and world-wide well-known marketplace for medical components and technologies. Every year, the COMPAMED asserts itself as the leading international marketplace for suppliers of medical manufacturing.

    Especially in the field of medical devices for mobile diagnostics, therapy and laboratory equipment increasingly powerful, smart and reliable high-tech solutions are needed. This is why the demand for miniaturization of medical components continues to grow steadily.

  • 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.

  • COMPAMED 2017: New Manufacturing Processes for Customized Products

    The product market of the IVAM Microtechnology Network was the largest joint stand of the fair. IVAM

    COMPAMED 2017, the international supplier fair for medical technologies and components, has once again proven that the demand for smart high-tech components and high-precision manufacturing processes continues unabated. In addition to the euphoria of the exhibitors about the good business leads, this year also the uncertainty about the new European Medical Device Regulation was noticeable. The Medical Device Regulation (MDR) was a much-discussed topic at the joint booth of the IVAM Microtechnology Network in Hall 8a and the accompanying specialist forum.

  • Enough is enough - stem cell factor Nanog knows when to slow down

    STILT generates simulated protein expression of dividing cells based on measured data and a dynamic model. Source: Helmholtz Zentrum München

    The transcription factor Nanog plays a crucial role in the self-renewal of embryonic stem cells. Previously unclear was how its protein abundance is regulated in the cells. Researchers at the Helmholtz Zentrum München and the Technical University of Munich, working in collaboration with colleagues from ETH Zürich, now report in ‘Cell Systems’ that the more Nanog there is on hand, the less reproduction there is. Every stem cell researcher knows the protein Nanog* because it ensures that these all-rounders continue to renew. A controversial debate revolved around how the quantity of Nanog protein in the cell is regulated.

  • Fewer Laboratory Animals Thanks to Secondary Nanobodies

    Three-dimensional structure of a nanobody. Tino Pleiner and Sergei Trakhanov / MPI for Biophysical Chemistry

    Antibodies are indispensable in biological research and medical diagnostics. However, their production is time-consuming, expensive, and requires the use of many animals. Scientists at the Max Planck Institute (MPI) for Biophysical Chemistry in Göttingen, Germany, have now developed so-called secondary nanobodies that can replace the most-used antibodies and may drastically reduce the number of animals in antibody production. This is possible because the secondary nanobodies can be produced in large scale by bacteria. Moreover, the secondary nanobodies outperform their traditional antibody counterparts in key cell-biological applications.

  • Fraunhofer IMWS Tests Environmentally Friendly Microplastic Alternatives in Cosmetic Products

    Photographic images of tooth enamel samples in their initial state, after discoloration and after cleaning. The samples were cleaned with a toothpaste containing cellulose. Fraunhofer IMWS

    Microplastics are still used in personal care products, although the environmental impact is well known. Tiny plastic particles from peelings and other skincare products enter the sea and ultimately our food chain via waste-water systems. In a research project, the Fraunhofer Institute for Microstructure of Materials and Systems IMWS and its partners have tested materials that can replace microplastics in cosmetic products and are biodegradable.

  • Hannover Messe 2017: 5G the ultrafast wireless communications standard – Industrie 4.0 in real time

    Industry 4.0.

    With data transfer rates of 10 gigabits a second and a latency of just one millisecond, the 5G wireless communications standard is creating the conditions required for the tactile internet. This in turn will open up the door to new industry, transportation and medical applications. Fraunhofer researchers work on the underlying technology and have developed practical concepts to solve one of the most challenging problems – high-speed low-latency data transfer that is also entirely reliable. The new concepts and technologies will be on show at Hannover Messe 2017.

  • Healthy Hiking in Smart Socks

    Markus Hill (right), research assistantand, and textile producer Thomas Lindner check the sensors in the smart sock. Wolfgang Schmidt

    Researchers of the Chemnitz University of Technology develop tough electronic for sport and medical science. Often, a one-sided weight loading is the reason for hurting feet. But only few notice while walking. That is where the “Smart Sock”, developed by the Professorship of Sports Equipment and Technology of the Chemnitz University of Technology and in cooperation with the textile producer Lindner from Hohenstein-Ernstthal, starts: “The at the University developed electronic of the sock measures the pressure distribution and acceleration on the foot. This way, conclusions from parameters such as one-sided weight loading can be drawn”, Prof. Dr. Stephan Odenwald explains.

  • Industrie 4.0 in real time

    The 5G wireless communications standard is a key technology for Industrie 4.0.

    With data transfer rates of 10 gigabits a second and a latency of just one millisecond, the 5G wireless communications standard is creating the conditions required for the tactile internet. This in turn will open up the door to new industry, transportation and medical applications. Fraunhofer researchers work on the underlying technology and have developed practical concepts to solve one of the most challenging problems – high-speed low-latency data transfer that is also entirely reliable. The new concepts and technologies will be on show at Hannover Messe 2017.

    Developing and establishing the new 5G wireless communications standard is one of the most ambitious projects of our time. Several Fraunhofer Institutes are feverishly working to lay the practical foundations for the new technology. A glance at the performance data for 5G shows just how ambitious the task is.

  • Low haze structures for transparent flexible electrodes by electrospinning processes

    When conductive materials are spun, flexible conductive transparent electrodes could be produced. Source: Bellhäuser

    For flexible electrodes INM - Leibniz Institute for New Materials is working with the process of electrospinning, a technique that produces ultra-fine fibers that are up to 100 times thinner than a human hair. When conductive materials are spun, flexible conductive transparent electrodes could be produced. These FTCEs have transparencies comparable to indium tin oxide with low haze less than two percent.

    Flexible, transparent, and conductive electrodes (FTCE) are a key enabling technology for the new generation of flexible, printable and wearable electronics. The touchscreens and displays of the future will be curved and flexible and integrated into cars, phones, or medical technology.

  • MMA Helps Manufacturers of Medical Device Components to Introduce their Products into ASEAN Market

    24-channel microscope "zenCELL owl”. InnoME GmbH

    From August 29 to 31, 2018, the Medical Manufacturing Asia (MMA) takes place as a supplier trade fair in Singapore. The IVAM Microtechnology Network presents a joint pavilion at the fair. Here, international developers and manufacturers of medical device components present current technologies and products. The fair will be accompanied by a presentation forum, B2B meetings and a company visit.

  • New High-Performance Center Translational Medical Engineering

    Gabriele Heinen-Kljajić, Minister for Science and Culture of Lower Saxony, (1. l.) and Reimund Neugebauer, President of the Fraunhofer-Gesellschaft (4. l.), have opened the High-Performance Center. Photo: Ralf Mohr; Fraunhofer ITEM

    Together with representatives from industry, government and academia, Dr. Gabriele Heinen-Kljajić, Minister for Science and Culture of Lower Saxony, and Prof. Reimund Neugebauer, President of the Fraunhofer-Gesellschaft inaugurated the High-Performance Center Translational Biomedical Engineering in Hannover on April 25. The new Center is aimed at bringing medical devices from the lab into phase I of clinical development. The focus is on active implants – i.e. electrical stimulation systems such as cochlear and retinal implants – and technological solutions for inhaled drug delivery. The latter are systematically developed towards smart drug/device combination products.

  • New Products - Highlights of COMPAMED 2016

    NanEye - The award winning, smallest digital camera in the world, for disposable endoscope. CMOSIS Germany GmbH

    COMPAMED has become the leading international marketplace for suppliers of medical manufacturing. The trade fair, which takes place every November and is co-located to MEDICA in Dusseldorf, has been steadily growing over the past years and shows that medical technology remains a rapidly growing market.

  • Official launch of the International Consortium for Personalised Medicine, ICPerMed

    Brussels, Belgium, November 2016. Personalised medicine¹ is a promising new concept for dealing with challenges of health and health systems. With the launch of the International Consortium of Personalised Medicine (ICPerMed), European countries aim to coordinate health research policy to advance the implementation of personalised medicine. The initiative brings together health research funders and policy making organisations from 28 countries, five regions and the European Commission (EC)².

  • Personalized antibiotic treatment

    The electrochemical biosensor system for point-of-care testing. Photo: Andreas Weltin

    Researchers from Freiburg have developed a sensor platform that quantifies antibiotics in human blood within minutes. A team of researchers from the University of Freiburg has developed a system inspired by biology that can detect several different antibiotics in human blood or other fluids at the same time. This biosensor system could be used for medical diagnostics in the future, especially for point-of-care testing in doctors’ practices, on house calls and in pharmacies, as well as in environmental and food safety testing. The researchers focused their study on the antibiotics tetracycline and streptogramin in human blood.

  • Researchers at Kiel University Develop Extremely Sensitive Sensor System for Magnetic Fields

    The schematic construction of the SAW sensor with a magnetostrictive thin film (b) on a piezoelectric substrate (d). SFB 1261

    In the future, highly-sensitive sensors could be able to detect magnetic signals from the body in order to draw conclusions on heart or brain functions. In contrast with established electrical measurement techniques, they would achieve contactless measurement, i.e. without direct skin contact. At present, such measurements are still associated with considerable expense and effort. Now, researchers at Kiel University built an important basis for biomagnetic diagnostics.

  • The Micro Nanotech area at MD&M West has been successfully established

    The joint booth of the IVAM Microtechnology Network in hall c was again branded as “Micro Nanotech“ area. IVAM

    MD&M West in Anaheim is considered to be the world's largest trade fair for design and manufacturing in medical technology. Most of the 20,000 visitors are developers and decision makers from the manufacturing industry of medical technology. The joint booth of the IVAM Microtechnology Network in hall c was again branded as “Micro Nanotech“ area and bundled the high-tech component manufacturers for the supply market. All 13 international exhibitors at the joint booth were highly satisfied with the course of the show and with the quality of the contacts they made. Many exhibitors booked their booth for the upcoming year directly on-site so that two thirds of the booths for 2018 are already occupied. The IVAM Microtechnology Network will therefore enlarge the "Micro Nanotech" area for 2018 and offer additional space.

  • Ultrasound scalpel destroys liver tumors

    Doctors wish to use focused ultrasound to treat tumors in moving organs, such as the liver, shown here. Fraunhofer MEVIS

    Focused ultrasound can effectively destroy tumor cells. Until now, this method has only been used for organs such as the prostate and uterus. At the European Congress of Radiology, Fraunhofer researchers will present a method, developed as part of the TRANS-FUSIMO EU project, that enables focused ultrasound treatment of the liver, an organ that moves while breathing. In the future, this could enable treatment of certain liver tumors in a more gentle way.

    Ultrasound has long served as a diagnostic method. Its application as a form of therapy treatment, however, is relatively new. In this process, ultrasound waves are highly concentrated to destroy diseased tissue, tumor cells in particular, and render them harmless. Focused ultrasound benefits patients in several ways. The therapy is completely non-invasive and can be performed without anesthesia, and there are no operation wounds.