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ETH Zurich articles

Displaying 1 - 20 of 23

Biocompatible ink for 3D printing makes use of living bacteria

Biocompatible ink for 3D printing makes use of living bacteria
A group of ETH researchers led by Professor André Studart, Head of the Laboratory for Complex Materials, has now introduced a 3D printing platform that works using living matter. The researchers developed a bacteria-containing ink that makes it possible to print mini biochemical factories with certain properties, depending on which species of bacteria the scientists put in the ink.
5th December 2017

Method could be used in targeted cancer therapeutics

Inspired by white blood cells rolling on endovascular walls before transmigrating to the disease site, scientists at ETH Zurich have succeeded in getting particles to move along the walls of microscopic, three-dimensional vessels. This method could be used in targeted cancer therapeutics. When white blood cells are summoned to combat invasive bacteria, they move along blood vessels in a specific fashion, i.e., like a ball propelled by the wind, they roll along the vascular wall to reach their point of deployment.
29th November 2017

Soft biological tissue deforms differently under tension

Soft biological tissue deforms differently under tension
  Engineers at ETH Zurich have discovered that soft biological tissue deforms very differently under tension than previously assumed. Their findings are already being put to use in medical research projects.
20th November 2017


Reprogrammed human cells can hunt cancer

Reprogrammed human cells can hunt cancer
ETH researchers have reprogrammed normal human cells to create designer immune cells capable of detecting and destroying cancer cells. T-cells are one of the immune system’s major weapons. They detect the body’s cells infected with a virus and trigger their ablation, effectively killing the virus. T-cells cannot do the same with cancer cells, however, as they do not recognise them as foreign cells and are therefore unable to eliminate them.
14th November 2017

Transforming fibrils into crystals

Transforming fibrils into crystals
Amyloid fibrils are infamous for the role they play in serious neurological diseases in humans, such as Parkinson’s or Alzheimer’s. One trigger for Alzheimer’s disease is the misfolding and aggregation of proteins such as tau and ABeta. This causes the formation of tiny fibrils that then accumulate in the brain. Specialists refer to these fibres as amyloid fibrils.
7th November 2017

How much does life weigh?

How much does life weigh?
From earthworms and sunflowers to human beings, we are all made up of cells, so it’s no surprise that researchers are hard at work investigating these building blocks of life. They have already discovered many of their secrets, but until now, it has not been possible to measure the weight of living cells and how it changes in real time, as no suitable method of measurement has existed.
26th October 2017

Sensor measures lipolysis by testing a person’s exhalations

Sensor measures lipolysis by testing a person’s exhalations
Experts advise anyone looking to shed extra kilos to eat less and exercise more. One way is with endurance training, during which the body burns not only carbohydrates such as sugar, but also fat. When exactly the body begins burning fat can now be determined by analysing, for example, biomarkers in the blood or urine. Scientists at ETH Zurich and the University Hospital Zurich have now developed a method for the highly convenient, real-time monitoring of lipolysis by testing a person’s exhalations during exercise.
16th October 2017

Clumps as temporary storage

Clumps as temporary storage
Protein aggregates have a bad reputation. A number of human diseases, especially those of the nervous system, such as Alzheimer’s, Parkinson’s, or amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS), are due to the clumping of degenerate proteins in nerve cells, creating aggregates that the cells cannot dissolve. This causes the cells to die. Now, researchers led by ETH Professor Matthias Peter and Reinhard Dechant have shed new light on protein aggregates in a study involving yeast cells.
4th October 2017

Regulator improves liver regeneration

Regulator improves liver regeneration
By performing large-scale proteomics analysis of liver proteins, ETH researchers have discovered a protein that is essential for liver regeneration. They have also figured out the mechanism of the protein’s function. The liver is a wonderful thing: it’s the only organ able to fully regenerate with no scar tissue formation, even after major injury. In the case of organ donation, it is therefore generally possible to remove part of the donor’s liver and implant it into another patient.
26th September 2017

Battling dehydration with wearables and big data

Battling dehydration with wearables and big data
  Dehydration is one of the most common causes of death among young children in the developing world – particularly during the hot summer months. ETH Professor Walter Karlen and his team of researchers have developed an inexpensive mobile device that could be used by laypeople to more effectively treat dehydration.
3rd August 2017

Silicone heart beats almost like a human heart

Silicone heart beats almost like a human heart
  ETH researchers from the Functional Materials Laboratory have developed a silicone heart that beats almost like a human heart. In collaboration with colleagues from the Product Development Group Zurich, they have tested how well it works.
13th July 2017

Robot gives injections for elderly with retinal disease

Robot gives injections for elderly with retinal disease
  Patients with age-related retinal disease need regular injections in the eye. At the moment, these must be given by specially trained medical doctors, but a robot may well handle this task in the near future.
22nd June 2017

The search for relevance in a field swamped by data

The search for relevance in a field swamped by data
  Genomics, digital patient files and real-time health surveillance – never before have we had access to so much health data. ETH researchers explain how they extract relevant information from this sea of data and the potential benefits for personalised medicine.
16th June 2017

Killer cells use dormant viruses to track down tumours

Killer cells use dormant viruses to track down tumours
The use of immunotherapy to treat cancer is celebrating its first successes – but there are still many knowledge gaps in the underlying mechanisms of action. In a study of mice with soft tissue tumours, ETH researchers have now shown how endogenous killer cells track down the tumours with the help of dormant viruses. The promising drug is known as F8-TNF. When injected into the bloodstream, it lures killer cells from the body’s immune system towards sarcomas. The killer cells then destroy the tumours.
5th June 2017

Research project focuses on microbial communities

Research project focuses on microbial communities
Led by ETH Zurich and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), three ETH research groups are collaborating with several US universities to investigate microbial ecosystems, with a special focus on the oceans. The research project, named Theory of Microbial Ecosystems (THE-ME), is supported by the Simons Foundation, which will provide 15 million US dollars over a period of at least five years.
31st May 2017

Analysing a molecular toxin transporter

Analysing a molecular toxin transporter
Almost all living creatures have evolved mechanisms to remove toxins that have entered their cells: molecular pumps located in the cell membrane recognise harmful substances in the cell interior and transport them outside. Researchers from ETH Zurich and the Biozentrum of the University of Basel have now defined the three-dimensional structure of such a transport protein in humans (the protein ABCG2) at the atomic level. This is the first time such a structure has been defined for a human multi-drug transporter.
30th May 2017

Platforms implement electrophysiological cell analysis

Platforms implement electrophysiological cell analysis
MaxWell Biosystems AG’s head office is hidden away in a Basel laboratory building previously used by Syngenta, just a stone’s throw from ETH Zurich’s Department of Biosystems Science and Engineering (D-BSSE). Most rooms are still empty, but on the third floor, in a spacious laboratory at the end of a long corridor, the entrepreneurial atmosphere is already palpable.
24th May 2017

A novel form of iron for fortification of foods

A novel form of iron for fortification of foods
Around 1.2 billion people worldwide suffer from iron deficiency, with women worse affected than men. In Europe, one in five women around the age of 20 suffers from iron deficiency. Symptoms include diminished work performance, fatigue, anaemia and headaches. Boosting iron levels through the diet or supplements is tricky, as the iron must be in a form that the body is able to absorb successfully. Iron is also a trace element that can alter the colour, taste and smell of the food it is added to, making it far less appetising.
26th April 2017

Area of the brain affected by autism detected

Area of the brain affected by autism detected
  Brain researchers at ETH Zurich and other universities have shown for the first time that a region of the brain associated with empathy only activates very weakly in autistic people. This knowledge could help to develop new therapies for those affected by autism.
3rd April 2017

Allowing non-invasive reconstruction of teeth

Allowing non-invasive reconstruction of teeth
In recent years, IT experts have developed sophisticated image-based digital reconstruction methods for modelling the human face. These methods capture highly detailed images of the face or specific areas of the face – such as hair, eyes or eyelids – and create a digital model of them. In the past, however, very little attention has been given to the mouth cavity in general, and the teeth in particular.
17th February 2017


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