Bioengineering

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Computer algorithm helps develop ultra-powerful peptides

Computer algorithm helps develop ultra-powerful peptides
During the past several years, many strains of bacteria have become resistant to existing antibiotics, and very few new drugs have been added to the antibiotic arsenal. To help combat this growing public health problem, some scientists are exploring antimicrobial peptides — naturally occurring peptides found in most organisms. Most of these are not powerful enough to fight off infections in humans, so researchers are trying to come up with new, more potent versions.
17th April 2018

Caffeine helps develop gels for drug delivery

Caffeine helps develop gels for drug delivery
Caffeine is well-known for its ability to help people stay alert, but a team of researchers at MIT and Brigham and Women’s Hospital has now come up with a novel use for this chemical stimulant — catalysing the formation of polymer materials. Using caffeine as a catalyst, the researchers have devised a way to create gummy, biocompatible gels that could be used for drug delivery and other medical applications.
17th April 2018

3-DIY: printing your own bioprinter

3-DIY: printing your own bioprinter
  Researchers at Carnegie Mellon University have developed a low-cost 3D bioprinter by modifying a standard desktop 3D printer, and they have released the breakthrough designs as open source so that anyone can build their own system.
17th April 2018


Teaching computers how to analyse brain cells

Teaching computers how to analyse brain cells
In the early days of neuroscience research, scientists painstakingly stained brain cells and drew by hand what they saw in a microscope. Fast forward to 2018 and machines may be able to learn how to do that work. According to a study in Cell, it may be possible to teach machines how to pick out features in neurons and other cells that have not been stained or undergone other damaging treatments. The study was partially funded by the NINDS, part of the National Institutes of Health.
13th April 2018

Bioengineers grow first human heart muscle from stem cells

Bioengineers grow first human heart muscle from stem cells
Growing human cardiac tissue that behaves like native heart muscle would be transformative for biomedical research, enabling researchers to study human physiology and model heart diseases under fully controlled conditions. While today scientists can grow many tissues, including the heart muscle, from stem cells taken from a small blood sample of any of us, current bioengineered tissues fail to show some of the most critical hallmarks of adult human heart function.
6th April 2018

Sugar-coated nanosheets to selectively target pathogens

Sugar-coated nanosheets to selectively target pathogens
Researchers have developed a process for creating ultrathin, self-assembling sheets of synthetic materials that can function like designer flypaper in selectively binding with viruses, bacteria, and other pathogens. In this way the new platform, developed by a team led by scientists at the U.S. Department of Energy’s Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory (Berkeley Lab), could potentially be used to inactivate or detect pathogens.
4th April 2018

Medical devices are copping a new material

Medical devices are copping a new material
The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has recognised copper as the world’s leading anti-bacterial metal. This has led to a number of uses and opportunities for copper in medical applications. Here, Melissa Albeck, CEO of materials comparison website Matmatch, explains the benefits of using copper in comparison to other materials on the market. When you think of a typical hospital environment, you’ll probably think of a sterile setting that is likely adorned in white.
29th March 2018

Method for 3D bio-fabrication based on bacterial cellulose

Method for 3D bio-fabrication based on bacterial cellulose
  Bacterial cellulose (BC) nanofibres are promising building blocks for the development of sustainable materials with the potential to outperform conventional synthetic materials. BC, one of the purest forms of nanocellulose, is produced at the interface between the culture medium and air, where the aerobic bacteria have access to oxygen.
28th March 2018

Mending broken hearts with cardiomyocyte molds

Mending broken hearts with cardiomyocyte molds
Whether caused by an undetected birth defect or by a heart attack (myocardial infarction), when a heart sustains damage, it can be difficult to repair. 2.5 billion. That’s approximately the number of times the human heart beats in 70 years. And sometimes during the course of its unrelenting contractions and relaxations, the heart muscle can no longer bear the strain. If heart muscle cells—cardiomyocytes—could be repaired by cells taken from one’s own body, the patient's recovery improves.
21st March 2018

Tiny implants for cells are functional in vivo

Tiny implants for cells are functional in vivo
For the first time, an interdisciplinary team from the University of Basel has succeeded in integrating artificial organelles into the cells of living zebrafish embryos. This innovative approach using artificial organelles as cellular implants offers new potential in treating a range of diseases, as the authors report in an article published in Nature Communications.
21st March 2018


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25th April 2018
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