EPFL (École polytechnique fédérale de Lausanne)

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EPFL (École polytechnique fédérale de Lausanne) articles

Displaying 1 - 20 of 22

Using biosensors to deliver personalised doses of antibiotics

Using biosensors to deliver personalised doses of antibiotics
A team of eight EPFL students has come up with a portable biosensor that can measure the amount of vancomycin in a patient’s blood stream, enabling doctors to better control the dosage and reduce harmful side effects. Their technology – developed for the upcoming SensUs international competition – could eventually be used for other antibiotics as well. At EPFL’s Discovery Learning Labs (DLL) – educational facilities designed to promote cross-disciplinary research – a groundbreaking new device is in the works.
7th September 2018

Avatar uses gait to predict how many calories you will burn

Avatar uses gait to predict how many calories you will burn
Avatar-based software developed at EPFL looks at how people walk in order to predict their energy expenditure. The software, originally intended for roboticists and for researchers who develop prosthetics and exoskeletons, could have many uses in both medicine and sports. It can be tested online through a downloadable app. Humans instinctively adopt the gait that requires the least amount of energy given the walking conditions.
28th August 2018

Feeling as if a prosthetic limb belonged to one's body

Feeling as if a prosthetic limb belonged to one's body
Amputees still feel their missing limb, even if it is physically gone, and this ghost limb aka phantom limb is perceived as much smaller that the lost limb. Next, the commercially available prosthetic limb does not yet provide sensory feedback other than what the patient sees, meaning that the patient has no sense of touch from the prosthetic limb and must constantly watch it for correct use.
14th August 2018


The neurons that rewrite traumatic memories

The neurons that rewrite traumatic memories
Neuroscientists at EPFL have located the cells that help reprogram long-lasting memories of traumatic experiences towards safety, a first in neuroscience. The study is published in Science. Memories of traumatic experiences can lead to mental health issues such as post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), which can destroy a person’s life. It is currently estimated that almost a third of all people will suffer from fear- or stress-related disorders at one point in their lives.
19th June 2018

Elastic fibre could revolutionise smart clothing

Elastic fibre could revolutionise smart clothing
EPFL scientists have found a fast and simple way to make super-elastic, multi-material, high-performance fibres. Their fibres have already been used as sensors on robotic fingers and in clothing. This breakthrough method opens the door to new kinds of smart textiles and medical implants. It’s a whole new way of thinking about sensors. The tiny fibres developed at EPFL are made of elastomer and can incorporate materials like electrodes and nanocomposite polymers.
30th May 2018

Humans and machines team up to win a competition

Humans and machines team up to win a competition
People using brain-computer interfaces are more efficient when both human and machine are allowed to learn. EPFL researchers trained two tetraplegic users to compete in the international Cybathlon BCI race. Both incrementally learned how to control the BCI, and obtained the best performances at the competition, confirming researchers’ hypothesis that mutual learning plays a fundamental role in BCI training.
16th May 2018

A smart and miniaturised system to analyse sweat

A smart and miniaturised system to analyse sweat
EPFL researchers have teamed up with startup Xsensio to develop a tiny, fully portable system that can encapsulate and analyse biomarkers in a person’s sweat. The low-power system, which fits on a chip measuring under 1 cm², was presented this week at the International Electron Devices Meeting (IEDM) in San Francisco. The miniature chip was developed by researchers at EPFL’s Nanoelectronic Devices Laboratory (Nanolab), headed by Professor Adrian Ionescu, working in association with startup Xsensio.
19th December 2017

Targeting cancer cells by measuring electric currents

Targeting cancer cells by measuring electric currents
EPFL researchers have used electrochemical imaging to take a step forward in mapping the distribution of biomolecules in tissue. This technology, which uses only endogenous markers – rather than contrast agents – could be an alternative to current cell imaging techniques. In the field of theranostics – a portmanteau of the words “therapy” and “diagnostics” – researchers use spatial information about cancer cells in the body to come up with targeted therapies.
14th December 2017

Brain rewires itself to adjust to advanced prostheses

Brain rewires itself to adjust to advanced prostheses
  EPFL scientists from the Center for Neuroprosthetics have used functional MRI to show how the brain re-maps motor and sensory pathways following targeted motor and sensory reinnervation (TMSR), a neuroprosthetic approach where residual limb nerves are rerouted towards intact muscles and skin regions to control a robotic limb.
30th October 2017

Embark on a cognitive revolution at EPFL

Embark on a cognitive revolution at EPFL
Use your brainwaves to control the workings of a machine and contribute to science at EPFL ArtLab’s next art-science exhibition, "Mental Work" from October 27th – February 11th, 2018. EPFL ArtLab inaugurates the world's first cognitive symbiosis experiment, open to the public on October 27th, in the form of an art-science exhibit called Mental Work, and it’s literally thought-provoking.
27th October 2017

Abionic's abioSCOPE detects allergies in minutes

Abionic's abioSCOPE detects allergies in minutes
The United States Food and Drug Administration has just registered Abionic’s rapid allergy diagnostic system, which tests for sensitivity to four common respiratory allergens in the United States. This puts the EPFL spin-off on track to market its single-use capsules and testing platform in the US in 2018. It takes only five minutes and a single drop of blood for Abionic’s abioSCOPE to produce a preliminary yet highly reliable diagnosis of a patient’s allergies.
26th October 2017

Applications of mathematics reveal brain's complexity

Applications of mathematics reveal brain's complexity
The lack of a formal link between neural network structure and its emergent function has hampered our understanding of how the brain processes information. The discovery of a mathematical framework to describe the emergent behaviour of the network in terms of its underlying structure comes one step closer. A new approach to neuroscience based on mathematics is helping to reveal a universe of multi-dimensional geometrical structures and spaces within the networks of the brain.
25th August 2017

'Smart' robot technology improves stroke rehab

'Smart' robot technology improves stroke rehab
Scientists say they have developed a 'smart' robotic harness that might make it easier for people to learn to walk again after a stroke or spinal cord injury. The harness, the researchers said, can be fine-tuned to individual patients to help them find a more natural walking pattern as they go through rehabilitation. In early tests with 26 patients recovering from a spinal cord injury or stroke, the technology looked promising, according to a new report.
20th July 2017

Personalised virtual heart for non-invasive heart diagnostics

Personalised virtual heart for non-invasive heart diagnostics
  EPFL mathematician Alfio Quarteroni and his team are building a virtual heart model based on personalised medical images that may one day help cardiologists and cardiac surgeons non-invasively diagnose pathological heart conditions. The team recently modelled and simulated the behaviour of a patient’s aortic valve.
8th June 2017

Helping the visually impaired to better understand their surroundings

Helping the visually impaired to better understand their surroundings
At École Polytechnique Fédérale de Lausanne (EPFL) in Switzerland, engineers have developed a novel touchpad that can represent various objects, idea, and locations to help visually impaired people to learn, navigate, and interact with the world. As part of the BlindPAD project, the device has a bunch of knobs that can pop up or down. The entire array of these popups can create representations of street intersections, objects, and the ups and downs of the terrain, for example.
18th May 2017

A big appetite for progress in edible robotics

A big appetite for progress in edible robotics
Swiss engineers have been working on an edible robot. Their work has served up a number of tech watchers commenting on the wonders of it all: The next robot, suggested writers, could be an edible item crawling through your gut. Machine actuators are the key elements in this undertaking by a team from the Ecole Polytechnique Fédérale de Lausanne (EPFL). The research was led by graduate student Jun Shintake, said Recode.
14th March 2017

Tool mimics cells' ability to stretch and compress

Tool mimics cells' ability to stretch and compress
A tool developed at EPFL can stretch and compress cells, mimicking what happens in the body. The aim: to study the role played by these mechanical forces in cases of cancer or lymphatic diseases. Complex mechanical forces are constantly at work in the human body, deforming our cells. In our blood vessel walls, for example, cells are stretched approximately once per second by the pulsing blood flow.
5th September 2016

Self-consciousness with every heartbeat

Self-consciousness with every heartbeat
Bodily self-consciousness is an integral part of our everyday life. It allows us to be instinctively aware of where we are and how we move. While this seems trivial, it requires a lot of computation and processing from our brain. But how does the brain produce and regulate it? Using a virtual reality experiment, EPFL scientists have now shown that bodily self-consciousness involves the brain monitoring heartbeat.
26th August 2016

Remote-controlled microrobots aid medical operations

Remote-controlled microrobots aid medical operations
EPFL scientist Selman Sakar teamed up with Hen-Wei Huang and Bradley Nelson at ETHZ to develop a simple and versatile method for building bio-inspired robots and equipping them with advanced features. They also created a platform for testing several robot designs and studying different modes of locomotion. Their work, published in Nature Communications, produced complex reconfigurable microrobots that can be manufactured with high throughput.
22nd July 2016

High-resolution imaging reveals bacterial toxins

Many bacteria use specialised toxins to attack and infect other cells. Scientists at EPFL and the University of Bern have now modeled a major such toxin with unprecedented resolution, uncovering the way it works step-by-step. In order to infect other cells, many bacteria secrete a type of toxin that punctures the membrane of the target cell and form a pore; as a result, the cell dies.
13th July 2016


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