News: Livsvetenskaper och teknikhttp://www.chalmers.se/sv/nyheterNews related to Chalmers University of TechnologyFri, 28 Apr 2017 11:17:28 +0200http://www.chalmers.se/sv/nyheterhttp://www.chalmers.se/en/departments/bio/news/Pages/Award-for-thesis-on-Type-2-diabetes.aspxhttp://www.chalmers.se/en/departments/bio/news/Pages/Award-for-thesis-on-Type-2-diabetes.aspxAward for thesis on Type 2 diabetes<p><b>Leif Väremo’s thesis entitled Systems Biology of Type 2 Diabetes in Skeletal Muscle was awarded the prize for this year’s best pre-clinical thesis by the society Svensk diabetologisk förening. &quot;A big and happy surprise&quot;, he says.</b></p><p>​On April 27th, the prize for thesis of the year was awarded by SDF, Svensk diabetologisk förening, at a banquet at Diabetesforum. The award went to Leif Väremo.<br />– I was really surprised, I do not even know how they found me, Leif Väremo said as he received the news.<br />– The price money is 20,000 SEK and are to be used to study something which will add value to the health care system... Maybe I can go to a conference?<br /><br />His thesis focuses mainly on the use of systems biology tools to investigate which genes are expressed – that is, which genes are active or inactive – at a particular time, thereby being able to draw some conclusions on what is happening inside the cell.<br />– Each cell has its DNA, with its genes. Under a given condition, for example a disease, some genes are expressed. Proteins are then formed which, in turn, have specific tasks within the cell, Leif Väremo explains.<br />– If we measure the expression of all 20,000 genes, how are we to translate this information into something we can understand? We need the system biology analysis tools for this. If we can see what changes at the gene level, we might understand what this means for the function of the cell.<br /><br />Studies of gene expressions can be useful in research on various diseases. Leif Väremo chose to look at Type 2 diabetes, which is linked to the function of muscle cells. After a meal, for example, insulin gives signals to reduce sugar in our blood, and the majority of this sugar is absorbed by muscle cells. However, when an individual is suffering from Type 2 diabetes, the muscle cells develop insulin resistance. The muscle tissue no longer absorb sugar, and this leads to an excess of sugar in the blood.<br /></p> <p>Väremo's thesis also includes a closer look at the metabolism of muscle cells:<br />– We constructed a network model of muscle cell metabolism, where we map all the chemical reactions of the cell. Each step, each reaction, needs an enzyme to be catalyzed - and this enzyme is a protein that, in turn, comes from a gene. The network explains the metabolism, and if we then connect it to the gene data, we may use our network to interpret gene expression data.<br /></p> <p>With his qualified hypotheses, Leif Väremo wants to pave the way for future studies, which in the long term can lead to the discovery of new biomarkers and design of effective drugs.<br />– Our methods and a variety of new studies could lead to a greater understanding and more hypotheses about the factors behind Type 2 diabetes, he concludes.<br /><br /><br />Text: Mia Malmstedt<br />Photo: Fredrik Boulund<br /></p>Fri, 28 Apr 2017 11:00:00 +0200http://www.chalmers.se/en/departments/s2/news/Pages/New-project-on-imaging-biomakers-for-drug-safety-assessment.aspxhttp://www.chalmers.se/en/departments/s2/news/Pages/New-project-on-imaging-biomakers-for-drug-safety-assessment.aspxNew project on imaging biomarkers for drug safety assessments<p><b>​The Innovative Medicines Initiative (IMI) has approved the 5-year project TRISTAN focusing on validation of translational imaging methods as potential imaging biomarkers.</b></p>​<span><img class="chalmersPosition-FloatRight" src="/SiteCollectionImages/Institutioner/s2/Nyheter%20och%20kalendarium/New%20project%20on%20imaging%20techniques%20in%20drug%20safety%20assessment/tristan_300px.jpg" alt="" style="margin:5px" /></span>TRISTAN (Translational Imaging in Drug Safety Assessment) is a public-private partnership supported by the Innovative Medicines Initiative (IMI) and involving 21 organisations including academics centres, research organisations, small and mediumsize enterprises (SMEs), imaging and pharmaceutical companies.<br /><br />TRISTAN is a significant investment in imaging research in West Sweden. Other West Sweden collaborators in addition to Chalmers include Västra Götalands Region, Sahlgrenska Academy and Antaros Medical, who are all working to avoid toxicity in humans during drug development.<br /><br />The objective of the project is to validate or qualify translational imaging methods as potential imaging biomarkers. The imaging biomarker qualification will be specifically addressed in three areas with a high unmet medical need: the assessment of liver toxicity, lung toxicity and the bio-distribution of biologics. The in-kind contributions to the project of around EUR 12 million by the industrial partners are complemented by IMI-funding in a total budget of EUR 24 million. TRISTAN is led by Bayer and coordinated by the European Organisation for Research and Treatment of Cancer (EORTC), who also leads one imaging biomarker qualification study for cancer drug induced interstitial lung disease. <br /><br />Imaging techniques are firm components of today’s medical practices, just as the use of biomarkers has become commonplace in pre-clinical and clinical research. However, imaging biomarkers are not widely used in the drug discovery process although they could advance drug safety evaluation, both for pre-clinical and clinical development. Imaging biomarkers have the potential to improve translatability of pre-clinical (animal) data to healthy volunteers and patients and thus could help avoid late stage attrition of development programmes. In addition, functional diagnostic imaging methods used as biomarkers would offer the possibility to confirm drug toxicity mechanisms in humans, including the potential to determine drug-drug interactions. <br /> <br />Data relevant for validation of methods addressed in the project and aggregated data will be made publicly available in compliance with data privacy laws. Significant interactions with existing imaging biomarker initiatives as well as with regulatory authorities will have a strong impact on the future value of imaging biomarker procedures. To sustainably offer access to the validated imaging biomarkers, the three project SME partners are planning to offer respective biomarker imaging services commercially. <br /><br /><img class="chalmersPosition-FloatLeft" src="/SiteCollectionImages/Institutioner/s2/Nyheter%20och%20kalendarium/New%20project%20on%20imaging%20techniques%20in%20drug%20safety%20assessment/Tristan_IMG_7682_340px.jpg" alt="" style="margin:5px" /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><em>“We are very proud of being a partner in the TRISTAN consortium and that our MRI-models are used to find biomarkers to better predict toxicity in humans in drug development&quot;, says Paul Hockings, Adjunct Professor at Chalmers University of Technology and at MedTech West</em><em>, and Per Malmberg, researcher in Analytical Chemistry at Chalmers University of Technology.</em><br /> <br /><strong>About Imaging Biomarkers </strong><br />An imaging biomarker is a functional radiographic imaging procedure utilising imaging modalities like Computed Tomography (CT), Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI), and Positron Emission Tomography (PET). In research and development, imaging biomarkers are used as characteristics to objectively measure biological processes, pathological changes, or pharmaceutical responses to a therapeutic intervention. They have the advantage of remaining non-invasive and being spatially and temporally resolved. Imaging biomarkers have the potential to improve translatability of animal data to healthy volunteers and patients, thereby helping to improve our understanding of drug mechanisms, interactions and metabolic processes. <br /><br /><strong>About the Innovative Medicines Initiative (IMI) </strong><br />The Innovative Medicines Initiative (IMI) is working to improve health by speeding up the development of, and patient access to, innovative medicines, particularly in areas where there is an unmet medical or social need. It does this by facilitating collaboration between the key players involved in healthcare research, including universities, the pharmaceutical and other industries, small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs), patient organisations, and medicines regulators. IMI is a partnership between the European Union and the European pharmaceutical industries, represented by the European Federation of Pharmaceutical Industries and Associations (EFPIA). Through the IMI 2 programme, IMI has a budget of EUR 3.3 billion for the period 2014-2024. Half of this comes from the EU’s research and innovation programme, Horizon 2020. The other half comes from large companies, mostly from the pharmaceutical sector; these do not receive any EU funding, but contribute to the projects ‘in kind’, for example by donating their researchers’ time or providing access to research facilities or resources. <br /><br />The research leading to these results received funding from the Innovative Medicines Initiatives 2 Joint Undertaking under grant agreement No 116106. This Joint Undertaking receives support from the European Union’s Horizon 2020 research and innovation programme and EFPIA.<br /><br /><strong>Partners in TRISTAN </strong><br /><em>The project is coordinated and led by: </em><br />European Organisation for Research and Treatment of Cancer, EORTC (Coordinator) <br />Bayer (Lead) <br />Bioxydyn (Co-coordinator) <br />GlaxoSmithKline (Co-lead) <br /><br /><em>Other partners</em><br />AbbVie <br />Antaros Medical <br />Bruker Chalmers University of Technology <br />Université de Bourgogne Dijon <br />GE Healthcare  <br />University Medical Center Groningen <br />University of Leeds <br />Lund University <br />University of Manchester <br />MSD <br />Radboud University Nijmegen  <br />Novo Nordisk <br />Pfizer <br />Sanofi <br />University of Sheffield/Sheffield Teaching Hospitals NHS Trust <br />Truly Labs <br /> <br />More info on IMI: <a href="http://www.imi.europa.eu/" target="_blank">www.imi.europa.eu  </a><br />To contact TRISTAN: <a href="mailto:%20contact@imi-tristan.eu">contact@imi-tristan.eu</a>  <br />More info on MedTech West, a western Sweden based organization for medtech research &amp; development driven by clinical need: <a href="http://www.medtechwest.se/" target="_blank">www.medtechwest.se</a><br />Wed, 12 Apr 2017 12:00:00 +0200http://www.chalmers.se/en/departments/s2/news/Pages/Hearing-and-touch-mediate-sensations-via-osseointegrated-prostheses.aspxhttp://www.chalmers.se/en/departments/s2/news/Pages/Hearing-and-touch-mediate-sensations-via-osseointegrated-prostheses.aspxHearing and touch mediate sensations via osseointegrated prostheses<p><b>​ A new study has found that people with a prosthesis attached directly to their skeleton can hear by means of vibrations in their implant. This sound transmission through bones is an important part of osseoperception – sensory awareness of the patient’s surroundings provided by their prosthesis. This discovery sheds new light on the tactile and auditory perception of humans and can be used to develop improved prostheses.</b></p>​How can we help amputees regain tactile sensations and other natural feelings while grasping an object or walking on uneven ground?<br /><br />An international group of researchers in Sweden and Italy offers a new answer. They have demonstrated for the first time that patients with implanted osseointegrated prostheses (ones attached directly to the skeleton) are able to perceive external stimuli better by hearing through their limb implants.<br /><br />The investigation was conducted jointly in Sweden by Chalmers University of Technology, Sahlgrenska University Hospital, and the University of Gothenburg; all collaborating closely with Scuola Superiore Sant’Anna in Italy.<br /><br />In a recent paper in <em>Nature Scientific Reports,</em> the researchers presented a discovery that opens up new scenarios for developing novel artificial limbs. Even though the transmission of sound through skull bones is a well-known phenomenon, widely studied by Professor Bo Håkansson at Chalmers who was a participant in this study, it was not clear whether this also occurs through bones in the arms and legs and thus contribute to osseoperception – “feeling” arising from the mechanical stimulation of an osseointegrated prosthesis.<br /><br /><img src="/SiteCollectionImages/Institutioner/s2/Nyheter%20och%20kalendarium/Hearing%20and%20touch%20mediate%20sensations%20via%20osseointegrated%20prostheses/Max-Ortiz-Catalan_S8A7544-1_180px.jpg" class="chalmersPosition-FloatLeft" alt="" style="margin:5px" /><br /><br />“Until now, the consensus was that the sense of touch played the primary role in osseoperception for patients with artificial limbs fixated into their skeletons”, says Max Ortiz Catalan, head of the Biomechatronics and Neurorehabilitation Laboratory (BNL) at Chalmers and supervisor of the research.<br /><br /><br /><br />Francesco Clemente, who conducted the experiments as a visiting PhD student at BNL from the Biorobotics Institute of Scuola Superiore Sant’Anna, comments:<br /><br />“Using four different psychophysical tests, we have demonstrated that even subtle sensory stimuli can travel through the body and be perceived as sound. This hearing increases the individual’s sensory awareness, even in patients with osseointegrated implants in their legs.”<br /><br />These results show that osseointegration, which allows for stable mechanical attachment of robotic prostheses directly to the skeleton through a titanium implant, improves patients’ functionality, comfort, and ability to perceive the world around them.<br /><br />The researchers tested twelve patients with various degrees of amputation, both upper and lower limb amputees. All tests indicated that patients could perceive mechanical vibrations applied to their titanium implants, through hearing as well as touch. In particular, and synchronously with the vibrations in their arms or legs, patients reported audible sound. During the experiments, the researchers found that subjects with osseointegrated prostheses could perceive very small stimuli and react more quickly to them due to additional perception by hearing.<br /><br />“In practice, the stimuli received by the patients are perceived more strongly and carry more information because they are composed of two modalities; touch and hearing,” says Max Ortiz Catalan. “This is an important step forward in understanding the osseoperception phenomenon and, more generally, the tactile and auditory perception of humans. This discovery may offer a new starting point for implementing novel prostheses that provide enriched sensory feedback to the user.”<br /><br />Read the article in <span><em>Nature Scientific Reports:<br /><span style="display:inline-block"></span></em></span><span></span><a href="http://www.nature.com/articles/srep45363" target="_blank"><img class="ms-asset-icon ms-rtePosition-4" src="/_layouts/images/icgen.gif" alt="" />Touch and Hearing Mediate Osseoperception</a><br /><br /><strong>For more information, please contact:</strong><br />Max Ortiz Catalan, Department of Signals and Systems, Chalmers University of Technology, Sweden.<br />Tel: +46 70 846 10 65, <a href="mailto:%20maxo@chalmers.se">maxo@chalmers.se</a><br /><br /><strong>Facts about the research</strong><br />The investigation was conducted jointly in Sweden by the Signals and Systems Department at Chalmers University of Technology, the Centre for Advanced Reconstruction of Extremities at Sahlgrenska University Hospital, and the Institute of Neuroscience and Physiology at the University of Gothenburg; all collaborating closely with the Biorobotics Institute of Scuola Superiore Sant’Anna in Italy.<br /><br />Read more about the Biomechatronics and Neurorehabilitation Laboratory (BNL) at Chalmers:<br /><a href="http://www.bnl.chalmers.se/" target="_blank"><img class="ms-asset-icon ms-rtePosition-4" src="/_layouts/images/icgen.gif" alt="" />BNL website</a><br /><a href="https://www.facebook.com/ChalmersBNL/" target="_blank"><img class="ms-asset-icon ms-rtePosition-4" src="/_layouts/images/icgen.gif" alt="" />Chalmers BNL on Facebook</a><br /><br />Thu, 06 Apr 2017 07:00:00 +0200http://www.chalmers.se/en/departments/bio/news/Pages/Fungi-a-source-for-future-antibiotics.aspxhttp://www.chalmers.se/en/departments/bio/news/Pages/Fungi-a-source-for-future-antibiotics.aspxFungi a source for future antibiotics<p><b>​Fungi is a potential goldmine for the production of pharmaceuticals. This is shown by Chalmers researchers, who have developed a method for finding new antibiotics from nature’s own resources. The findings could prove very useful in the battle against antibiotic resistance.</b></p>​Antibiotics have saved millions of lives since they were discovered in the 1940s. But recently we’ve had to learn a new term; antibiotic resistance. More and more bacteria are developing their own protection against antibiotics, thereby becoming resistant to treatment. This will lead to simple infections getting lethal once again, and our need for new antibiotics is urgent.<br /><br />The first antibiotic being mass-produced was penicillin, derived from the Penicillium fungi. Looking for new antibiotics, Chalmers researchers sequenced the genomes of nine different types of Penicillium species. And the findings are amazing:<br /><br />– We found that the fungi has an enormous, previously untapped, potential for production of new antibiotics and other bio-active compounds, such as cancer medicines, says Jens Christian Nielsen, a PhD student at the Department of Biology and Biological Engineering.<br /><br />In the study, recently published in the journal Nature Microbiology, the research group scanned the genomes of 24 different kinds of fungi to find genes responsible for the production of different bio-active compounds, like antibiotics. More than 1000 pathways were discovered, showing an immense potential for fungi to produce a large variety of natural and bio-active chemicals that could be used as pharmaceuticals.<br /><br />In about 90 cases, the researchers were able to predict the chemical products of the pathways. As an evidence of this, they followed production of the antibiotic yanuthone, and identified a new version of the drug produced by species not previously known to produce it.<br /><br />All in all, the study show a vast potential for fungi, not only in producing new antibiotics but also in enabling a more efficient production of old ones – and maybe also more effective versions of the older ones.<br /><br />– It’s important to find new antibiotics in order to give physicians a broad palette of antibiotics, old as well as new, to use in treatment. This will make it harder for bacteria to develop resistance, Jens Christian Nielsen explains.<br />– Previous efforts on finding new antibiotics have mainly focused on bacteria. Fungi have been hard to study – we know very little of what they can do – but we do know that they develop bioactive substances naturally, as a way to protect themselves and survive in a competitive environment. This made it logical to apply our tools in research on fungi.<br /><br />Researchers now have different paths to follow. One way of moving forward would be to further look at production of the new yanuthone compound. The Chalmers researchers have also constructed a map making it possible to compare hundreds of genes in the continuous evaluation of bioactive products with potent drugs in sight.<br /><br />How long it would take to get new antibiotics on the market is impossible to say.<br /><br />– The governments need to act. The pharmaceutical industry don’t want to spend money on new antibiotics, it’s not lucrative. This is why our leaders have to step in and, for instance, support clinical studies. Their support would make it easier to reach the market, especially for smaller companies. This could fuel production, Jens Christian Nielsen says.<br /><br />Read the <a href="http://www.nature.com/articles/nmicrobiol201744" target="_blank">full article here<span></span><span style="display:inline-block"></span></a>.<br /><br /><br />Text: Mia Malmstedt<br />Photo: Martina Butorac<br />Wed, 05 Apr 2017 14:00:00 +0200http://www.chalmers.se/en/departments/chem/news/Pages/3D-bioprinted-human-cartilage-cells-can-be-implanted.aspxhttp://www.chalmers.se/en/departments/chem/news/Pages/3D-bioprinted-human-cartilage-cells-can-be-implanted.aspx3D bioprinted human cartilage cells can be implanted<p><b>​Swedish researchers at Sahlgrenska Academy and Chalmers University of Technology have successfully induced human cartilage cells to live and grow in an animal model, using 3D bioprinting. The results will move development closer to a potential future in which it will be possible to help patients by giving them new body parts through 3D bioprinting.</b></p><p>​The results were recently presented in the journal Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery Global Open.</p> <blockquote dir="ltr" style="font-size:14px;margin-right:0px"><p style="font-size:14px"><span style="font-size:14px">“This is the first time anyone has printed human-derived cartilage cells, implanted them in an animal model and induced them to grow,” says <a href="/en/staff/Pages/paul-gatenholm.aspx">Paul Gatenholm</a>, professor of biopolymer technology at Chalmers University of Technology.</span></p></blockquote> <div style="font-size:14px">Among else, Professor Gatenholm leads the research team working with the new biomaterial based on nanocellulose at the Wallenberg Wood Science Center. He has been working with Lars Kölby, senior lecturer at Sahlgrenska Academy and specialist consultant with the Department of Plastic Surgery at Sahlgrenska University Hospital.</div> <div style="font-size:14px"> </div> <div>The researchers printed a hydrogel of nanocellulose mixed with human-derived cartilage cells – a so called construct. They used a 3D bioprinter manufactured by Cellink, a Gothenburg-based startup firm whose bio-ink is a result of research by Paul Gatenholm. Immediately after printing, the construct was implanted in mice.</div> <div> </div> <div>The researchers can report three positive results of the animal study:<br />1. Human cartilage tissue has grown in an animal model.<br />2. Vascularisation, i.e., the formation of blood vessels, between the materials.<br />3. Strong stimulation of proliferation and neocartilage formation by human stem cells.</div> <blockquote dir="ltr" style="font-size:14px;margin-right:0px"><div style="font-size:14px"><span style="font-size:14px">“What </span><span style="font-size:14px"></span><span style="font-size:14px">we see after 60 days is something that begins to resemble cartilage. It is white and the human cartilage cells are alive and producing what they are supposed to. We have also been able to stimulate the cartilage cells by adding stem cells, which clearly promoted further cell division,” says Lars Kölby.</span></div></blockquote> <blockquote dir="ltr" style="font-size:14px;margin-right:0px"><div style="font-size:14px"><span style="font-size:14px">“We now have proof that the 3D printed hydrogel with cells can be implanted. It grows in mice and, in addition, blood vessels have formed in it,” says Paul Gatenholm.</span></div></blockquote> <div style="font-size:14px">Collaboration has been a key component and critical to the success of the project. Scientists in two different disciplines have successfully crossed academic lines to find a common goal where they could combine their skills in a fruitful way.</div> <blockquote dir="ltr" style="margin-right:0px"><div style="font-size:14px">“Often, it is like this: we clinicians work with problems and researchers work with solutions. If we can come together, there is a chance of actually solving some of the problems we are wrestling with – and in this way, patients benefit from the research,” says Lars Kölby. </div></blockquote> <div style="font-size:14px">Paul Gatenholm is careful to point out that the results he and Lars Kölby’s team are now able to report do not involve any short cut to bioprinted organs.</div> <blockquote dir="ltr" style="font-size:14px;margin-right:0px"><div style="font-size:14px"><span style="font-size:14px">“With what we have done, the research has taken a step forward towards someday, we hope, being able to bioprint cells that become body parts for patients.  This is how you have to work when it comes to this kind of pioneering activity: one small step at a time. Our results are not a revolution – but they are a gratifying part of an evolution!”</span></div></blockquote> <div style="font-size:14px">Text: Carolina Svensson.</div> <div style="font-size:14px"><br /></div> <div style="font-size:14px">Link to <a href="http://journals.lww.com/prsgo/Fulltext/2017/02000/In_Vivo_Chondrogenesis_in_3D_Bioprinted_Human.13.aspx">scientific results text</a><br /></div> <div style="font-size:16px"> </div>Thu, 23 Mar 2017 09:00:00 +0100http://www.chalmers.se/en/departments/s2/news/Pages/Awarded-for-research-in-prosthetics.aspxhttp://www.chalmers.se/en/departments/s2/news/Pages/Awarded-for-research-in-prosthetics.aspxAwarded for research in prosthetics<p><b>​The 2017 ISPO Brian &amp; Joyce Blatchford Award goes to a team of researchers from Sahlgrenska and Chalmers for their work to restore quality of life after traumatic events that led to loss of extremity, for example the amputation of an arm.</b></p>​“I am honored to be part of the team receiving this award”, says Dr. Max Ortiz Catalan. “We are a truly multidisciplinary group, glued together by the same aim: develop and clinically implement technologies that restore quality of life. This prize highlights the importance of osseointegration in prosthetics, and recognizes the pioneering work lead by Dr. Rickard Brånemark to bring this technology into the clinical reality that is today in prosthetics.”<br /><br />“Decades of ground-breaking research conducted in Sweden are recognized by this award, from overcoming many hurdles to have this technology accepted by the medical world, to our latest osseointegrated interface that allow for neural control of prosthetic limbs”, says Dr. Max Ortiz Catalan.<br /><br />The awarded project is called “The search for the perfect substitution for a lost extremity”, and the winning team consists of: <br /><ul><li>Dr. Rickard Brånemark, Sahlgrenska University Hospital Gothenburg / University of California, San Francisco </li> <li>Dr. Max Ortiz Catalan, Chalmers University of Technology </li> <li>Dr. Bo Håkansson, Chalmers University of Technology </li> <li>Dr. Örjan Berlin, Sahlg<span><span><span style="display:inline-block"></span></span></span>renska University Hospital Gothenburg</li></ul> <table class="chalmersTable-default" cellspacing="0" style="font-size:1em;width:100%"><tbody><tr class="chalmersTableHeaderRow-default"><th class="chalmersTableHeaderFirstCol-default" rowspan="1" colspan="1">​<span><img src="/sv/institutioner/s2/nyheter/PublishingImages/Belönas%20för%20framgångsrikt%20sökande%20efter%20den%20perfekta%20ersättningen%20för%20en%20förlorad%20extremitet/Rickard_Branemark_166px.jpg" class="chalmersPosition-FloatLeft" alt="" style="margin:5px" /></span><span><span><span><img src="/sv/institutioner/s2/nyheter/PublishingImages/Belönas%20för%20framgångsrikt%20sökande%20efter%20den%20perfekta%20ersättningen%20för%20en%20förlorad%20extremitet/Max-Ortiz_240px.jpg" class="chalmersPosition-FloatLeft" alt="" style="margin:5px" /><span style="display:inline-block"></span></span></span></span><br /></th> <th class="chalmersTableHeaderOddCol-default" rowspan="1" colspan="1">​</th></tr> <tr class="chalmersTableOddRow-default"><th class="chalmersTableFirstCol-default" rowspan="1" colspan="1">​<img src="/sv/institutioner/s2/nyheter/PublishingImages/Belönas%20för%20framgångsrikt%20sökande%20efter%20den%20perfekta%20ersättningen%20för%20en%20förlorad%20extremitet/Bo_Håkansson_0008,1B_166px.jpg" class="chalmersPosition-FloatLeft" alt="" style="margin:5px;width:166px;height:235px" /><span><span><img src="/sv/institutioner/s2/nyheter/PublishingImages/Belönas%20för%20framgångsrikt%20sökande%20efter%20den%20perfekta%20ersättningen%20för%20en%20förlorad%20extremitet/Orjan_Berlin_166px.jpg" class="chalmersPosition-FloatLeft" alt="" style="margin:5px" /><span style="display:inline-block"></span></span></span><br /><br /></th> <td class="chalmersTableOddCol-default">​</td></tr></tbody></table> <span><em>T</em><span style="display:inline-block"><em>op row, from left: Rickard Brånemark and M </em></span></span><span><em>ax Ortiz Catalan</em><br /><em>Bottom row, from left: Bo Håkansson, Örjan Berlin</em><span style="display:inline-block"></span></span><br /><br />The prestigious award entails a prize money of 15,000 EUR for the winning team. The prize will be presented at the ISPO World Congress in Cape Town, South Africa in May 2017. <br /><br />ISPO is the largest and most important international society for prosthetics, orthotics and rehabilitation engineering. The award is established by the Blatchford family in memory of Mr. Brian Blatchford and Mrs. Joyce Blatchford. <br /><a href="http://www.ispoint.org/" target="_blank"><img class="ms-asset-icon ms-rtePosition-4" src="/_layouts/images/icgen.gif" alt="" />Read more about ISPO, the International Society for Prosthetics and Orthotics</a><br /><br />The research has taken place in Gothenburg, Sweden at:<a href="http://www.sahlgrenskaic.com/medical-care/treatments/bone-anchored-protheses/" target="_blank"><br /><img class="ms-asset-icon ms-rtePosition-4" src="/_layouts/images/icgen.gif" alt="" />Sahlgrenska International Care: Bone-Anchored Protheses</a><br /><a href="http://www.bnl.chalmers.se/wordpress/" target="_blank"><img class="ms-asset-icon ms-rtePosition-4" src="/_layouts/images/icgen.gif" alt="" />Biomechatronics and Neurorehabilitation Laboratory at the Department of Signals and systems, Chalmers University of Technology</a><br /><br />For more information, please contact:<br /><span> <a href="/sv/personal/Sidor/max-jair-ortiz-catalan.aspx">Max Ortiz Catalan</a>, Department of Signals and Systems, Chalmers University of Technology <span style="display:inline-block"></span></span><br /><a href="/sv/personal/Sidor/bo-hakansson.aspx">Bo Håkansson</a>, <span><span>Department of Signals and Systems, Chalmers University of Technology </span></span><br />Thu, 23 Mar 2017 09:00:00 +0100http://www.chalmers.se/en/departments/s2/news/Pages/Microwave-helmet-yields-fast-and-safe-evaluation-of-head-injuries.aspxhttp://www.chalmers.se/en/departments/s2/news/Pages/Microwave-helmet-yields-fast-and-safe-evaluation-of-head-injuries.aspxMicrowave helmet yields fast and safe evaluation of head injuries<p><b>​Results from a clinical study demonstrates that microwave measurements can be used for a rapid detection of intracranial bleeding in traumatic brain injuries. A recently published scientific paper shows that health care professionals get vital information and can quickly decide on appropriate treatment if patients are examined using a microwave helmet.</b></p>​The study demonstrates a new health care application for microwave measurements. Previously, microwave measurements have been used to distinguish stroke caused by bleeding in the brain from stroke caused by cloth.<br /><br />The new study shows that the technology also applies to patients affected by traumatic brain injury, which is the most common cause of death and disability among young people. This type of injuries are often caused by traffic accidents, assaults or falls. An estimated 10 million people are affected annually by traumatic brain injuries.<br /><br />The study compared 20 patients hospitalized for surgery of chronic subdural hematoma – a serious form of intracranial bleeding – with 20 healthy volunteers. The patients were examined with microwave measurements which were compared to traditional CT scans. The results show that microwave measurements have great potential to detect intracranial bleeding in this group of patients.<br /><br />“The result is very promising even though the study is small and only focused on one type of head injury. The microwave helmet could improve the medical assessment of traumatic head injuries even before the patient arrives at the hospital”, says Johan Ljungqvist specialist in neurosurgery at the Sahlgrenska University Hospital. “The result indicates that the microwave measurements can be useful in ambulances and in other care settings.”<br /><span><img src="/SiteCollectionImages/Institutioner/s2/Nyheter%20och%20kalendarium/Strokefinder/MikaelPersson_200px.jpg" class="chalmersPosition-FloatRight" alt="" style="margin:5px" /></span><br />Further studies of acute head injury patients are ongoing and planned in Sweden and abroad.<br /><br />“Microwave technology has the potential to revolutionize medical diagnostics by enabling faster, more flexible and more cost-effective care”, says Mikael Persson, professor of biomedical engineering at Chalmers University of Technology. “In many parts of the world microwave measurements systems can become a complement to CT scans and other imaging systems, which are often missing or have long waiting lists.”<br /><img src="/SiteCollectionImages/Institutioner/s2/Nyheter%20och%20kalendarium/Strokefinder/Mikael_Elam_200px.jpg" class="chalmersPosition-FloatLeft" alt="" style="margin:5px" /><br />“It is challenging to develop a new clinical methodology, from early tests to a device for clinical use in a hyperacute clinical environment where routine care of patients cannot be delayed. It requires a close collaboration between technical and medical professionals which has been supported by MedTech West, a western Sweden based organization for med-tech research &amp; development driven by clinical need”, says Mikael Elam, professor of clinical neurophysiology, Sahlgrenska Academy and University Hospital.<br /><br />The Swedish Research Council programme for clinical research has also been crucial for the project.  <br /><br /><br /><br /><strong>Text:</strong> Yvonne Jonsson<br /><strong>Photo:</strong> Oscar Mattsson, Cecilia Hedström<br /><strong>Illustration:</strong> Boid<br /><br />The article &quot;Clinical Evaluation of a microwave-based device for the detection of traumatic intracranial hemorrhage&quot; was recently published in the Journal of Neurotrauma by  researchers from Chalmers and Sahlgrenska Academy and Sahlgrenska University Hospital.<br />The article can be downloaded at <a href="http://online.liebertpub.com/doi/10.1089/neu.2016.4869" target="_blank">http://online.liebertpub.com/doi/10.1089/neu.2016.4869</a><br /><br /><strong>Contacts: </strong><br />Mikael Persson, Professor of Biomedical Engineering, Department of Signals and Systems, Chalmers University of Technology, Sweden, +46 31-772 15 76, <a href="mailto:%20mikael.persson@chalmers.se">mikael.persson@chalmers.se</a> <br />Mikael Elam, Professor and Consultant in Clinical Neurophysiology at the Sahlgrenska Academy at University of Gothenburg and the Sahlgrenska University Hospital, Sweden +46 31-772 15 76, <a href="mailto:%20mikael.elam@gu.se">mikael.elam@gu.se</a><br /><br /><a href="mailto:%20mikael.elam@gu.se"></a><br /><br /><a href="mailto:%20mikael.elam@gu.se"><table class="chalmersTable-default" cellspacing="0" width="100%" style="font-size:1em"><tbody><tr class="chalmersTableHeaderRow-default"><th class="chalmersTableHeaderFirstCol-default" rowspan="1" colspan="1">​<img src="/SiteCollectionImages/Institutioner/s2/Nyheter%20och%20kalendarium/Strokefinder/mikrovagshjalm_350px.jpg" class="chalmersPosition-FloatLeft" alt="" style="margin:5px;width:300px;height:300px" /><img src="/SiteCollectionImages/Institutioner/s2/Nyheter%20och%20kalendarium/Strokefinder/mikrovagsteknik_350.jpg" class="chalmersPosition-FloatRight" alt="" style="margin:5px;width:300px;height:300px" /><br /><br /><br /></th> <th class="chalmersTableHeaderLastCol-default" rowspan="1" colspan="1"><br /></th></tr></tbody></table></a><br /><strong>Facts about microwave measurements </strong><br />A microwave helmet is placed on the patient's head and the brain tissue is examined with the aid of microwave radiation. The system consists of three parts: a helmet-like antenna system that is put on the patient's head, a microwave unit and a computer that is used to control the equipment, data acquisition and signal processing. Individual antennas in system transmit, in sequence, a weak microwave signals through the brain, while the other receiving antennas measure the reflected signals. Distinct structures and substances in the brain affect the microwave scattering and reflections in different ways and the received signals provides a complex pattern, as interpreted by using advanced algorithms.<br /><br />Read more about Chalmers research in this field:<a href="/en/departments/s2/research/Signal-processing-and-Biomedical-engineering/Pages/default.aspx"><br /><img class="ms-asset-icon ms-rtePosition-4" src="/_layouts/images/ichtm.gif" alt="" />Signal processing and medical engineering</a><br /><br /><a href="mailto:%20mikael.elam@gu.se"></a>Wed, 08 Mar 2017 07:00:00 +0100http://www.chalmers.se/en/departments/bio/news/Pages/Research-break-through-Producing-gasoline-in-yeast-cell-factories.aspxhttp://www.chalmers.se/en/departments/bio/news/Pages/Research-break-through-Producing-gasoline-in-yeast-cell-factories.aspxResearch break-through: Producing gasoline in yeast cell factories<p><b>​There have been many attempts to modify this stubborn little enzyme. But none have succeeded, until now. With new findings from Chalmers the enzyme FAS has started to produce sustainable chemicals for biofuels.</b></p>​We are in great need of sustainable and clean alternatives to oil-derived products. One of the choices at hand is to produce chemicals and biofuels from sustainable biomass.<br /><br />To do this, researchers in the group of Professor Jens Nielsen at the Department of Biology and Biological Engineering is hard at work trying to design yeast cell factories that can actually produce the chemicals we need in a sustainable way. The group now had a major break-through, as they developed a novel method of changing the enzyme FAS, fatty acid synthase, into producing new products.<br />– This enzyme normally synthesizes long chain fatty acids, but we have now modified it into synthesizing medium chain fatty acids and methyl ketones – chemicals that are components in currently used transportation fuels, Post-doc Zhiwei Zhu explains.<br />– In other words: We are able to produce gasoline and jet fuel alternatives by yeast cell factories, and this has never been done before.<br /><br />The important enzyme was first elucidated by Nobel Prize winner Feodor Lynen, and many researchers have in recent years tried to modify it. But it seemed very hard, or close to impossible – until now.<br />– We did not expect this. Actually, it was thought by the scientific community that this rigid enzyme was not readily amenable to manipulation, says Zhiwei Zhu.<br /><br />The findings are in fact a result of a lucky break. A few years ago, the researchers occasionally found a FAS which had two acyl carrier protein domains.<br />– We first tried to change this FAS by replacing one of its acyl carrier protein domains with a foreign enzyme to render it new activities, and surprisingly it worked. Then we implemented such modification in other fungal FASs and found this approach versatile.<br /><br />The researchers are now focusing on using the modified enzyme to build yeast cell factories for production of chemicals and fuels. An invention patent has been filed, and the company Biopetrolia – a spin-off company to the Chalmers department – are closely involved, trying to further develop the technique to make it economically viable.<br /><br />But as a researcher, Zhiwei Zhu also has a long-term goal of his own:<br />– I am also interested in deeply revealing the biochemical and structural basis of this novel modification in fungal FAS.<br /><br /><br />Link to the scientific article: <a href="http://www.nature.com/nchembio/journal/vaop/ncurrent/full/nchembio.2301.html">Expanding the product portfolio of fungal type I fatty acid synthases</a> <br /><br />Text: Mia Malmstedt<br />In the photo: Zhiwei Zhu, Jens Nielsen and Biopetrolia CEO Anastasia Krivoruchko. Photo taken by Martina Butorac.<br />Tue, 28 Feb 2017 14:00:00 +0100http://www.chalmers.se/en/departments/physics/news/Pages/75-MSEK-for-developing-target-seeking-biological-pharmaceuticals.aspxhttp://www.chalmers.se/en/departments/physics/news/Pages/75-MSEK-for-developing-target-seeking-biological-pharmaceuticals.aspx75 MSEK for developing target seeking biological pharmaceuticals<p><b>​The Swedish Foundation for Strategic Research (SSF) invests 75 million SEK in an industrial research centre managed by Chalmers Professor Fredrik Höök. The project focuses on encapsulating biological pharmaceuticals into nanoscale carriers in order to reach the body’s cells and treat severe diseases.</b></p>​<span><img src="/SiteCollectionImages/Institutioner/F/Blandade%20dimensioner%20inne%20i%20artikel/Fredrik_Hook_300x350px.jpg" class="chalmersPosition-FloatRight" alt="" style="height:290px;width:250px;margin:5px" /><span style="display:inline-block"></span></span>&quot;A promising candidate for treating today’s incurable diseases is to reprogram the cells. However, since the reprogramming must take place inside the cell the pharmaceutical must penetrate the cell membrane. Designing and encapsulating biological molecules in nanocarriers so that they are capable of this is very challenging. That’s why it’s important with a broad-scale collaboration between the academia and the industry, says Fredrik Höök, Professor in biological physics at the Department of Physics at Chalmers and academic leader for Formulaex. <br /><br />The industrial research centre will focus on so called nucleotide-based therapeutics and in the consortium Chalmers collaborates with the lead industrial partner Astra Zeneca as well as Camurus, Vironova, Gothenburg Sensor Devices and the academic partners Karolinska Institute and University of Gothenburg. <br /><br />The centre will study fundamental requirements for pharmaceuticals made from biological molecules like DNA and RNA – the code that is the foundation for how cells work. Present research on the improvement of pharmaceuticals’ transportation into a cell is based on fabricating nanoparticles which mimic naturally occurring processes in the human body. Cells can, for instance, communicate by exchange of nanocarriers.<br /><br />“I am looking forward to the new dimension this project will add to our ongoing research, which has potential value far outside this team of academic and industrial partners. The assembled excellence of the industry and the academia can hopefully generate a great benefit for society. We also hope that our region will become even more attractive within Life science”, says Fredrik Höök. <br /><br />Within the Chalmers’ team there are two more members: Professor Marcus Wilhelmsson at the Department of Chemistry and Chemical Engineering and Associate Professor Elin Esbjörner at the Department of Biology and Biological Engineering. <br /><br />The project “Functional delivery of nucleotide based therapeutics” will run for six to eight years and give a better understanding of the process of cellular uptake and endosomal escape of nucleotide based therapeutics. The work includes development of advanced analytical methods, biomolecular design, cell studies and development of nanocarriers and delivery of new genetic bases therapeutics.  <br /><br />Text: Mia Halleröd Palmgren, mia.hallerodpalmgren@chalmers.se<br /><br /><strong>Contact: </strong><br />Fredrik Höök, Academic leader, Professor at the Department of Physics, Chalmers, 0708-95 12 39, fredrik.hook@chalmers.se<br /><br /><strong>More information: </strong><br /><br /><a href="http://stratresearch.se/pressmeddelande/400-miljoner-till-forskningscentra/"><img src="/_layouts/images/icgen.gif" class="ms-asset-icon ms-rtePosition-4" alt="" />Read the press release from The Swedish Foundation for Strategic Researc</a>h (in Swedish) <br /><a href="/en/departments/physics/news/Pages/A-Chalmers-innovation-paves-the-way-for-the-next-generation-of-pharmaceuticals.aspx"><img src="/_layouts/images/ichtm.gif" class="ms-asset-icon ms-rtePosition-4" alt="" />Read more about the research of Fredrik Höök. </a><br /><a href="/en/departments/physics/news/Pages/A-Chalmers-innovation-paves-the-way-for-the-next-generation-of-pharmaceuticals.aspx"></a><br /><span><span>Note: 75 MSEK equals approximately 7.9 MEUR (9 February 2017)<span style="display:inline-block"></span></span></span><br />Wed, 08 Feb 2017 00:00:00 +0100http://www.chalmers.se/en/departments/bio/news/Pages/Exploring-vaccine-safety.aspxhttp://www.chalmers.se/en/departments/bio/news/Pages/Exploring-vaccine-safety.aspxExploring vaccine safety<p><b>​When a vaccine is given, there’s always a risk of side-effects since it induces an immune response. The BIO-department is involved in the largest vaccine project ever, with the aim to develop new tools for monitoring vaccine safety.</b></p>​Vaccines are general; the same vaccine is given to everyone. But people are individuals, and some may react to the vaccine with unwanted side-effects.<br /><br />With new cutting-edge tools it might be possible to predict side-effects before they actually occur, thus giving the chance of rapid treatment. The technique could also, further down the line, give clues to make vaccine side-effects more rare and vaccines safer.<br /><br />Researchers from Chalmers Department of Biology and Biological Engineering is working together with a total of 18 partners from different academic disciplines in the EU-project BioVacSafe (Biomarkers for enhanced vaccines immunosafety). Among the partners are Imperial College London, Max Planck Institute and Gothenburg University as well as world leading pharmaceutical companies.<br /><br />The overall goal is to develop tools to speed up and improve the monitoring systems of vaccine safety, both before and after release to the market.<br />– We want to monitor patients to find side-effects before the patients have noticed them themselves, says Sakda Khoomrung, project leader at the division of Systems and Synthetic Biology.<br />– The project started in 2012 and has gone very well. There’s potential to continue as we see good results of our work.<br /><br />The Systems Biology-researchers, headed by Professor Jens Nielsen, is contributing to the BioVacSafe-project as responsible for two parts. One is to design and implement a web-based platform that will integrate different types of data, such as transcriptomics, metabolomics and clinical data. Sakda Khoomrung is working with the other part; to analyze metabolic response to the vaccines.<br /><br />Serum samples have been collected from 60 patients in total. A third, 20 patients, was given the influenza vaccine Fluad, 20 was given the Yellow fever vaccine Stamaril, and 20 was given placebo. The researchers analyzed blood taken from each patient on three occasions before the vaccine (or placebo) was administrated, and a total of eight times afterwards.<br /><br />The patients stayed in the hospital for a full week during the study, giving the researchers complete control over their food intake and activities. This is important since metabolomics shows the body’s response to both food and other habits, such as exercise, smoking or drinking. The group was then monitored for three additional weeks after going home.<br /><img width="240" height="300" src="/SiteCollectionImages/Institutioner/Bio/SysBio/sakda_240.jpg" class="chalmersPosition-FloatLeft" alt="" style="height:192px;width:150px;margin:5px" />– In our preliminary results, we found that there is a metabolic response to an individual vaccine, and that this changes over time, Sakda Khoomrung says.<br />– Primary metabolites such as lipids and amino acids – metabolites that are involved in your basic life functions and change when you move, exercise or get sick – are particularly sensitive to changes that occur during immune responses. These metabolites could potentially be used as metabolite biomarkers, helping to improve our understanding of vaccine safety, or identifying the metabolic responses to indicate side-effects. I personally believe this is an important piece of information that will greatly help for the development of the next generation of human vaccine.<br /><br />The BioVacSafe project has received funding until the end of February 2018. Sakda Khoomrung is confident the research will continue, but maybe in another form.<br />– It could be split up in different projects. We have shown interesting results, worth taking forward.<br /><br />Note: To read more about the BioVacSafe project, please <a href="http://www.biovacsafe.eu/">visit the project’s website</a>.<br /><br />In the top photo, from left: Researchers Intawat Nookaew, Partho Sen, Jens Nielsen and Sakda Khoomrung.<br /><br />Text: Mia Malmstedt<br />Photos: Martina Butorac<br />Mon, 30 Jan 2017 17:00:00 +0100http://www.chalmers.se/en/departments/s2/news/Pages/New-bone-conduction-hearing-aid-passed-long-term-endurance-test.aspxhttp://www.chalmers.se/en/departments/s2/news/Pages/New-bone-conduction-hearing-aid-passed-long-term-endurance-test.aspxNew bone conduction hearing aid passed long term endurance test<p><b>​For how long time can an implant function inside the body without losing performance? That is one of many questions researchers want to have answers to when new implants are developed, before they eventually can be approved for general use in healthcare.</b></p>​Patients who are suffering from conductive or mixed hearing loss can gain normal hearing with a new implant that replaces the middle ear. Over 200 000 people worldwide have this type of hearing aids that uses the skull bone to transmit sound vibrations to the inner ear via so-called bone conduction.<br /><br />The Bone Conduction Implant (BCI) is a new type of hearing aid with several improved features developed by <span>researchers at Chalmers´ department of signals and systems, in collaboration with </span><span><span>Senior Physician <span style="display:inline-block"></span></span></span><span>Måns Eeg-Olofsson and his team at the ENT department, Sahlgrenska University Hospital.</span> The first patient received the BCI implant in December 2012 in Gothenburg, and it is today worn by 16 patients in a clinical study.<br /><br /><strong>Milestone celebrated </strong><br />Recently, a milestone was reached on the way to the goal of launching the BCI to the market in the future. The bone conduction implant has been kept “listening” to radio in an age-acceleration test chamber that accelerates the exposure time with a factor of approximately six times. <br /><img class="chalmersPosition-FloatLeft" src="/SiteCollectionImages/Institutioner/s2/Nyheter%20och%20kalendarium/Ny%20unik%20benförankrad%20hörapparat%20klarade%20långtidstest/Bo_Håkansson_320px.jpg" alt="" style="margin:5px" /><br />“The performance of the implant has been verified and monitored corresponding to ten years of normal usage time for patients who are using the hearing aid for eight hours on a daily basis”, says Professor Bo Håkansson, originator of the bone conduction hearing aids and a pioneer in the field with 40 years´ research experience.<br /><br />The long term endurance test shows that the life span of the implant is longer than the desired minimum time for implants in the human body, often considered to be ten years.<br /><br /><br /><br /><br />“Once a month, for twenty months, we have monitored the implant performance at different frequencies”, says PhD-student Karl-Johan Fredén Jansson, who is responsible for these validations, which also is an important part of his coming doctoral thesis. “We are pleased to note that we during this time haven’t seen any impairment in the implant function.”<br /><img class="chalmersPosition-FloatRight" src="/SiteCollectionImages/Institutioner/s2/Nyheter%20och%20kalendarium/Ny%20unik%20benförankrad%20hörapparat%20klarade%20långtidstest/Karl-Johan-Freden-Jansson_320px.jpg" alt="" style="margin:5px" /><br /><strong><br />Simulating conditions in the human body</strong><br />The test chamber was constructed about two years ago by the student Helga Jóna Harðardóttir, who started the project during her master thesis project at Chalmers.<br /><br />To simulate the real conditions in the human body, the temperature in the test chamber is kept at 37 degrees Celsius. The Swedish national radio P1 has proved to be the best radio channel to use in the test, since the broadcasts resemble a good mix of the sounds you are exposed to during an ordinary day at work, comprising both spoken words and other sounds.<br /><br />The researchers can whenever they want connect and listen how the sound would be perceived inside of the head of the patient using the implant, through a so called skull simulator.<br /><br /><strong>Valuable meetings with patients </strong><br />Evaluations are also done concerning how the patients in the study experience the life with their new hearing aid and they regularly come to Chalmers to do follow-up visits and hearing tests.<br /><br />”So far we have received good responses from the participants and haven’t had any serious complications”, says Professor Bo Håkansson. “To meet grateful patients, who feels a higher quality of life, gives us a very strong motivation to carry on with our work.”<br /><br /><strong>Heading for long term goal</strong><br />In the meantime the implant continues to “listen” to radio in the test chamber. The aim is to collect more data, which gives information about how the implant reacts if the hearing aid is used for more years and over eight hours on a daily basis.<br /><br />The long term goal is to get CE-mark in the EU and approval from the US Food and Drug Administration, FDA. Important information to qualify for these requirements, concerns for example safety issues towards the patient, technical function and hearing rehabilitation. These are essential steps on the way of launching the BCI as a new hearing aid for general use in healthcare, and to offer improved hearing rehabilitation for more people.<br /><br />Text: Yvonne Jonsson<br />Photo: Oscar Mattsson<br /><br /><br /><strong>This is how the Bone Conduction Implant (BCI) works</strong><br /><img class="chalmersPosition-FloatRight" src="/SiteCollectionImages/Institutioner/s2/Nyheter%20och%20kalendarium/Ny%20unik%20benförankrad%20hörapparat%20klarade%20långtidstest/BCI-implantat+processor_i_hand_320px.jpg" alt="" style="margin:5px" />The implant is slightly less than six centimeters long. By a surgical procedure, it is implanted in the skull bone under the skin at a position behind the ear. Sound is transmitted wirelessly from an externally worn sound processor to the implant by an induction link, comprising one transmitter coil in the sound processor and one receiver coil in the implant. The patient can easily attach or remove the sound processor from the head as it is magnetically attached over the implant. <br /><br />The audio signal is transmitted to a tiny quadratic loudspeaker anchored to the bone near the auditory canal. The speaker generates sound vibrations which reaches the sensory organs of the cochlea, and is further by the brain interpreted as sound.<br /><br /><img class="chalmersPosition-FloatLeft" src="/SiteCollectionImages/Institutioner/s2/Nyheter%20och%20kalendarium/Ny%20unik%20benförankrad%20hörapparat%20klarade%20långtidstest/BCI_320px.jpg" alt="" style="margin:5px" />In comparison with the convention Bone Anchored Hearing Aid (BAHA), the wireless link keeps the skin intact because there is no titanium screw needed through the skin.  <br /><br />Thanks to a new type of transducer technique, the BCI transducer can be made small, but as powerful as a BAHA, and at the same time avoid complications related to a titanium screw through the skin.<br /><br />Illustration: Boid/Chalmers<br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><a href="/en/departments/s2/research/Signal-processing-and-Biomedical-engineering/Pages/Biomedical-signals-and-systems.aspx">&gt; Read more about research in biomedical signals and system</a><br /><br />Fri, 27 Jan 2017 00:00:00 +0100http://www.chalmers.se/en/areas-of-advance/lifescience/news/Pages/AoA-Day-summary.aspxhttp://www.chalmers.se/en/areas-of-advance/lifescience/news/Pages/AoA-Day-summary.aspxAoA Day for Chalmers life science community<p><b>​More than 40 people from Life Science Engineering Area of Advance met at Chalmersska huset on January 20, for community building activities, information and interesting conversations.</b></p>​Ivan Mijakovic, Head of Life Science Engineering (LSE), started the conference day with a presentation of the Area of Advance, with mentions on last year’s activities and plans for the future.<br /><img class="chalmersPosition-FloatRight" src="/SiteCollectionImages/Areas%20of%20Advance/Livsvetenskaper/AoADay_1.JPG" alt="" style="margin:5px" /><br />– Last year, we rebooted our website, which we see as a vital tool for communicating with you, he said.<br />– We also appointed seven new profile leaders, chosen to reflect as many of our affiliated departments as possible, and also keeping gender balance in mind. Together with them, we then changed the names of our three profiles to Engineering Solutions for Health, Molecules &amp; Modelling of Life and Toward a Biosustainable Future.<br />The profile leaders could all be found on the web page, and Ivan Mijakovic pointed out:<br /><img width="300" height="200" class="chalmersPosition-FloatRight" src="/SiteCollectionImages/Areas%20of%20Advance/Livsvetenskaper/AoADay_2.JPG" alt="" style="margin:5px" /><br />– If you wonder if the Area of Advance could help you, contact a profile leader and ask!<br /><br />LSE offers community building and a platform, to connect researchers at Chalmers, provide seed funding to spur new collaborations, and organize seminars. The Area of Advance also help researcher advertise their success, and help with utilization. Researchers2Utilization is a program started in collaboration with LSE last year:<br />– Through this program, you have the opportunity to see the existing possibilities within Chalmers but also in Gothenburg. You visit Chalmers Innovation office, Västra Götalands Regionen and Business Region Göteborg among others. These visits take place during the fall, and applications should be sent to me, Ivan Mijakovic said.<br /><img class="chalmersPosition-FloatRight" src="/SiteCollectionImages/Areas%20of%20Advance/Livsvetenskaper/AoADay_3.JPG" alt="" style="margin:5px" /><br />– If you then want to go further, you could join the Mentors2Research program. It’s extremely useful.<br />Ivan Mijakovic then continued by talking about the collaborations with students, and mentioned the very popular Monday lunch seminars.<br />– We are currently looking for a PhD student representative to help organize this, so please get in touch if you have any suggestions.<br />After talking about the recruitment of Assistant Professors to the Areas of Advance, and pointing out that LSE wants to see recruitments in the area between the Department of Biology and Biological Engineering and other departments, Ivan Mijakovic started up the speed presentations.<br /><img class="chalmersPosition-FloatRight" src="/SiteCollectionImages/Areas%20of%20Advance/Livsvetenskaper/AoADay_4.JPG" alt="" style="margin:5px" /><br />The following presentations covered research on graphene, protein structures, early life nutrition, algae, cancer diagnostics, image analysis, biomass from the sea or forest, food intake, recycling of batteries, gut bacteria and much more. Marina Axelsson-Fisk, who was one of the first to present, said:<br />– Collaborations is what’s most fun! I work with several biologists, but no one at Chalmers, and I’m new to this group.<br />Marcus Wilhelmsson and Nathalie Sheers both commented that they already heard things of interest during the presentations, and Torbjörn Lundh concluded:<br />– It’s amazing to hear of all the interesting things going on here at Chalmers!<br /><img class="chalmersPosition-FloatRight" src="/SiteCollectionImages/Areas%20of%20Advance/Livsvetenskaper/AoADay_5.JPG" alt="" style="margin:5px" /><br />The interest in each other’s research was clear during the breaks; the participants immediately took the opportunity to mingle and make new connections.<br />A call for seed grants 2018 was presented during the day (<a href="/en/areas-of-advance/lifescience/news/Pages/Seed-grant-2018.aspx">read separate text here</a>), and the four projects awarded seed grants 2017 were presented (<a href="/en/areas-of-advance/lifescience/news/Pages/Seed-grant-announced.aspx">to read more about the awardees, click here</a>).<br />– We had only 11 applications last time, but we were amazed by the high quality of the research ideas, Ann-Sofie Cans, Co-director of LSE, commented.<br /><img class="chalmersPosition-FloatRight" src="/SiteCollectionImages/Areas%20of%20Advance/Livsvetenskaper/AoADay_8.JPG" alt="" style="margin:5px" /><br />Before closing the meeting, Ann-Sofie Cans presented some ideas for the next Area of Advance Day:<br />– Next time, we will have a one day event with speakers and a poster session. We will then not only invite PI’s, but also Post docs and PhD students.<br /><br /><strong>Note</strong>: For this meeting, a booklet with short presentations of the participants was produced. If you are interested in a copy, send an email to the LSE Communication officer Mia Malmstedt. During the day, the Area of Advance also collected feedback in a short questionnaire. Would you like to give your opinion on the communication from LSE (newsletters, emails etc)? Please get in contact with Mia Malmstedt to get the questionnaire.<br /><br />Text and photos: Mia MalmstedtMon, 23 Jan 2017 17:00:00 +0100http://www.chalmers.se/en/areas-of-advance/lifescience/news/Pages/Seed-grant-2018.aspxhttp://www.chalmers.se/en/areas-of-advance/lifescience/news/Pages/Seed-grant-2018.aspxCall for seed grants 2018!<p><b>​Applicants with interdisciplinary projects within the life science area are now invited to apply for seed grants 2018. Submission deadline: March 1.</b></p>​The Area of Advance seed grants will be given to support new collaborations between departments to spur high-risk, high-gain research projects, or promising utilization projects.<br /><br />A minimum of two Chalmers faculty members from different departments must be included in the project, and the topic should fall under one of Life Science Engineering’s three profiles; Towards a Biosustainable Future, Molecules &amp; Modelling of Life or Engineering Solutions for Health. Please specify the profile in your application (<a href="/en/areas-of-advance/lifescience/research/Pages/default.aspx">to read more about the profiles, click here</a>).<br /><br />The attributed grant amount is 500 k SEK, and the duration is 12 months. There will be a total of three seed grants awarded for 2018.<br /><br /><strong>How to apply:</strong><br /><br />The application should be sent by e-mail <a href="mailto:karolina.partheen@chalmers.se">Karolina Partheen</a> (click on her name to e-mail) as a single PDF file. The application file should contain:<br /><br />1) A maximum of two pages with description of the project, free style, but clearly explaining:<br />• scientific objective(s) of the project<br />• interdisciplinary and collaborative dimension of the project (collaborations between different departments is a formal requirement)<br />• expected measurable outcomes (research paper(s), joint applications for external funding, results needed for further collaboration, etc.) <br />• if relevant, coupling to any complementary funding, e.g. from another AoA, department, external (co-funded applications will be prioritized)<br />• brief budget justification<br />• contact person name and e-mail address<br /><br />2) Short CV:s (one page) for each co-applicant, free style, but specifying the total number of peer reviewed publications and the H-index. If relevant for the particular research field, additional bibliometric indicators can be provided.<br /><br /><strong>Timeline:</strong><br />• Applications should be sent by e-mail to Karolina Partheen, no later than March 1, 2017. <br />• After evaluation and ranking, the applicants will be notified of the outcome on April 15. <br />• The projects will start (receive funding) from January 1, 2018. <br />• The project outcome shall be reported to the Area of Advance Director by January 31, 2019 (single page document, free style).<br /><br /><strong>For any clarifications</strong>, please do not hesitate to contact us (click on names to e-mail): <a href="mailto:ivan.mijakovic@chalmers.se">Ivan Mijakovic</a>, Director, or <a href="mailto:cans@chalmers.se">Ann-Sofie Cans</a>, Co-director.Mon, 23 Jan 2017 11:00:00 +0100http://www.chalmers.se/en/departments/bio/news/Pages/Nobel-Week-Dialogue.aspxhttp://www.chalmers.se/en/departments/bio/news/Pages/Nobel-Week-Dialogue.aspxChalmers Professor at Nobel Week Dialogue<p><b>​This year&#39;s Nobel Week Dialogue – The Future of Food – featured Nobel Prize winners, prominent scientists and politicians. Professor Anne-Marie Hermansson from Chalmers Division of Food and Nutrition Science was invited to discuss sustainability.</b></p>​Nobel Week Dialogue is held each year on the day before the Nobel Prize ceremony. An ambitious program of lectures and panel discussions is organized. This year's theme was The Future of Food, and it attracted an audience of 1500. Chalmers Professor Anne-Marie Hermansson was a panelist to discuss sustainable food production.<br /><img width="350" height="450" class="chalmersPosition-FloatRight" src="/SiteCollectionImages/Institutioner/Bio/AnnMarieHermansson.jpg" alt="" style="height:356px;width:274px;margin:5px" /><br />– We have many challenges ahead of us. Food production has to be sustainable and innovative. The industry need to find new ways to produce food with less water and energy consumption, and with greater recycling. I would say that the water issue is our biggest challenge in the long perspective, she said.<br />– Climate change will affect us and one challenge is to understand how to use new crops and raw materials to produce foods. Nutritious food also has to be cheap, safe and available. Fluctuations in world market prices for raw materials will have an effect on availability and that will affect the neediest if no action is taken.<br /><br />Sustainability, waste and health aspects of food was on the menu during the day. Six Nobel laureates, professors, entrepreneurs and politicians like Isabella Lövin, Swedish minister for International Development Cooperation, engaged in the discussions.<br />– They really found people who knew the field and moreover were charismatic and got the audience to engage, Anne-Marie Hermansson says.<br />– They also did a great job of putting together interesting combinations, like the musician Patti Smith and Angus Deaton, last year's Nobel laureate in economics. I think the atmosphere was incredibly nice, and the audience was complicit. The organizers said this was their best event so far.<br /><br />Anne-Marie Hermansson was invited after sending in names of other knowledgeable persons in the research field:<br />– I was worried that they would arrange this without inviting any food scientists, so I tried to help. It ended up with them suggesting me. It took a while before I realized they actually wanted me to participate in the panel, she says.<br /><br />To have a well-organized and good arrangement within food and future challenges is important for the field, Anne-Marie Hermansson says. And the event also strenghtened Chalmers:<br />– It’s very good for Chalmers to have a representative at the Nobel Week Dialogue. Last year Lars Börjesson, who was then the Vice President, participated.<br /><br />Next year’s Nobel Week Dialogue will be in Gothenburg on December 9 2017.<br /><br />Note: You can watch <a href="https://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=PLJE9rmV1-0uB6WhQcV6dsz_k_x_nDvlSp">Nobel Week Dialogue on YouTube</a>. The panel discussion with <a href="https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zodJKJ-MHM8&amp;t=164s&amp;list=PLJE9rmV1-0uB6WhQcV6dsz_k_x_nDvlSp&amp;index=15">Anne-Marie Hermansson can be found here</a>.<br /><br />Text: Mia Malmstedt<br />Photo: Jan-Olof YxellTue, 20 Dec 2016 13:00:00 +0100http://www.chalmers.se/en/departments/bio/news/Pages/Research-for-a-green-future-awarded-with-grants.aspxhttp://www.chalmers.se/en/departments/bio/news/Pages/Research-for-a-green-future-awarded-with-grants.aspxResearch for a green future awarded with grants<p><b>​Two researchers at BIO, Johan Larsbrink and Nikolaos Xafenias, received Formas’ start-up grants for future research leaders. And Johan Larsbrink really got a full house, as he received the corresponding grant from the Swedish Research Council as well.</b></p><p>​Research to take further steps towards a fossil-free society. That is the basis for the applications that awarded Nikolaos Xafenias and Johan Larsbrink – both from the Division of Industrial Biotechnology – grants from Formas, each worth one million SEK per year for three years.<br />– This means I can lead my own research line within the division, Nikolaos Xafenias explains.<br /><br />Xafenias’ project involves converting waste and by-products from bioprocesses, to &quot;green&quot; products. Some background: Biorefineries, in which fuels and other chemicals are produced from biomass instead of crude oil, are a great way of moving production away from using fossil raw materials. But for biorefineries to succeed – and be truly environmentally friendly – we need to exploit the vast amounts of carbon dioxide and other carbonaceous residues that are co-produced.<br /><br />Nikolaos Xafenias wants to develop a technology to recycle this carbon, thus reducing the environmental impact. To do this, microbes that &quot;eat&quot; electricity from electrodes will be used. The microbes will be catalysts for the electrochemical conversions of waste products into alcohols, which are of value to the chemical and energy industries.<br />– This money will, among other things, support collaboration with other groups, Nikolaos Xafenias says.<br />– I have really competent partners: Jie Sun, Associate Professor at Chalmers Department MC2, who is working with graphene, and Professor Ieropoulos at the Bristol Robotics Laboratory, who is working with bioelectrochemical systems.<br /><br />Johan Larsbrink will take a closer look at enzymes for efficient decomposition of biomass. So-called enzymatic hydrolysis – a chemical process in which enzymes cleave the major components of the biomass into small molecules – is the most viable option for the decomposition of forest and agricultural residues for conversion to biofuels. But it’s also one of the most costly steps in today’s processes. Enzymes with several so-called catalytic domains may make the process much more efficient, but they are rare. Johan Larsbrink wants to determine the potential of these existing enzymes, and also develop entirely new ones.<br /><br />But Johan Larsbrink did not only receive money from Formas. He also got a start-up grant from the Swedish Research Council, for 3,2 million SEK over a four year period.<br />– It feels a bit strange, it hasn’t completely sunk in yet. But it’s really great, of course, he says.<br />The Swedish Research Council is investing in his project to develop and make the bioprocess that converts biomass into fuels more efficient. In recent years, much effort has been put into creating consolidated bioprocesses, where one microorganism can simultaneously break down biomass, absorb the energy and also produce valuable substances. Most studies have been done on <em>E. coli</em> bacteria and yeast, but the results have not been good enough. Johan Larsbrink has instead chosen to look at other bacterial species, to create organisms with the perfect properties.<br />– The money from both Formas and the Swedish Research Council will go to two new positions in my group. I already have two post docs, and good international and Swedish research connections that I will continue to work with, Johan Larsbrink says.<br /><br />In order to get the grants, the research projects need to meet certain criteria. They are measured not only by the scientific level – scientific issue, expertise and methodology – but also on the potential use for society.<br />– The fact that we received the grants not only shows that we as researchers are considered qualified, but also that our projects are considered promising and interesting, Nikolaos Xafenias says, and Johan Larsbrink adds:<br />– Our projects are in the bioenergy area. It’s a “hot” field right now, and very important from society’s standpoint. Furthermore, it is also important to show that you have good collaborations. Research is becoming increasingly interdisciplinary – it’s no longer possible to work in your own bubble.<br /><br />Text: Mia Malmstedt<br />Photo: Martina Butorac<br /></p>Tue, 20 Dec 2016 10:00:00 +0100