News: Livsvetenskaper och teknikhttp://www.chalmers.se/sv/nyheterNews related to Chalmers University of TechnologyThu, 19 Apr 2018 16:58:25 +0200http://www.chalmers.se/sv/nyheterhttps://www.chalmers.se/en/departments/bio/news/Pages/Spikes-of-graphene-can-kill-bacteria-on-implants.aspxhttps://www.chalmers.se/en/departments/bio/news/Pages/Spikes-of-graphene-can-kill-bacteria-on-implants.aspxSpikes of graphene can kill bacteria on implants<p><b>​A tiny layer of graphene flakes becomes a deadly weapon and kills bacteria, stopping infections during procedures such as implant surgery. This is the findings of new research from Chalmers University of Technology, Sweden, recently published in the scientific journal Advanced Materials Interfaces.</b></p><p>​Operations for surgical implants, such as hip and knee replacements or dental implants, have increased in recent years. However, in such procedures, there is always a risk of bacterial infection. In the worst case scenario, this can cause the implant to not attach to the skeleton, meaning it must be removed.<br /><br />Bacteria travel around in fluids, such as blood, looking for a surface to cling on to. Once in place, they start to grow and propagate, forming a protective layer, known as a biofilm.<br /><br />A research team at Chalmers has now shown that a layer of vertical graphene flakes forms a protective surface that makes it impossible for bacteria to attach. Instead, bacteria are sliced apart by the sharp graphene flakes and killed. Coating implants with a layer of graphene flakes can therefore help protect the patient against infection, eliminate the need for antibiotic treatment, and reduce the risk of implant rejection. The osseointegration – the process by which the bone structure grow to attach the implant – is not disturbed. In fact, the graphene has been shown to benefit the bone cells.<br /><br />Chalmers University is a leader in the area of graphene research, but the biological applications did not begin to materialise until a few years ago. The researchers saw conflicting results in earlier studies. Some showed that graphene damaged the bacteria, others that they were not affected.<br /><br />“We discovered that the key parameter is to orient the graphene vertically. If it is horizontal, the bacteria are not harmed” says Ivan Mijakovic, Professor at the Department of Biology and Biological Engineering.<br /><br />The sharp flakes do not damage human cells. The reason is simple: one bacterium is one micrometer – one thousandth of a millimeter – in diameter, while a human cell is 25 micrometers. So, what constitutes a deadly knife attack for a bacterium, is therefore only a tiny scratch for a human cell.<br /><br />&quot;Graphene has high potential for health applications. But more research is needed before we can claim it is entirely safe. Among other things, we know that graphene does not degrade easily” says Jie Sun, Associate Professor at the Department of Micro Technology and Nanoscience.<br /><br />Good bacteria are also killed by the graphene. But that’s not a problem, as the effect is localised and the balance of microflora in the body remains undisturbed.<br /><br />&quot;We want to prevent bacteria from creating an infection. Otherwise, you may need antibiotics, which could disrupt the balance of normal bacteria and also enhance the risk of antimicrobial resistance by pathogens” says Santosh Pandit, postdoc at Biology and Biological Engineering.<br /><br />Vertical flakes of graphene are not a new invention, having existed for a few years. But the Chalmers research teams are the first to use the vertical graphene in this way. The next step for the research team will be to test the graphene flakes further, by coating implant surfaces and studying the effect on animal cells.<br /><br />Chalmers cooperated with <a href="http://www.wellspect.co.uk/">Wellspect Healthcare</a>, a company which makes catheters and other medical instruments, in this research. They will now continue with a second study. <br /><br />The projects are a part of the national strategic innovation programme SIO Grafen, supported by the Swedish government agencies Vinnova (Sweden’s innovation agency), the Swedish Energy Agency and the Swedish Research Council Formas. The research results are published in Advanced Materials Interfaces: &quot;<a href="https://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1002/admi.201701331">Vertically Aligned Graphene Coating is Bactericidal and Prevents the Formation of Bacterial Biofilms</a>&quot;<br /><br /><strong>The making of vertical graphene</strong><br />Graphene is made of carbon atoms. It is only a single atomic layer thick, and therefore the world's thinnest material. Graphene is made in flakes or films. It is 200 times stronger than steel and has very good conductivity thanks to its rapid electron mobility. Graphene is also extremely sensitive to molecules, which allows it to be used in sensors.<br /><br />Graphene can be made by CVD, or Chemical Vapor Deposition. The method is used to create a thin surface coating on a sample. The sample is placed in a vacuum chamber and heated to a high temperature at the same time as three gases – usually hydrogen, methane and argon – are released into the chamber. The high heat causes gas molecules to react with each other, and a thin layer of carbon atoms is created.<br />To produce vertical graphene forms, a process known as Plasma-Enhanced Chemical Vapor Deposition, or PECVD, is used. Then, an electric field – a plasma – is applied over the sample, which causes the gas to be ionized near the surface. With the plasma, the layer of carbon grows vertically from the surface, instead of horizontally as with CVD.<br /></p> <div class="ms-rtestate-read ms-rte-wpbox"><div class="ms-rtestate-notify ms-rtestate-read 21aa3563-502e-4205-bcb8-3e04875a5b8d" id="div_21aa3563-502e-4205-bcb8-3e04875a5b8d" unselectable="on"></div> <div id="vid_21aa3563-502e-4205-bcb8-3e04875a5b8d" unselectable="on" style="display:none"></div></div> <p><br />Text: Mia Malmstedt<br />Photo and video: Johan Bodell<br />Illustration: Yen Strandqvist </p>Mon, 16 Apr 2018 09:00:00 +0200https://www.chalmers.se/en/departments/e2/news/Pages/Bridge-builder-awarded-new-prize-in-medical-technology.aspxhttps://www.chalmers.se/en/departments/e2/news/Pages/Bridge-builder-awarded-new-prize-in-medical-technology.aspxBridge builder awarded new prize in medical technology<p><b>​The newly established prize in medical technology, in the spirit of Henry Wallman, is awarded to Sabine Reinfeldt, Associate Professor and leader of the research group Biomedical Signals and Systems at Chalmers. She receives the prize for her research on bone conduction hearing aids, and for her ability to build bridges between disciplines.</b></p>​The newly established prize in medical technology, in the spirit of Henry Wallman, is awarded to Sabine Reinfeldt, Associate Professor and leader of the research group in biomedical signals and systems at Chalmers. She receives the prize for her research on bone conduction hearing aids, and for her ability to build bridges between disciplines.<br /><br />&quot;I was very happy and surprised when I learned that I got the prize,&quot; says Sabine Reinfeldt. “It is great that my work, and the work of the whole group, has received recognition through the first Henry Wallman prize.”<br /><br />Sabine Reinfeldt's research focuses on improved hearing aids based on bone conduction. Her work includes everything from basic bone conduction physiology and transmission to the development of implantable hearing aids ready for market introduction.<br /><br />In the justification of the prize, it is emphasized that Sabine Reinfeldt's research and working methods are characterized by multidisciplinary collaboration with representatives from clinical science, and she is therefore an excellent representative of the ideals that Henry Wallman wished to see in medical technology and its clinical utilisation. In addition to building bridges between disciplines, Sabine Reinfeldt has successfully created well-functioning multidisciplinary teams.<br /><br />“The collaboration across disciplines has always been a success factor in the field of bone conduction hearing,” says Sabine Reinfeldt. “My predecessor, Bosse Håkansson at Chalmers, started already in 1977 a successful collaboration with Anders Tjellström at Sahlgrenska University Hospital and the Brånemark Osseointegration Center. I´m trying to carry on in the same spirit. We are a whole team of engineers, <br />medical doctors and audiologists who work together contributing with our respective skills to find the best solutions, for the benefit of the patients. Nowadays, Måns Eeg-Olofsson at Sahlgrenska is a very important partner.<br /><br />Sabine Reinfeldt will receive the prize at a ceremony early autumn 2018.<br /><br /><em></em><em></em><strong>About the prize</strong><br />The Henry Wallman prize is an innovation prize in medical technology, which from 2018 will be awarded annually, to young researchers or graduate students who, in close collaboration between expertise in technology and health care, successfully have transferred new knowledge from academia to practical medical care. The Foundation for Biomedical Engineering (Stiftelsen Medicin &amp; Teknik) at Chalmers is hosting the prize. The scholarship amounts to SEK 50,000.<br />Henry Wallman came to Chalmers in 1948 and was a pioneer in biomedical engineering research and development.<br /><br /><span><em>Text: Yvonne Jonsson</em><br /><em>Photo: Oscar Mattsson<span style="display:inline-block"></span></em></span><br /><br /><strong>Contact</strong><br /><a href="/en/Staff/Pages/sabine-reinfeldt.aspx">Sabine </a><span>Reinfeld</span>t, Associate Professor, Department of Electrical Engineering, Chalmers<br /><a href="mailto:%20sabine.reinfeldt@chalmers.se">sabine.reinfeldt@chalmers.se</a><br /><br /><a href="/en/departments/e2/research/Signal-processing-and-Biomedical-engineering/Pages/Biomedical-signals-and-systems.aspx"><img class="ms-asset-icon ms-rtePosition-4" src="/_layouts/images/ichtm.gif" alt="" />Read more about the research group Biomedical Signals and Systems</a>Fri, 13 Apr 2018 12:00:00 +0200https://www.chalmers.se/en/areas-of-advance/lifescience/news/Pages/The-packaging-reminds-you-of-the-medicine.aspxhttps://www.chalmers.se/en/areas-of-advance/lifescience/news/Pages/The-packaging-reminds-you-of-the-medicine.aspxNew packaging helps you remember your medicine<p><b>​It all started at Chalmers’ school of entrepreneurship. Mevia is now in the process of developing and selling its technology; the medicine packaging that won´t let you forget your pill.</b></p>​A lot of people take some kind of drug every day. Blood pressure medicines, birth control pills, vitamins, anti-inflammatory... They all have one thing in common; they are very easy to forget.<div>The small company Mevia has developed a pharmaceutical packaging solution that alerts when the medicine seems to be forgotten. A small device connects to the graphite strips printed on the blister pack, and each time the patient takes a pill, a signal is sent in real time to Mevia. If there is no signal, a reminder is sent out to the patient, a relative or healthcare provider, via SMS or an automated phone call.</div> <div><br /><strong>Started at the school of entrepreneurship</strong></div> <div>The idea originated from Stora Enso. Jesper Hassel, CEO of Mevia, started working on the idea at Chalmers’ school of entrepreneurship, where he ended up after finishing his studies in industrial engineering and management.</div> <div>– The first year at the school of entrepreneurship was similar to a regular year of a Chalmers master’s program. Then, at the end of the first year, we had to choose three or four ideas that we wanted to work with, and try to develop into companies. We really had to think about our interests, what we wanted to do, and who in the group we thought we could work with, Jesper Hassel says.<br />– Then we were assigned one of the projects. I got my first choice! Much of what we did in school after that point was connected to the company. It was a great way to get started.</div> <div>What are the needs? Where should we start? How do you write a business plan? And where can we find knowledge? They went through the questions, one by one. For Jesper Hassel, it became important to quickly find persons with great knowledge and skills in this field. Boo Edgar and Karin Wingstrand, both with many years of experience in the pharmaceutical industry, were approached early and are now members of Mevia's Board.<br /><br /><strong>Developing the company as well as the technique</strong></div> <div>Four years have passed since they left Chalmers and the company is progressing.</div> <div>– I think it’s developing quite slowly, but if you ask those who have done this earlier, they will tell you we’re doing just fine. It’s a slow industry. And the fact that we are a company is sort of a victory in itself. This means we’ve solved the problems we met so far, Jesper Hassel says.</div> <div>One of the major problems turned out to be that the technology initially was not good enough. Today, it has been updated and tested by home care providers and at retirement homes. And improvements are made all the time – continuous feedback makes it possible to develop the technique in the right way.</div> <div>– We have linked our technology to dose packaging; bags with the right dose of your daily medicines – one bag for every occasion of the day. This works well. Our technology can be linked to any type of packaging, bags or blister packs.</div> <div><br /><strong>What does it mean to miss a pill?</strong></div> <div>Why is it important to check if the medicine is taken? The question has several answers. There are some pharmaceuticals where a single missed dose can cause health problems. And some medications will not have an effect until after several weeks – and then the patient may lose faith and stop using it. A third scenario is a patient who forgets every other pill causing the doctor to raise the dosage, thinking that this is necessary. Suddenly, there is a risk of the patient being exposed to a much too high dosage.</div> <div>– We would like to primarily support those who are happy to take their medicines themselves, but would like some support. For example, elderly individuals who manage fine by themselves but see the reminder as an extra safety measure.</div> <div><br /><strong>Individual solutions</strong></div> <div>Somewhat unexpected, the idea has encountered some hesitation from home care staff.</div> <div>– They may think that their jobs will disappear, or that our system will cause them stress. Sometimes they are running late, and then the reminders can be annoying. But maybe you need to adjust the time on the dose package? We want to support the care givers and make it possible for them to spend time doing the right things, Jesper Hassel says.<br />– Everyone wants different kinds of solutions. Some want a reminder five minutes before the medication is to be taken, which would make others go insane. But it’s easy to adapt our system! You can also control who will receive the reminder. First, maybe the elderly patient will receive an SMS, and at a later stage, you may want a notification to go also to your relatives. It is easy to add and remove this.</div> <div><br /><strong>Hot company of 2017</strong></div> <div>For health economic reasons, it is of course important for the society as a whole to find systems that make it possible for elderly people to manage their health care issues themselves for a longer period of time, before home care providers step in. Or, for example, finding ways to remember vital pharmaceuticals as blood-thinning medicines and other preventive medicines, thus saving the individual from illness while at the same time reducing strain on hospitals.</div> <div>– Our vision and aim are right on track, and the fact that we’ve been appointed one of Sweden’s 33 hottest young technology companies in 2017 is a clear sign, says Jesper Hassel.</div> <div> </div> <div>Text: Mia Malmstedt<br />Photo: Private<br /></div>Mon, 12 Feb 2018 09:00:00 +0100https://www.chalmers.se/en/departments/e2/news/Pages/Can-computers-learn-how-to-diagnose-brain-diseases.aspxhttps://www.chalmers.se/en/departments/e2/news/Pages/Can-computers-learn-how-to-diagnose-brain-diseases.aspxCan computers learn how to diagnose brain diseases?<p><b>​Imaging technology has revolutionized healthcare and is widely used for diagnosis before treatment or surgery. Despite these advances, routine clinical MRI data interpretation is mostly performed by medical experts. Is it possible to use deep learning to teach computers to diagnose brain diseases as well as or in some aspect even better than medical doctors?</b></p>​<span><img class="chalmersPosition-FloatLeft" src="/SiteCollectionImages/Institutioner/E2/Nyheter/Kan%20datorer%20lära%20sig%20att%20diagnosticera%20hjärnsjukdomar/Inrene_Gu_200px.jpg" alt="" style="margin:5px" /><span style="display:inline-block"></span></span>Deep learning is about using powerful computers with embedded artificial intelligence to resemble the human brain's way of interpreting new information and draw conclusions in relation to what is already known. The difference is that computers, amongst other things, are able to analyse much larger amounts of data, which can be used to find better methods for solving difficult mathematical and technical problems.<br /><br />“Using a large amount of brain image data, deep learning methods can be used to find characteristic features related to some diseases, and provide powerful diagnostic tools to medical doctors”, says Irene Gu, Professor in the signal processing group at Chalmers. <br /><br />So far, only preliminary research work on deep learning is reported in the medical area. In computer vision, deep learning has reached or even surpassed human performance when it comes to face recognition. <br />Recently, Irene Gu has started a research initiative on brain image analytics using deep learning methods in close collaboration with medical doctors at Sahlgrenska University Hospital and several students. The question is: Would it be possible for artificial intelligence technology to diagnose Alzheimers’ disease, or to find brain tumors’ grading, by only using a large amount of brain image data?<br /><br />“We have obtained some initial promising results. Our ambition is to reach the performance of medical experts and yet in much simpler ways”, says Irene Gu.<br /><br /><strong>Detection of Alzheimer’s disease</strong><br />Alzheimer’s disease is a chronic neuro-degenerative disease currently incurable, its cause is not yet completely understood. According to WHO’s statistics in 2015, roughly 30 million people in the world suffer from Alzheimer’s. The symptoms consist of disorientation, language difficulties, memory loss, mood swings and many more. Early diagnosis and treatment can potentially slow down the development of the disease.<br /><br />Brain scans by magnetic resonance imaging, MRI, is a commonly used diagnostic method for detecting Alzheimer’s disease. This is often used in combination with other diagnostic methods involving a set of clinical exams, by observing the progression of dementia symptoms.<br /><br />“In this project, two dedicated deep learning methods, simple yet effective, have been developed for detection of Alzheimer’s disease. One method is based on 3D convolutional networks, another on 3D multiscale residual networks. We use a large amount of brain MRI scans to learn our computers the features of Alzheimer’s disease, and subsequently to detect Alzheimer’s patients from unseen scans”, Irene Gu explains. <br /><br />The study involved 340 subjects and about 1200 MR images, obtained from a public available dataset, Alzheimer’s Disease Neuroimaging Initiative (ADNI).<br /><br />“The proposed schemes have yielded high accuracies. For example, one method has reached an accuracy of 98,74 % on previously unseen MRI scans, and 90,11 % from MRI scans of unseen patients in the study. This almost reaches the highest state-of-the-art research results”, Irene Gu says. “This indicates that the method that we have developed is useful in this type of studies.”<br /><br />One of the projects was conducted by <a href="http://studentarbeten.chalmers.se/publication/252184-deep-learning-methods-for-mri-brain-image-analysis-3d-convolutional-neural-networks-for-alzheimers-d">Mahmood Nazari and Karl Bäckström as a master's thesis project</a>.<br />A paper submitted on this work has recently been accepted by IEEE International Symposium on Biomedical imaging (ISBI) 2018. Another MSc project is still ongoing.<br /><br /><strong>Brain tumor grading</strong><br />Encouraged by the good deep learning results using MR images, Irene Gu has started another project based on similar technology, performed by Karl Bäckström in 2017. <br /><br />“Thanks to the interest in computer-assisted brain tumor diagnostics shown by medical doctors at Sahlgrenska, and seed funding from the department of Electrical Engineering at Chalmers, we could perform a study on brain tumor (glioma) grading using deep learning”, says Irene Gu.<br /><br />A glioma is a type of tumor that starts in the glial cells of the brain or the spine. Gliomas comprise about 30 percent of all brain tumors and central nervous system tumors. About 80 percent of all malignant brain tumors are gliomas.<br /><br />The broad international collaboration networks, which the medical doctors are engaged in, have provided the researchers with brain tumor datasets from USA, France and Austria.<br />We have already obtained some promising results, though on relatively small datasets”, says Irene Gu. “Now we are conducting further in-depth research, where more students and researchers from Chalmers participate in close collaboration with Sahlgrenska University Hospital.”<br /><br />Text: Yvonne Jonsson<br /><br /><strong>More information</strong><br /><a href="/sv/personal/Sidor/Irene-Yu-Hua-Gu.aspx">Irene Gu</a>, Professor, Department of Electrical Engineering, Chalmers<br /><a href="mailto:irenegu@chalmers.se">irenegu@chalmers.se</a><br /><a href="mailto:irenegu@chalmers.se"></a><br /><a href="/en/departments/e2/research/Signal-processing-and-Biomedical-engineering/Pages/Image-and-video-analysis.aspx"><img class="ms-asset-icon ms-rtePosition-4" src="/_layouts/images/ichtm.gif" alt="" />Read more about computer vision and medical image analysis</a><br />Thu, 08 Feb 2018 08:00:00 +0100https://www.chalmers.se/en/departments/tme/news/Pages/Social-innovation-project-gives-people-affected-by-cancer-strength-to-live.aspxhttps://www.chalmers.se/en/departments/tme/news/Pages/Social-innovation-project-gives-people-affected-by-cancer-strength-to-live.aspxSweden&#39;s first support centre for people affected by cancer<p><b>​Strength to live and better psychosocial support. This is the goal for Kraftens Hus, Sweden’s first support centre for cancer patients and their families. Centre For Healthcare Improvement at Chalmers is an important part of this unique collaborative project.</b></p><div>​“You have cancer.”</div> <div>These three words change a person’s life, but also the lives of many around them. On receiving such a diagnosis, the patient, their family, relatives, friends, neighbours, colleagues and managers all have questions. The healthcare system takes care of the medical treatment, but who looks after everything else?</div> <div> </div> <div>“Cancer changes many aspects of life for everyone affected by the disease – at home with the family, at work and in other social contexts. We have therefore taken a new approach to how various resources and responsible authorities can join forces and develop the psychosocial support together,” says project manager Carina Mannefred from Regionalt Cancercentrum Väst (RCC Väst), the regional cancer centre in west Sweden.</div> <div> </div> <div>The pilot project is the result of unique collaboration involving patients, their families, RCC Väst, researchers from Chalmers, politicians and civil servants from Region Västra Götaland and representatives from a range of social welfare institutions and the business community in Borås.</div> <div> </div> <div>The initiative comes from people affected by cancer via RCC Väst’s Patient- och Närståenderåd, a regional council of cancer patients and their families who share their experiences and opinions of healthcare. Over 18 months the collaboration partners have met in design workshops and dialogue sessions to bring needs, requests and solutions to light. Study visits to support centres in the UK and Denmark have also been made.</div> <div> </div> <div>“The project is unique thanks to its co-creative approach: it is the result of collaboration between all relevant players in society together with the business community and the patients,” says Senior Lecturer Andreas Hellström at Centre For Healthcare Improvement at Chalmers University of Technology, who is leading the scientific part of the project regarding Kraftens Hus Sjuhärad. </div> <div> </div> <div>The non-profit organisation Kraftens Hus Sjuhärad was founded after the series of workshops. The premises are in Borås, but the support centre is for people affected by cancer throughout the whole of Sjuhärad: patients who are undergoing or have completed treatment and their families.</div> <div> </div> <div>Kraftens Hus is being partly funded through an annual grant from the Healthcare Board in Region Västra Götaland for three years and partly through sponsorship. This is a user-driven activity, which will be designed and developed on the basis of the visitors’ needs and requests.</div> <div> </div> <div>The opportunity to meet others in the same situation is key, but the centre also aims to a hub for information and activities by important welfare entities such as healthcare providers, the Swedish Social Insurance Agency and the Swedish Employment Service.</div> <div> <br /><br /><img src="/sv/institutioner/tme/nyheter/PublishingImages/KraftensHusPiaoLeni2_750x300.jpg" alt="" style="margin:5px" /><br /><strong><sub>Project that gives strength.</sub></strong><sub> Pia Bredegård has been declared free of her breast cancer and will work half-time at Kraftens Hus. Leine Persson Johansson lives with chronic lung cancer and is a patient representative on the board. “Ever since the day I entered the hospital I have felt extremely alone with my diagnosis and have asked about possible contact with others affected, perhaps a mentor system. Wow, it feels great to be part of launching such an activity now!” Leine says.</sub><br /><br /></div> <div>The goal is to supplement healthcare and provide emotional, social and practical support. Examples of other activities may include painting groups, discussion groups for children, yoga and walking groups, presentations on various themes and advice to managers on how they can support an employee who has cancer. The hope is that over time the model will reach the entire region and the rest of Sweden. </div> <div> </div> <div>“It’s not our intention to take over the healthcare system’s responsibility for cancer rehabilitation, but instead to be a supplement and offer activities that the system doesn’t have. Kraftens Hus will be a meeting place, where both patients and their families can meet other people in similar situations and chat in an informal context,” Carina Mannefred says.</div> <div> </div> <h4 class="chalmersElement-H4">ABOUT KRAFTENS HUS</h4> <div><a href="http://www.chalmers.se/sv/centrum/chi/forskning/Sidor/Kraftens-Hus-%e2%80%93-fr%c3%a5n-kraft-att-%c3%b6verleva-till-kraft-att-leva-.aspx">More information (in Swedish) about Chalmer’s part of Kraftens hus &gt;&gt; </a><br /><br />Read more (in Swedish) at<a href="http://www.kraftenshus.se/"> www.kraftenshus.se.</a><br /><a href="http://www.kraftenshus.se/"></a><br />Kraftens Hus will be officially opened on <strong>Wednesday 7 February, 2018</strong>. <br />Address: Träffpunkt Simonsland, floor 6, at Viskastrandsgatan 5 in Borås.<br /><br />Contact: Andreas Hellström, Chalmers, phone: +46 76 119 1423, <br />email: <a href="mailto:andreas.hellstrom@chalmers.se">andreas.hellstrom@chalmers.se</a><br /></div>Wed, 07 Feb 2018 00:00:00 +0100https://www.chalmers.se/en/departments/bio/news/Pages/Future-fuels-are-based-on-bakers-yeast.aspxhttps://www.chalmers.se/en/departments/bio/news/Pages/Future-fuels-are-based-on-bakers-yeast.aspxFuture fuels are based on baker’s yeast<p><b>​Perfumes, flavours and biofuels from regular baker’s yeast. Now Chalmers makes further breakthrough in the search for more sustainable industrial chemicals.</b></p>Fatty acids form the basis of many industrial chemicals and are included in most plastics, flavours and perfumes, solvents and fuels. While fossil oils, animal fats or plant oils are traditionally used in the chemical production of those types of products, we have, since a few years back, experienced the transition towards more sustainable alternative such as using cell factories, e.g. the regular baker’s yeast, to obtain the necessary fatty acids. However, a common bottleneck arising from these alternatives remains the insufficient production of fatty acids to meet levels of the petrochemical industry. <br /><br />A problem to which Chalmers researchers Paulo Teixeira and Raphael Ferreira in Jens Nielsen’s team at the Department of Biology and Biotechnology are now one step closer to solve. <br /><br />– We have found a way to remove and modify the genes in the yeast cells to start producing large amounts of fatty acids, says Paulo Teixeira. <br />– It was amazing when I saw the first graphs about the amount of fatty acids that we now can bring out. I barely thought it was true! says Raphael Ferreira. <br /><br />While other researchers often invest in adding genes to increase fatty acid production, Paulo Teixeira and Raphael Ferreira have instead chosen to remove certain genes, thus reprogramming the lipid metabolism of the yeast. Paulo Teixeira describes how it works. <br />– Imagine that lipid metabolism is like roads and crossroads and the fatty acids are cars. A car can drive along different roads and come to different places. But by closing certain roads, as we do when we remove certain genes, we force the cars to only drive along the roads we leave open and thus all the cars – the fatty acids – end up in the same place, he says. <br /><br />Now as a confirmation on their pioneering research, their paper is published in the prestigious scientific journal “Proceeding of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America” – PNAS. <br /><br />– I was super happy when our paper was accepted! says Paulo Teixeira. <br />– Our research proves that you do not necessarily need to add genes. But by modifying and deleting certain genes you can achieve amazing results. <br /><br />– The great thing about this is that these new yeast cells that we created can now be used by other people together with other successful strategies to build even better yeast cells to produce fatty acids and one day reach those industrial levels we all want, says Raphael Ferreira. <br /><br />Read more in the scientific article in PNAS: <a href="http://www.pnas.org/content/early/2018/01/18/1715282115">Redirection of lipid flux toward phospholipids in yeast increases fatty acid turnover and secretion</a><br /><br /><br />Text: Helena Österling af Wåhlberg <br />Photo: Martina Butorac Mon, 22 Jan 2018 11:00:00 +0100https://www.chalmers.se/en/areas-of-advance/materials/news/Pages/New-methods-to-analyze-molecular-dynamics-in-biology-and-chemistry.aspxhttps://www.chalmers.se/en/areas-of-advance/materials/news/Pages/New-methods-to-analyze-molecular-dynamics-in-biology-and-chemistry.aspxNew methods to analyze molecular dynamics in biology, chemistry and physics<p><b>​A recent paper in Nature Chemistry, involving Chalmers guest researcher Jakob Andreasson, explains a key principle behind reaction of metalloenzymes.</b></p><p class="chalmersElement-P">​<img class="chalmersPosition-FloatLeft" src="/SiteCollectionImages/Areas%20of%20Advance/Materials%20Science/News/Jakob-Andreasson.jpg" alt="" style="margin:5px" />In biology, chemistry, and physics, molecular function is strongly dependent on the interaction between structure and dynamics. In processes such as photosynthesis and many types of catalysis, charge transfer reactions between metal ions and their surroundings, and the time scale on which they occur, play a major role. Jakob Andreasson, guest researcher at the Condensed Matter Physics division at Chalmers University of Technology, has together with an International and interdisciplinary team of researchers performed a study where a combination of ultrashort X-ray and laser pulses were used to show how the local binding of copper ions depends on the speed of charge transfer in photochemical reactions. The results of this demanding series of experiments were published earlier this week in Nature Chemistry.</p> <p class="chalmersElement-P">The research project is led by Sonja Herres-Pawlis from the RWTH Aachen University (RWTH),  Michael Rübhausen from the University of Hamburg and Wolfgang Zinth from Munich’s Ludwig Maximilian University.</p> <p class="chalmersElement-P"><a href="http://photon-science.desy.de/news__events/news__highlights/scientists_decipher_key_principle_behind_reaction_of_metalloenzymes/index_eng.html">Read the press release from DESY</a><br /></p> <div> </div> <div><a href="http://www.nature.com/articles/nchem.2916">Read the article in Nature Chemistry<br /></a></div> <div>doi:10.1038/nchem.2916</div> <div><br /> </div> <div><p class="chalmersElement-P"><em>Photo: Jakob Andreasson during preparations for an experiment at the AMO instrument at the X-ray Free Electron Laser LCLS at SLAC, Stanford, California. </em>(Jakob Andreasson, private)</p> <div><a href="http://www.nature.com/articles/nchem.2916"></a> </div></div>Fri, 19 Jan 2018 11:00:00 +0100https://www.chalmers.se/en/departments/e2/news/Pages/Paul-Meaney-elected-Fellow-of-IEEE.aspxhttps://www.chalmers.se/en/departments/e2/news/Pages/Paul-Meaney-elected-Fellow-of-IEEE.aspxPaul Meaney elected Fellow of IEEE<p><b>​From January 2018 Paul Meaney, Professor in microwave imaging for biomedical applications, is elected IEEE Fellow for his contributions to microwave tomography and its translation to clinical use.</b></p>​IEEE Fellow is the highest grade of membership in the world’s largest technical professional organization, given to persons with an outstanding record of accomplishments in any of the IEEE fields of interest.<br /><br />Professor Paul Meaney was recruited to Chalmers and the research group Biomedical electromagnetics in 2015. He also holds a position as Professor of Engineering at Dartmouth's Thayer School of Engineering, Hanover, New Hampshire, USA. <br /><br /><img src="/SiteCollectionImages/Institutioner/E2/Nyheter/Paul%20Meaney%20elected%20Fellow%20of%20IEEE/Paul_Meaney.jpg" class="chalmersPosition-FloatRight" alt="" style="margin:5px;width:200px;height:280px" />“To be appointed Fellow of IEEE is for me a nice validation that microwave tomography is for real and can be applied in real world situations”, says Paul Meaney.<br /><br />While the field is generally dominated by numerical modelers, translation to a working system has been a huge stumbling block.<br /><br />“Our work draws from a variety of imaging fields outside of the microwave domain. We previously collaborated with groups working in near infrared imaging, electrical impedance imaging and MR elastography. In depth discussions with these groups formed many of our design choices. From a classical microwave antenna standpoint, many of our design concepts often appear counterintuitive. However, when taking into account a broader array of ideas, it becomes clear that our synergism of various techniques is well grounded in classical mathematics and physics. These methods have been crucial in translating the technology to the clinic”, Paul Meaney comments.<br /><br />Developing a microwave imaging system has required inputs from multiple disciplines.<br /><br />“We have become experts in designing and building custom microwave electronics systems that achieve higher dynamic range, along with excellent cross channel isolation, than what is available in most commercial measurement systems. The monopole antenna concept is remarkably simple and counterintuitive yet most closely meets all of our system requirements. We have also delved heavily into numerical modeling and parameter estimation theory to devise algorithms which interact optimally with our physical illumination chamber concept. Being able to draw conclusions from these different cross-disciplinary areas of expertise has been crucial in our success”, Paul Meaney concludes.<br /><br /><a href="/en/departments/e2/news/Pages/Chalmers-recruits-leading-Microwave-Imaging-Professor.aspx"><img class="ms-asset-icon ms-rtePosition-4" src="/_layouts/images/ichtm.gif" alt="" />Read more about Paul Meaney and his research</a><br /><a href="/en/departments/e2/research/Signal-processing-and-Biomedical-engineering/Pages/Biomedical-electromagnetics.aspx"><img class="ms-asset-icon ms-rtePosition-4" src="/_layouts/images/ichtm.gif" alt="" />The research group Biomedical electromagnetics</a><br /><a href="https://www.ieee.org/membership_services/membership/fellows/index.html" target="_blank"><img class="ms-asset-icon ms-rtePosition-4" src="/_layouts/images/icgen.gif" alt="" />Information about the IEEE program</a><br /><a href="https://www.ieee.org/membership_services/membership/fellows/index.html" target="_blank"></a><br />Mon, 08 Jan 2018 11:00:00 +0100https://www.chalmers.se/en/departments/bio/news/Pages/Swedish-Cancer-Society-funds-researchers.aspxhttps://www.chalmers.se/en/departments/bio/news/Pages/Swedish-Cancer-Society-funds-researchers.aspxSwedish Cancer Society funds researchers<p><b>​Unique biomarkers for cancer and individualized medication can become reality with Chalmers research. Now, the Swedish Cancer Society supports Chalmers for the first time in more than a decade.</b></p>​The Professors Pernilla Wittung-Stafshede and Jens Nielsen, as well as Associate Professor Fredrik Westerlund at the Department of Biology and Biotechnology, have received SEK 2.4 million each. And they are pleased that the Swedish Cancer Society is supportive of their research.<br />– Funding from the Swedish Cancer Society emphasizes that Chalmers is working with cancer research and it has a strong symbolic value, says Jens Nielsen.<br /><img src="/SiteCollectionImages/Areas%20of%20Advance/Livsvetenskaper/Cancerfonden_200.jpg" class="chalmersPosition-FloatRight" alt="" style="margin:5px" /><br />The three researchers have different approaches to the fight against cancer. Jens Nielsen's project focuses on the new biomarker that he has identified and now wants to verify, both on a larger group of patients and on different types of cancer. Pernilla Wittung-Stafshede studies copper transport proteins and their role in the emergence of tumors, which in the long term can lead to a whole new way of attacking cancer. Fredrik Westerlund’s project is already ongoing and he is working on a method to predetermine a patient-adapted medicine dose before starting the cancer treatment.<br /><br />And all three researchers see the Swedish Cancer Society participation as a token that Chalmers biological research is important for curing more forms of cancer in the future.<br />– This is great for Chalmers! says Pernilla Wittung-Stafshede.<br />– We have spent a long time investing in Life science, and this proves that Chalmers is conducting high-quality cancer research today. To me, it is also proof that the Swedish Cancer Society, as a cancer expert, believes in me and my research group, even though we come from the mechanistic biophysical angle, she says.<br /><br />In addition to the grants making him able to develop his own project, Fredrik Westerlund also hopes that the funding from the Swedish Cancer Society can give the outside world a broader and more diversified view on Chalmers different specialties.<br />– It's great if it makes more people aware that Chalmers doesn’t only just focus on technology but is also conducting outstanding biological research, he says.<br />– And I also hope that more researchers at Chalmers will see that you can apply for this type of grants.<br /><br />Text: Helena Österling af Wåhlberg<br />Photo: Cancerfonden/Scandinav/Leif Johansson<br />Wed, 20 Dec 2017 11:00:00 +0100https://www.chalmers.se/en/departments/bio/news/Pages/Yeast-can-be-engineered-to-create-protein-pharmaceuticals.aspxhttps://www.chalmers.se/en/departments/bio/news/Pages/Yeast-can-be-engineered-to-create-protein-pharmaceuticals.aspxYeast can be engineered to create protein pharmaceuticals<p><b>​It took several years, but a research team headed by Professor Jens Nielsen at Chalmers University of Technology has finally succeeded in mapping out the complex metabolism of yeast cells. The breakthrough, recently published in an article in Nature Communications, means a huge step forward in the potential to more efficiently produce protein therapies for diseases such as cancer.</b></p>​The market for pharmaceuticals that mimic the body’s own proteins – protein-based therapeutics – is exploding. Some of them are relatively simple to manufacture in yeast-based cell factories. Insulin and HPV vaccine are two examples that are already under production, but other therapies, such as antibodies to various forms of cancer, are significantly more difficult to manufacture.<br /><br /><img src="/SiteCollectionImages/Institutioner/Bio/SysBio/news201712_JN.jpg" class="chalmersPosition-FloatLeft" width="130" height="159" alt="" style="margin:5px" />“They are currently produced using a cell factory based on a single cell from a Chinese hamster. It’s an extremely expensive process. If we can get yeast cells to do the same thing, it will be significantly cheaper – perhaps 10% of what it costs today. Our vision is to eventually be able to mass-produce and supply the entire world with therapies that are too expensive for many countries today,” says Jens Nielsen, professor of systems biology.<br /><br /><span><span><span><span><span><img src="/SiteCollectionImages/Institutioner/Bio/SysBio/news201712_DP.jpg" class="chalmersPosition-FloatRight" width="130" height="160" alt="" style="margin:5px" /></span></span></span></span></span>In collaboration with Associate Professor Dina Petranovic and Mathias Uhlén’s<span><span></span></span> research<span><span><span></span></span></span> team at the Royal Institute of Technology in Stockholm, Jens Nielsen has been mapping <span><span><span><span></span></span></span></span>out th<span></span>e complex metabolism of yeast cells for four years.<br /><br />“We’ve been studying the metabolism of a yeast that we already know is a good protein producer. And we found the mechanisms that can be used to make the process even more efficient. The next step is to prove that we can actually produce antibodies in such quantities that costs are reduced.”<br /><br />The discussion has mainly been about cancer, but there are many other diseases, for example Alzheimer’s, diabetes and MS, that could potentially be treated by yeast-based protein therapies. How distant a future are we talking about?<br /><br />“Our part of the process is fast, but pharmaceuticals always take a long time to develop. It could be a possibility in five years, but should absolutely be on the market in ten,” Nielsen says.<br /><br />Jens Nielsen has been making headlines the past few months. In addition to his publication in Nature Communications, he has recently received three prestigious awards.<br /><br />On 31 October he received the world’s biggest award for innovation in alternative fuels for transportation – <a href="http://www.fuelchoicessummit.com/Award.aspx" target="_blank">the Eric and Sheila Samson Prime Minister’s Prize</a>, in Israel. Alternative fuels? Yes, plain old yeast can be used for a lot, and Nielsen’s award was for his contribution to processes for producing hydrocarbons from yeast, which will advance new biofuels. Earlier in October he received the prestigious <a href="/en/news/Pages/Energy-award-to-Jens-Nielsen-for-biofuels-from-yeast.aspx" target="_blank">Energy Frontiers Award from the Italian oil company Eni</a> for the same type of research. And just a week before he left for Israel, he was awarded the Royal Swedish Academy of Engineering Sciences (IVA)’s gold medal for innovative and creative research in systems biology.<br /><br />“Yeast is a superb modelling system. Almost everything in yeast is also found in humans. We have complete computer models of the metabolism of yeast, and we use the same type of models to study human metabolism,” Nielsen explained when he received the IVA award. <br /><br /><strong>More about making the metabolism in yeast more effective</strong><br />The protein production of yeast cells comprises more than 100 different processes in which proteins are modified and transported out of the cell. Around 200 enzymes are involved, which makes it a very complex system to engineer. In order to optimize protein production, it is necessary to chart how these 200 enzymes function and work. In the study, this has been done by altering the genetic set of certain key genes, using advanced screening methods in combination with modern genome sequencing techniques.<br /><br />Read more about how in the scientific article in Nature Communications: <a href="https://www.nature.com/articles/s41467-017-00999-2" target="_blank">Efficient protein production by yeast requires global tuning of metabolism</a><br /><br />Text: Christian BorgMon, 11 Dec 2017 11:00:00 +0100https://www.chalmers.se/en/departments/e2/news/Pages/Hasselblad-prized-young-prominent-female-researchers.aspxhttps://www.chalmers.se/en/departments/e2/news/Pages/Hasselblad-prized-young-prominent-female-researchers.aspxHasselblad prized young prominent female researchers<p><b>​Hana Dobšíček Trefna has received a grant of 1 million SEK from the Hasselblad Foundation for her research on a more effective technology to treat cancer. The award is given to female researchers in the field of natural sciences who are in the beginning of their academic careers.</b></p>​“This prize will mean a lot to my research,” says Hana Dobšíček Trefna, Assistant Professor in the research group Biomedical electromagnetics at Chalmers. “Thanks to this I will be able to employ a PhD student in my research area, thereby hoping that it will be possible to faster implement effective technology for treating and curing cancer.”<br /><br /><strong>Microwave technology used for cancer treatment</strong><br />Hana's research focuses on using microwave technology as a complement to traditional cancer treatments. By transmitting microwaves through the body of the patient, the cancer tumor is heated to 40-44 degrees, so called hyperthermia. This treatment is toxic to the tumor, and the warming also makes the tumor more susceptible to other treatments. Clinical studies have shown that traditional radiation therapy and chemotherapy combined with hyperthermia significantly enhances the possibility of a long-term cure for a number of different cancer types.<br /><br />“In about a year, by the end of 2018, we are planning to start clinical studies on patients at Sahlgrenska University Hospital,” Hana says. “Through a new hyperthermia system, which can reach deep-seated tumors in the head and neck with high precision, it is possible to raise the temperature in the tumor without damaging the surrounding tissue. This study is an important step on the way to finally make the treatment available in cancer care.”<br /><br /><strong>Unique research on brain tumors in children</strong><br />Hana also conducts research on brain tumors in children, where the research group today is the only one in the world developing microwave technology for that kind of treatment. The primary goal is that fewer children should suffer from serious side effects in the brain's development that traditional therapies induce.<br /><br /><img src="/SiteCollectionImages/Institutioner/E2/Nyheter/Hasselblad%20prisar%20framstående%20unga%20kvinnliga%20forskare/Hana_200px.jpg" class="chalmersPosition-FloatRight" alt="" style="margin:5px" />”It really would be great if we succeed in this,” says Hana Dobšíček Trefna. “Just consider what it would mean to contribute to higher survival rates and to a better life for children and adults with a cancer diagnosis, as well as for their families.”<br /><br />For the seventh consecutive year, the Hasselblad Foundation allocates funds to support female postdoctoral researchers in the field of natural sciences. The other recipient of 2017 is Anna Reymer from University of Gothenburg. <br /><br />Text: Yvonne Jonsson<br />Photo: Yvonne Jonsson, and Cecilia Sandblom © Hasselbladstiftelsen<br /><br /><a href="http://www.hasselbladfoundation.org/wp/" target="_blank"><img class="ms-asset-icon ms-rtePosition-4" src="/_layouts/images/icgen.gif" alt="" />Read more about the Hasselblad Foundation</a><br /><br />For more information, contact <a href="/en/Staff/Pages/hana-dobsicek-trefna.aspx">Hana Dobšíček Trefna</a>, Department of Electrical Engineering.<br />Thu, 30 Nov 2017 08:00:00 +0100https://www.chalmers.se/en/departments/chem/news/Pages/New-method-maps-chemicals-in-the-skin.aspxhttps://www.chalmers.se/en/departments/chem/news/Pages/New-method-maps-chemicals-in-the-skin.aspxNew method maps chemicals in the skin<p><b>​A new method of examining the skin can reduce the number of animal experiments while providing new opportunities to develop pharmaceuticals and cosmetics. Chemical imaging allows all layers of the skin to be seen and the presence of virtually any substance in any part of the skin to be measured with a very high degree of precision.</b></p>​More and more chemicals are being released into our environment. For example, parabens and phthalates are under discussion as two types ofchemicals that can affect us. But so far it has not been possible to find out how they are absorbed by the skin. A new study from Chalmers University of Technology and the University of Gothenburg shows how what is termed chemical imaging can provide comprehensive information about the human skin with a very high level of precision.<br /><br />Investigations into how substances pass into and through the skin have so far taken<img width="400" height="215" class="chalmersPosition-FloatRight" src="/SiteCollectionImages/Institutioner/KB/Generell/Nyheter/nickel.png" alt="" style="margin:5px" /> place in two ways:by using tape strips to pull off the top “corneal” layer of skin for analysis,and throughurine and blood testing to see what has penetrated through the skin. But we still know very little about what happens in the layers of skin in between. Chemical imaging now allows us to see all layers of the skin with very high precision and to measure the presence of virtually any substances in any part of the skin. This can lead to pharmaceutical products that are better suited to the skin, for example. <div> </div> <div>The new method was created when the chemists Per Malmberg, at Chalmers University of Technology,and Lina Hagvall, at the University of Gothenburg, brought their areas of research together.</div> <blockquote dir="ltr" style="margin-right:0px"><div><em style="font-size:14px"><span style="font-size:14px"><img width="200" height="257" class="chalmersPosition-FloatRight" src="/SiteCollectionImages/Institutioner/KB/Generell/Nyheter/Lina%20Hagvall.jpg" alt="" style="height:171px;width:133px;margin:5px" /><br />“With pharmaceuticals you often want as much as possible of the dose to be </span></em><em style="font-size:14px"><span style="font-size:14px">absorbed by the skin, but in some cases you may not want skin absorption, such as when you apply a sunscreen, which needs to remain on the surface of the</span></em><em style="font-size:14px"><span style="font-size:14px"> skin and not penetrate it. Our method allows you to design pharmaceuticals according to the way you want the substance to be absorbed by the skin,” says Hagvall.</span></em><span style="font-size:14px"> </span></div></blockquote> <div>Chemical imaging has until now mainly been used for earth sciences and cellular imaging, but with access to human skin from operations the researchers have come up with thisnew area for the technology. The researchers now also see opportunities opening up for replacing pharmaceutical tests which currently involve animal experiments. Their methods provide more accurate results than tests on mice and pigs. Since it is not permissible to use animals to test cosmetics, this method may also create new opportunities for thecosmetics industry.</div> <div> </div> <blockquote dir="ltr" style="font-size:14px;margin-right:0px"><div style="font-size:14px"><em style="font-size:14px"><span style="font-size:14px">“Many animal experiments carried out by researchers and companies are no longer necessary as a result of this method. If you want to know something about passive absorption into the human skin, this method is at least as good. It’s better to do your testing on human skin than on a pig,” says Hagvall.</span></em></div> <div style="font-size:14px"><em style="font-size:14px"></em><span style="font-size:14px"></span> </div></blockquote> <div dir="ltr">The new method can also provide a basis for determining the correct limits for harmful levels of substances that may come into contact with the skin. In order to establish those limits, youneed to know how much of the dose on the skin’s surface penetrates into and through the skin, which this method can show. It enhances our knowledge about what we are absorbing in our workplaces and in childcare facilities. </div> <blockquote dir="ltr" style="margin-right:0px"><div> <img width="200" height="257" class="chalmersPosition-FloatRight" src="/SiteCollectionImages/Institutioner/KB/Generell/Nyheter/Per%20Malmberg.jpg" alt="" style="height:171px;width:133px;margin:5px" /><br /><em style="font-size:14px"><span style="font-size:14px">“Our method can show everything with an image, whether you are looking for </span></em><em style="font-size:14px"><span style="font-size:14px">nickel, phthalates or parabens in the skin, or if you want to follow the drug’s path through the skin. Withjust a skin sample we can essentially search for any molecules. We don’t need to adapt the method in advance to what we are looking for,” says Malmberg.</span></em><br /></div></blockquote> <div>It will be possible to apply the results in the very near future. The technology itself is ready for use today. There is still a small amount of work left to do in optimising the tests to achieve the best results, but the researchers believe that the method will be ready for use within a year.</div> <div><br /><strong>Facts: </strong><strong>Chemical imaging</strong></div> <div>Chemical imaging involves the use ofa laser or ion beam to analyse the sectionsof skin using a mass spectrometer. Every dot, or pixel, of the section which the beam strikes provides information, which is used to classify the chemicals present in the skin according to molecular weight. The chemical information from each dot can then be combined into a digital image which shows the distribution of a substance in the skin. A time-of-flight secondary ion mass spectrometer (ToF-SIMS), which provides a very high spatial resolution down to the nanometre range, was used in this particular study.</div> <div><br /></div> <p><img width="960" height="641" class="chalmersPosition-FloatLeft" src="/SiteCollectionImages/Institutioner/KB/Generell/Nyheter/Kemikalier%20i%20huden%20avbildas%20med%20ny%20metod/Chemical%20imaging2.png" alt="" style="height:205px;width:322px;margin:5px" /></p> <p> </p> <p> </p> <p>The chemists Lina and Per make samples ready for analysis in the ToF-SIMS. When analyzed, samples are introduced into the test chamber using the test arm as seen in the bottom of the image.</p>Tue, 28 Nov 2017 00:00:00 +0100https://www.chalmers.se/en/news/Pages/Prizes-rain-down-on-Jens-Nielsen.aspxhttps://www.chalmers.se/en/news/Pages/Prizes-rain-down-on-Jens-Nielsen.aspxPrizes rain down on Jens Nielsen<p><b>​End of October Chalmers professor Jens Nielsen was awarded the Eric and Sheila Samson Prime Minister’s Prize – the world’s largest prize for research into alternative fuels. This completed a full hat-trick of prestigious accolades for Nielsen this October.</b></p>​Nielsen was handed his third and final prize of the month by the Israeli Minister of Science and Technology Ofir Akunis during an official ceremony in Tel Aviv on 31 October. The Eric and Sheila Samson Prime Minister’s Prize has been awarded for five years to researchers who lead the world in the development of alternative fuels. Nielsen, who is Professor of Quantitative Systems Biology at Chalmers, was rewarded for his work on the production of hydrocarbons from yeast, thus developing new biofuels. He shared the $1 million prize money with this year’s other prize-winner: Jean-Marie Tarascon from the Collège de France.  <br /><br />“My research team has had great success in redirecting the metabolism in ordinary baker’s yeast to produce chemical components that can be used in biofuel for cars, diesel for trucks and jet fuel for aircraft. Our research covers the entire spectrum, which I think played a significant role in the winning of this award,” says Nielsen. <br /><br />Earlier in October he was presented with the “Energy Frontiers Award” by the Italian oil company ENI for the same type of research. And only a week before the trip to Israel he was awarded a gold medal by the Royal Swedish Academy of Engineering Sciences (IVA) for his innovative and creative research in systems biology. Three prestigious prizes in one month. A complete hat-trick – how does it feel?<br /><br />“It’s fantastic, so overwhelming that you can’t put it into words. I found out that I was going to be awarded the Israeli prize a month or so ago. It all went really quickly.” <br /><br />He also thinks that the yeast-based production of new biofuels, which could compete with petroleum-based fuels, could be brought to the market relatively rapidly.<br /><br />“We’ve got quite far with our research. Industrial implementation is more dependent on political decisions and economics than on technological development. If a decision were made to do this, we could have a product out on the market in five to eight years,” he says.  <br /><br /><strong>Read more: </strong><br /><a href="http://www.fuelchoicessummit.com/Award.aspx"><img class="ms-asset-icon ms-rtePosition-4" src="/_layouts/images/icgen.gif" alt="" />The Eric and Sheila Samson Prize 2017</a><br /><a href="https://www.iva.se/en/published/anders-scharp-tilldelas-ivas-stora-guldmedalj/"><img class="ms-asset-icon ms-rtePosition-4" src="/_layouts/images/icgen.gif" alt="" />Press release about IVA’s Great Gold Medal 2017</a><br /><a href="/en/news/Pages/Energy-award-to-Jens-Nielsen-for-biofuels-from-yeast.aspx"><img class="ms-asset-icon ms-rtePosition-4" src="/_layouts/images/icgen.gif" alt="" />Energy award to Jens Nielsen for biofuels from yeast</a><br /><a href="/en/Staff/Pages/Jens-B-Nielsen.aspx"><img class="ms-asset-icon ms-rtePosition-4" src="/_layouts/images/ichtm.gif" alt="" />Jens Nielsen</a><br /> Fri, 24 Nov 2017 11:00:00 +0100https://www.chalmers.se/en/departments/e2/news/Pages/Swedish-robotic-arm-interested-the-President-of-France.aspxhttps://www.chalmers.se/en/departments/e2/news/Pages/Swedish-robotic-arm-interested-the-President-of-France.aspxSwedish robotic arm interested the President of France<p><b>​The President of France, Emmanuel Macron, and the Swedish Prime Minister, Stefan Löfven, took in conjunction with the EU summit in Gothenburg the opportunity to get to know more about an innovation that sparked the curiosity of them both: the first mind-controlled arm prosthesis used in daily life.</b></p>​Innovations were on the agenda when Emmanuel Macron and Stefan Löfven jointly visited the Volvo Group headquarters on 17 November. Various innovations were presented to the visitors during a guided tour, among other things the arm prosthesis which is neurally controlled by the patient´s thoughts. The prosthesis is developed by Max Ortiz Catalan, researcher at Chalmers department of Electrical Engineering, in collaboration with the company Integrum and Sahlgrenska University Hospital. <br /><br />The French president was keenly interested and asked several questions about this novel technology that is changing the lives of amputees. Max Ortiz Catalan was accompanied by Integrum’s CEO and a patient who demonstrated his new bone-anchored arm prosthesis with neural control to the visitors.<br /><br />”A handful of large multinational companies were invited to showcase their most innovative technology, and then us, smaller in comparison but nevertheless with a ground breaking technology of great impact. President Macron and Prime Minister Löfven were genuinely interested in our work and what it represents for patients with missing limbs,” says Max Ortiz Catalan.<br /><br /><span><img src="/SiteCollectionImages/Institutioner/E2/Nyheter/Svensk%20robotarm%20intresserade%20Frankrikes%20president/IMG-20171118-WA0005_500px.jpg" class="chalmersPosition-FloatLeft" alt="" style="margin:5px" /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><em>Max Ortiz Catalan shook hands with Emmanuel Macron and presented research on bone-anchored prostheses.</em><br /></span><br /><a href="/en/news/Pages/Mind-controlled-prosthetic-arms-that-work-in-daily-life-are-now-a-reality.aspx" target="_blank"><img class="ms-asset-icon ms-rtePosition-4" src="/_layouts/images/ichtm.gif" alt="" />Read more about the research in <span>bone-anchored prosthesis<span style="display:inline-block"></span></span></a><br /><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</a><br />Thu, 23 Nov 2017 14:00:00 +0100https://www.chalmers.se/en/areas-of-advance/lifescience/news/Pages/A-fruitful-collaboration-between-medicine-and-engineering.aspxhttps://www.chalmers.se/en/areas-of-advance/lifescience/news/Pages/A-fruitful-collaboration-between-medicine-and-engineering.aspxA fruitful collaboration between medicine and engineering<p><b>​The initiative seminar Engineering Health – The Legacy of William Chalmers on 8-9 November 2017 gathered a large number of engineers and clinicians with one strong interest in common: to bring medicine and engineering closer together.</b></p>​The programme stretched from the past, to the present and into future challenges. Many short pair-presentations provided an overview of ongoing collaborations. These featured local, as well as international, researchers who have succeeded in establishing translational activities.There were a lot of evidence shown on how academia, industry and health care jointly collaborate for mutual progress, for the benefit of patients. Round table discussions and other activities provided plenty of networking opportunities.<br /><br />The initiative seminar was a collaboration between Sahlgrenska University hospital, AstraZeneca, Chalmers, University of Gothenburg and MedTech West. The first day was held at Chalmers and the following day took place at AstraZeneca in Mölndal.<br /><br />Here is a cavalcade of photos from the seminar day at Chalmers 8 November:<br /><img src="/SiteCollectionImages/Areas%20of%20Advance/Livsvetenskaper/Engineering%20Health%208%20November%202017/EngineeringHealth_171108_07_500px.jpg" class="chalmersPosition-FloatLeft" alt="" style="margin:5px" /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br />The opening of the seminar was held by Stefan Bengtsson, President of Chalmers, and Ann-Marie Wennberg, Hospital director of Sahlgrenska. By cutting a blue and yellow double twisted Möbius ribbon lengthwise they got two halves linked together, manifesting the fruitful collaboration between the two partners. Chalmers and Sahlgrenska – a never ending story.<br /><br /><img src="/SiteCollectionImages/Areas%20of%20Advance/Livsvetenskaper/Engineering%20Health%208%20November%202017/EngineeringHealth_171108_02_600px.jpg" class="chalmersPosition-FloatLeft" alt="" style="margin:5px;width:500px;height:340px" /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br />In a historical reenacting Philip Wramsby and Johan Randhem appeared as William Chalmers and Pehr Dubb, giving the audience a humorous insight into how it might have happened when William Chalmers left half of his fortune to a school, nowadays known as Chalmers University of Technology, and the other half to Sahlgrenska hospital. And the rest is history…<br /><img src="/SiteCollectionImages/Areas%20of%20Advance/Livsvetenskaper/Engineering%20Health%208%20November%202017/EngineeringHealth_171108_08_500px.jpg" class="chalmersPosition-FloatLeft" alt="" style="margin:5px" /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br />Kjell Torén from Sahlgrenska gave an overview of historical collaborations between Chalmers and Sahlgrenska. A traffic accident in the 1950s, where a Professor from Chalmers crashed his motorbike into a bus and got a complicated fracture, is said to have had importance for the upgrading of X-ray equipment at Sahlgrenska and also for the further collaboration in medical engineering.<br /><img src="/SiteCollectionImages/Areas%20of%20Advance/Livsvetenskaper/Engineering%20Health%208%20November%202017/EngineeringHealth_171108_10_500px.jpg" class="chalmersPosition-FloatLeft" alt="" style="margin:5px" /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br />A long-distance guest was Chris Cheng from Stanford University, who gave a talk on “Vascular Biomechanics – A collaborative Effort at Stanford” mentioning that a Chalmers alumnus, Hans Wallstén, created one of the earliest and most successful stents – the Wallstent.<br /><img src="/SiteCollectionImages/Areas%20of%20Advance/Livsvetenskaper/Engineering%20Health%208%20November%202017/DSC_6876_500px.jpg" class="chalmersPosition-FloatLeft" alt="" style="margin:5px" /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br />Stents was also the subject in the presentation given by Mårten Falkenberg, Sahlgrenska, and Håkan Nilsson, Chalmers: “Air bubble release and flow-induced forces in stent grafts”. <br />They also clearly pointed out the benefits of collaboration, listed according to their experience. Among Chalmers´ strengths are technologies, physics, mechanical as well as mathematical models, and analysis of results. Sahlgrenska, on the other hand, has expertise in life science problems, offers a clinical testbed and patient feedback, and is prominent in epidemiology.<br /><img src="/SiteCollectionImages/Areas%20of%20Advance/Livsvetenskaper/Engineering%20Health%208%20November%202017/EngineeringHealth_171108_22_500px.jpg" class="chalmersPosition-FloatLeft" alt="" style="margin:5px" /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br />Three flagships of medtech research, originating from Gothenburg, presented themselves. First in line was Max Ortiz Catalan from Chalmers, who gave a talk on “The future of bionic limbs: osseointegration and neural control”. In his research, conducted together with Rickard Brånemark, previously at Sahlgrenska but now at University of California, San Francisco, the world´s first mind-controlled arm prosthesis was developed, now regarded by the patient as a body part more than an external device. A coming research project is focused on feedback and doing the same with a leg; neuromuscular control of robotic leg prostheses.<br /><img src="/SiteCollectionImages/Areas%20of%20Advance/Livsvetenskaper/Engineering%20Health%208%20November%202017/DSC_6895_500px.jpg" class="chalmersPosition-FloatLeft" alt="" style="margin:5px" /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br />“You couldn´t do it without me!” said Sabine Reinfeldt from Chalmers and her colleague Måns Eeg-Olofsson from Sahlgrenska made the same statement: “You couldn´t do it without me!”. They jointly presented their research on “New hearing implant replacing the middle ear”, where functionally deaf patients can gain normal hearing with a Bone Conduction Implant (BCI). <br /><img src="/SiteCollectionImages/Areas%20of%20Advance/Livsvetenskaper/Engineering%20Health%208%20November%202017/EngineeringHealth_171108_26_500px.jpg" class="chalmersPosition-FloatLeft" alt="" style="margin:5px" /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br />Mikael Elam, Sahlgrenska, and Mikael Persson, Chalmers, are co-inventors of the stroke helmet Strokefinder and share many research projects in the field of traumatic brain injury and stroke. They presented “A Sahlgrenska Chalmers collaborative effort around Stroke and trauma”. <br />They also emphasized the importance of MedTech West as a network and collaborative platform for research, education, development and evaluation of new biomedical concepts and technologies. The focus is on addressing actual clinical needs in collaboration with relevant clinical staff, and to initiate, facilitate and promote increased research collaboration between the health care sector, industry and academia.<br /><img src="/SiteCollectionImages/Areas%20of%20Advance/Livsvetenskaper/Engineering%20Health%208%20November%202017/DSC_6930_500px.jpg" class="chalmersPosition-FloatLeft" alt="" style="margin:5px" /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br />Elin Rønby Pedersen is a member of Google Medical Brain Team and uses brain technology to solve problems in clinical domains. She focuses her research on the human side of deep learning in health and medicine, for example when it comes to adapting deep neural networks to read fundus images. Big data will only be helpful if you understand the context, was one of her conclusions.<br /><img src="/SiteCollectionImages/Areas%20of%20Advance/Livsvetenskaper/Engineering%20Health%208%20November%202017/DSC_6937_red_500px.jpg" class="chalmersPosition-FloatLeft" alt="" style="margin:5px" /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br />Oliver Aalami from Stanford University Hospital gave a talk on how “Apps, Augmented reality and Bio design” can be designed through collaboration between computer science and medicine. For example, smart glasses can be used by surgeons to better get an overview of monitors and screens in the operating room, without taking the eyes off the patient. <br /><img src="/SiteCollectionImages/Areas%20of%20Advance/Livsvetenskaper/Engineering%20Health%208%20November%202017/EngineeringHealth_171108_04_500px.jpg" class="chalmersPosition-FloatLeft" alt="" style="margin:5px" /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br />About 270 persons had registered for the first seminar day at Runan, Chalmers.<br /><img src="/SiteCollectionImages/Areas%20of%20Advance/Livsvetenskaper/Engineering%20Health%208%20November%202017/DSC_6943_500px.jpg" class="chalmersPosition-FloatLeft" alt="" style="margin:5px" /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br />Hanns-Ulrich Marschall, Sahlgrenska, and Paul Hockings, Chalmers, presented their collaboration in the TRISTAN project, focusing on “Imaging biomarkers for safer drugs”, especially in the field of assessment of liver toxicity. MRI-models are used to find biomarkers to better predict toxicity in humans in the development of drugs.<br /><img src="/SiteCollectionImages/Areas%20of%20Advance/Livsvetenskaper/Engineering%20Health%208%20November%202017/DSC_6959_500px.jpg" class="chalmersPosition-FloatLeft" alt="" style="margin:5px" /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br />Marta Bally, Chalmers, and Nils Lycke, Sahlgrenska, gave a talk on &quot;Lipid nanoparticles for mucosal vaccine delivery: from physicochemical properties to immune stimulation&quot;. In their research, they have identified that lipid-based nanoparticles are suitable as pharmaceutical carriers. However, the physicochemical profile of an ideal nanoparticle for mucosal vaccine delivery remains to be further investigated.<br /><img src="/SiteCollectionImages/Areas%20of%20Advance/Livsvetenskaper/Engineering%20Health%208%20November%202017/DSC_6988_500px.jpg" class="chalmersPosition-FloatLeft" alt="" style="margin:5px" /><br /><br /><span><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br />A garment with integrated sensors, from the smart textiles project “WearIT” was shown by Kristina Malmgren from Sahlgrenska and Leif Sandsjö from MedTech West/University of Borås. <span style="display:inline-block"></span></span><br /><img src="/SiteCollectionImages/Areas%20of%20Advance/Livsvetenskaper/Engineering%20Health%208%20November%202017/DSC_6966_500px.jpg" class="chalmersPosition-FloatLeft" alt="" style="margin:5px" /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /> <span><span>Kris</span></span><span><span>tina Malmgren <span style="display:inline-block"> explained</span></span></span>.<br /><img src="/SiteCollectionImages/Areas%20of%20Advance/Livsvetenskaper/Engineering%20Health%208%20November%202017/DSC_6972_500px.jpg" class="chalmersPosition-FloatLeft" alt="" style="margin:5px" /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br />Textiles that monitor your health or measure your movements was the subject also for Nils-Krister Persson, Smart Textiles Technology Lab, and Anja Lund from Chalmers in their presentation “Chalmers Textiles as enabler for Engineering Health”. Amongst other things they defined the differences between medical textiles, medtech textiles and hygiene textiles. The presentation also included information about research on compression sensitive gastro intestinal stents, where a strain-sensing thread can be integrated in the stent to sense both position and amplitude of deformations.<br /><img src="/SiteCollectionImages/Areas%20of%20Advance/Livsvetenskaper/Engineering%20Health%208%20November%202017/DSC_6995_500.jpg" class="chalmersPosition-FloatLeft" alt="" style="margin:5px" /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br />A poster session was arranged and showed even more projects where clinicians and engineers collaborate. <br /><a href="/en/areas-of-advance/lifescience/events/Engineering-Health/Pages/Abstracts.aspx"><img class="ms-asset-icon ms-rtePosition-4" src="/_layouts/images/ichtm.gif" alt="" />Read the abstracts from the poster session</a><br /><br /><img src="/SiteCollectionImages/Areas%20of%20Advance/Livsvetenskaper/Engineering%20Health%208%20November%202017/DSC_6883_500px.jpg" class="chalmersPosition-FloatLeft" alt="" style="margin:5px" /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br />A number of new Sahlgrenska-Chalmers contacts were made during the coffee breaks, lunch and dinner.<br /><br /><a href="/en/areas-of-advance/lifescience/events/Engineering-Health/Pages/default.aspx"><img class="ms-asset-icon ms-rtePosition-4" src="/_layouts/images/ichtm.gif" alt="" />Read more about the initiative seminar</a><br /><br /><span><a href="http://www.medtechwest.se/featured/the-initiative-seminar-engineering-health-a-fruitful-collaboration-between-medicine-and-engineering/" target="_blank"><img class="ms-asset-icon ms-rtePosition-4" src="/_layouts/images/icgen.gif" alt="" />​MedTech West about &quot;Sahlgrenska and Chalmers - a never ending story&quot;</a><br /> <br />Text: Yvonne Jonsson<br />Photo: Yen Strandqvist<span style="display:inline-block"></span></span> and Yvonne Jonsson<br /><br />Tue, 21 Nov 2017 09:00:00 +0100