News: Livsvetenskaper och teknikhttp://www.chalmers.se/sv/nyheterNews related to Chalmers University of TechnologyThu, 02 Apr 2020 09:45:16 +0200http://www.chalmers.se/sv/nyheterhttps://www.chalmers.se/en/departments/bio/news/Pages/The-next-generation-of-human-metabolic-modelling.aspxhttps://www.chalmers.se/en/departments/bio/news/Pages/The-next-generation-of-human-metabolic-modelling.aspxThe next generation of human metabolic modelling<p><b>​Researchers at Chalmers University of Technology have developed a human metabolic model, Human1, which enables integrative analysis of human biological data and simulation of metabolite flow through the reaction network. The model can be used to predict metabolic behaviour in cells, which can help researchers identify novel metabolic markers or drug targets for many diseases, such as cancer, type 2 diabetes, and Alzheimer’s disease.</b></p><p class="chalmersElement-P">​<span>“Human1 will transform the way in which scientists develop and apply models to study human health and disease”, says project leader Jens Nielsen, Professor in Systems and Synthetic Biology, at the Department of Biology and Biological Engineering at Chalmers University of Technology, about the model that was recently published in in Science Signaling.</span></p> <p class="chalmersElement-P">Metabolism is the network of chemical reactions providing cells with the building blocks and energy necessary to sustain life. Studying the individual components of human metabolism and how they function as part of a connected system is therefore critical to improving health and treating disease. To study such a complex system, computational tools such as genome-scale metabolic models have been developed. </p> <p></p> <h2 class="chalmersElement-H2">Human1 − ​highest quality genome-scale model</h2> <p></p> <p class="chalmersElement-P"> </p> <p class="chalmersElement-P">Human1 is the newest, most advanced, and highest quality genome-scale model for human metabolism. The model consolidates decades of biochemical and modelling research into a high-quality resource with over 13,000 biochemical reactions, 4,100 metabolites, and 3,500 genes comprising human metabolism. </p> <p class="chalmersElement-P"> </p> <p class="chalmersElement-P"><span style="background-color:initial">Unlike previous human models, Human1, was developed entirely in a public online repository that tracks all changes to the model. </span><br /></p> <p class="chalmersElement-P"> </p> <p class="chalmersElement-P">“The primary aim of this framework is to ensure transparency and reproducibility,” explains co-author Jonathan Robinson, Researcher in the Computational Systems Biology Infrastructure at the Department of Biology and Biological Engineering, “and to provide a system through which others in the modelling community can contribute and collaborate in real time.”</p> <p class="chalmersElement-P"> </p> <p class="chalmersElement-P">In the study, the researchers integrated Human1 with gene expression data from hundreds of different tumour and healthy tissue cell types. The integration revealed metabolic differences of clinical relevance, such as potential drug targets for cancers of the liver and blood. Furthermore, Human1 was demonstrated to predict the effect of gene disruptions with substantially greater accuracy than previous human models.</p> <p class="chalmersElement-P"> </p> <p></p> <h2 class="chalmersElement-H2">&quot;An advancement in the area of human metabolic modelling​&quot;</h2> <p></p> <p class="chalmersElement-P">A major limitation for human metabolic models has been the difficulty in simulating realistic reaction rates due to the infeasibility of obtaining the necessary measurements. However, the authors demonstrated that applying an enzyme-limitation framework to Human1 enabled the prediction of realistic growth and metabolite exchange rates without requiring these difficult measurements. </p> <p class="chalmersElement-P"> </p> <p class="chalmersElement-P">“This is a considerable advancement in the area of human metabolic modelling,” says Jens Nielsen. </p> <p class="chalmersElement-P"> </p> <p class="chalmersElement-P">“The framework now unlocks many powerful approaches that have typically only been feasible for studying microbes and it will enable a wide use of the model for studying metabolic diseases.”</p> <p></p> <h2 class="chalmersElement-H2">​Metabolic Atlas provides maps for metabolic pathways</h2> <p></p> <p class="chalmersElement-P"> </p> <p class="chalmersElement-P">In parallel with Human1, the researchers developed Metabolic Atlas, an online resource to explore and visualise the model. The website provides 2D and 3D maps for different cellular compartments and metabolic pathways, and links content to other biochemical databases. </p> <p class="chalmersElement-P"> </p> <p class="chalmersElement-P">The project was led by Professor Jens Nielsen with a group of researchers in the Department of Biology and Biological Engineering at Chalmers, in collaboration with the Human Protein Atlas (HPA) and National Bioinformatics Infrastructure Sweden (NBIS). The work was funded by the Knut and Alice Wallenberg Foundation.</p> <p class="chalmersElement-P"> </p> <p class="chalmersElement-P"><br /> </p> <p class="chalmersElement-P"> </p> <div><p class="chalmersElement-P"><span><span><strong>Read the article in <em>Science Signaling</em></strong></span></span></p> <p class="chalmersElement-P"><strong> </strong></p> <p></p> <p class="chalmersElement-P"><strong> </strong></p> <div dir="ltr"><p class="chalmersElement-P"></p> <p class="chalmersElement-P" style="margin:0px;text-transform:none;line-height:22px;text-indent:0px;letter-spacing:normal;font-family:&quot;open sans&quot;, sans-serif;font-size:14px;font-style:normal;word-spacing:0px;white-space:normal;box-sizing:border-box;orphans:2;widows:2"></p> <span style="text-transform:none;text-indent:0px;letter-spacing:normal;font-family:&quot;open sans&quot;, sans-serif;font-size:14px;font-style:normal;word-spacing:0px;white-space:normal;box-sizing:border-box;orphans:2;widows:2"></span><p></p> <div dir="ltr"><p class="chalmersElement-P">​<a href="https://www.livsmedelsverket.se/matvanor-halsa--miljo/kostrad-och-matvanor/all-fisk-ar-inte-nyttig"><img class="ms-asset-icon ms-rtePosition-4" src="/_layouts/images/icgen.gif" alt="" /></a><span style="background-color:initial"><a href="https://stke.sciencemag.org/lookup/doi/10.1126/scisignal.aaz1482">An a​tlas of human metabolism </a></span></p> <p class="chalmersElement-P"><br /> </p></div></div></div> <p class="chalmersElement-P"> </p> <p class="chalmersElement-P"><span style="font-weight:700">Science for Life Laboratory </span></p> <p class="chalmersElement-P"><span style="font-weight:700"></span></p> <p class="chalmersElement-P"></p> <p class="chalmersElement-P"><span style="font-weight:700"></span><span style="font-weight:700"></span></p> <p></p> <strong></strong><p></p> <ul style="overflow:hidden;margin-top:0px;margin-bottom:10px;box-sizing:border-box"><li style="box-sizing:border-box">Science for Life Laboratory, SciLifeLab, is a research institution for the advancement of molecular biosciences in Sweden. </li> <li style="box-sizing:border-box">SciLifeLab started out in 2010 as a joint effort between four universities: Karolinska Institutet, KTH Royal Institute of Technology, Stockholm University and Uppsala University.</li> <li style="box-sizing:border-box">The center provides access to a variety of advanced infrastructures in life science for thousands of researchers creating a unique environment for health and environmental research at the highest level.</li> <li style="box-sizing:border-box">More information <a href="https://www.scilifelab.se/">Science for Life Laboratory​</a>,​</li></ul> <p class="chalmersElement-P"><strong>Metabolic Atlas</strong></p> <p class="chalmersElement-P"><strong> </strong></p> <div><ul><li><p class="chalmersElement-P">The Metabolic Atlas is a program run by Prof. Jens Nielsen’s research group at Chalmers University of Technology in collaboration with National Bioinformatics Infrastructure Sweden (NBIS). </p></li> <p class="chalmersElement-P"> </p> <li><p class="chalmersElement-P">The program started in 2010 with the aim to identify all metabolic reactions in the human body, including mapping of active reactions in cells, tissues and organs. </p></li> <p class="chalmersElement-P"> </p> <li><p class="chalmersElement-P">The new version of the Metabolic Atlas provides several different resources: </p> <p class="chalmersElement-P">(i) an updated genome-scale metabolic model for human cells. This model is based on merging information from several different previous models and is the most comprehensive model of human metabolism to date.</p> <p class="chalmersElement-P">(ii) a visualisation tool that provides an overview of metabolism in human cells. Through overlay of data from the Human Protein Atlas (HPA) or other sources it is possible to visualise different metabolic functions in different cells, e.g. in cancer cells versus normal cells.</p> <p class="chalmersElement-P">(iii) an interaction map that visualise how each enzyme is connected with other enzymes through sharing of metabolites.</p> <p class="chalmersElement-P">(iv) a proteome constrained metabolic model that enables predictive model simulation of human metabolism in different cells and tissues. </p></li> <p class="chalmersElement-P"> </p> <li><p class="chalmersElement-P">Resources from the Metabolic Atlas has resulted in more than 100 research papers on human metabolism and it has resulted in the identification of novel biomarkers and potential drug targets.</p></li> <li><p class="chalmersElement-P">More information ​<a href="https://www.metabolicatlas.org/">Metabolic Atlas</a></p></li></ul> <p class="chalmersElement-P"> </p> <p class="chalmersElement-P"><strong>Human Protein Atlas </strong></p> <ul><li><p class="chalmersElement-P">The Human Protein Atlas (HPA) is a program based at the Science for Life Laboratory (Stockholm) and started in 2003 with the aim to map all of the human proteins in cells, tissues and organs using integration of various omics technologies, including antibody-based imaging, mass spectrometry-based proteomics, transcriptomics and systems biology. </p></li> <p class="chalmersElement-P"> </p> <li><p class="chalmersElement-P">All the data in the knowledge resource is open access to allow scientists both in academia and industry to freely use the data for exploration of the human proteome. </p></li> <p class="chalmersElement-P"> </p> <li><p class="chalmersElement-P">Version 19 consists of six separate parts, each focusing on a particular aspect of analysis of the human proteins: <br /><span style="background-color:initial">(i) the Tissue Atlas showing the distribution of the proteins across all major tissues and organs in the human body.<br /></span><span style="background-color:initial">(ii) the Cell Atlas showing the subcellular localisation of proteins in single cells.<br /></span><span style="background-color:initial">(iii) the Pathology Atlas showing the impact of protein levels for survival of patients with cancer.<br /></span><span style="background-color:initial">(iv) the Blood Atlas showing the profiles of blood cells and proteins detectable in the blood.<br /></span><span style="background-color:initial">(v) the Brain Atlas showing the distribution of proteins in human, mouse and pig brain.<br /></span><span style="background-color:initial">(vi) the Metabolic Atlas showing the presence of metabolic pathways across human tissues. </span></p></li> <li>The Human Protein Atlas program has already contributed to several thousands of publications in the field of human biology and disease and it has been selected by the organisation <a href="https://elixir-europe.org/">ELIXIR</a> as a European core resource due to its fundamental importance for a wider life science community.  </li> <li>More information <a href="https://www.proteinatlas.org/">Human Protein Atlas</a></li></ul></div> <p class="chalmersElement-P"> </p> <p class="chalmersElement-P"> </p> <p class="chalmersElement-P"> </p> <p class="chalmersElement-P"><br /> </p> <p class="chalmersElement-P"> </p>Wed, 25 Mar 2020 07:00:00 +0100https://www.chalmers.se/en/departments/bio/news/Pages/Graphite-nanoplatelets-on-medical-devices-prevent-infections-.aspxhttps://www.chalmers.se/en/departments/bio/news/Pages/Graphite-nanoplatelets-on-medical-devices-prevent-infections-.aspxGraphite nanoplatelets prevent infections<p><b>​Graphite nanoplatelets integrated into plastic medical surfaces can prevent infections, killing 99.99 per cent of bacteria which try to attach – a cheap and viable potential solution to a problem which affects millions, costs huge amounts of time and money, and accelerates antibiotic resistance. This is according to research from Chalmers University of Technology, Sweden, in the journal Small.​</b></p><p class="chalmersElement-P">​<span>Every year, over four million people in Europe are affected by infections contracted during health-care procedures, according to the European Centre for Disease Prevention and Control (ECDC). Many of these are bacterial infections which develop around medical devices and implants within the body, such as catheters, hip and knee prostheses or dental implants. In worst cases implants need to be removed.</span></p> <p class="chalmersElement-P">Bacterial infections like this can cause great suffering for patients, and cost healthcare services huge amounts of time and money. Additionally, large amounts of antibiotics are currently used to treat and prevent such infections, costing more money, and accelerating the development of antibiotic resistance.</p> <p class="chalmersElement-P"> </p> <p class="chalmersElement-P">“The purpose of our research is to develop antibacterial surfaces which can reduce the number of infections and subsequent need for antibiotics, and to which bacteria cannot develop resistance. We have now shown that tailored surfaces formed of a mixture of polyethylene and graphite nanoplatelets can kill 99.99 per cent of bacteria which try to attach to the surface,” says Santosh Pandit, postdoctoral researcher in the research group of Professor Ivan Mijakovic at the Division of Systems Biology, Department of Biology and Biotechnology, Chalmers University of Technology. </p> <p class="chalmersElement-P"> </p> <p></p> <h2 class="chalmersElement-H2">​&quot;Outstanding antibacterial effects&quot;</h2> <p></p> <p class="chalmersElement-P">Infections on implants are caused by bacteria that travel around in the body in fluids such as blood, in search of a surface to attach to. When they land on a suitable surface, they start to multiply and form a biofilm – a bacterial coating.</p> <p class="chalmersElement-P"> </p> <p class="chalmersElement-P">Previous studies from the Chalmers researchers showed how vertical flakes of graphene, placed on the surface of an implant, could form a protective coating, making it impossible for bacteria to attach – like spikes on buildings designed to prevent birds from nesting. The graphene flakes damage the cell membrane, killing the bacteria. But producing these graphene flakes is expensive, and currently not feasible for large-scale production.</p> <p class="chalmersElement-P"> </p> <p class="chalmersElement-P">“But now, we have achieved the same outstanding antibacterial effects, but using relatively inexpensive graphite nanoplatelets, mixed with a very versatile polymer. The polymer, or plastic, is not inherently compatible with the graphite nanoplatelets, but with standard plastic manufacturing techniques, we succeeded in tailoring the microstructure of the material, with rather high filler loadings , to achieve the desired effect. And now it has great potential for a number of biomedical applications,” says Roland Kádár, Associate Professor at the Department of Industrial and Materials Science at Chalmers.</p> <p class="chalmersElement-P"> </p> <p></p> <h2 class="chalmersElement-H2">​No damage to human cells</h2> <p></p> <p class="chalmersElement-P">The nanoplatelets on the surface of the implants prevent bacterial infection but, crucially, without damaging healthy human cells. Human cells are around 25 times larger than bacteria, so while the graphite nanoplatelets slice apart and kill bacteria, they barely scratch a human cell. </p> <p class="chalmersElement-P"> </p> <p class="chalmersElement-P">“In addition to reducing patients’ suffering and the need for antibiotics, implants like these could lead to less requirement for subsequent work, since they could remain in the body for much longer than those used today,” says Santosh Pandit. “Our research could also contribute to reducing the enormous costs that such infections cause health care services worldwide .”</p> <p></p> <h2 class="chalmersElement-H2">​Correct orientation is the decisive factor</h2> <p></p> <p class="chalmersElement-P"> </p> <p class="chalmersElement-P">In the study, the researchers experimented with different concentrations of graphite nanoplatelets and the plastic material. A composition of around 15-20 per cent graphite nanoplatelets had the greatest antibacterial effect – providing that the morphology is highly structured.</p> <p class="chalmersElement-P"> </p> <p class="chalmersElement-P">“As in the previous study, the decisive factor is orienting and distributing the graphite nanoplatelets correctly. They have to be very precisely ordered to achieve maximum effect,” says Roland Kádár.</p> <p class="chalmersElement-P"> </p> <p class="chalmersElement-P">The study was a collaboration between the Division of Systems and Synthetic Biology at the Department of Biology and Biological Engineering, and the Division of Engineering Materials at the Department of Industrial and Materials Science at Chalmers, and the medical company Wellspect Healthcare, who manufacture catheters, among other things. The antibacterial surfaces were developed by Karolina Gaska when she was a postdoctoral researcher in the group of Associate Professor Roland Kádár. </p> <p class="chalmersElement-P"> </p> <p class="chalmersElement-P">The researchers’ future efforts will now be focused on unleashing the full potential of the antibacterial surfaces for specific biomedical applications.</p> <p class="chalmersElement-P"><br /></p> <p class="chalmersElement-P"> </p> <p class="chalmersElement-P"><strong>Read the scientific article in the scientific journal Small</strong></p> <p class="chalmersElement-P"><a href="https://www.livsmedelsverket.se/matvanor-halsa--miljo/kostrad-och-matvanor/all-fisk-ar-inte-nyttig"><img class="ms-asset-icon ms-rtePosition-4" src="/_layouts/images/icgen.gif" alt="" /></a><span style="background-color:initial"><font color="#333333"><a href="https://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/epdf/10.1002/smll.201904756">Precontrolled Alignment of Graphite Nanoplatelets in Polymeric Composites Prevents Bacterial Attachment​</a></font></span></p> <p class="chalmersElement-P"> </p> <p class="chalmersElement-P"><strong>Read the previous news text, from April 2018</strong></p> <p class="chalmersElement-P"><a href="https://www.livsmedelsverket.se/matvanor-halsa--miljo/kostrad-och-matvanor/all-fisk-ar-inte-nyttig"><img class="ms-asset-icon ms-rtePosition-4" src="/_layouts/images/icgen.gif" alt="" /></a><span style="background-color:initial"><a href="/en/departments/bio/news/Pages/Spikes-of-graphene-can-kill-bacteria-on-implants.aspx">Spikes of graphene can kill bacteria on implants​</a></span></p> <p class="chalmersElement-P"><br /></p> <p class="chalmersElement-P"><strong>Text:</strong> Susanne Nilsson Lindh and Joshua Worth<br /><strong>Ilustration:</strong> Yen Strandqvist</p> <p class="chalmersElement-P"> </p>Mon, 23 Mar 2020 00:00:00 +0100https://www.chalmers.se/en/departments/chem/news/Pages/Nanostructured-rubber-like.aspxhttps://www.chalmers.se/en/departments/chem/news/Pages/Nanostructured-rubber-like.aspxNanostructured rubber-like material could replace human tissue<p><b>​Researchers from Chalmers University of Technology, Sweden, have created a new, rubber-like material with a unique set of properties, which could act as a replacement for human tissue in medical procedures. The material has the potential to make a big difference to many people&#39;s lives. The research was recently published in the highly regarded scientific journal ACS Nano.</b></p><div>​In the development of medical technology products, there is a great demand for new naturalistic materials suitable for integration with the body. Introducing materials into the body comes with many risks, such as serious infections, among other things. Many of the substances used today, such as Botox, are very toxic. There is a need for new, more adaptable materials.</div> <div>In the new study, the Chalmers researchers developed a material consisting solely of components that have already been shown to work well in the body. </div> <div>The foundation of the material is the same as plexiglass, a material which is common in medical technology applications. Through redesigning its makeup, and through a process called nanostructuring, they gave the newly patented material a unique combination of properties. The researchers' initial intention was to produce a h<img class="chalmersPosition-FloatLeft" src="/SiteCollectionImages/Institutioner/KB/Generell/Nyheter/Amferia/Anand%20Kumar%20Rajasekharan%20250.jpg" alt="" style="height:147px;width:180px;margin:10px 5px" />ard bone-like material, but they were met with surprising results. </div> <div>“We were really surprised that the material turned to be very soft, flexible and extremely elastic. It would not work as a bone replacement material, we concluded. But the new and unexpected properties made our discovery just as exciting,” says Anand Kumar Rajasekharan, PhD in Materials Science and one of the researchers behind the study.</div> <div>The results showed that the new rubber-like material may be appropriate for many applications which require an uncommon combination of properties – high elasticity, easy processability, and suitability for medical uses. </div> <div>“The first application we are looking at now is urinary catheters. The material can be construct<img class="chalmersPosition-FloatRight" src="/SiteCollectionImages/Institutioner/KB/Generell/Nyheter/Amferia/Martin%20Andersson%20172.jpg" alt="" style="height:172px;width:182px;margin:5px" />ed in such a way that prevents bacteria from growing on the surface, meaning it is very well suited for medical uses,” says Martin Andersson, research leader for the study and Professor of Chemistry at Chalmers.</div> <div>The structure of the new nano-rubber material allows its surface to be treated so that it becomes antibacterial, in a natural, non-toxic way. This is achieved by sticking antimicrobial peptides – small proteins which are part of our innate immune system – onto its surface. This can help reduce the need for antibiotics, an important contribution to the fight against growing antibiotic resistance. </div> <div>Because the new material can be injected and inserted via keyhole surgery, it can also help reduce the need for drastic surgery and operations to rebuild parts of the body. The material can be injected via a standard cannula as a viscous fluid, so that it forms its own elastic structures within the body. Or, the material can also be 3D printed into specific structures as required. </div> <div>“There are many diseases where the cartilage breaks down and friction results between bones, causing great pain for the affected person. This material could potentially act as a replacement in those cases,” Martin Andersson continues.</div> <div>A further advantage of the material is that it contains three-dimensionally ordered nanopores. This means it can be loaded with medicine, for various therapeutic purposes such as improving healing and reducing inflammation. This allows for localised treatment, avoiding, for example, having to treat the entire body with drugs, something that could help reduce problems associated with side effects. Since it is non-toxic, it also works well as a filler – the researchers see plastic surgery therefore as another very interesting potential area of application for the new material.</div> <div>“I am now working full time with our newly founded company, Amferia, to get the research out to industry. I have been pleased to see a lot of real interest in our material. It’s promising in terms of achieving our goal, which is to provide real societal benefit,” Anand concludes.</div> <div>Read the study, “<a href="https://pubs.acs.org/doi/10.1021/acsnano.9b01924">Tough Ordered Mesoporous Elastomeric Biomaterials Formed at Ambient Conditions</a>” in the scientific journal ACS Nano. </div> <h3 class="chalmersElement-H3">The path of the research to societal benefit and commercialisation, through start-up company Amferia and Chalmers Ventures</h3> <div>In order for the discovery of the new material to be useful and commercialised, the researchers patented their innovation before the study was published. The patent is owned by <a href="http://www.amferia.com/">start-up company Amferia</a>, which was founded by Martin Andersson and Anand Kumar Rajasekharan, two of the researchers behind the study, as well as researcher Saba Atefyekta who recently completed a PhD in Materials Science at Chalmers. Anand is now CEO of Amferia and will drive the application of the new material and development of the company. </div> <div><a href="https://www.mynewsdesk.com/se/chalmers-ventures/pressreleases/amferia-raises-sek-6-punkt-2-million-in-investment-for-innovative-wound-care-patches-that-kill-antibiotic-resistant-bacteria-2964059">Amferia has previously been noted for an antibacterial wound patch developed by the same team</a>. Amferia now has the innovation of both the new nano-rubber and the antibacterial wound patch. The development of the company and the innovations' path to making profit are now being carried out in collaboration with Chalmers Ventures, a subsidiary of Chalmers University of Technology.</div> <h3 class="chalmersElement-H3">More about the research: interdisciplinary collaboration at Chalmers</h3> <div>Several of Chalmers’ departments and disciplines were involved in the study. In addition to researchers at the Department of Chemistry and Chemical Engineering, <a href="/en/staff/Pages/Marianne-Liebi.aspx">Marianne Liebi</a>, Assistant Professor at the Department of Physics, was a co-author of the article. She has developed a technology to make it possible to investigate the order of materials by means of x-ray irradiation, to see how the nanostructures relate to each other in the material. In the ongoing work, an industrially feasible process for production of the material will be developed. This will be done in collaboration with the Department of Industry and Materials Science.</div> <h3 class="chalmersElement-H3">For more information, contact:</h3> <div><a href="/en/Staff/Pages/Martin-Andersson.aspx">Martin Andersson</a>, Professor in Chemistry</div> <a href="mailto:anandk@amferia.com">Anand Kumar </a><span>Rajasekhara</span>n, PhD in Materials Science and CEO of Amferia <br /><div> </div>Mon, 16 Mar 2020 00:00:00 +0100https://www.chalmers.se/en/areas-of-advance/health/news/Pages/Get-to-know-Chalmers-new-Area-of-Advance-Health-Engineering.aspxhttps://www.chalmers.se/en/areas-of-advance/health/news/Pages/Get-to-know-Chalmers-new-Area-of-Advance-Health-Engineering.aspxGet to know Chalmers new Area of Advance Health Engineering<p><b>​The Health Engineering Area of Advance will contribute to new knowledge and innovation that addresses society&#39;s major challenges within health and wellbeing. The five profile areas show the scope of the research.</b></p>​<span style="background-color:initial">Chalmers conducts extensive research in the health area in a broad sense, involving 12 out of 13 departments. The purpose of establishing an Area of Advance in this field is to enable the entire span of research at Chalmers to join forces and create impact.</span><div><br /></div> <div>There are also broad and established collaborations with the Sahlgrenska Academy and the Faculty of Science at the University of Gothenburg as well as with the Sahlgrenska University Hospital and Region Västra Götaland. By creating an Area of Advance, we aim to strengthen and coordinate our collaboration with external partners and engage in mutual interests. </div> <div><br /></div> <div>The Health Engineering Area of Advance helps to promote initiatives concerning prevention for individuals and society, development of new methods for diagnosing and treating diseases and development of new systems for medical care and health – which are key parts of health-related research to be able to offer better solutions for patient care, health and quality of life.</div> <div><br /></div> <div>The activities include research, education and utilisation. The Area of Advance helps to stimulate multidisciplinary collaboration, arranges joint seminar series and workshops, and contributes with strategic resources for major initiatives such as research centres, educational development and collaboration in external initiatives.</div> <div> <div><br /></div> <div><strong>Ann-Sofie Cans is Director</strong></div> <div>The Director of Health Engineering is Ann-Sofie Cans, Associate professor at the Department of Chemistry and Chemical Engineering. Together with the profile leaders and senior advisor Bo Norrman, they have led the work of forming the new Area of Advance with strong support from Chalmers’ departments and strategic partners.</div> <div><br /></div> <div><strong>Would you like to receive news and invitations to seminars organised by Health Engineering Area of Advance? </strong><a href="/en/areas-of-advance/health/contact/Pages/sign-up-newsletter.aspx">Sign up for our newsletter here &gt;</a></div> <div>And, follow us on Twitter: <a href="https://twitter.com/ChalmersHealth">@ChalmersHealth</a></div> <div><br /></div> <div>Website: <a href="/en/areas-of-advance/health/Pages/default.aspx">www.chalmers.se/en/areas-of-advance/health/</a></div></div>Mon, 09 Mar 2020 09:00:00 +0100https://www.chalmers.se/en/departments/bio/news/Pages/Cancer-cells-spread-using-a-copper-binding-protein.aspxhttps://www.chalmers.se/en/departments/bio/news/Pages/Cancer-cells-spread-using-a-copper-binding-protein.aspxCancer cells spread using a copper-binding protein<p><b>​Researchers at Chalmers University of Technology have shown that the Atox1 protein, found in higher concentrations in breast cancer cells, participates in the process by which cancer cells migrate. The protein could therefore be a potential biomarker for assessing the aggressiveness of the disease, as well as a possible target for new drugs. The research was recently published in the journal PNAS.</b></p>​<span style="background-color:initial">Breast cancer is the most common form of cancer in women worldwide. Early diagnosis and treatment are crucial to the survival rate. Most deaths related to breast cancer are due to cancer cells spreading, that is leaving the primary tumour and metastasising in other parts of the body, such as the skeleton, liver or lungs. But the molecular mechanisms behind how cancer cells migrate to other parts of the body are not yet understood.</span><div><h2 class="chalmersElement-H2">Breast cancer coincides with higher levels of copper in the tumours</h2> <div> </div> <div> </div> <div> </div> <div> </div> <div> </div> <div> </div> <div> </div> <p class="chalmersElement-P">Pr<span>evious studies have shown that, like other cancers, breast cancer coincides with higher levels of copper in the blood ​and in </span><span>t</span><span>umour</span><span> cells of the patients, but the use of this extra copper in cancer cells is not known.</span></p> <div> </div> <div> </div> <div> </div> <p class="chalmersElement-P"> </p> <div> </div> <div> </div> <div> </div> <p class="chalmersElement-P"> </p> <div> </div> <div> </div> <div> </div> <p class="chalmersElement-P"> </p> <div> </div> <div> </div> <div> </div> <p class="chalmersElement-P"><span style="background-color:initial">​Copper and other metal ions are vital for many biological functions, in small, controlled quantities. Free copper ions are toxic and thus all copper in our body is bound to proteins. Copper is absorbed through food and is then transported to different parts of ​the body by transport proteins. </span><br /></p> <div> </div> <div> </div> <div> </div> <div> </div> <div> </div> <div> </div> <div> </div> <div> </div> <div> </div> <div> </div> <div> </div> <div> </div> <div> </div> <div> </div> <div> </div> <div><div><h2 class="chalmersElement-H2"><span>​Atox1 is localised at the leading edge of migrating cancer cells​</span></h2> <p class="chalmersElement-P"><span>Re</span><span>​</span><span>searchers at Chalmers have now identified a copper-binding protein that clearly influences breast cancer cell migration. </span></p> <p class="chalmersElement-P"><span style="background-color:initial">“</span><span style="background-color:initial">There are clinical trials where they use copper depletion as a therapeutic strategy, but we focus on the copper-binding proteins as potential targets. Using a database, we first identified all the different copper-binding proteins in humans and then we compared the amount of these proteins in cancerous to healthy tissues. Atox1 was one of the copper-binding proteins with a high concentration in breast cancer cells,” says Pernilla Wittung-Stafshede, Professor of Chemical Biology at the Department of Biology and Biological Engineering.​​​</span></p> <p class="chalmersElement-P"><span style="background-color:initial">Atox1 is a so-called copper-transporter, a protein that transports copper to other proteins in our cells which require it for their enzymatic functions. The Chalmers researchers recently found that Atox1 is localised at the leading edge of migrating cancer cells, indicating that the protein may be involved in cell movement. This observation was the starting point for the now published study.</span></p></div> <p></p></div> <div> </div> <div> </div> <div> </div> <div> </div> <div> </div> <div> </div> <div> </div> <div> </div> <div> </div> <div> </div> <div> </div> <div> </div> <div> </div> <div> </div> <div> </div> <div> </div> <div> </div> <div> </div> <div> </div> <div> </div> <div> </div> <div> </div> <div> </div> <div> </div> <div> </div> <div> </div> <div> </div> <div> </div> <div> </div> <div> </div> <div> </div> <div><h2 class="chalmersElement-H2">​The researchers tracked the movement of cancer cells</h2> <p class="chalmersElement-P">Using adva<span>nced live-cell video microscopy, the researchers were able to observe and track the pattern of movement of hundreds of individual cancer cells, with and without the presence of Atox1.</span></p></div> <p class="chalmersElement-P"> </p> <p class="chalmersElement-P"> </p> <p class="chalmersElement-P"> </p> <p class="chalmersElement-P"> </p> <p class="chalmersElement-P"> </p> <p class="chalmersElement-P"> </p> <p class="chalmersElement-P"> </p> <div><p class="chalmersElement-P">​<span>&quot;</span><span>No</span><span>body has studied how a copper-binding protein affects migration of breast cancer cells before. This is a high-resolution method and the experimental work has been time consuming, but we got a result that is very pure and informative. We were able to demonstrate that the cells moved at higher speeds and over longer distances when Atox1 was present, compared to the same cells having less of the protein,&quot; says Stéphanie Blockhuys, a Postdoctoral Researcher in Chemical Biology, and first author of the study.</span></p></div> <div> </div> <div> </div> <div> </div> <div> </div> <div> </div> <div> </div> <div> </div> <div> </div> <div> </div> <div> </div> <div> </div> <div> </div> <div> </div> <div> </div> <div> </div> <div> </div> <div> </div> <div> </div> <div> </div> <div> </div> <div> </div> <div> </div> <div> </div> <div> </div> <div> </div> <div> </div> <div> </div> <div> </div> <div> </div> <div> </div> <div> </div> <div><h2 class="chalmersElement-H2">​Atox1 drives cell movement</h2> <p class="chalmersElement-P">​Further experiments revealed that Atox1 drives cell movement by stimulating a reaction chain consisting of another copper transport protein – ATP7A, and the enzyme lysyl oxidase (LOX). Atox1 delivers copper to ATP7A which in turn delivers the metal to LOX in a synchronised reaction. LOX needs copper in order to function, and it is already known that the enzyme is involved in extracellular processes facilitating breast cancer cell movement.​</p></div> <div> </div> <div> </div> <div> </div> <div> </div> <div> </div> <div> </div> <div> </div> <div> </div> <div> </div> <div> </div> <div> </div> <div> </div> <div> </div> <div> </div> <div> </div> <div> </div> <div> </div> <div> </div> <div> </div> <div> </div> <div> </div> <div> </div> <div> </div> <div> </div> <div> </div> <div> </div> <div> </div> <div> </div> <div> </div> <div> </div> <div> </div> <div><span style="background-color:initial">​“</span><span style="background-color:initial">When Atox1 in the cancer cells was reduced, we found extracellular LOX activity to be decreased. Thus, it appears that without Atox1, LOX does not receive the copper required for its cell migration potential says Stéphanie Blockhuys.</span><br /></div> <div> </div> <div> </div> <div> </div> <div> </div> <div> </div> <div> </div> <div> </div> <div> </div> <div> </div> <div> </div> <div> </div> <div> </div> <div> </div> <div> </div> <div> </div> <div> </div> <div> </div> <div> </div> <div> </div> <div> </div> <div> </div> <div> </div> <div> </div> <div> </div> <div> </div> <div> </div> <div> </div> <div> </div> <div> </div> <div> </div> <div> </div> <div><h2 class="chalmersElement-H2">​High Atox1 levels drastically influence survival</h2> <p class="chalmersElement-P">​In parallel, the researchers analysed a database of reported Atox1 transcript levels in 1904 different breast c<span>ancer patients, along with survival times. They found that patients having tumours with high Atox1 levels have drastically lower survival times. </span><span>They conclude therefore that the mechanism they identified in their cell culture experiments seems to play a role in the progression of the disease in patients.</span></p></div> <div> </div> <div> </div> <div> </div> <div> </div> <div> </div> <div> </div> <div> </div> <div> </div> <div> </div> <div> </div> <div> </div> <div> </div> <div> </div> <div> </div> <div> </div> <div> </div> <div> </div> <div> </div> <div> </div> <div> </div> <div> </div> <div> </div> <div> </div> <div> </div> <div> </div> <div> </div> <div> </div> <div> </div> <div> </div> <div> </div> <div> </div> <div><p class="chalmersElement-P"><span style="background-color:initial">This indicates that Atox1 could be a biomarker for assessing how aggressive a breast cancer is. Such information could be used, for example, to determine if treatment to remove copper from the body could be appropriate. Atox1 could also become a target drug for blocking metastasis and thus cancer patient death.</span></p> <p class="chalmersElement-P"><span>​​“W</span><span>hat we have found could be important for all types of cancer. How cancer cells move is a fundamental process of cancer metastasis that we still don’t understand well enough,” says Pernilla Wittung-Stafshede.</span></p></div> <div> </div> <div> </div> <div> </div> <div> </div> <div> </div> <div> </div> <div> </div> <div> </div> <div> </div> <div> </div> <div> </div> <div> </div> <div> </div> <div> </div> <div> </div> <div> </div> <div> </div> <div> </div> <div> </div> <div> </div> <div> </div> <div> </div> <div> </div> <div> </div> <div> </div> <div> </div> <div> </div> <div> </div> <div> </div> <div> </div> <div> </div> <div><span style="background-color:initial">Th</span><span style="background-color:initial">e</span><span style="background-color:initial"> researchers will now transfer the experiments from ​cells to small animal models and investigate whether there are other copper-binding proteins involved.​</span><br /></div> <div> </div> <div> </div> <div> </div> <div> </div> <div> </div> <div> </div> <div> </div> <div> </div> <div> </div> <div> </div> <div> </div> <div> </div> <div> </div> <div> </div> <div> </div> <div> </div> <div> </div> <div> </div> <div> </div> <div> </div> <div> </div> <div> </div> <div> </div> <div> </div> <div> </div> <div> </div> <div> </div> <div> </div> <div> </div> <div> </div> <div> </div> <div>​<br /></div> <div> </div> <div> </div> <div> </div> <div> </div> <div> </div> <div> </div> <div> </div> <div> </div> <div> </div> <div> </div> <div> </div> <div> </div> <div> </div> <div> </div> <div> </div> <div> </div> <div> </div> <div> </div> <div> </div> <div> </div> <div> </div> <div> </div> <div> </div> <div> </div> <div> </div> <div> </div> <div> </div> <div> </div> <div> </div> <div> </div> <div> </div> <div><strong style="background-color:initial">​​Read the scientific article in PNAS: </strong><br /></div> <div> </div> <div> </div> <div> </div> <div> </div> <div> </div> <div> </div> <div> </div> <div> </div> <div> </div> <div> </div> <div> </div> <div> </div> <div> </div> <div> </div> <div> </div> <div> </div> <div> </div> <div> </div> <div> </div> <div> </div> <div> </div> <div> </div> <div> </div> <div> </div> <div> </div> <div> </div> <div> </div> <div> </div> <div> </div> <div> </div> <div> </div> <div><div><a href="https://www.livsmedelsverket.se/matvanor-halsa--miljo/kostrad-och-matvanor/all-fisk-ar-inte-nyttig"><img class="ms-asset-icon ms-rtePosition-4" src="/_layouts/images/icgen.gif" alt="" /></a> <a href="https://www.pnas.org/content/pnas/117/4/2014.full.pdf">Single-cell tracking demonstrates copper chaperone Atox1 to be required for breast cancer cell migration ​</a></div> <div><strong style="background-color:initial">Read also:</strong><br /></div> <div><a href="https://www.livsmedelsverket.se/matvanor-halsa--miljo/kostrad-och-matvanor/all-fisk-ar-inte-nyttig" style="background-color:rgb(255, 255, 255)"><img class="ms-asset-icon ms-rtePosition-4" src="/_layouts/images/icgen.gif" alt="" /></a><a href="https://link.springer.com/article/10.1007/s12282-019-01044-4">Evaluation of copper chaperone ATOX1 as prognostic biomarker in breast cancer</a></div> <div><br /> </div></div> <div> </div> <div> </div> <div> </div> <div> </div> <div> </div> <div> </div> <div> </div> <div> </div> <div> </div> <div> </div> <div> </div> <div> </div> <div> </div> <div> </div> <div> </div> <div> <span style="font-weight:700;background-color:initial">Text: </span><span style="background-color:initial">Susanne Nilsson Lindh and Johanna Wilde</span></div> <div> </div> <div> </div> <div> </div> <div> </div> <div> </div> <div> </div> <div> </div> <div> </div> <div> </div> <div> </div> <div> </div> <div> </div> <div> </div> <div> </div> <div> </div> <div><div><span style="font-weight:700">Illustration:</span> David Lamm</div> <div><br /> </div> <span></span><div></div></div> <div> </div> <div> </div> <div> </div> <div> </div> <div> </div> <div> </div> <div> </div> <div> </div> <div> </div> <div> </div> <div> </div> <div> </div> <div> </div> <div> </div> <div> </div> <div> ​</div></div> ​Mon, 09 Mar 2020 00:00:00 +0100https://www.chalmers.se/en/departments/e2/news/Pages/Emergency-alarm-for-motorcyclists-on-IVAs-100-List.aspxhttps://www.chalmers.se/en/departments/e2/news/Pages/Emergency-alarm-for-motorcyclists-on-IVAs-100-List.aspxEmergency alarm for motorcyclists on IVA&#39;s 100 List<p><b>​An ordinary smartphone can be used to detect traffic accidents. That is the simple but brilliant idea behind the Detecht app, which already has gained positive response from motorcyclists and SOS Alarm. Now, the project has been selected for IVA’s 100 List.​</b></p>​<span style="background-color:initial">For the second consecutive year, the Royal Swedish Academy of Engineering Sciences (IVA) presents its 100 List, which highlights current and important research. On the list 2020, research that focuses on sustainability is brought to the fore. The purpose is to promote researchers and companies to find each other, and together be able to create innovations and new business opportunities.</span><div><br /></div> <div>“<img src="/SiteCollectionImages/Institutioner/E2/Nyheter/Appen%20som%20själv%20larmar%20vid%20en%20mc-olycka/20200122_StefanCandefjord_portrait_WebbRes_(C)_Emmy_Jonsson_200px.jpg" class="chalmersPosition-FloatRight" alt="Stefan Candefjord" style="margin:5px" />It is fantastic that our research is on the list”, says Stefan Candefjord, Assistant Professor at the Department of Electrical Engineering and one of the originators of the algorithm on which the app is based. “Hopefully, this will give us opportunities to find new partners to further develop functionality and usability. Furthermore, our project is selected to be presented at <a href="https://www.iva.se/en/projects/research2business/" target="_blank">IVA’s Research2Business Summit </a>on March 18, where I will participate.”</div> <div><br /></div> <div>Detecht is a social app aimed at motorcyclists that can save lives via automatic emergency alarm to 112. Using the built-in sensors in the driver’s own mobile phone, the app is able to detect patterns in movement data that distinguish a crash from normal driving.</div> <div><br /></div> <div><strong>Collaboration between researchers and students</strong></div> <div>Through an advantageous collaboration with Chalmers School of Entrepreneurship, the company Detecht Technologies AB was formed in 2018. <span style="background-color:initial">The app has been successfully tested on Swedish roads during the motorcycle season of 2019. The crashes that have occurred have been detected correctly, and the alarm chain has worked according to plan. Additionally, the number of false alarms has been low. SOS Alarm has evaluated the function and decided to include the app in its regular alarm preparedness. </span></div> <div><a href="https://www.sosalarm.se/contentassets/e58773771df0492b8af379f475161d97/112-rapporten-2019.pdf" target="_blank"><img class="ms-asset-icon ms-rtePosition-4" src="/_layouts/images/icpdf.png" alt="" />Read a comment about Detecht in SOS Alarm’s annual report “Verksamhetsrapport 2019”, page 17 (in Swedish)</a></div> <div><br /></div> <div>“It is great that the tests show such positive results, and that the concept is proved to work all the way from motorcyclist to alarm”, Stefan Candefjord continues. “As far as I know, this is the first road safety app evaluated and implemented by SOS Alarm.”</div> <div><br /></div> <div><strong>New features on its way</strong></div> <div>Work is in progress to integrate more features into the app. This may include such components as extended safety features showing advance information on potential hazards and accident prone roads, or to recommended routes based on the driver’s preferences.</div> <div><br /></div> <div>Commercial interest is starting to increase as well. So far, more than 60 000 downloads of the app have been made, most of them in Sweden, but there is also a growing interest from the international market.</div> <div><br /></div> <div>“Motorcyclists are particularly exposed in traffic, and they have a high demand for innovations that contribute to increased road traffic safety”, says Stefan Candefjord. “Other unprotected road users, such as cyclists, horse riders and all-terrain vehicle drivers, could also benefit from our technology.”</div> <div><br /></div> <div><em>Text: Yvonne Jonsson<br /></em><em>Portrait photo​: Emmy Jonsson</em><em><br /></em></div> <div><br /></div> <div><div><strong>Read more about Detecht</strong></div> <div><a href="/en/departments/e2/news/Pages/The-app-that-alarms-by-itself-at-a-motorbike-accident.aspx">The app that alarms motorbike accidents by itself</a></div> <div><br /></div> <div><strong>For more information please contact:</strong></div> <div><a href="/en/staff/Pages/stefan-candefjord.aspx">Stefan Candefjord</a>, Assistant Professor in the Biomedical electromagnetics research group, Department of Electrical Engineering, Chalmers University of Technology, <a href="mailto:%20stefan.candefjord@chalmers.se">stefan.candefjord@chalmers.se</a></div> <div><br /></div> <div><strong style="background-color:initial">Other involved in the project</strong><br /></div> <div>Bengt Arne Sjöqvist, PhD, Associate Professor; Leif Sandsjö, PhD, Associate Professor; Robert Andersson, MSc</div> <div><br /></div> <div><a href="https://www.iva.se/projekt/research2business/ivas-100-lista-2020/" target="_blank"><img class="ms-asset-icon ms-rtePosition-4" src="/_layouts/images/icgen.gif" alt="" />Read more about the projects on IVA’s 100 List 2020</a></div></div> <div><br /></div>Mon, 02 Mar 2020 00:00:00 +0100https://www.chalmers.se/en/departments/bio/news/Pages/His-methods-can-lead-to-better-cancer-treatment.aspxhttps://www.chalmers.se/en/departments/bio/news/Pages/His-methods-can-lead-to-better-cancer-treatment.aspxHis methods can lead to better cancer treatment<p><b>​Fredrik Westerlund, Professor of Chemical Biology at Chalmers, has been awarded two grants from the Swedish Childhood Cancer Foundation to develop methods for individualised cancer treatment and efficient cancer diagnosis.</b></p>One of the grants is a project grant in collaboration with physicians at Sahlgrenska University Hospital. The long-term aim of the project is to individualise chemotherapy to decrease suffering, increase treatment efficiency and decrease long-term side effects for patients undergoing chemotherapy treatment. <div><br /><div><span style="background-color:initial">“There is a great need for research in this field. The cancer survival rate increases, but many patients suffer from permanent injuries from the treatments, and children are the most vulnerable patients,” says Fredrik Westerlund, Head of Division Chemical Biology at the Department of Biology and Biological Engineering, Chalmers University of Technology. </span><div> <h2 class="chalmersElement-H2">Different reactions to the same dose of chemotherapy​</h2> <div>The most common drugs used for chemotherapy treatments of childhood cancers kill the cancer cells by damaging their DNA. But, in the process the DNA in healthy cells is also damaged. The drugs need to kill the tumour, but there must be a balance to make sure the damages in the normal cells are minimised. This is complicated since people react differently to the same dose of chemotherapy. </div> <div><br /> </div> <div>“All cells have mechanisms to repair damaged DNA, since DNA in the cells can break for various reasons. Some individuals have genetic variations, and the enzymes involved in the DNA-repair might not work properly. In these individuals a “normal” dose of drugs used for chemotherapy might cause extra damage to healthy cells,” says Fredrik Westerlund. </div> <h2 class="chalmersElement-H2"><span>Blood sample will detect hypersensitivity</span><span>​</span></h2> <div>By using nature’s own systems for DNA-repair the researchers will use the new method to quantify DNA-damage. The long-term aim is that a blood sample from cancer patients will detect individuals that are hypersensitive to cytostatic drugs in an early stage of treatment, to be able to adjust the dosage before too much damage is done. In this way families with genetic defects could also be detected, and if needed, have individualised future cancer treatments. </div> <div><br /> </div> <div>Every DNA-break is counted one by one using a fluorescence microscope, but in the future the method should enable easier handling of samples in clinical practise. The physicians at Sahlgrenska University Hospital are already working with adaption of other methods for clinical use, which should be of great use for this project as well. </div> <div><br /> </div> <div>“Our method is a development of a project we started in 2016, funded by the Swedish Childhood Cancer Foundation. We believe that we have found a way to decrease suffering for patients in the future,” says Fredrik Westerlund. </div> <div><h2 class="chalmersElement-H2">​Diagnosis of acute leukaemia</h2></div> <div>The other project, also a collaboration with a research group at Sahlgrenska University Hospital, is method development for diagnosis of acute leukaemia. Several types of leukaemia are caused by large fragments of DNA being shifted from one chromosome to another. This leads to the production of proteins that should not be present in normal cells, which then can transform into cancer cells. </div> <div><br /> </div> <div>The method, still in an early stage of development, will be used to find the location of the DNA break. This resembles the classic problem to look for a needle in a haystack, since the human genome consists of billions of bases and only one single DNA break is of interest. To find the exact position of the damage is crucial since the treatment differs for different breaks. </div> <h2 class="chalmersElement-H2"><span>​Important to treat leukaemia </span><span>at</span><span> an ea</span><span>rly</span><span> stage</span><span>​</span></h2> <div>Fredrik Westerlund has been working on a method for mapping DNA for a long time, but with focus on bacterial DNA. In this project human DNA will be studied. Two strategies will be used. One where huge amounts of DNA are mapped to find “the needle”, and another for isolation of only the “needle” of interest. </div> <div><br /> </div> <div>“Leukaemia is one of the cancers where early treatment is of great importance. We believe that this method will we be relatively quick for diagnosis, enabling treatment and giving the patient the right dose in an early stage of the disease,” says Fredrik Westerlund. </div> <div><br /> </div> <div><strong>Text: </strong>Susanne Nilsson Lindh </div> <div><strong>Photo:</strong> Johan Bodell</div> <div><br /> </div> <div><strong>Facts: Fredrik Westerlund’s grants from Barncancerfonden (The Swedish Childhood Cancer Foundation)</strong></div> <div>Project grant<em> Improved cancer treatment for children sensitive to DNA damage</em>:</div> <div><ul><li>A project in collaboration with <strong>Ola Hammarsten</strong>, Professor and Chief Physician at Sahlgrenska University Hospital, the University of Gothenburg. </li> <li>Grant amount: 2,4 million SEK.</li></ul></div> <div>Project grant medical technology <em>Improved diagnosis of acute leukaemia in children</em>:  </div> <div><ul><li>A project in collaboration with <strong>Linda Fogelstrand</strong>, MD and Associate Professor at Sahlgrenska University Hospital, the University of Gothenburg. </li> <li>Grant amount: 3 million SEK.</li></ul></div> </div> ​</div></div>Tue, 25 Feb 2020 09:00:00 +0100https://www.chalmers.se/en/departments/chem/news/Pages/Glutamate.aspxhttps://www.chalmers.se/en/departments/chem/news/Pages/Glutamate.aspxGlutamate in the brain shows unexpected qualities<p><b>​Researchers at Chalmers University of Technology and Gothenburg University in Sweden have achieved something long thought almost impossible – counting the molecules of the neurotransmitter glutamate released when a signal is transferred between two brain cells. With a new analysis method, they showed that the brain regulates its signals using glutamate in more ways than previously realised.</b></p><div>​<img class="chalmersPosition-FloatRight" src="/SiteCollectionImages/Institutioner/KB/Generell/Nyheter/Glutamat/AnnSofieCans_340%20x400.png" alt="" style="height:252px;width:245px;margin:5px" />The ability to measure the activity and quantity of glutamate in brain cells has been long sought-after among researchers. Glutamate is the major excitatory neurotransmitter in the brain. Despite its abundance, and its influence on many important functions, we know a lot less about it than other neurotransmitters such as serotonin and dopamine, because so far glutamate has been difficult to measure quickly enough. <p> </p> <p>The new findings around glutamate are therefore very significant and could help improve our understanding of the pathologies underlying neurological and psychiatric diseases and conditions. The relationship between glutamate and these disorders, as well as our memory, our appetite and more, are just some of the questions which the researchers’ newly discovered technology could help answer.</p> <p>“When we started, everybody said ‘this will never work’. But we didn’t give in. Now we have a beautiful example of how multi-disciplinary basic science can yield major breakthroughs, and deliver real benefit,” says Ann-Sofie Cans, Associate Professor in Chemistry at Chalmers and leader of the research group.</p> <p>The key was to do the opposite of what had been previously attempted. Instead of using a biosensor made from thick layers, they used an ultrathin layer of the enzyme needed for biological identification. The researchers made it so that the enzyme, which was placed on a nano-structured sensor surface, was just a molecule thick. This made the sensor technology a thousand times faster than previous attempts. </p> <p>The technique was therefore fast enough to measure the release of glutamate from a single synaptic vesicle – the small liquid vessel which releases neurotransmitters to the synapse between two nerve cells. This is a process that occurs in less than a thousandth of a second. </p> <p>“When we saw the benefits of improving the sensor technology in terms of time, instead of concentration, then we got it to work” says Ann-Sofie Cans. </p></div> <div>The research was carried out in two steps. In the first, the breakthrough was being able to measure glutamate. That study was published early in Spring 2019 in the scientific journal ASC Chemical Neuroscience. In the second part, which the current publication addresses, Ann-Sofie Cans and her research group made further important adjustments and ground-breaking discoveries. <p> </p> <p>“Once we had built the sensor, we could then refine it further. Now, with the help of this technology we have also developed a new method to quantify these small amounts of glutamate,” she explains. </p> <p>Along the way the group had many interesting surprises. For example, the quantity of glutamate in a synaptic vesicle has been revealed to be much greater than previously believed. It is comparable in quantity to serotonin and dopamine, a finding which came as an exciting surprise.</p> <p>“Our study changes the current understanding of glutamate. For example, it seems that transport and storage of glutamate in synaptic vesicles is not as different as we thought, when compared with other neurotransmitters like serotonin and dopamine”, says Ann-Sofie Cans.</p> <p>The researchers also showed that nerve cells control the strength of their chemical signals by regulating the quantity of glutamate released from single synaptic vesicles.</p> <p>The fact we can now measure and quantify this neurotransmitter can yield new tools for pharmacological studies in many vital areas in neuroscience.</p> <p>“The level of measurement offered by this ultra-fast glutamate sensor opens up countless possibilities to truly understand the function of glutamate in health and disease. Our knowledge of the brain function, and dysfunction, is limited by the experimental tools we have, and this new ultra-fast tool will allow us to examine neuronal communication at a level we did not have access to before”, says Karolina Patrycja Skibicka, Associate Professor in Neuroscience and Physiology at Gothenburg University.</p> <p>“The new finding, that glutamate-based communication is regulated by the quantity of glutamate released from synaptic vesicles, begs the question of what happens to this regulation in brain diseases thought to be linked to glutamate, for example epilepsy.”</p></div> <div> </div> <h3 class="chalmersElement-H3">More information on glutamate and glutamic acid </h3> <div>Glutamate, or glutamic acid, is found in proteins in food. It occurs naturally in meat, in almost all vegetables, and in wheat and soy. It is also used as a food additive to enhance flavours, for example in the form of MSG, or monosodium glutamate. <p> </p> <p>Glutamate is an amino acid, and an important part of our body. It is also a neurotransmitter which nerve cells use to communicate, and forms the basis for some of the brain's basic functions such as cognition, memory and learning. It is also important for the immune system, the function of the gastrointestinal tract, and to prevent microorganisms from entering the body.</p></div> <div><br /></div> <div>Source: Swedish Food Agency and Chalmers University of Technology</div> <a href="https://www.livsmedelsverket.se/livsmedel-och-innehall/tillsatser-e-nummer/ovriga/glutamat/"><div>https://www.livsmedelsverket.se/livsmedel-och-innehall/tillsatser-e-nummer/ovriga/glutamat/ </div></a><div> </div> <div><h3 class="chalmersElement-H3">For more information</h3> <div><a href="/en/Staff/Pages/ann-sofie-cans.aspx">Ann-Sofie Cans</a>, Associate Professor in Chemistry, Chalmers University of Technology</div> <div><a href="mailto:karolina.skibicka@gu.se">Karolina Patrycja Skibicka</a>, Associate Professor in Neuroscience and Physiology at Gothenburg University</div> <div><br /></div> <h3 class="chalmersElement-H3">More on the research</h3> <div>The study, <a href="https://pubs.acs.org/doi/full/10.1021/jacs.9b09414">Counting the Number of Glutamate Molecules in Single Synaptic Vesicles</a> has been published in the scientific publication Journal of the American Chemical Society. <p> </p> <p>The research has been funded by the Swedish Research Council, the Swedish Brain Foundation, Ragnar Söderberg Foundation, the Novo Nordisk Foundation, the Wallenberg Center for Molecular and Translational Medicine at the University of Gothenburg, Ernst and Fru Rådman Colliander Stiftelse, Wilhelm and Martina Lundgren Stiftelse and Magnus Bergvall Stiftelse.</p></div> <div> </div></div> <div><br /></div> <div><br /></div>Tue, 21 Jan 2020 00:00:00 +0100https://www.chalmers.se/en/departments/e2/news/Pages/A-rolling-research-lab-for-mobile-health-care.aspxhttps://www.chalmers.se/en/departments/e2/news/Pages/A-rolling-research-lab-for-mobile-health-care.aspxA rolling research lab for mobile health care<p><b>​An ambulance with full IT equipment serves as a rolling test bed, where ambulance care, research and industry meet to develop and jointly try out technology and simulate work processes. Tools such as video conferencing and digital decision support enable mobile and efficient emergency care.</b></p>​<span style="background-color:initial">Health care of today is approaching a thorough and necessary digitalisation process. As part of the transition, an ambulance from Sahlgrenska University Hospital has been been commissioned as a full-scale test ambulance and is being equipped with various IT solutions. The aim is to develop digital support for mobile medical services. The ambulance is used as a test environment for several research projects in prehospital care, with participating researchers from Chalmers University of Technology, University of Borås, Sahlgrenska Hospital and Sahlgrenska Academy.</span><div><br /></div> <div><strong>Emergencies require quick decisions and the right actions</strong></div> <div>“I am very pleased with having such close collaboration with the researchers to develop technologies and methods that work together”, says Elisabet Hammar, Head of Operations of Emergency Medical Services at Sahlgrenska University Hospital. “It is all about giving the paramedical personnel the right support to assess the patient’s needs at an early stage, take the right actions and decide if and where the patient should be taken for further medical care.”</div> <div><br /></div> <div>An ambulance is more than just a vehicle for transporting patients. If the right treatment is initiated already on the way to the hospital, this may be crucial for the patient and have effect on the entire subsequent care chain. Significantly more than half of the most serious medical conditions, such as acute myocardial infarction, stroke, trauma and sepsis, are first treated by paramedical personnel. These groups comprise over 100,000 patients per year in Sweden with a mortality rate of over 20%.</div> <div><br /></div> <div><table cellspacing="0" width="100%" class=" chalmersTable-default" style="font-size:1em"><tbody><tr class="chalmersTableEvenRow-default"><td class="chalmersTableEvenCol-default" rowspan="1" colspan="1">​<img src="/SiteCollectionImages/Institutioner/E2/Nyheter/Ambulans%20är%20forskningslabb%20för%20mobil%20akutvård/Testambulans_DSC_8832_500x400px.jpg" class="chalmersPosition-FloatLeft" alt="" style="margin:5px" /><br /><br /></td></tr> <tr class="chalmersTableOddRow-default"><td class="chalmersTableEvenCol-default" rowspan="1" colspan="1">Bengt Arne Sjöqvist, Chalmers and PICTA, and Elisabet Hammar from Sahlgrenska Ambulance are collaborators in the projects that are being conducted in the test ambulance.​</td></tr></tbody></table>  <span style="background-color:initial">  </span></div> <div><strong style="background-color:initial">The first rolling research lab for mobile emergency care</strong><br /></div> <div>“The test ambulance is a unique concept”, says Bengt Arne Sjöqvist, Associate Professor at the Department of Electrical Engineering at Chalmers, as well as initiator and program manager of Prehospital ICT Arena, PICTA, at Lindholmen Science Park. “Creating a mobile test bed for prehospital care makes way for new possibilities. Here, we can conduct research, perform tests and develop new products and work processes. Stakeholders from healthcare, academia and industry participate in the project. Since the ambulance is mobile, we can easily meet our collaboration partners on site.”</div> <div><br /></div> <div>The ambulance is an extra vehicle in Sahlgrenska University Hospital’s regular ambulance fleet and is specially equipped with IT solutions and camera technology. Soon, it will be connected to the IT environment of Region Västra Götaland, making it possible, for example, to live stream video directly from the ambulance to a hospital. Specialists can then support the paramedical personnel with remote counselling, while patient data and other relevant information can be transmitted and shared.</div> <div><br /></div> <div><strong>Realistic full-scale simulations</strong></div> <div>“We will be able to perform full-scale, realistic simulations from the alarm to the delivery, using digital communication to hospital experts and systems”, says Bengt Arne Sjöqvist. “In addition, the researchers have a parallel IT environment of their own when necessary for development and testing. During the simulations, fictitious patient records can be used, but in case of an actual emergency the personnel will have access to the patient’s medical records directly in the ambulance.”</div> <div><br /></div> <div>Designing solutions based on mobile communication poses certain challenges. If the technology or the connection for some reason does not work, which occasionally will happen, a backup plan should always be prepared. </div> <div><br /></div> <div>“Then, an alternative might be to return to previous routines. The safety and care of the patients are always top priority”, says Bengt Arne Sjöqvist.</div> <div><br /></div> <div>In order to analyse how the technology and the work processes function together, additional cameras will be installed in the test ambulance. Unlike the other camera technology, these cameras do not have the task of documenting the patient’s condition but instead record how the ambulance team use the digital decision support and other technical aids.</div> <div><br /></div> <div><strong>Involvement that inspires innovation</strong></div> <div>“It is very valuable for us to be involved in the solutions that are being developed”, says Elisabet Hammar. “Instead of being served a ready-made solution, we can contribute and influence from a user perspective. Because the technology is tested in the real environment, in a regular but specially equipped ambulance, it takes place under very realistic forms for the paramedical personnel. This generates good ideas and an innovative mindset for us as well. In addition, even before an introduction, we are able to see how our work will be affected and how to prepare for it.”</div> <div><br /></div> <div>“We have probably only seen the beginning of the opportunities that digitalisation offers healthcare”, continues Elisabet Hammar. “Healthcare is becoming more and more specialised, while at the same time needing to get closer to the patient and the user. Digital technology can help us work in a smarter way to meet the challenges facing public healthcare.”</div> <div><br /></div> <div>“It is clear to me that the technology that we are currently testing in the test ambulance can be useful for many more stakeholders in mobile healthcare, both for emergency conditions and for care at home”, says Bengt Arne Sjöqvist. “In the end, the heart of the matter is making optimal use of the limited resources of healthcare, to ensure that patients receive the right care at the right time.”</div> <div><br /></div> <div>Text: Yvonne Jonsson</div> <div>Photo: Henrik Sandsjö (top image) and Yvonne Jonsson</div> <div><table cellspacing="0" class="chalmersTable-default" style="font-size:1em;width:100%"><tbody><tr class="chalmersTableEvenRow-default"><td class="chalmersTableEvenCol-default" rowspan="1" colspan="1">​<img src="/SiteCollectionImages/Institutioner/E2/Nyheter/Ambulans%20är%20forskningslabb%20för%20mobil%20akutvård/Testambulans_-DSC_8873_750x400px.jpg" class="chalmersPosition-FloatLeft" alt="Bengt Arne Sjöqvist and Elisabet Hammar" style="margin:5px" /><br /><br /></td></tr> <tr class="chalmersTableOddRow-default"><td class="chalmersTableEvenCol-default" rowspan="1" colspan="1">​Bengt Arne Sjöqvist and Elisabet Hammar are demonstrating how a laptop can be connected to live stream video from inside the ambulance.</td></tr></tbody></table>  <br /></div> <div><h2 class="chalmersElement-H2"><span>Mor</span><span>e about the research projects in the test ambulance</span></h2></div> <div>The test ambulance is financed by Vinnova, together with the project partners, in a two-year project from 2018 to 2020 called PreTest. Several projects are underway or being planned, using the test ambulance as a vital component. Today, the network that carries out research and development with the ambulance as test bed includes PICTA, the University of Borås, Chalmers University of Technology, Region Västra Götaland (FVM/VGR-IT), the ambulance services at Sahlgrenska University Hospital, Skaraborg Hospital and Södra Älvsborg Hospital, and the companies Medfield Diagnostics AB and GM Medical AB.</div> <div><br /></div> <div><strong>A mobile test bed for prehospital care, PreTest</strong></div> <div>Developing a mobile test bed for the prehospital healthcare chain makes way for entirely new opportunities for research, testing, development and innovation of new products and work processes. A fully equipped ambulance for simulations and audio and video recording, as well as a “plug &amp; play” IT test environment are important components of the concept.</div> <div><a href="https://picta.lindholmen.se/node/75443" target="_blank"><img class="ms-asset-icon ms-rtePosition-4" src="/_layouts/images/icgen.gif" alt="" />Read an article about the PreTest project (Swedish)​</a></div> <div><br /></div> <div><strong>Video support in the prehospital stroke chain, ViPHS</strong></div> <div>Three ambulances used in Västra Götaland, of which two are stationed in Skene and one in Ulricehamn, are included in a clinical study and have been equipped with video support for more efficient stroke care. Real-time video streaming makes it possible for stroke patients to receive optimal care, even at a great distance from the treating hospital. Cameras mounted in the ambulance, enable ambulance and hospital personnel to jointly decide on the most appropriate care intervention for each patient. In the project, the test ambulance is the place for testing the technology and the care processes. An extension of the project to a total of twelve ambulances has been initiated</div> <div><a href="https://picta.lindholmen.se/projekt-1/viphs-videostod-i-den-prehospitala-strokekedjan" target="_blank"><img class="ms-asset-icon ms-rtePosition-4" src="/_layouts/images/icgen.gif" alt="" />Read an article about the ViPHS project (Swedish)</a></div> <div><br /></div> <div><strong>Prehospital decision support for identification of risk of sepsis, PreSISe</strong></div> <div>Sepsis is a serious condition formerly known as blood poisoning. A prehospital decision support based on artificial intelligence may have great potential to increase accuracy in the early assessment of sepsis risk in a patient. Thus, the time to treatment can be shortened, the chance of survival increase, and complications be reduced. An AI based decision support, building on medical records from previously treated sepsis patients, is being developed and integrated into ambulance IT support. How this works in practice will be studied in the test ambulance.</div> <div><a href="https://research.chalmers.se/en/project/?id=8386" target="_blank"><img class="ms-asset-icon ms-rtePosition-4" src="/_layouts/images/icgen.gif" alt="" />Read more about the PreSISe project</a></div> <div><br /></div> <h2 class="chalmersElement-H2">For more information contact</h2> <div><a href="/en/staff/Pages/bengt-arne-sjoqvist.aspx"><span>Bengt Arne </span><span>Sjöqvis</span>t​</a>, Associate Professor (former Adjunct Professor and Professor of Practice) in the research group Biomedical signals and systems, Department of Electrical Engineering at Chalmers, and Program Manager of Prehospital ICT Arena (PICTA) at Lindholmen Science Park</div> <div><a href="mailto:%20bengt.arne.sjoqvist@chalmers.se">bengt.arne.sjoqvist@chalmers.se</a></div> <div><br /></div> <div><strong>Elisabet Hammar</strong>, Head of Operations of Emergency Medical Services at Sahlgrenska University Hospital</div> <div><a href="mailto:%20elisabet.hammar@vgregion.se">elisabet.hammar@vgregion.se</a></div> <div><br /></div>Fri, 06 Dec 2019 00:00:00 +0100https://www.chalmers.se/en/departments/e2/news/Pages/AI-will-soon-be-able-to-prewarn-of-disease.aspxhttps://www.chalmers.se/en/departments/e2/news/Pages/AI-will-soon-be-able-to-prewarn-of-disease.aspxAI will soon be able to prewarn of disease<p><b>​Many serious diseases would be detected earlier if the health care had the technical means for examining X-ray images. Chalmers University of Technology and Sahlgrenska University Hospital now work together to develop a method based on artificial intelligence to assess computed tomographic images (3D X-ray) of the heart’s coronary arteries. The tool is developed not least thanks to image data from a large Swedish population study.</b></p>​<span style="background-color:initial">Health care has so far only just had a first taste of all the opportunities offered by artificial intelligence, AI. Sahlgrenska and Chalmers AI Research Center (Chair) recently launched a <a href="/en/centres/chair/news/Pages/Chalmers-and-Sahlgrenska-University-Hospital-in-research-cooperation.aspx">strategic research collaboration on AI in health care​</a>.</span><div><br /></div> <div>“AI is developing rapidly at the moment”, says Fredrik Kahl, professor of computer vision and image analysis at the department of Electrical Engineering at Chalmers. “There are many unexplored opportunities for AI in medical technology, for example to make early diagnoses and to support health care staff during surgery.”</div> <div><br /></div> <div><strong>The technology is making progress</strong></div> <div>Cardiovascular disease is still the most common cause of death in Sweden and the world. But conditions have never been better to identify individual risks for, for example, stroke, COPD, sudden cardiac arrest, myocardial infarction and other heart diseases. This is due to several advances.</div> <div><br /></div> <div>In addition to AI technology itself becoming more and more advanced, new technology in the health care system makes it possible to take pictures of the heart, lungs and blood vessels in a way not previously possible. It is also possible to image and measure the distribution of fat in the body. In addition, there is now a sufficiently large image bank to use thanks to the population study Scapis. The study comprises 30,000 Swedes and is a collaboration between six universities and six university hospitals. Images and information collected by Scapis are now used in several medical research projects where computers will learn to interpret computed tomographic images of human organs.</div> <div><br /></div> <div>“We are currently working with Sahlgrenska to develop an algorithm that can be used for segmentation and classification of three-dimensional computed tomographic images of the coronary arteries”, says Fredrik Kahl.</div> <div><br /></div> <div>Jennifer Alvén is also involved in the project. She is a doctoral student in medical image analysis and in the process of developing an algorithm that allows the computer system to read the coronary arteries all by itself.</div> <div><br /></div> <div>“It is great that the research is really taking off now”, says Jennifer Alvén. “I am training the computer system through deep learning so that it can recognize the coronary arteries of the heart and the areas where the vessels hold calcium and fat, which could lead to future heart problems.”</div> <div><br /></div> <div><strong>Learns to recognise signs of future disease</strong></div> <div>When the computer learns to locate the coronary arteries, it needs actual cases to compare with. In this case 600 X-ray images from the Scapis project, where radiologists have outlined the coronary arteries digitally. Each such image takes about half a working day for medical staff to assess. The computer will now be trained to do the same job as the medical doctors.</div> <div><br /></div> <div>“The goal is to have the 600 images ready at the turn of the year. It will be the world’s largest data collection of coronary arteries images in a research context”, says Jennifer Alvén.</div> <div><br /></div> <div>The AI assessment will be as accurate as the assessment made by humans but will go much faster once the computer is trained. Thus, analysing all coronary arteries images for the 30,000 people in the survey will no longer be an impossible task. In the next step, AI can help in discovering undetected connections and patterns, when a follow-up is done to find out which of the people in the study have really been affected by, for example, myocardial infarction and stroke.</div> <div><br /></div> <div><img src="/SiteCollectionImages/Institutioner/E2/Nyheter/Snart%20kan%20AI%20varna%20för%20sjukdom%20innan%20den%20uppstår/vesselwithandwithoutplaque_512px.jpg" class="chalmersPosition-FloatRight" alt="" style="margin:5px" /></div> <div>The pictures show two examples of cross sections of coronary arteries that the AI system is learning to assess. The outer dotted line shows the outer contour of the artery wall, and the solid inner line shows the contour of the artery itself, where the blood is flowing. In the left image the artery wall is thin and without plaque. In the right picture, however, coating is visible on the inside of the artery wall.<br /><br /><strong style="background-color:initial">One step closer to practical use</strong><br /></div> <div>Scapis data is also used in another project to study connections between the presence of fat within the pericardial sac and cardiovascular disease. The Chalmers researchers have developed a working algorithm for this, which has been passed on to health care software development specialists.</div> <div><br /></div> <div>“We hope that the algorithm for coronary arteries also can be passed on for health care use”, says Jennifer Alvén. “It would be interesting to include it in one of the larger platforms already available for coronary arteries surgery.”</div> <div><br /></div> <div><strong>Great potential to improve public health</strong></div> <div>There are many needs and possible uses for image analysis in health care. A clear example of this is cancerous tumours of the kidneys, which are often detected at a much later stage than they could in fact have been spotted on X-rays.</div> <div><br /></div> <div>“Early detection of cancerous tumours in the kidneys would benefit greatly by an automatic algorithm”, says Fredrik Kahl. “When studying computed tomography images of people later diagnosed with kidney cancer, it has been found that in about fifty percent of the cases, medical doctors would have been able to detect the tumour on the X-rays. The problem is that no one has been looking specifically for such tumours in these images. Here is a gap that AI could fill.&quot;</div> <div><br /></div> <div>Both researchers have experienced a positive attitude and great interest from medical staff at Sahlgrenska for new AI tools. The lead times, however, are always long before new methods can be introduced in health care.</div> <div><br /></div> <div>A possible future scenario is that all X-ray images taken, for whatever reason, undergo an automatic AI examination to detect signs of the most serious diseases as early as possible. This would mean a huge opportunity to reduce patients’ suffering and improve public health.</div> <div><br /></div> <div><em>Text: Yvonne Jonsson</em></div> <div><em><br /></em></div> <div><br /></div> <div><div><strong>Facts about the population study Scapis</strong></div> <div><ul><li>Scapis is a Swedish population study that examines the cardiovascular status of 30,000 randomly selected women and men aged 50–64 years. The recruitment phase has been completed and analysis of collected data is now underway.</li> <li>The purpose is to be able to identify individual risks such as stroke, COPD, sudden cardiac arrest, myocardial infarction and other heart diseases.</li> <li>The goal is to gain greater knowledge about the origin of the diseases in order to prevent them before they occur.</li> <li>Six universities and six university hospitals in collaboration lead and run Scapis.</li> <li>Scapis is funded by the Swedish Heart-Lung Foundation as the main financier and with significant contributions from the Knut and Alice Wallenberg Foundation, Vinnova, the Swedish Research Council and the university hospitals and the universities themselves.</li></ul></div> <div><a href="http://scapis.se/" target="_blank"><img class="ms-asset-icon ms-rtePosition-4" src="/_layouts/images/icgen.gif" alt="" />Read more about Scapis​</a><br /></div> <div><br /></div> <div><br /></div> <div><strong>For more information contact</strong></div> <div><a href="/sv/personal/Sidor/fredrik-kahl.aspx">Fredrik Kahl​</a>, professor of computer vision and image analysis at the department of Electrical Engineering at Chalmers University of Technology, <a href="mailto:%20fredrik.kahl@chalmers.se">fredrik.kahl@chalmers.se</a></div> <div><a href="/en/Staff/Pages/alven.aspx">Jennifer Alvén</a>, PhD student at the division of Signal processing and Biomedical engineering at the department of Electrical Engineering at Chalmers, <a href="mailto:%20alven@chalmers.se">alven@chalmers.se</a></div> <div><img src="/SiteCollectionImages/Institutioner/E2/Nyheter/Snart%20kan%20AI%20varna%20för%20sjukdom%20innan%20den%20uppstår/arterytree.gif" class="chalmersPosition-FloatLeft" alt="" style="margin:5px" /><br /><br /><br /><br />An animated example of an artery tree, where medically relevant arteries are outlined.<br /></div> <div><img src="/SiteCollectionImages/Institutioner/E2/Nyheter/Snart%20kan%20AI%20varna%20för%20sjukdom%20innan%20den%20uppstår/CTAwitharteries.gif" class="chalmersPosition-FloatLeft" alt="" style="margin:5px" /><br /><br /><br /></div> <div><br /></div></div> <div><br /></div> <div><br /></div> <div><br /></div> <div><br /></div> <div><br /></div> <div><br /></div> <div><br /></div> <div><br /></div> <div><br /></div> <div><p class="MsoNormal"><span lang="EN-US">A video showing computed tomography images of a human heart. R</span><span class="tlid-translation"><span lang="EN">ed contours outline where there are coronary arteries in each layer.​</span></span><span lang="EN-US"></span></p></div> <div><br /></div> <div><br /></div> <div><br /></div> <div><br /></div> <div><br /></div> <div><br /></div> Mon, 04 Nov 2019 00:00:00 +0100https://www.chalmers.se/en/departments/e2/news/Pages/-Ten-years-of-collaboration-on-biomedical-engineering-.aspxhttps://www.chalmers.se/en/departments/e2/news/Pages/-Ten-years-of-collaboration-on-biomedical-engineering-.aspxTen years of collaboration on biomedical engineering<p><b>​MedTech West started as a platform for medical technology in Western Sweden in 2009. Ten years later, the partners can look back on many successful collaborations in research, healthcare and industry. The aim now is for future development opportunities.</b></p>​<span style="background-color:initial">“We experience a much greater focus on collaboration between healthcare and engineering in the region today, which is what we have been striving for”, says Mikael Persson, Professor of Biomedical Engineering at Chalmers University of Technology and one of the initiators of MedTech West. “We will now continue that work. We hope that over the next ten years, MedTech West will continue to be a significant resource and a tool for meeting some of the region’s healthcare needs and ultimately contribute to the greatest benefit for the patients.”</span><div><br /><span style="background-color:initial"></span><div><a href="http://www.medtechwest.se/featured/medtech-west-firar-tio-ar-av-samverkan-kring-medicinteknik/" target="_blank"><img class="ms-asset-icon ms-rtePosition-4" src="/_layouts/images/icgen.gif" alt="" />Read an interview with the three founders of MedTech West – Mikael Persson, Mikael Elam and Kaj Lindecrantz (in Swedish)​</a></div> <div><br /></div> <div>MedTech West celebrated its 10th anniversary on 24 October with an open house event at Sahlgrenska University Hospital. About fifteen biomedical engineering researchers from Chalmers and University of Gothenburg presented their research and their innovations together with Western Swedish biomedical engineering companies.<br /></div> <div><br /></div> <div><img src="/SiteCollectionImages/Institutioner/E2/Nyheter/Tio%20år%20av%20västsvensk%20samverkan%20kring%20medicinteknik/Demonstration_strokefinder_DSC_8768_500px.jpg" alt="Demonstration of Strokefinder" class="chalmersPosition-FloatLeft" style="margin:5px" />The biomedical company Medfield Diagnostics was demonstrating their portable instrument Strokefinder MD100. The device is used for decision-support to assist in clinical evaluation and triage of suspected intracranial injuries in the acute situation. It is currently used in a clinical study.​<br /><br /><img src="/SiteCollectionImages/Institutioner/E2/Nyheter/Tio%20år%20av%20västsvensk%20samverkan%20kring%20medicinteknik/demonstrationer_500px.jpg" class="chalmersPosition-FloatLeft" alt="Demonstrations at MedTech West" style="margin:5px" /></div> <div>Among the invited biomedical companies was Detecht, whose representatives were demonstrating their crash detection app used by motorcyclists. Nearby, Integrum was showcasing Neuromotus, a new innovative technology used for therapy to reduce phantom limb pain after an amputation.<br /></div> <div><br /></div> <div><a href="http://www.medtechwest.se/featured/medtech-west-celebrated-10-years-of-medtech-research-innovation-and-cooperation/" target="_blank"><img class="ms-asset-icon ms-rtePosition-4" src="/_layouts/images/icgen.gif" alt="" />Read an article from MedTech West about the celebrations​</a></div> <div><br /></div> <div><div><strong>Facts about MedTech West</strong></div> <div><ul><li>Founded in 2009 by Chalmers University of Technology, Sahlgrenska Academy at University of Gothenburg, University of Borås, Sahlgrenska University Hospital and Region Västra Götaland </li> <li>Works to improve conditions for research, development and innovations in the area of medical technology  through increased collaboration between academia, healthcare and industry</li> <li>Is a platform where new, innovative ideas can be collected and developed further</li> <li>Has contributed to the establishment of a well-functioning collaborative group together with Sahlgrenska Science Park, Gothia Forum, the Innovation Platform at Region Västra Götaland, Business Region Gothenburg and AZ BioVentureHub</li> <li>Works to ensure access to medical technology  expertise for the future</li></ul></div> <div><a href="http://www.medtechwest.se/" target="_blank"><img class="ms-asset-icon ms-rtePosition-4" src="/_layouts/images/icgen.gif" alt="" />Read more about MedTech West​</a><br /></div> <div><br /></div></div> <div><div><br /></div> <div><strong>Examples of Chalmers research within the framework of MedTech West</strong></div></div> <div><a href="/en/departments/e2/news/Pages/Microwaves-can-find-tumours-in-dense-breasts.aspx" target="_blank"><img class="ms-asset-icon ms-rtePosition-4" src="/_layouts/images/ichtm.gif" alt="" />Microwaves can find tumours in dense breasts ​​</a><br /></div> <div><br /></div> <a href="/en/departments/e2/news/Pages/Innovative-prosthetic-teamwork-rewarded.aspx"><img class="ms-asset-icon ms-rtePosition-4" src="/_layouts/images/ichtm.gif" alt="" /></a><div style="display:inline !important"><span style="background-color:initial"><a href="/en/departments/e2/news/Pages/Innovative-prosthetic-teamwork-rewarded.aspx"> </a></span><span style="background-color:initial"><a href="/en/departments/e2/news/Pages/Innovative-prosthetic-teamwork-rewarded.aspx">Innovative prosthetic teamwork rewarded </a></span></div> <div><br /></div> <div><div style="display:inline !important"><span style="background-color:initial"></span></div> <div><span style="background-color:initial"><a href="/en/departments/e2/news/Pages/The-app-that-alarms-by-itself-at-a-motorbike-accident.aspx"><img class="ms-asset-icon ms-rtePosition-4" src="/_layouts/images/ichtm.gif" alt="" />The app that alarms motorbike accidents by itself</a></span><br /></div> <div><br /></div> <a href="/en/departments/e2/news/Pages/Innovative-prosthetic-teamwork-rewarded.aspx"><font color="#333333"><span style="font-weight:300"></span></font></a><div><div><a href="/en/departments/e2/news/Pages/Sabine-Reinfeldt,-the-first-Henry-Wallman-prize-winner.aspx"><img class="ms-asset-icon ms-rtePosition-4" src="/_layouts/images/ichtm.gif" alt="" /><span style="background-color:initial">Sabine Reinfeldt, the first Henry Wallman prize winner</span></a><br /></div></div> <div><br /></div> <div><span></span><div><a href="/en/departments/e2/news/Pages/Microwave-helmet-yields-fast-and-safe-evaluation-of-head-injuries.aspx"><img class="ms-asset-icon ms-rtePosition-4" src="/_layouts/images/ichtm.gif" alt="" /><span style="background-color:initial">Microwave helmet yields fast and safe evaluation of head injuries</span>​</a><br /></div></div> <div><br /></div> <div><br /></div> <div><strong>For more information contact</strong><br /><a href="/en/Staff/Pages/mikael-persson.aspx">Mikael Persson</a>, <span style="background-color:initial">Professor of Biomedical Engineering at the department of Electrical Engineering, Chalmers University of Technology, and one of the initiators of MedTech West</span><span style="background-color:initial">​<br /><a href="mailto:%20mikael.persson@chalmers.se">mikael.persson@chalmers.se​​</a><br /></span></div> </div></div>Wed, 30 Oct 2019 00:00:00 +0100https://www.chalmers.se/en/departments/e2/news/Pages/Microwaves-can-find-tumours-in-dense-breasts.aspxhttps://www.chalmers.se/en/departments/e2/news/Pages/Microwaves-can-find-tumours-in-dense-breasts.aspxMicrowaves can find tumours in dense breasts<p><b>​Research on an alternative to the traditional mammography is conducted at Chalmers University of Technology. Instead of the current, often painful, X-ray examinations, microwaves can be used for medical imaging of breast tissue to, more accurately, detect breast cancer. The technique is particularly useful as it is capable of also detecting tumours in so called dense breasts.​​​</b></p><span style="background-color:initial"><img class="chalmersPosition-FloatRight" alt="Andreas Fhager" src="/SiteCollectionImages/Institutioner/E2/Nyheter/Mikrovågor%20används%20i%20kampen%20mot%20bröstcancer/Andreas_Fhager_0022,1B_200px.jpg" style="margin:5px;width:175px;height:218px" />&quot;Our research indicates that microwave technology can be more effective, gentler and easier than the alternatives available today to diagnose breast cancer”, says Andreas Fhager, Associate Professor of Biomedical electromagnetics at the department of Electrical Engineering at Chalmers.</span><div> </div> <div>The method has the potential to eventually replace today's screening, which women in Sweden aged 40-74 years are offered. Also, it would be advantageous to perform imaging examinations using microwaves to follow-up on patients undergoing breast cancer treatment.</div> <div> </div> <div><strong>Faster and cheaper system on its way</strong></div> <div>Within a year, the researchers estimate that they will have a prototype ready for evaluation in the lab setting, which can be used for clinical tests on patients. The new equipment consists of more standardised, and thus cheaper, electronic hardware. In parallel, the software is being adjusted to be able to process the image information faster.</div> <div> </div> <div>”Thereafter, we will be ready to start planning for clinical studies together with medical staff, to verify that the results obtained by microwave tomography correspond to what we expect”, says Andreas Fhager.</div> <div> </div> <div>Clinical studies using microwave technology to follow up on breast cancer tumours are already underway in the United States under the supervision of Professor Paul Meaney, the world's leading researcher in microwave technology for breast cancer imaging. In 2015, he was recruited to Chalmers on part-time and now transfers important knowledge to the Swedish project. The system that the Swedish research group is building is based on Paul Meaney's research. To further develop the method, collaboration is now under way between researchers in both countries.</div> <div> </div> <div><strong>Hidden tumours can be detected in dense breasts</strong></div> <div>Recently, it has been noted that dense beast tissue​ is one of the major risk factors for developing breast cancer, and the density itself makes it more difficult to detect the cancer.</div> <div> </div> <div>“Microwave technology would be better suited than traditional mammography to find tumours in women with so-called dense breasts&quot;, says Andreas Fhager. “The images we present show a cross-section of the breast in many layers, and no tumour can be hidden behind other glandular tissue. Very small tumours can also be detected.”</div> <div> </div> <div>The examination is performed while the patient is lying flat on the stomach on a bunk provided with an opening for the breast, which is lowered into a container with liquid underneath the bunk. In the container a number of narrow upright antennas are positioned, surrounding the breast. The antennas are both transmitters and receivers which in turn send faint microwave signals into the breast. The signals are refracted against the breast tissue and tumours, if any is present, and are then received by the antennas capturing the signal. Depending on whether the tissue is healthy or diseased, the microwaves are reflected in different ways. The pattern that the signals form is then analysed by advanced algorithms for image reconstruction.</div> <div> </div> <div>“The images we get are rich in contrast, which makes it easier for medical staff to distinguish and assess fat tissue, mammary tissue and tumours,” says Andreas Fhager. “This allows cancer diagnoses to be made more efficiently and accurately.”</div> <div> </div> <div><img class="chalmersPosition-FloatLeft" alt="Equipment for microwave tomography" src="/SiteCollectionImages/Institutioner/E2/Nyheter/Mikrovågor%20används%20i%20kampen%20mot%20bröstcancer/Brostcancerforskning_4977Lev_500px.jpg" style="margin:5px" /><span style="background-color:initial">The picture shows the researchers' prototype of the microwave tomograph. In the transparent container the upright antennas are standing in a cirlcle surrounding the breast. </span><span style="background-color:initial">The green coloured container will be filled with tissue mimicking liquid for tests of the imaging system. Some of the connected electronic equipment can be seen below.</span><span style="background-color:initial">​</span></div> <div>​Ph​oto: Henrik Sandsjö​<br /></div> <div><br /> <span style="background-color:initial"> </span></div> <div><strong>Enables follow-up examinations</strong></div> <div>Microwaves, unlike X-rays, emit no ionizing radiation. The research takes into account that microwave tomography is preferable from a radiation point of view, especially to perform repetitive examinations to follow up on how a cancer tumour responds to treatment. Another advantage is that the microwave technology is simple to handle, both for staff and patients. The technology has the prerequisite to become relatively inexpensive. A possible future scenario is small mobile units, that also can be used in developing countries, where healthcare is not fully expanded.</div> <div> </div> <div>”Many factors indicate that microwave technology has the potential to become a very effective method to fight breast cancer and to reduce mortality caused by the disease”, concludes Andreas Fhager.</div> <div> </div> <div><em>Text: Yvonne Jonsson</em></div> <div><span style="background-color:initial"><br /></span></div> <div><span style="background-color:initial"> </span><br /></div> <div><strong>What are microwaves?</strong></div> <div>Microwaves are electromagnetic radiation with shorter wavelength compared to &quot;ordinary&quot; radio waves used for radio communication, but with longer wavelength compared to, for example, visible light and X-rays. This is the same frequency range used, for example, for mobile telephony and wireless networks. The Chalmers researchers use frequencies of about 0.5-3 GHz.</div> <div> </div> <div><strong>Read more on the research</strong></div> <div><a href="/en/departments/e2/research/Signal-processing-and-Biomedical-engineering/Pages/Biomedical-electromagnetics.aspx">Biomedical electromagnetics research group​</a></div> <div> </div> <div><strong>For more information contact</strong></div> <div><a href="/en/Staff/Pages/andreas-fhager.aspx">Andreas Fhager</a>, Associate Professor of Biomedical electromagnetics at the department of Electrical Engineering at Chalmers</div> <div><a href="mailto:%20andreas.fhager@chalmers.se">andreas.fhager@chalmers.se</a></div> Fri, 25 Oct 2019 00:00:00 +0200https://www.chalmers.se/en/departments/e2/news/Pages/Unique-laboratory-opened-for-bionic-limb-prostheses.aspxhttps://www.chalmers.se/en/departments/e2/news/Pages/Unique-laboratory-opened-for-bionic-limb-prostheses.aspxUnique laboratory opened for bionic limb prostheses<p><b>​The world’s first laboratory for research on biomechatronics and neurorehabilitation of patients with limb loss has been established at Chalmers University of Technology. The lab is now equipped to advance the research even further.</b></p>​<span style="background-color:initial">“This lab is unique in the sense that our research includes one of the most intimate interfaces between man and machine that is clinically viable, meaning that patients benefit from using it in their daily lives&quot;, says Max Ortiz Catalan, Associate Professor at the Department of Electrical Engineering. </span><span style="background-color:initial">He is the researcher behind the world's first robotic arm connected to the patient’s bone, nerves, and muscles that provides sensations to the user.</span><div><br /></div> <div>The first patient got his bionic arm in 2013 and has up to now been followed by another five patients. According to the plan, the first mind-controlled prosthetic leg will be ready to be implemented in 2020. The laboratory at Chalmers is the hub for developing and testing the prostheses, and for evaluating how well this technology work for the patients. The overall purpose is to restore quality of life after traumatic events leading to amputations or motor impairments.</div> <div><br /></div> <div>“The patients are satisfied and state that they are able to live a more normal everyday life when using their prostheses. In this new lab we have much better opportunities to actually measure and quantify the function and usability. This is invaluable in the continued research work and to further improve the functionality of the bionic limbs”, says Max Ortiz Catalan.</div> <div><br /></div> <div>Among other things, the researchers are developing the function of artificial sensory feedback by which sensory information is sent back from the prosthesis to the brain. Research is also being successfully conducted on phantom limb pain, and treatments thereof, built on so called phantom motor execution, a novel treatment invented by Max Ortiz Catalan.</div> <div><br /></div> <div>The inauguration of the new laboratory was held on 25 September in the EDIT building at Chalmers. The ceremony gathered collaborators, representatives from foundations, researchers and doctoral students from Max Ortiz Catalan’s research team.</div> <div><br /></div> <div>The new facilities in the lab have been made possible, to a large extent, by a donation of SEK 5 million from the foundation IngaBritt och Arne Lundbergs Forskningsstiftelse. The laboratory and the activities taking place there have been built up in close cooperation with Sahlgrenska University Hospital and the company Integrum AB.</div> <div><br /></div> <div><table cellspacing="0" width="100%" class="chalmersTable-default" style="font-size:1em"><tbody><tr class="chalmersTableHeaderRow-default"><th class="chalmersTableHeaderFirstCol-default" rowspan="1" colspan="1">​<img src="/SiteCollectionImages/Institutioner/E2/Nyheter/Unikt%20labb%20invigt%20för%20tankestyrda%20proteser/Invigning_BNL_lab_190925_04_500x350px.jpg" alt="A patient cuts the ribbon" class="chalmersPosition-FloatLeft" style="margin:5px;font-weight:300" /></th> <th class="chalmersTableHeaderLastCol-default" rowspan="1" colspan="1">​</th></tr></tbody></table> <span style="background-color:initial">The patient Rickard Normark grabbed the scissors to cut the ribbon at the inauguration ceremony. His prosthetic arm is directly attached by a titanium screw to the skeleton in the amputation stump with an abutment penetrating the skin. The method is called osseointegration. The prosthesis is also connected by electrodes to his nervous system, providing him with sensory feedback when using it. This enables him to control the prosthetic limb by using his mind and to feel that the artificial arm is part of his own body.</span></div> <div><br /></div> <div><table cellspacing="0" class="chalmersTable-default" style="font-size:1em;width:100%"><tbody><tr class="chalmersTableHeaderRow-default"><th class="chalmersTableHeaderFirstCol-default" rowspan="1" colspan="1">​<img src="/SiteCollectionImages/Institutioner/E2/Nyheter/Unikt%20labb%20invigt%20för%20tankestyrda%20proteser/Invigning_BNL_lab_190925_02_500x300px.jpg" class="chalmersPosition-FloatLeft" alt="" style="margin:5px" /><br /><br /></th> <th class="chalmersTableHeaderLastCol-default" rowspan="1" colspan="1">​</th></tr></tbody></table> <span style="background-color:initial">Max Ortiz Catalan (number two from the left) presented the current research to representatives of the foundation Promobilia and professor Bo Håkansson (to the right).</span></div> <div><span style="background-color:initial"><br /></span></div> <div><img src="/SiteCollectionImages/Institutioner/E2/Nyheter/Unikt%20labb%20invigt%20för%20tankestyrda%20proteser/Invigning_BNL_lab_190925_10_275x350px.jpg" class="chalmersPosition-FloatLeft" alt="" style="margin:5px" /></div> <div><span style="background-color:initial">The industrial doctoral student Alexander Thesleff showcased, with the help from the guest researcher Victoria Lang, how the new medical treadmill will be used to analyse data from patients wearing a prosthetic leg. </span><br /></div> <div><span style="background-color:initial"><br /></span></div> <div><span style="background-color:initial"><br /></span></div> <div><br /></div> <div><table cellspacing="0" width="100%" class="chalmersTable-default" style="font-size:1em"><tbody><tr class="chalmersTableEvenRow-default"><td class="chalmersTableEvenCol-default" rowspan="1" colspan="1">​</td> <th class="chalmersTableHeaderFirstCol-default" rowspan="1" colspan="1"><img src="/SiteCollectionImages/Institutioner/E2/Nyheter/Unikt%20labb%20invigt%20för%20tankestyrda%20proteser/Invigning_BNL_lab_190925_13_500x300px.jpg" class="chalmersPosition-FloatLeft" alt="Demonstration of EEG equipment" style="margin:5px" /><br /><br /><br /><br /></th> <td class="chalmersTableOddCol-default" rowspan="1" colspan="1">​</td></tr></tbody></table> <span style="background-color:initial">The laboratory also includes advanced EEG equipment to measure the brain activity in patients, as was demonstrated by doctoral student Eva Lendaro and Max Ortiz Catalan during the inauguration.</span></div> <div><br /></div> <div><em>Text: Yvonne Jonsson​</em><br /></div> <div><em>Photo: Johan Bodell</em></div> <div><br /></div> <div><a href="http://www.bnl.chalmers.se/" target="_blank"><img class="ms-asset-icon ms-rtePosition-4" src="/_layouts/images/icgen.gif" alt="" />Read more about the Biomechatronics and Neurorehabilitation Lab</a></div> <div><br /></div> <div>Follow @ChalmersBNL in social media: <a href="https://www.facebook.com/ChalmersBNL/" target="_blank">Facebook</a>, <a href="https://twitter.com/chalmersbnl" target="_blank">Twitter</a>, and <a href="https://www.instagram.com/chalmersbnl/" target="_blank">Instagram​</a></div> <div><br /></div> <div><strong>For more information, contact</strong></div> <div><a href="/en/staff/Pages/max-jair-ortiz-catalan.aspx">Max Ortiz Catalan​</a>, Associate Professor, Department of Electrical Engineering, Chalmers University of Technology, <a href="mailto:%20maxo@chalmers.se">maxo@chalmers.se</a></div>Wed, 02 Oct 2019 00:00:00 +0200https://www.chalmers.se/en/departments/e2/news/Pages/Innovative-prosthetic-teamwork-rewarded.aspxhttps://www.chalmers.se/en/departments/e2/news/Pages/Innovative-prosthetic-teamwork-rewarded.aspxInnovative prosthetic teamwork rewarded<p><b>​The research team behind a new generation of bionic limbs has been awarded this year’s Henry Wallman prize in medical technology. In the winning trio is Max Ortiz Catalan from Chalmers University of Technology.​</b></p>​​<img src="/SiteCollectionImages/Institutioner/E2/Nyheter/Nytänkande%20protessamarbete%20prisas/Upper-limb_400px.jpg" class="chalmersPosition-FloatRight" alt="" style="margin:5px" /><span style="background-color:initial">The team, consisting of Rickard Brånemark, Max Ortiz Catalan and Kerstin Hagberg, has successfully developed a new type of prosthesis for patients with amputations. The new prosthesis is directly attached to the skeleton in the amputation stump with an abutment penetrating the skin. </span><div><br /><span style="background-color:initial"></span><div><div>Rickard Brånemark and Kerstin Hagberg have dedicated decades to clinically implement this superior method of mechanical attachment of a limb prosthesis to the body. Further collaborative work by Max Ortiz Catalan allowed to also connect the prosthesis to the users’ nervous system, so patients can control the artificial limb as their own biological extremity.</div> <div><br /></div> <div>In the justification of the prize, it is emphasized that the trio demonstrates how a good collaboration between representatives for different competences can combine basic research with surgery, medical engineering, and clinical work to create products and solutions that can benefit a large group of patients.</div> ​<img src="/SiteCollectionImages/Institutioner/E2/Nyheter/Nytänkande%20protessamarbete%20prisas/Lower-limb_250px.jpg" alt="Lower-limb prosthesis" class="chalmersPosition-FloatRight" /></div> <div><div>As the team includes rehabilitation in their work, the real-life use of the innovative prosthetic solution is ensured. The latter is also strengthened by the formation of Integrum AB; a company that further develops and markets the results.</div> <div><br /></div> <div>”Collaborative work between different disciplines is often sought but hard to achieve. I feel honored to have the possibility to work with highly competent individuals of a variety of backgrounds, who are willing to go through the hurdles of multi-disciplinary collaborations for a greater good. Several people have contributed to the creation and implementation of this technology, and I’m very grateful for their efforts. We will continue developing this technology further to restore even more function and reduce disability,” says Max Ortiz Catalan.  </div> <div><br /></div> <div><strong>The awarded team 2019</strong></div> <div>Rickard Brånemark – MSc (Chalmers), PhD, MD orthopaedic surgeon</div> <div>Max Ortiz Catalan – PhD, biomedical engineer</div> <div>Kerstin Hagberg – PhD, physiotherapist</div> <div><br /></div> <div>The prize will be awarded at the ceremony on December 11.<br /><a href="/en/about-chalmers/calendar/Pages/Henry-Wallman-Prize-Ceremony-2019.aspx"><img class="ms-asset-icon ms-rtePosition-4" src="/_layouts/images/ichtm.gif" alt="" />Read more and register before December 6.​</a></div> <div><br /></div> <div><strong style="background-color:initial">About the prize</strong><br /></div> <div>The Henry Wallman prize is an innovation prize in medical technology, awarded annually since 2018 to 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. </div> <div>Henry Wallman came to Chalmers in 1948 and was a pioneer in biomedical engineering research and development. An important part of Henry Wallman’s deed was his philosophy and vision around close collaboration between technical and medical expertise to achieve success.</div> <div><a href="http://www.medtechwest.se/collaboration-platforms/henry-wallman/" target="_blank"><img class="ms-asset-icon ms-rtePosition-4" src="/_layouts/images/icgen.gif" alt="" />More about the Henry Wallman prize​</a></div> <div>​<br /></div> <div><strong>Contact</strong></div> <div><a href="/sv/personal/redigera/Sidor/max-jair-ortiz-catalan.aspx">Max Ortiz Catalan</a>, Associate Professor, Department of Electrical Engineering, Chalmers University of Technology, <a href="mailto:%20maxo@chalmers.se">maxo@chalmers.se​</a></div> <div>Dr. Max Ortiz Catalan is an Associate Professor at the Biomedical Signals and Systems research unit at Chalmers, and founder of the Biomechatronics and Neurorehabilitation Laboratory (@ChalmersBNL). His research focus on neural control of artificial limbs via osseointegrated implants. This involves bio-electric signals acquisition and processing, neural interfaces, machine learning, osseointegration, and neurostimulation. Max Ortiz Catalan is leading the development and clinical implementation of the <a href="/en/projects/Pages/Natural-control-of-artificial-limb.aspx">Osseointegrated Human-Machine Gateway​</a>.</div> <div><br /></div> </div></div>Wed, 12 Jun 2019 14:00:00 +0200https://www.chalmers.se/en/areas-of-advance/energy/news/Pages/Researchers-in-quest-for-sustainable-food.aspxhttps://www.chalmers.se/en/areas-of-advance/energy/news/Pages/Researchers-in-quest-for-sustainable-food.aspxResearchers in quest for sustainable food<p><b>​“Forgotten” plants, insects and crops. A new initiative sees researchers studying knowledge from rural Kenya, in the hopes that it will lead to better health and a sustainable food supply.</b></p><div><span><img class="chalmersPosition-FloatLeft" alt="Ulf Svanberg. Photo: Maria Grahn" src="/sv/styrkeomraden/energi/nyheter/PublishingImages/Kenya%20Ulf%20Svanberg.jpg" style="margin:5px" /><strong>“</strong></span><span><strong>Fundamentally</strong></span><span><strong>, my approach is </strong>that </span><span>“Fundamentally, my approach is that challenges should be defined by those facing the problem. Sometimes, where we’re trying to improve the situation, we have ideas which seem good but which don’t really focus on the major problems. However, in this case I think we’re spot-on”, says Ulf Svanberg, Professor of Food and Nutrition Science at Chalmers.</span><br /></div> <div><span><br /></span> </div> <div><div><strong>The initiative was launched </strong>by President and CEO of Chalmers, Stefan Bengtsson, to bring about greater collaboration with Universities in East Africa. Keeping in mind the UN’s 17 Sustainable Development Goals - aimed at combating extreme poverty, reducing inequality and injustice in the world, promoting peace and justice and solving the climate crisis - Chalmers has identified three focus areas: food, water and energy. The partnership has been formed around Chalmers researchers from these fields.</div> <div>In early April, researchers from Chalmers and the Jaramogi Oginga Odinga University of Science and Technology, JOOUST met for a workshop in the Kenyan port of Kisumu, on the northern shores of Lake Victoria.</div></div> <div> </div> <div><strong><img class="chalmersPosition-FloatRight" alt="Monica Awuor Ayieko, photo by Maria Grahn" src="/sv/styrkeomraden/energi/nyheter/PublishingImages/Monica_A_JOOUSTIMG_7194-(002).jpg" style="margin:5px" />Before travelling, the researchers</strong> had sent descriptions of their specialist fields. But when Svanberg tried to find a potential partner with a background in food, he found that there really weren’t any.</div> <div>Then, along came Monica Awuor Ayieko, heading a research group whose focus included the nutritional value of insects, at the Africa Center of Excellence in Sustainable Use of Insects as Food and Feeds, INSEFOODS.</div> <div>“I had no expertise in that area, so I read a comprehensive research article from the Netherlands. Insects are eaten in Africa and Asia and I immediately saw the connection between Monica’s research and my own”.<br /><br /></div> <div>Svanberg has a well-established background in food and nutrition science. In the early 1980s, his first doctoral student was Alex Mosha in Tanzania, who worked at the country’s Food and Nutrition Centre. They travelled around, weighing and measuring children in rural areas to investigate the prevalence of malnutrition and anaemia.</div> <div>Iron deficiency anaemia and malnutrition are global health problems entailing diminished quality-of-life and increased risk of death from infectious diseases like measles and malaria. Currently, over half of preschool children in Africa are affected by iron deficiency anaemia.</div> <div><br /> </div> <div><strong>Svanberg and his doctoral student discovered Power Flour. </strong>This sprouted flour could transform the thick porridge the children were eating into a nutritious gruel and help reduce the number of malnourished children in the region. </div> <div>“Without enough protein, children will be of shorter stature relative to their age. There is research showing the societal effect of this, including lower GDP in countries where the population is iron-deficient,” explains Svanberg, pointing out that food and nutrition are at the centre of the UN’s global goals.</div> <div>“That’s how I got involved. I’ve also run research projects in a number of other countries such as Ethiopian, Uganda and Mozambique. But, up to now, Kenya was one of the few East African countries where I didn’t have a partnership.” </div> <div><br /></div> <div><strong>So, how do insects help? </strong><span>Iron from animal foods is easily absorbed by the body but the iron present in cereals such as rice and maize is much less absorbed.</span></div> <div>“This is the cunning part. If you add a little bit of meat with the cereals, more of the iron from the cereals is absorbed. Mixing insects into cereal foods may therefore have a   positive effect on iron uptake”, says Svanberg.</div> <div> </div> <div>At the Kisumu workshop, the researchers brought together a research project which they called “Hidden treasures of underutilised plants and insects: from molecule to landscape”.</div> <div>Svanberg explains that they set out to study and map insects and “forgotten” plants; nutrient-rich green leaves used in rural villages for purposes unknown to us. Researchers will also study land use in cultivation. Food wastage is a problem in Kenya, with some 30 percent of perishable foods in the cities going to waste.</div> <div><br /> </div> <div><img class="chalmersPosition-FloatLeft" alt="Cakes with a base of insects, photo by Maria Grahn" src="/sv/styrkeomraden/energi/nyheter/PublishingImages/Kenya_kakor.jpg" style="margin:5px" /><strong>“So, there’s a lot to do in this project. </strong>This is a new university, but the researchers we met are incredibly talented. They have a drive and a positive attitude to research collaboration. We’ve already appointed a tentative doctoral student for our project and a partnership within the other fields is also underway.</div> <div><br /></div> <div>Svanberg received a pack of biscuits from JOOUST, to which Monica had added 10 percent insects.</div> <div>“It tastes pretty much like shortbread but with a slightly bitter aftertaste. In June, when we discuss this partnership with the department, I’m going to hand those biscuits around at coffeetime!”</div> <div> </div> <div><strong>Just as the interview is ending</strong>, Svanberg mentions a quote from then US president, John F. Kennedy, at the first World Food Congress, held in Washington on June 4,1963:</div> <div>“We have the ability, as members of the human race, we have the means, we have the capacity to eliminate hunger from the face of the earth in our lifetime. We only need the will”.</div> <div>“President Kennedy was right. He understood and had the vision. It’s 40 years since I first came to Africa but now we’re finally here to realise the UN’s Sustainable Development Goals; to eliminate hunger and malnourishment by 2030.<br /><br /></div> <div>Maria Grahn is the photographer for all photos. From the top: Ulf Svanberg, Monica Awuor Ayieko and the biscuits.​<br />Text by: Ann-Christine Nordin<br /><br /><span style="font-weight:700">RELATED:</span><br /><a href="https://www.jooust.ac.ke/" style="background-color:rgb(255,255,255)"><img class="ms-asset-icon ms-rtePosition-4" src="/_layouts/images/icgen.gif" alt="" />JOOUST: Jaramogi Oginga Odinga University of Science and Technology​</a><br /><a href="/sv/styrkeomraden/energi/nyheter/Sidor/Halla-dar-Maria-Grahn.aspx" style="background-color:rgb(255,255,255)"><img class="ms-asset-icon ms-rtePosition-4" src="/_layouts/images/ichtm.gif" alt="" />Bygger broar med Östafrika</a> (More about the initiative in Swedish)<br /><a href="/en/departments/bio/news/Pages/Collaboration-with-Chalmers-to-reduce-malnutrition.aspx"><img class="ms-asset-icon ms-rtePosition-4" src="/_layouts/images/ichtm.gif" alt="" />Reduces malnutrition using germinated fluor</a><br /><a href="https://www.globalgoals.org/"><img class="ms-asset-icon ms-rtePosition-4" src="/_layouts/images/icgen.gif" alt="" />The Global Goals​</a><br /><br /></div>Fri, 07 Jun 2019 15:00:00 +0200