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A new biosensor for the COVID-19 virus

Detection in the environment

23-Apr-2020

A team of researchers from Empa, ETH Zurich and Zurich University Hospital has succeeded in developing a novel sensor for detecting the new coronavirus. In future it could be used to measure the concentration of the virus in the environment - for example in places where there are many people or ...

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How to mend a broken heart

Sticky proteins from sea mussels

19-Feb-2020

If the heart muscle is damaged, repairing the constantly active organ is a challenge. Empa researchers are developing a novel tissue adhesive inspired by nature, which is able to repair lesions in muscle tissue. They have taken advantage of the incredible ability of marine mussels to adhere to ...

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Tiny pharmaceuticals in the environment

09-Jan-2020

Nanomedicine is making headways. However, the tiny nanoparticles that are being used as carriers for drugs could find their way into water, soil and air. Empa researchers are investigating potential risks. Fear is a bad counselor. In the comic book series "Asterix", the Gaul chief Vitalstatistix ...

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Paradoxical replacement tissue for medicine

06-Dec-2019

A material that thickens when you pull on it seems to contradict the laws of physics. However, the so-called auxetic effect, which also occurs in nature, is interesting for a number of applications. A new Empa study recently published in "Nature Communications" shows how this amazing behavior can ...

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The view through the bandage à la James Bond

Espionage for wound healing: On Your Medicine's Secret Service

28-Nov-2019

Whether a wound heals well under a dressing cannot be seen from the outside. Empa researchers are now enabling a view through the bandage à la James Bond. The refined application of terahertz radiation could promote the analysis of multi-layered tissues for medical purposes and be used for wound ...

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Babies burdened by environmental estrogens in mothers' wombs

14-Oct-2019

Early childhood life in the womb is particularly sensitive to the effects of environmental pollutants. A team from Empa and the University of Vienna has now for the first time been able to show how a pollutant from contaminated food - the environmental estrogen zearalenone - spreads in the womb ...

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Wood on our Skin

Flexible, biocompatible nanocellulose sensors

10-Oct-2019

Physiological parameters in our blood can be determined without painful punctures. Empa researchers are currently working with a Canadian team to develop flexible, biocompatible nanocellulose sensors that can be attached to the skin. The 3D-printed analytic chips made of renewable raw materials ...

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Scars: gone with the foam

Prevent excessive scarring

19-Aug-2019

Poorly healing wounds and severe scarring are more than just a cosmetic problem; they can significantly impair a person's mobility and health. Empa researchers have now developed a foam that is supposed to prevent excessive scarring and help wounds to heal quickly. An essential ingredient: the ...

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The most successful flat share in the world

Fighting unwanted biofilms

18-Jul-2019

Biofilms are enormously resistant accumulations of germs, which can cause serious problems, especially in hospitals. Like a single large creature, they can spread within wounds or colonize implants or biomedical products. With novel materials and surfaces researchers intend to combat the sturdy ...

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Microplastics in freshwaters

The risks to the environment are (still) low

16-May-2019

Sea birds dying in agony with a belly full of plastic garbage; plastic accumulations as big as islands: Virtually everyone has seen pictures like these today. But there are also plastic particles that are barely visible to the eye - microplastics. The danger posed by these tiny particles has ...

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