Technion researchers have transformed basic science into life-changing applications. The intersection of engineering and medicine at the Lorry I. Lokey Interdisciplinary Center for Life Sciences and Engineering has helped lay the foundation for a thriving medical device industry in Israel.
If you suffer from cancer, heart disease, or Parkinson’s disease, it’s possible that at least part of your treatment was developed at the Technion. Velcade, for the treatment of cancer, and Azilect, for the treatment of Parkinson’s, were invented by Technion scientists. Many medical innovations are helping to treat disease and improve the quality of life for people all over the world.
Breakthroughs in Medical Research
In a breakthrough that could change the future of pacemakers, researchers led by Assistant Professor Shelly Tzlil use mechanical stimulation to “train” cardiac cells to beat at a given rate. The findings demonstrate for the first time that direct physical contact with the cardiac cells isn’t required to synchronize their beating. As long as the cardiac cells are in the tissue being mechanically stimulated, they are trained by the stimulation, with long-lasting effects that persist even after it is stopped.
Researchers led by Prof. Hossam Haick have developed materials that can be integrated into flexible devices to “heal” incidental scratches or damaging cuts that might compromise device functionality. The advancement, using a new kind of synthetic polymer (a polymer is a large molecule composed of many repeated smaller molecules) has self-healing properties that mimic human skin, which means that e-skin “wounds” can quickly “heal” themselves in remarkably short time – less than a day.
Researchers led by Prof. Shulamit Levenberg have developed technology to tailor grafted tissues that can respond to certain natural forces affecting blood vessels. The researchers also found that matching the structure of the engineered vessels to the structure of the host tissues at the site of implantation helps the tissue implant integration, improving the chances that grafted tissues will survive.
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