Cardiac pacemakers have already saved thousands of lives; cochlear implants in the inner ear restore hearing to the deaf. In future, implants will be able to do far more. For example, glucose sensors implanted in the body will be able to measure the blood sugar levels of diabetes patients and pump insulin into their blood stream as necessary. Implants fitted with intelligent components enable more precise diagnostic procedures and more effective treatment than traditional medical products – and thus improve both the quality of medical treatment and the quality of life of the patients concerned. Microsystems help to modify implants to suit the human physiology; they are becoming smaller and at the same time more efficient.
Microsystems technology can facilitate the diagnosis of illnesses and infections and accelerate the development of drugs. Microsystems technology only requires very small quantities of viruses or diseased cells to diagnose diseases. The BMBF is funding the development of integrated microsystems for biotechnological applications in the field of mobile diagnostics as the trailblazer for personalized medicine.
Cardiovascular diseases are the most widespread diseases in Germany. Their effective treatment depends on timely diagnosis and constant observation of the patients concerned. The BMBF is funding the development of monitoring systems for the prevention and diagnostic monitoring of cardiovascular patients. These systems can monitor blood pressure, pulse, heart rhythm or breathing 24/7 without the patient having to be admitted to hospital.
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