Engineering healthier bodies
If you have ever scratched yourself or got a bruise, you know that our bodies are pretty good at healing themselves. However, they are not so great at dealing with bigger injuries and more serious illnesses. Luckily, scientists and engineers are working tirelessly to find creative ways to help our bodies heal. During this evening of Pint of Science, you will hear from two researchers who are experimenting with materials that you encounter daily in your life to address these challenges.
Ever wondered why plastics can save a person’s life?
Sandra Van Vlierberghe
Nowadays plastics, also known as polymers, suffer from a negative reputation due to their role in environmental pollution. However, they are indispensable to human life with applications in cars, clothes, food packaging and healthcare. Indeed, most implants are based on polymers. Polymers can be even applied to regenerate human tissues, which is an ideal alternative to tackle the current donor shortages. Specifically, I will talk about 3D printing to develop patient-specific implants.
Centre of Macromolecular Chemistry, University of Ghent
Microchips to battle neurodegenerative disease
The aging population will drastically increase the social and financial burden for future generations. Neurodegenerative disorders, such as Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s disease, affect millions of people. Meanwhile, the causes of most neurodegenerative diseases are only partly understood, and there are still no effective therapies to cure, prevent, or even treat these disorders. At imec we use microchip technology to study disease mechanisms using human stem cells and try to shed light on novel treatments for devastating diseases.