// favicon ?> //fontovi ?> //stilovi ?>
Knowledge and technology transfer are today’s buzz words and represent a third pillar and objective of modern university. Top universities perform activities that compete and collaborate: academic research and teaching, but also providing services, establishing start-up companies, licensing technologies and selling know-how. Innovations in biomedicine depend on successful transferring of research results from laboratories to the clinical practice for helping patients. Various funding agencies require, or at least stimulate, participation of industrial partners in the research consortia in order to facilitate utilization of results and strengthen their impact on society. Pharmaceutical industry collaborates and builds strategic partnership with academic institutions in order to get access into valuable knowledge not present within companies. Universities have established technology transfer offces where professionals with multidisciplinary background support researchers in these activities. Various institutions have different approaches towards intellectual property management strategies and utilization of research results. Presentation will focus on several approaches focusing on the US National Institutes of Health as top world institution for biomedical research and few European examples and will compare them with the situation at University of Zagreb School of Medicine. Despite the slow climate change and raising awareness of the need for involvement in the technology transfer process, there are few encouraging examples.
Clean intermittent catheterization (CIC) is widely advocated as an effective bladder management strategy for patients with incomplete bladder emptying due to idiopathic or neurogenic bladder dysfunction. Patients undergo CIC up to 10 times a day in order to treat urine retention. However, there are several complications linked to CIC, while most common ones are catheter-associated urinary tract infections (CAUTIs). Prevalence of CAUTIs ranges from 41-64% for hydrophilic catheter and 61-82% for PVC catheters per year, i.e. 6,7 – 2,1 UTIs per capita per year. In USA, CAUTIs cause more than 1 million infections per year. Expenses of treatment of CAUTIs are estimated to be over 1 billion USD per year. Safety and effcacy of hydrophilic urinary catheters has been proven scientifcally, making the hydrophilic layer a “golden standard” in the manufacturing of the urinary catheters. However, this improvement didn’t have the suffcient positive effect on the eradication of CAUTIs, but rather in the reduction of the mentioned complications. There are currently several antibacterial urinary catheters on the market, including nitrofurazone impregnated and gentamicine lubricated catheters. Problems with nitrofurazone catheters are bacterial resistance and growth of nonsusceptible organism at prolonged exposure to the substance. Gentamicine lubricated catheters also showed no clinical effcacy when compared to placebo. GuardianCath is an intermittent hydrophilic urinary catheter secured with an antiseptic solution in order to prevent catheter-associated urinary tract infections (CAUTIs). The main difference between GuardianCath and other antibacterial catheters is that GuardianCath is the only one that cannot induce bacterial resistance due to the unspecifc activity of the antiseptic agent. The antiseptic agent is applied on the catheter surface ex tempore. It bonds chemically to the hydrophilic layer on the catheter surface and creates a mechanical barrier between bacteria and catheter surface, making catheter safe from bacteria adhesion. The invention can be combined with any other hydrophilic catheter on the market, which will enable faster spreading of the invention around the world. Ultimate goal is to eradicate catheter-associated urinary tract infections and make users safe while performing CIC
Modern medicine relies profoundly on the application of high technology, where information technology emerges as a critical complementary area that signifcantly contributes to the development of medical science and medical practice. Digitalization is unavoidable direction in the evolution of modern medicine. However, we are at a turning point of the development of IT, a changing from virtual to cyber-physical. Therefore, it is necessary to adopt new approaches and new understanding of science and culture: from “data driven” to “AI things driven” concept. This means that we are entering the era of the new technological revolution, which is characterized by “smart things”, actually by the systems that convert information into action. Such systems are commonly referred to as robots. The use of robots in medicine seems like a huge potential for improving various technically and/or physically demanding medical procedures and specifc skills that physicians must possess in addition to theoretical and experiential knowledge in the scope of his profession. However, the use of robots in medicine, despite numerous tangible benefts, is faced with a number of scientifc and technical challenges. The presentation will highlight the main directions of the development of medical robotics, possible advantages of application, as well as problems. Special attention will be given to the Croatian project RONNA - robotic system for stereotactic neurosurgical operations, as well as its clinical application
Bacteria and Archaea display a variety of phenotypic traits and can adapt to diverse ecological niches. However, systematic annotation of prokaryotic phenotypes is lacking. We have therefore developed ProTraits, a resource containing approx. 545 000 novel phenotype inferences, spanning 424 traits assigned to 3046 bacterial and archaeal species. These annotations were assigned by a computational pipeline that associates microbes with phenotypes by text-mining the scientifc literature and the broader World Wide Web, while also being able to defne novel concepts from unstructured text. Moreover, the ProTraits pipeline assigns phenotypes by drawing extensively on comparative genomics, capturing patterns in gene repertoires, codon usage biases, proteome composition and co-occurrence in metagenomes. Notably, we fnd that gene synteny is highly predictive of many phenotypes, and highlight examples of gene neighborhoods associated with spore-forming ability. A global analysis of trait interrelatedness outlined clusters in the microbial phenotype network, suggesting common genetic underpinnings. Our extended set of phenotype annotations allows detection of 57 088 high confdence gene-trait links, which recover many known associations involving sporulation, ﬂagella, catalase activity, aerobicity, photosynthesis and other traits. Over 99% of the commonly occurring gene families are involved in genetic interactions conditional on at least one phenotype, suggesting that epistasis has a major role in shaping microbial gene content.
At his lecture, prof. Bojan Biočina will present the history and the technological advancement of cardiac surgery, a highly technological feld which, after a period based on pioneers’ ingenuity, knowledge and boldness, drains its current peaks out of highly sophisticated science and technology. Along with minimally invasive, transcatheter, nanosurgery and other high-tech breakthroughs, a special stress in this lecture will be put on presenting one of the technologically most demanding parts of cardiothoracic surgery: the mechanical circulatory support and a complexly artifcial heart - an evolution from biological transplantation to this, now already almost equally successful, method of treating the most severe cases of heart disease. Prof. Bojan Biočina (1957) specialized in cardiac surgery in Cambridge, UK. In April 2008 he was elected Head of the Department
of Cardiac Surgery at the University Hospital Centre Zagreb, a duty he still holds. During his career, he participated in a number of pioneer accomplishments in cardiac surgery in Croatia, e.g. he was a part of the team which performed the frst heart transplantation, the frst complete arterial revascularization of the myocardium and minimally invasive surgery of the valves. In 2008 he implanted he frst circulatory pump in Croatia, in 2009 he was the frst to successfully transport a patient on an extracorporeal circulation support and, in 2014, was the frst in the country to complete an artifcial heart implant as a mechanical equivalent of heart transplantation
Azoospermia is the most diffcult form of male infertility that affects 8-20% of infertile patients. It is divided into obstructive and non-obstructive form (OA, obstructive azoospermia, NOA, non-obstructive azoospermia). In the case of OA, the vast majority of testicular parenchyma is preserved. A signifcant number of seminiferous tubules have a full spermatogenesis. In contrast to OA, NOA is much more severe type of azoospermia, with extensive changes in the structure of the male sex gland and impaired spermatogenesis. However, in 60-70% of patients with NOA there are foci of spermatogenesis with a maintained production of mature spermatids and/or spermatozoa (“mixed atrophy of seminiferous tubules”). These cells can be used for ICSI (Intracytoplasmic injection of a spermatozoon into the oocyte) after the application of microsurgical procedure - open biopsy of the testis with cryopreservation. This procedure is both a diagnostic and a therapeutic procedure during which several bioptic pieces of the tissue (usually from both testicles) are taken for histological analysis and cryopreservation. Due to the cryopreservation, a mini-bank of testicular biopsies for a given patient is formed. Testicular sperm extraction (TESE) and ICSI procedure may be repeated several times, using frozen biopsy material. Thus, the patient with azoospermia, as a rule, is subjected to a single surgical procedure. A detailed histological analysis involves determining the degree of preservation of spermatogenesis and routine detection of possible carcinoma in situ using immunohistochemical methods. Using our technique of tissue handling and freezing-thawing, we were able to isolate spermatozoa in more than 60% of cases with azoospermia. It can be concluded that the biopsy of the testis with cryopreservation proved to be an effective method of treatment of patients with both OA and NOA.