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Clearly, as areas of research such as biomaterials or tissue engineering are developed for use in regenerative medicine, the range of opportunities will increase dramatically.

Josep Anton Planell, the director of the Institute for Bioengineering of Catalonia (IBEC), which was formed by the UB, the UPC and the Generalitat (Government of Catalonia) and has its headquarters in Barcelona Science Park, considers that “in the future, it will be possible to design intelligent biomaterials that, when placed where damaged tissue needs to be regenerated, will be able to stimulate the stem cells to do what we want them to do”.

Our aim is for this growing range of health systems for individual, rather than hospital, use to be available to everyone”.

The Group has designed a system for simultaneously detecting heart and respiratory rates that functions with force sensors, which are used to measure weight, even in conventional electronic scales.

Such technology includes lasers to identify the proteins expressed in the cell membrane, nanosensors that determine whether the cell is uptaking or excreting an ion such as potassium or calcium, biosensors to detect cancer markers, and atomic force microscopes that enable material to be handled on nanometre and nanonewton scales.

In short, a wide range of diagnostic systems have been designed that can more accurately detect the physiology and localization of a specific disease.

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Although sophisticated medical technology is already available in health systems in developed countries, further advances are constantly being made.Medical robot Medical robots are used with increasing frequency in the medical field.Surgeons no longer operate on the basis of their skill and experience alone.Andreu Català, the director of the Knowledge Engineering Research Group (GREC), stated that: “We do not aim to replace carers, but we do believe that technology can be a very useful complement, as it can help dependent people to feel more comfortable and more secure.Our aim is to develop innovative technology to improve their quality of life.” From the beginning, one of the main lines of work has involved analysing and monitoring human movement.To be able to intervene, therefore, we first need to be able to quantify and assess the signals that generate the cell response and form a language.” These processes occur at the molecular level or involve very low intensity stimuli.

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