The definition of Medical Technology is: the science in which technology is being applied by engineers in the medical science. This research-area covers numerous subjects, varying from development of non-invasive diagnostic techniques, like medical imaging (x-rays, positron emissions, magnetic resonance imaging, etc.) to the developing and applying of diagnostic instruments (ECG, Optic and ultrasonic perfusion monitoring, biochemical analysis of bodily fluids, etc.) and the development of medical aids (prostheses, implants, pacemakers, etc.).
With the core theme Medical Technology the HANNN facilitates the Healthy Ageing-programme of the RUG and the UMCG, inter alia on the subject of stem cell research, biomaterial research, “smart prostheses” and transplantation technology. The HANNN brings together researchers and the industry, by organising so-called Expert Meetings, in which researchers and entrepreneurs exchange thoughts and ideas on the initiation of new research and the development of new products. The HANNN works closely together with two other network-organisations, namely Springboard (Northern Netherlands) and Scanbalt (Northern Europe).
The Medical technology in the Northern Netherlands will focus on Regenerative medicine in the upcoming years, a research area in which stem cells are being used to achieve functional recovery of damaged tissue. Inside this research area, aside from the cultivation of cells and tissue, attention is paid to the development of aids that assist the cultivation and insertion of stem cells into tissue with the help of bioreactors and organ perfusion systems.
A cluster of companies and research departments, in the Northern Netherlands, of the RUG/UMCG are currently focusing on:
development and application of biomaterials;
- the prevention of unwanted blood-material or tissue-material interactions
- development of anticoagulation and antimicrobial coatings;
- analysis assessment of surface-characteristics of biomaterials;
- the development of medical applications of biomaterials (bloodpumps, extra physical corporeal circuits).
In the new discipline of Transplantation Technology , engineering techniques are being applied in order to improve the quality of donor organs. In the SPRINT programme of the RUG research is being done about the improvement of mobility of patients who are restricted in their movement.