Our contribution to overcoming the Corona crisis

Professor Dr. Karin Mittmann hands over two ECG devices and a patient couch to the fire brigade headquarters in Steinfurt for the construction of a makeshift hospital during the corona crisis (Photo: FH Münster/Theresa Gerks)
Prof. Dr. Karin Mittmann from the EUREGIO BioMedtech Center of Münster University of Applied Sciences has awarded two ECG devices and a patient couch from her laboratory to the Steinfurt district. "It is now important to exhaust all possibilities, especially medical equipment cannot be procured at short notice," said Mittmann. "Our biomedical engineering students normally use the ECG devices for training in handling and device technology; they are as good as new and fully functional. We are happy to provide them and, if necessary, we can also instruct the staff on site in their use." Today (20 March), the fire brigade headquarters in Steinfurt collected the equipment and the couch, which will be used in a temporary hospital in Laer.

InMediValue project meeting at Münster University Hospital

They discuss the progress of the project on the mammography device at the University Hospital of Münster (from left: Dr. Anika Brameier (IKR), Brigitte Hurtienne (IKR), Prof. Dr. Karin Mittmann (Project Management "InMediValue", from the EUREGIO BioMedtech Center at the Department of Physical Engineering), Dr. Jerry de Groot (sigma screening), Monique van Lier (sigma screening), Ivo Arninkhof (sigma screening), Marlies Spandau (IKR) and Prof. Dr. Walter Heindel (IKR). (Photo: UKM/Wibberg)

Innovations for medical imaging: This is what the German-Dutch project "InMediValue" is all about, in which our university collaborates with representatives of the Institute of Clinical Radiology (IKR) at Münster University Hospital (UKM), the University of Twente and industrial partners from the Netherlands and NRW.

In concrete terms, a total of three projects are being worked on: Subproject 1 deals with the optimisation of breast compression in mammography - the interdisciplinary team aims to improve the comfort of screening mammography and at the same time increase the quality of settings and images. Subproject 2 focuses on the use of artificial intelligence in the early detection of breast cancer, while subproject 3 develops novel markers and their detection to better identify tissue changes in the body. The "InMediValue" project partners discussed the status of the respective subprojects at the UKM.

The basic aim of the INTERREG project is to develop modern techniques around medical imaging for concrete use in hospitals and medical practices. In the end, women in particular should benefit from improved diagnostics and early cancer detection.

Keep your hands up

The sterile dressing for use in the operating theatre was carried out by the students exactly according to instructions. (Photo: FH Münster/Theresa Gerks)

Dr. Helmut Ahrens gives a course on sterile work in the operating theatre at the FH Münster

"Unsterile, out!" and "Remember the altar boy!" were the two favourite sentences of Dr. Helmut Ahrens, who gave a further education à la Edutrainment - Education, Training, Entertainment - at the University of Applied Sciences Münster. Interactively, amusingly and highly instructive, the doctor at the Clinic for General Orthopaedics and Tumor Orthopaedics of the University Hospital Münster transformed the seminar room into an operating room and the 40 participating students of Biomedical Engineering into surgical assistants - in full uniform with smock, mouthguard and hood.

The top priority in the operating theatre is and remains: The environment and all persons must be sterile. Anyone who does not comply with this rule will be fired. The students learned, among other things, that for the operating theatre they have to rub disinfectant not only on their hands but also on their forearms. Under UV light, they could check how well they had done. And afterwards they were not allowed to bring their hands below the belt. "A little tip: Folding your hands like an altar boy is a bit more comfortable than just holding them up, it gets really tiring at some point," said Ahrens. Also a must: the greatest possible distance of at least 50 centimetres from objects and other people. If you have to get past somebody, you first look for close shoulder contact and then choose the back-to-back method: you roll yourself past them, so to speak, around the person - because the gowns in the operating theatre are closed at the back, and thus the backs are the zones that are least sterile.

Ahrens also had answers to the questions essential for the operating theatre. How does a long beard disappear under a mask? "Most of my colleagues put a pigtail in their mouths." With or without socks in the OR? "I like to go into my shoes without socks on and let the blood dry up and run down if something goes wrong at the operating table." What if I sneeze during surgery? "You walk back away from the patient as soon as possible and then sneeze all over him. The germs will either hang in your mouth guard or be shot off to the left and right sides." And why is everyone wearing green in the operating room? "If you look into an open abdominal cavity full of red blood for three hours and then look somewhere else, you'll see spots everywhere on light surfaces, you'll go crazy." The green intercepts this effect of the eye.

The winner of numerous teaching awards demonstrated an operation on an ankle joint to the course participants. He also explained to them the signs of ascending fainting, so that the future medical technicians could still leave the room in time. At the end, everyone in full surgical clothing was given gloves to put on. And don't forget: "If you shine as a student with ignorance, you will be exposed in the operating theatre.

Ahrens had come to the Steinfurt campus of Münster University of Applied Sciences for the first time with his advanced training course on sterile working "Sterile remains sterile even if it falls to the floor - Why there is no 3-second rule in the operating theatre" at the invitation of Prof. Dr. Karin Mittmann and her team from the Department of Physical Engineering. "Both bloody first-year students and master's students who are already in their final dissertation were enthusiastic about training sterile handling in the operating theatre", says Prof. Mittmann.

MEDICA 2019: Enthusiasm included!

Students of the Master's programme in Biomedical Engineering of the Münster University of Applied Sciences visited the Medica (Photo: Prof. Mittmann)

Trends in the medical industry, informative demonstrations and excellent opportunities to test the latest equipment systems live, the participants did not miss out on the excursion.

Top topic fluorescence and laparoscopy:

We informed ourselves in detail about the latest developments in laparoscopy, such as NIR fluorescence detection, and tested them hands-on. The students were impressed by the opportunity to discuss detailed questions with the developers and to compare the image quality of the videos from different manufacturers. We also tested the latest developments for 3D imaging of the laparoscopic surgical field. Some of the equipment systems that have not yet been CE-certified have already been presented to us in detail. The companies were very happy to take advantage of the students' interest to encourage them to submit unsolicited applications.

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We were able to test live very good software and hardware components that enable the surgeon to create a detailed and rotatable three-dimensional representation of an organ for planning the procedure. The participants were particularly enthusiastic when Prof. Mittmann introduced you directly to one of the company's employees who joined this highly innovative company 10 years ago after completing his master's degree in biomedical engineering at Münster University of Applied Sciences.


Thanks to the commitment of the EUREGIO BioMedtech Center team, a highly informative and free excursion to MEDICA, the world's largest medical trade fair, was made possible. Students take the enthusiasm and motivation for medical research and development with them, the best prerequisite for the planned applications in innovative companies and institutes! Translated with (free version)

Graduate thesis 2019

  • Creation of phantoms as model system suitable for near infrared (NIR) laparoscopy

  • Synthesis of superparamagnetic iron oxide nanoparticles in a polymethyl methacrylate matrix

  • Retrospective fusion of PET and MRT: Comparison of the visibility of liver lesions in positron emission tomography and diffusion-weighted and contrast medium-assisted magnetic resonance tomography

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