Nanomaterials under the microscope

In her PhD, Annelies De wael studied nanomaterials - materials so small that you need an incredibly powerful microscope to see them. And even then you only see a fraction of them. That is why Annelies worked on mathematical models and simulations to be able to see the entire nanomaterial based on the incomplete picture. And that can help researchers develop the most diverse applications: from a ketchup bottle that empties easily to solar panels that produce even more renewable energy!
Op de Beeck

Breathing during sleep: much more than in and out

Snoring is very annoying in itself (especially for roommates), but sometimes there is more to it. In some people, the upper airway closes up to 15 times an hour during sleep. This condition has obstructive sleep apnoea. Sara Op de Beeck explains how she wants to use data to help patients get the best treatment, so that it can be quiet in their bedroom again. 😴

A slick CAR in the race against leukaemia

Cancer is a sneaky disease. For instance, cancer cells sometimes manage to disguise themselves, outrunning our immune system. Gils Roex (UAntwerpen - FWO) explains how equipping our white blood cells with a cleverly designed CAR could well help win the race against blood cancer. Want to know more? Fasten your seatbelts & watch the video 🏎

Google Maps in the brains of people with Alzheimer's

Did you know that the number of people with Alzheimer's disease is likely to triple by 2050? The good news is that for some years now, Alzheimer's research has been gaining momentum, thanks in part to innovative techniques. Lena Duchateau uses one such technique: in situ sequencing, or the Google Maps of the brain. She guides you through this in this video.

Is diabetes the price to pay for a kidney transplant?

In 1933, the very first kidney transplant was performed. Unfortunately, the patient died two days later due to rejection symptoms. The development of anti-rejection drugs provided a solution, but also came with a price: over 1 in 5 patients now develop diabetes after a transplant. Yassine Laghrib (UAntwerpen) explains why and how doctors are looking for a solution.

Do you hear me?

People with hearing loss do not only struggle with hearing problems. Hearing loss can also cause loneliness, emotional problems, and even an increased risk of dementia in the elderly. So after hearing implant placement, one should not only focus on hearing, but also on quality of life, explains Ellen Andries.

Perovskite lasers can lead to exciting new applications

Lasers are not just toys to entertain cats. They can be found in many applications, such as scanners in supermarkets or for facial recognition on your latest smartphone. But there are even more fascinating innovations ahead of us ... if we can build even better lasers. That's what Iakov Goldberg (KU Leuven - Imec) is hoping to achieve. Can you believe that some of these novel perovskite lasers are assembled very similar to how you prepare your breakfast sandwich? 🥪 
KU Leuven

How to cure the Pac-Mans in our cells

Do you remember Pac-Man, from that old skool computer game? Well, did you know that there are Pac-Mans in every single cell of our body? They're called enzymes. Some of these enzymes work too fast or too slow, and this can cause severe diseases. Michaela Prothiwa (KU Leuven) explains how she wants to track down these malfunctioning enzymes using a clever piece of chemistry.

A story of our global garden: plants storing excess CO2

Plants capture CO2 and, through photosynthesis, convert it into green leaves. Over the past 30 years, the increase in CO2 in the atmosphere has thus led to a widespread increase in the number of green leaves around the world. But recently, there has been a shift: the increase in the number of green leaves is slowing down even though CO2 levels are still rising. Vaidehi Narsingh (Imec - UAntwerp) explains why she is determined to find out what is happening.
KU Leuven

How to generate power with flexible solar cells

Imagine if cars, windows, or even walls would be able to generate power? New, flexible, and ultra-thin perovskite solar cells could make this a reality, but there's a catch. Perovskite solar cells have a limited lifetime as they degrade under light and heat. Imec-researcher Wenya Song is looking to improve the lifespan of perovskite solar cells.
KU Leuven

How an African fish might help repair brain damage in old age

What if your brain could heal itself when damaged? Science fiction? Not for the African turquoise killifish! Neuroscientist Valerie Mariën is studying this remarkable fish and how it is able to repair its brain, in the hope that in the future she will be able to help people with brain damage. 
KU Leuven

The search for a medicine for life-threatening fungal infections

About 1 billion people contract a fungal infection every year. Often it is only a superficial infection, but in some cases, it is worse and the fungus can get into the bloodstream. If that happens, you only have one chance in two of surviving. Jana Nysten wants to help increase that chance of survival by looking for a new medicine.