Theranostics, the combination of therapeutics and diagnostics in a medical system is becoming increasingly important for complex, multifunctional medical products. The registration of specific vital parameters and their multivariate analysis and evaluation in a multidimensional feature space form the diagnostic basis for the respectively necessary therapeutic measures. Their efficacy is often further optimized in a closed loop. The Fraunhofer Institute for Biomedical Engineering has all the necessary key technologies and resources to develop, produce and test such innovative systems including the required miniaturized sensors and actuators up to the licensing stage. This includes, in particular, clean room, measurement labs, electronics and software labs, precision-mechanics workshop and biotechnological labs, right up to S3 labs as well as the integration into health information systems including the necessary device technology and highly qualified staff. There is also extensive know-how of the aspects that have to be taken into account at the development stage for the future licensing as a medical product with the corresponding regulatory affairs including risk management and all the necessary documentation.
In view of the growing significance of theranostic systems for medical patient care and their high innovation potential, in summer 2015 all of the competences at the IBMT in this area were bundled in a single business area "Theranostics". This means that the existing synergies can be harnessed to an even greater extent than up to now on an interdepartmental and inter-working group basis and joint project groups for the handling of natinal and international research projects can be built. With the bundling of the expertise of the whole institute and the clear representation of the individual profiles in the business area, the collaboration with external scientific partners and industrial companies has been optimized further. The realization of R&D projects and a possible subsequent technology transfer takes place in results-oriented, successive phases including scientific-technical advice, feasibility study, prototype development and optimization of manufacturing technologies.
An important concern for the business area is the key project "Theranostic Implants", in which twelve Fraunhofer institutes are collaborating under the auspices of the IBMT. Bundling the technological possibilities has given rise to a marketable technology platform on the basis of which three demonstrators with a high relevance to the market have been devenloped, built up and tested as an example. With a skeletal, a cardiovascular and a neuromuscular demonstrator, almost the whole spectrum of currently relevant theranostic implants is covered. The requirements of the three demonstrators constitute the driving force for the technology development of the institute, and should thus lead to an innovative leap in medical technology. This unrivalled, Fraunhofer-specific approach of a key project harnesses the synergy potential by bringing together and interlocking the distributed competences of several institutes to achieve a joint solution to current challenges in the systems-medicine industry in the field of theranostic implants.
© Photo Fraunhofer IBMT, Bernd Müller.
Fraunhofer Lighthouse Project "Theranostic Implants"
Twelve Fraunhofer Institutes led by the Fraunhofer IBMT develop intelligent implants, combining therapeutic and diagnostic functions in a single medical device.