© Fraunhofer IBMT, Bernd Müller.
S3 laboratory: central facility of the Collaboration for AIDS Vaccine Discovery (CAVD) funded by the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation.

Medical Biotechnology


Department Cryo & Stem Cell Technology


  • research and development of novel cell culture and screening systems with focus on miniaturization, parallelization and automation
  • development of new concepts for automation of cell culture procedures in the area of stem cell research
  • integration of complete cell culture processes of automation technologies using robotics and microfluidics
    • automated toxicity testing
    • automated hiPSC differentiation
  • development of novel analysis methods for the investigation of three-dimensional cell constructs under miniaturized conditions
  • research and development in the area of cryobiology and biotechnology
    • development of novel sterile vitrification protocols
    • development of new vitrification substrates
    • development of chemical defined high performance cryo media
  • cell and tissue-specific optimization of cryopreservation processes
    • vitrification of hiPSCs on alginate microcarriers
    • cryopreservation of multicellular constructs
    • cryopreservation of adherent cell systems
  • development of optimized disposables for cultivation, manipulation and live storage of viable cells and tissue at cryogenic temperatures

Biomedical Optics

  • confocal and non-linear laser scanning microscopy for tasks in biomedical and materials science (fluorescence and Raman, multiphoton excitation, second harmonic imaging)
  • optical spectroscopy (UV/Vis/Nir absorption, fluorescence, Raman)
  • laser scanning cryomicroscopy and cryogenic calorimetry
  • laser-based 3D micro and nanostructuring of polymers, metal films, silicon and biological material
  • fluorescence lifetime imaging (FLIM), spectrally resolved fluorescence lifetime imaging (S-FLIM)
  • concepts for functional optical sensors and imaging
  • design of miniaturized scanners and optics
  • conception and execution of optical-microscopic studies on cells, cell assemblies, tissues and non-biological samples (confocal, nonlinear, transmission, fluorescence) for biology, pharmacy and materials science
  • conception and execution of optical-spectroscopic studies (UV/Vis/NIR)
  • application and evaluation of molecular probes for imaging of physical, chemical and biological environmental parameters in biomedicine and non-biological application fields
  • application and evaluation of optical biomarkers (contrast agents, molecular imaging) for diagnostics, monitoring and research
  • development and adaptation of optical sensor concepts and architectures
  • development and adaptation of imaging optical contrast processes for biomedicine and materials science
  • 3D spatially resolved photochemistry: photopolymerization, uncaging etc.
  • ablative laser micro processing
  • fluorescence-spectroscopic measurements (200-900 nm)
  • absorption-spectroscopic measurements (200-3300 nm)
  • laser scanning microscopy: confocal reflexion and fluorescence, multiphoton microscopy
  • SHG microscopy for specific and marker-free representation of collagen, starch, myosine, etc.
  • wide field microscopy
  • development of imaging methods for long-term time-lapse monitoring of biological systems using automated image analysis
  • characterization of biopolymers (e. g. alginate) for cell culture of therapeutically relevant cell systems
  • development of stimuli-responsive surfaces for cell culture of therapeutically relevant cell systems

Automation Processes

  • automated biobanking of biological material, micro-organisms and
    clinical samples under BSL 2 according to the genetic engineering act, infection protection act, biological agents regulations (DIN EN ISO9001:2015)
  • optimization and validation of automated cell culture processes
    • cultivation of cell lines and induced pluripotent stem cells
    • production of HIV-1 pseudo-type viruses (“Good Clinical Laboratory Practice” (GCLP) - conform)
    • reprogramming und differentiation of induced pluripotent stem cells
  • automation of cell-based assays and processes
    • cytotoxicity assays, neutralization assays, ELISpot, embryonic stem cell assay, aliquoting, cryopreservation
    • optimization and validation up to certification under a quality management system


Department Bioprocessing & Bioanalytics

Biomonitoring & Biobanks

  • planning, organization and management of sampling events of human and environmental samples (collection and documentation of medical history data, diary habits, life circumstances and lifestyle as well as further information on exposure relevant behaviour using standardized questionnaires)
  • standardized analysis of clinical chemical parameters of human samples (blood, plasma, 24-hour urine collection)
  • biometrical characterization of human and environmental samples
  • development of protocols for biometrical sample characterization
  • sample preparation and cryopreservation
  • cryopreservation, cryostorage and administration of collected human and environmental samples
  • transport of samples under cryogenic conditions
  • statistical evaluation and interpretation of chemical and clinical data, data on body burden and medical history and biometrical data
  • elaboration and optimization of standard operating procedures (SOPs) according to ISO EN DIN/IEC 17025
  • operation of the cryo-repository of the German Environmental Specimen Bank (ESB) at Münster/Wolbeck
  • isolation and cultivation of adult stem cells of skin and inner organs of different animal species
  • characterization of adult stem cells of animal origin
  • cryopreservation and cryostorage of adult stem cells of animal origin

Cellular Bioprocessing

  • biobanking of microorganisms and clinical samples up to biological safety level (BSL) S3 according to genetic engineering act, infection protection act, biological agents regulations
  • production of bio-reagents (e. g. virus strains, GCLP-compliant)
  • optimization and validation of biological processes and technologies (up to certification in a quality management system)
  • cell cultivation
  • cell differentiation
  • automation of cell-based assays and processes (up to certification in a quality management system)
  • neutralization assays
  • immunoassays
  • aliquoting of samples
  • optimization of cryoprocesses (e. g. cryo media and freezing procedures)
  • training (approx. 10 people)
    o general cell culture
    o automated cell culture
    o transfection of eukaryotic cells
    o working with infectious material
    • processing of peripheral mononuclear blood cells derived from whole blood
    • new methods of cryopreservation
    • vitality determination using flow cytometry
    • cell characterization using flow cytometry
    • measurement of immune responses (e. g. ELISpot)
    • bioluminescence assays
    • bacterial transformation
    • plasmid preparation
    • restriction digest
    • cloning
    • agarose gel electrophoresis
    • detection and analysis of proteins using Western Blot
    • introduction to quality assurance programs (e. g. Good Clinical Laboratory Practice – GCLP)
    • compilation of SOPs

Preclinical Nanomedicine

Preclinical testing of nanoparticular formulations

  • examination of the interaction of nanomaterials with and crossing of biological barriers (e. g. blood-brain barrier, intestinal barrier, skin and lung barrier) from primary and stem cells
    • measurement of transendothelial electrical resistance (TER) using impedance spectroscopy
    • radionuclide-based assays
  • implementation of suitable cell culture models for specific tumour targeting
  • establishment of stem cell-based 3D cell culture models (e. g. organoids)
  • proof of cellular uptake and subcellular distribution
  • release, recovery and activity studies of incorporated ingredients
  • drug screening, vascularization studies and cytotoxicity studies at HET-CAM system (Hen` s Egg Test on chorioallantoic membrane)
  • portfolio of cell lines and primary cell-based models for nanotoxicological studies
  • cytotoxicity studies according to ISO 10993/EN 30993
  • radionuclide-based and immunological assays

Production of nanoparticular transport systems

  • production of biocompatible protein- and polymer-based nanoparticular transport systems for e. g. RNA, DNA, proteins or drugs
  • modification of nanoparticles with e. g. antibodies, peptides or polymers
  • physicochemical characterization of colloidal and nanoparticular formulations


REACH – Toxicological assessment by international standards

  • assessment of the toxic potential of nanomaterials, chemicals, new materials and medical products
    • toxicological standard assessment according to REACH-test procedures (EC 440/2008)
    • acute & sub-chronic toxicity studies according to international standards (ISO, OECD)
    • studies for genotoxicity, neurotoxicity, cancerogenity, mutagenity
    • cytotoxicity studies (according to ISO 10993-5) and immunotoxicological assessment
    • vascularization test (HET-CAM assay) (Hen` s Egg Test on chorioallantoic membrane)
    • 3R alternatives to animal studies
      • reporter cell-based assays
      • single cell-based assays
      • miniaturized cell-based assays
      • radionuclide-based assays
      • individually developed assays
    • microchip-based toxicity studies
    • physicochemical characterization of (nano)materials and degradation products
    • portfolio of cell line- and primary cell-based models for (nano)toxicological studies

Route of entry of nanoparticles in the organism

  • investigation of human and ecotoxicological exposure scenarios
    • in-vitro-/ex-vivo-exposure at air-liquid-interfaces (e. g. lung barrier, skin barrier) and at liquid-liquid-interfaces (e. g. intestinal barrier, blood-brain barrier)
    • in-vitro-and ex-vivo studies of human toxicological effects in the low dose range
    • proof of cellular uptake and the sub-cellular distribution in vitro
    • development of analytical tools for sensitive determination of the environmental fate and characteristics of nanomaterials in low dose range
    • ecotoxicological studies
    • microchip-based systems for cell cultivation and cell analysis
    • 3D, primary, multicell models, tissue models (e. g. liver)
    • nanotoxicity, chemicals, drug screening
    • compatibility studies of medical products
    • alternative test systems for nanotoxicity studies


Equipment of the Main Department of Medical Biotechnology

Brochure of Main Department of Medical Biotechnology

Product Information Sheets of the Main Department of Medical Biotechnology

Projects of the Main Department of Medical Biotechnology

All Publications of the Main Department of Medical Bioechnology

Press Releases of the Main Department of Medical Biotechnology

Student Works in the Main Department of Medical Biotechnology