Here are a few examples of our extensive portfolio.
Here are a few examples of our extensive portfolio.
"Induced pluripotent stem cells" (iPSC) have the potential to differentiate again into almost every cell type of the human body and are ethically unproblematic. They enable the production of patient- or disease-specific cell models for the discovery and development of new and more efficient drugs. For this purpose, it is necessary to produce the required cells in the required number and quality. There is a deficit in universally applicable, highly scaled and validated bioprocess technologies for the production and preparation of high-quality stem cells and cells derived from them. One problem is the lack of specifically adapted materials with the ability to provide suitable bioactive surfaces or scaffolding structures in 2D and 3D cultivation.
The Fraunhofer Project Center for Stem Cell Process Engineering in Würzburg combines the expertise for automating biomedical workflows in the field of iPS cells of the Fraunhofer Institute for Biomedical Engineering IBMT and the materials science competence of the Fraunhofer Institute for Silicate Research ISC at one location. It thus offers an integrated portfolio for the development of application-specific high-throughput production processes for stem cell applications. The aim is to transfer stem cell processes to an industrial scale by means of automation solutions and to improve them with the help of novel materials in the field of cell expansion, differentiation and cryopreservation.
More than ten years of interdisciplinary research in the field of cryobiotechnology at the Fraunhofer Institute for Biomedical Engineering (IBMT) have led to the internationally and technologically leading alliance of biobanks, the so called "Fraunhofer BioArchive", and to the establishment of the "Association of German Cryobanks" (Gemeinschaft Deutscher Kryobanken GDK). The realized and commercially available biobank technology platform is based on more than 40 patent families of the Fraunhofer IBMT. The Fraunhofer IBMT is a system provider for therapeutically and diagnostically oriented biobanks and offers innovative possibilities for partners from industry and research to develop new cryomedia, optimized freezing protocols, storage on demand as well as planning and validation of industrially and clinically structured modern biobanks for storing valuable samples. The institute is involved as part of a major European project in the development of an iPS cell bank.
In collaboration with industrial partners, the Fraunhofer IBMT designs and develops automated systems for cryostorage of valuable samples while maintaining the cold chain. New technologies avoid heating of the samples over the glass transition temperature during storage and retrieval. In addition to this, software-controlled automated storage, documentation and retrieval processes support safe storage in future-oriented systems. Tracking of stored samples is also possible and all of the relevant data for high-quality preservation, such as the temperature profile of individual samples, are stored. This significantly increases the value of the sample material and offers a crucial advantage, especially when dealing with sensitive patient samples.
Ultrasound as a cost-effective, non-invasive and real-time capable method, can be scaled over the frequency used. The Fraunhofer IBMT has implemented this scalability technologically in a new and unique modular ultrasound beamformer which can be easily adapted to a variety of applications. In addition to the ultrasonic hardware, the Department of Medical Ultrasound applies highly innovative software solutions that enable us to use ultrasound in medicine, biotechnology, NDT (non-destructive testing) and sonar applications. Specialities include systems and methods using optical laser combined with ultrasound (optoacoustics) that work with very high frequencies, are adapted to specific environmental conditions (hybrid imaging on MRI/pressure neutrality for use in AUVs and ROVs ) or are extremely compact for use with mobile devices.
Level, flow and quality are just three physical properties that can be measured using ultrasound. The Fraunhofer IBMT can detect and evaluate a large range of variables and parameters in the field of technical ultrasound. Using the appropriate sensors and systems, the application areas range from laboratory to workbench and to home and everysay mobility.
Our seas, oceans and waters are a valuable asset that needs to be explored and to protected. Fraunhofer IBMT deals in many fields with these lifelines, be it with algae as the basis for stem cell cultivation, the detection of minute nano amounts in environmental samples or in technological fields such as scalable sonar sensor systems, pressure-balanced modules and autonomous water vehicles.
Against the background of demographic change, the Fraunhofer IBMT develops personal health systems and intelligent assistants for the elderly and the chronically ill. This includes disease management systems with integrated decision support and communication components for telemedical health care, home care and telemedicine platforms, or the creation of new ICT infrastructure for the networked clinical research that integrate a wide variety of IT tools into an overall concept that includes access to biomaterials in order to pave the way for personalized medicine.
The Fraunhofer IBMT develops new methods, components and systems for gentle handling, precise manipulation and on-line monitoring of living cells. The combination of concepts and methods from the field of microsystems technology and biotechnology allows the provision of novel and highly parallelized analysis methods and cultivation techniques that do not require macroscopic devices such as incubators and microscopes. Through a clever combination of transparent microstructured substrates with electrically conductive electrode structures and fluidic microchannels, tens of thousands of cells, for example, can be arranged with a precisely defined position in a two-dimensional array. These cells can be cultured over days and analyzed by means of optical or electrical methods.
The Fraunhofer IBMT develops, manufactures, characterizes and uses miniaturized systems (e. g., for closed-loop systems ) in order to detect, condition, telemetrically transfer and analyze biosignals including electrical stimulation of neural structures. These microsystems are used as smart interfaces for both monitoring (e. g. to monitor pilot vigilance on long-distance flights or for intraoperative neuromonitoring) and for implantable assistance systems (e. g. as an intelligent implant for control of a hand prosthesis). The particular expertise is one of IBMTs many offers, ranging from materials science to manufacturing technologies and measurement, right up to risk management.
Under the heading of "laboratory of the future", since 2009 the Fraunhofer IBMT has been developing and testing innovative laboratory technologies in cooperation various partners. The initiative has been receiving funding from the Saarland state government since 2010. The registered association "Laboratory of the Future - Labor der Zukunft e. V." was founded in February 2014 in order to provide a sustainable and comprehensive platform for vertical integration in laboratory technology. As a kind of flagship, the mobile epiLabor is the prominently visible technology carrier in the external representation. It has also been proving itself since 2013 in tough, real-world conditions for the environmental specimen bank and as a mobile vaccination unit.
The Fraunhofer IBMT is concerned with the development of individual components and the integration of complex application scenarios in the field of medical-analytical, physical-chemical and measurement laboratories. In terms of the method, the spectrum ranges from conceptual design, simulation and visualization right up to design and prototype construction. Software development and customization, machine vision applications, fluidic components and sensory methods based on ultrasound and electromagnetic principles are further focal points of the IBMT in the field of laboratory technologies.