Technical solutions for laboratory and biotechnology

Many biotechnological processes profit from innovative technical solutions and an increasing degree of automation – this includes white, red and green biotechnology as well. In close cooperation with biologists and engineers, the Fraunhofer IPT develops new concepts for enhancing laboratory processes – from lab automation, high speed microscopy to novel solutions for cell culture.

Cell differentiation via micro and nanostructured surfaces

The requirement for differentiated stem cells is increasing both in disease modelling and in the screening of active ingredients. In the drive to provide these in larger quantities, scientists at the Fraunhofer IPT are developing new ways of pre-differentiating stem cells. By culturing adhesive cells on special nano- and microstructured surfaces, they are guided into specific differentiation directions in order to form myoblasts, corneal cells or neuronal cells. Our expertise in the field of manufacturing technologies enables us to produce a wide range of diverse structures in-house, to mold them into biomaterials and to test them. The processes used to produce the structures include laser structuring, diamond cutting and two-photon polymerization.

Producing stem cells via automated culturing

Like most cell culturing processes, the propagation of stem cells is both time and labor-intensive. The Fraunhofer IPT provides technical solutions for automated culture of stem cells in order to reduce efforts and failures resulting from human interaction with the cells. We draw on our experience acquired in past and on-going projects in which we have developed fully automated platforms for the production of induced pluripotent or mesenchymal stem cells for research and therapy. Using smart process control and customized measuring technology, the cells are produced in standardized form in 2D cultures or in a bioreactor. An additional focus in our work is to translate the biological processes into cGMP compliant protocols.

Connected assistance systems and smart devices for modern laboratory processes

The reproducibility of research results is one of the prerequisites for achieving consistent quality. We develop innovative assistance systems to standardize and monitor laboratory processes: the deployment of smart devices, such as smart glasses or tablet PCs provides mobile process support. Information can thus be provided as required and recorded, even in the form of an automated logging function. The inclusion of connectable laboratory hardware and sensor modules to extend existing hardware permits automated parameterization and improves data availability. The Fraunhofer IPT can support you throughout the design and implementation of individual, application-oriented systems.

Automating processes in the laboratory and in biotechnology

The need for automated laboratory processes is growing faster than ever before. At the Fraunhofer IPT we are collaborating closely with biologists and engineers to develop concepts for the automation of laboratory processes from green, red and white biotechnology – from individual special-purpose measuring instruments through to the automation of complex, biological cell culture processes. Automation increases throughput, reproducibility and product standardization as well as opening up new ways of ensuring continuous process monitoring. We adapt specific automation solutions to ensure that they meet the precise requirements of our clients. The modular structure of our concept permits us to reproduce and implement not only individual steps but complete process chains. We have developed a smart system control with a user-friendly interface which controls the processes on the basis of measurement data. A comprehensive data collection concept provides for the complete documentation of all data generated, thereby permitting processes to be monitored for compliance with the current guidelines and standards.