The “Life Sciences Engineering“ business unit of the Fraunhofer IPT researches and develops future-oriented manufacturing technologies for the entire product range of the life sciences and industries such as pharmaceuticals, biotechnology and medical technology. Jelena Ochs, the head of the business unit, presents some of the applications that benefit from this interdisciplinary approach.
How can the know-how of the Fraunhofer IPT benefit the development of the life sciences?
Since we are approaching these issues from the manufacturing point of view, we can inform common projects with a new, interdisciplinary perspective. Personalized healthcare is a specifically interesting field for us, since its main point of reference is the patient with his individual demands and since it therefore requires customized products. The whole field of stem cell research and regenerative medicine provides an arena for the interdisciplinary cooperation of biotechnologies and production technologies, because only high degrees of automation and high-throughput technologies can provide the requirements of personalized healthcare.
The automation of manufacturing processes also allows the production of lab-on-a-chip systems in large series. This helps doctors to make quick diagnoses and to take prompt therapeutical action – which is specifically crucial when potentially fatal illnesses are involved. The Boston-based Fraunhofer CMI, our close partner in this field, is developing tests to identify resistance levels with unprecedented speed. This can save many lives.