The Endotrace research project has developed an endoscopic capsule technology that promises to avoid redundant data. The project was brought to a successful conclusion in November 2018, with the Fraunhofer Institute for Reliability and Microintegration IZM, Ocesco Endoscopy AG, and AMS presenting the fruits of their labor: a treat-sized capsule whose unassuming exterior hides cutting-edge technology on the inside. With no fewer than five cameras, a tracer, and a memory module on board, the tiny capsule still has room for its battery pack and an LED light.
In the "Connextyle" project around designer and product developer Jessica Smarsch, the team also focuses on developing user-oriented garments: The tops, which are equipped with textile printed circuit boards and laminated EMG sensors, measure muscle activity and thus optimize rehabilitation processes for patients. An app provides visual feedback from the collected data, generates reports on the heating process and makes it easier for therapists to adapt the measures ideally.
Smart catheters and implants thanks to micro-assembly of components on partially flexible substrates
Im Rahmen des EU-Projekts Position II arbeiten 45 europäische Unternehmen und Forschungseinrichtungen unter der Koordination von Phillips daran, medizintechnische Anwendungen durch „smarte“ Elektronik noch besser in digitale Prozesse einzubinden. Hierfür wird im Projekt eine Pilotline realisiert, die die verschiedensten hochentwickelten und spezialisierten Technologien der Partner bündelt um smarte Katheter und Implantate für die Gesundheit der Menschen in Anwendung zu bringen.
Das Fraunhofer IZM entwickelt und qualifiziert hierfür unter anderem Technologien zur Mikromontage aktiver und passiver Komponenten auf teilflexible sog. F2R Substrate. Ein weiterer Schwerpunkt der Forschung ist die Untersuchung von Barriereschichten auf flexiblen Substratmaterialien hinsichtlich ihrer Durchlässigkeit von Feuchtigkeit. Aktive medizinische Implantate, welche zusammen mit den Partnern als Demonstratoren entwickelt werden, sollen durch diese Barriereschichten für die Langzeitanwendung qualifiziert werden um eine zuverlässige Therapie für den Patienten zu gewährleisten.
XPatch is a biocompatible and flexible module, worn directly on the skin. This called for a soft and stretchable skin-like choice of material, like polyurethane and silicon. As the electronics are embedded in that material, the components are fully protected and never in direct contact with bare skin. The patchs thin biochemical sensor chips are where the magic happens: They are placed into the surface of the patch, where they are kept close to the skin. A tiny opening in the substrate allows the sweat analysis to work. A miniscule piece of fabric is integrated in the empty space behind the chip and captures the wearers perspiration. The sensor built into the chip analyses this sample and pushes the resulting data in real time to a device, where the user can visualize the information and use the insights to improve their physical fitness.
In venous disorders, radial-emission optical fibers play a key role in developing laser-tissue interaction therapies due to their biocompatibility, flexibility and compactness. A novel customized laser-based method for manufacturing fiber tips with protective glass caps is developed by IZM. The geometry of tips can be defined by a cone, wedge, among others. In particular, conical-structured tips show an efficient radial beam profile in comparison to other types of optical tips and they can also be used in hard-to-access zones.
Researchers at the Fraunhofer IZM in Berlin have been working on the project Graph-POC since April 2018 on a graphene oxidebased sensor platform to rise to precisely these challenges in diagnosing infections. A single drop of blood or saliva is all it takes to perform an accurate analysis. Just a few minutes after the drop is applied to the sensors surface, electrical signals convey the test result to the family doctors office. This rapid test provides certainty within just 15 minutes to replace the protracted blood work in the lab. It takes the error and guesswork out of diagnosis so the physician can prescribe the appropriate treatment or suitable antibiotics.
The test may also be set up to detect antibodies that are present after a patient has recovered from an infection. Fraunhofer IZM researchers are now focusing on this application to detect earlier infections with the COVID-19 virus, which can help with efforts to trace how the infection has spread. The human body forms molecules or proteins called biomarkers in response to an infection. Capture molecules placed on the surface of the graphene-based sensor to detect these biomarkers. Differential measurements of biomarkers concentration determine if an infection is present.
The number of people infected with the novel SARS-CoV-2 virus is rapidly increasing worldwide. Affected countries are adopting new measures almost daily to contain the spread, while medical laboratories are working not only on a vaccine but also on new test methods. For the time being, Bosch wants to launch a new rapid test in Germany that shows a result at the test site in under 2.5 hours instead of the previous 2 days. This technical solution is based on a PoC analysis platform, which was developed together with Fraunhofer IZM in the EU project CAJAL4EU. The main objective of the project was to develop miniaturized biosensor technology platforms that enable fast, robust, user-friendly and cost-effective multi-parameter in vitro test applications.
This project was supported by the EU (funding code: FP7-ENIAC-120215) and BMBF (funding code: 13N10925) within the framework of FP7.
For more than a decade Fraunhofer IZM has served the medical industry with its technology portfolio adapted to heart pace makers, to retinal implants, to lab-on-chip platforms, to neuroprosthetic devices and hearing aids. We act as a one-stop-shop solution provider for customers from research and industry in search for: