Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

From the donor to the patient: Safe transport of implants under sterile conditions

04.08.2010
The biomedical laboratory unit of the Fraunhofer FEP is opening up new opportunities for evaluating the sterility and biofunctionalization of surfaces and medical products

Regardless of whether reading a book, enjoying nature, or driving on busy roads, the importance of one’s sight for one’s orientation and well-being is enormous.

Unfortunately, disease and infection can impair our sight and can even lead to blindness. The transplantation of a donor cornea can help in many cases.

In Germany some 6,000 cornea transplant operations are performed annually.
The demand for donor corneas is however about twice as high as the supply.
“Donor corneas can be stored for up to weeks prior to transplantation in special nutrient solutions. However, up to 25% of donor corneas are still lost during this process”, regrets Prof. Dr. Katrin Engelmann, scientific director of the Deutsche Gesellschaft für Gewebetransplantationen (DGFG). “The aim must be to improve the storage process for donor corneas, and in particular to improve the transport of the corneas from the tissue banks to the clinics.”

The Fraunhofer Institute for Electron Beam and Plasma Technology FEP, in collaboration with the Eye Clinic of the Klinikum Chemnitz gGmbH and TU Dresden, is developing methods to sterilize conventional contact lens containers and to design them such that donor corneas can be securely embedded. This will improve the conditions for transport to the clinics. Work is also been undertaken to optimize the solutions that are used for storing the donor corneas.

This is only one example of the tasks being worked on in the Fraunhofer FEP’s biomedical laboratory unit which was founded at the end of last year. A wide range of medical products and equipment are being tested for their compatibility with the human body and adapted as appropriate. Scientists are pursuing new methods for disinfecting and sterilizing products using low-energy electrons, a key issue when using advanced medical products. Medical technology is in the meantime providing patients with advanced treatment methods, which put new requirements on materials and processes. Here the Fraunhofer FEP can call upon its expertise in developing coatings and modifying surfaces. The biomedical laboratory unit, which was funded by the European Fund for Regional Development, is operated under the close scientific supervision of Prof. Dr. Richard Funk, Director of the Institute for Anatomy of TU Dresden.

Due to the changing age structure of the populace and an increase in the number of people suffering from chronic illnesses, innovative solutions in medical technology are becoming ever more important. This sector already represents an important commercial area in Germany. Chancellor Angela Merkel recently called this sector a “lighthouse shining in the darkness of the crisis” (VDI nachrichten, Berlin, 7 May 2010), because the German medical technology industry continues to grow despite the current economic crisis. This sector in Germany now employs about 100,000 people and in 2008 had a turnover of 18 billion euros (SPECTARIS e. V. Branchenbericht 2009).

Small and medium-sized companies in particular give the Saxon medical technology industry stability. These companies, however, only have limited own funds to invest in R&D. Close collaboration with universities, research institutes, and regional industry is hence vital from a scientific and economic point of view.

Dr. Christiane Wetzel, head of the biomedical laboratory unit at the Fraunhofer FEP, believes that the networking of technical colleges and industry is essential: “In the area of medical technology there must be a closed process chain. The surgeons who perform the operations and the engineers who develop new medical products must communicate effectively in order to end up with optimal solutions for the patients.” Fraunhofer FEP Director, Prof. Volker Kirchhoff, adds: “We invite companies, and in particular small and medium-sized medical technology firms in Saxony, to work with us to develop new solutions.”

Scientific contact:

Dr. Christiane Wetzel
Fraunhofer Institute for Electron Beam and Plasma Technology FEP
Phone +49 351 2586-165
christiane.wetzel@fep.fraunhofer.de
Press contact:
Annett Arnold
Fraunhofer Institute for Electron Beam and Plasma Technology FEP
Phone +49 351 2586-452
annett.arnold@fep.fraunhofer.de

Annett Arnold | idw
Further information:
http://www.fep.fraunhofer.de/enu/biomed

More articles from Life Sciences:

nachricht Flow of cerebrospinal fluid regulates neural stem cell division
22.05.2018 | Helmholtz Zentrum München - Deutsches Forschungszentrum für Gesundheit und Umwelt

nachricht Chemists at FAU successfully demonstrate imine hydrogenation with inexpensive main group metal
22.05.2018 | Friedrich-Alexander-Universität Erlangen-Nürnberg

All articles from Life Sciences >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

Die letzten 5 Focus-News des innovations-reports im Überblick:

Im Focus: Explanation for puzzling quantum oscillations has been found

So-called quantum many-body scars allow quantum systems to stay out of equilibrium much longer, explaining experiment | Study published in Nature Physics

Recently, researchers from Harvard and MIT succeeded in trapping a record 53 atoms and individually controlling their quantum state, realizing what is called a...

Im Focus: Dozens of binaries from Milky Way's globular clusters could be detectable by LISA

Next-generation gravitational wave detector in space will complement LIGO on Earth

The historic first detection of gravitational waves from colliding black holes far outside our galaxy opened a new window to understanding the universe. A...

Im Focus: Entangled atoms shine in unison

A team led by Austrian experimental physicist Rainer Blatt has succeeded in characterizing the quantum entanglement of two spatially separated atoms by observing their light emission. This fundamental demonstration could lead to the development of highly sensitive optical gradiometers for the precise measurement of the gravitational field or the earth's magnetic field.

The age of quantum technology has long been heralded. Decades of research into the quantum world have led to the development of methods that make it possible...

Im Focus: Computer-Designed Customized Regenerative Heart Valves

Cardiovascular tissue engineering aims to treat heart disease with prostheses that grow and regenerate. Now, researchers from the University of Zurich, the Technical University Eindhoven and the Charité Berlin have successfully implanted regenerative heart valves, designed with the aid of computer simulations, into sheep for the first time.

Producing living tissue or organs based on human cells is one of the main research fields in regenerative medicine. Tissue engineering, which involves growing...

Im Focus: Light-induced superconductivity under high pressure

A team of scientists of the Max Planck Institute for the Structure and Dynamics of Matter (MPSD) at the Center for Free-Electron Laser Science in Hamburg investigated optically-induced superconductivity in the alkali-doped fulleride K3C60under high external pressures. This study allowed, on one hand, to uniquely assess the nature of the transient state as a superconducting phase. In addition, it unveiled the possibility to induce superconductivity in K3C60 at temperatures far above the -170 degrees Celsius hypothesized previously, and rather all the way to room temperature. The paper by Cantaluppi et al has been published in Nature Physics.

Unlike ordinary metals, superconductors have the unique capability of transporting electrical currents without any loss. Nowadays, their technological...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

VideoLinks
Industry & Economy
Event News

Save the date: Forum European Neuroscience – 07-11 July 2018 in Berlin, Germany

02.05.2018 | Event News

Invitation to the upcoming "Current Topics in Bioinformatics: Big Data in Genomics and Medicine"

13.04.2018 | Event News

Unique scope of UV LED technologies and applications presented in Berlin: ICULTA-2018

12.04.2018 | Event News

 
Latest News

Supersonic waves may help electronics beat the heat

18.05.2018 | Power and Electrical Engineering

Keeping a Close Eye on Ice Loss

18.05.2018 | Information Technology

CrowdWater: An App for Flood Research

18.05.2018 | Information Technology

VideoLinks
Science & Research
Overview of more VideoLinks >>>