Fraunhofer IPA drives Biological Transformation with an innovative platform
What, if robots could smell? Sniffing explosives at the airport, diagnosing diseases based on a patient’s breath, locating gas leaks and much more?
As part of its lighthouse topic “Biological Transformation“, the Fraunhofer Institute for Manufacturing Engineering and Automation IPA in Stuttgart is now increasingly connecting biological and technical systems. A new platform technology is developed to automatically manufacture cell-based sensors and make them economically usable.
For the economical use of biological sensors, Fraunhofer IPA is developing a technology that automatically produces cell-based biosensors. Such sensors could then give machines, for example, a sense of smell. The platform is initially validated on a product of the Californian start-up Koniku.
However, it will later also be used for other applications. IPA project manager Martin Thoma sums up the innovation: “We are basically developing a generic tool that will enable cell-based biological sensors for industrial use in the medium term.“
Biology and technology merge.The project is supported by the Baden-Württemberg Ministry of Economic Affairs, among others. With biointelligent products and the associated production technologies, new value creation potentials can emerge for the innovation area and industrial location of Baden-Württemberg.
The project aims to realize them for the country’s economy.In order to enable the targeted development of an economically usable product, Fraunhofer IPA will develop a screening process for receptor selection and reliable automated production of so-called transfected cells, i.e. cells in which foreign DNA or RNA is integrated.
The US-company Koniku has been cultivating such cells for several years now. Olfactory receptors are introduced on small autonomous optical selection units by Koniku.
The cells can be kept alive and are functional for an extended period of time to detect tiny particles from the environment. However, there are still many unanswered questions in this field of research. To determine the right olfactory receptor for a specific application, several thousand receptors and their combination must be screened.
For this process to become eco-nomical, a platform is needed that makes it possible to automatically modify cells, i.e. transfect them, and then examine them for their specific reaction to smells and tastes. With such a transfection and screening platform, it would be possible to modify the cells very quickly for different olfactory stimuli and thus to open up other areas of application, such as medical diagnostics.
“I am particularly excited about being able to deploy the Konikore in every home in a few years,“ says Osh Agabi. Founder and CEO of Koniku Inc. “A solution which can help people detect or screen disease at the earliest stages, naturally some hurdles remain to accomplish this goal nevertheless, step by step we are moving closer to this reality. The partnership with Fraunhofer IPA is another key milestone laid in this journey.“
Dipl.-Phys. Martin Thoma | Phone +49 711 970-1336 | email@example.com | Fraunhofer Institute for Manufacturing Engineering
and Automation IPA | www.ipa.fraunhofer.de
Dr. Birgit Spaeth | Phone +49 711 970-1810 | firstname.lastname@example.org | Fraunhofer Institute for Manufacturing Engineering and
Automation IPA | www.ipa.fraunhofer.de
Jörg Walz | Fraunhofer-Institut für Produktionstechnik und Automatisierung IPA
Study reveals profound patterns in globally important algae
21.08.2019 | Bigelow Laboratory for Ocean Sciences
Intestinal bacteria in type 2 diabetes: being overweight is pivotal
21.08.2019 | Exzellenzcluster Präzisionsmedizin für chronische Entzündungserkrankungen
Together with the University of Innsbruck, the ETH Zurich and Interactive Fully Electrical Vehicles SRL, Infineon Austria is researching specific questions on the commercial use of quantum computers. With new innovations in design and manufacturing, the partners from universities and industry want to develop affordable components for quantum computers.
Ion traps have proven to be a very successful technology for the control and manipulation of quantum particles. Today, they form the heart of the first...
Experimental progress towards engineering quantized gauge fields coupled to ultracold matter promises a versatile platform to tackle problems ranging from condensed-matter to high-energy physics
The interaction between fields and matter is a recurring theme throughout physics. Classical cases such as the trajectories of one celestial body moving in the...
Soft robots have a distinct advantage over their rigid forebears: they can adapt to complex environments, handle fragile objects and interact safely with humans. Made from silicone, rubber or other stretchable polymers, they are ideal for use in rehabilitation exoskeletons and robotic clothing. Soft bio-inspired robots could one day be deployed to explore remote or dangerous environments.
Most soft robots are actuated by rigid, noisy pumps that push fluids into the machines' moving parts. Because they are connected to these bulky pumps by tubes,...
Researchers at TU Graz are working together with European partners on new possibilities of measuring vehicle emissions.
Today, air pollution is one of the biggest challenges facing European cities. As part of the Horizon 2020 research project CARES (City Air Remote Emission...
Over the next three years, researchers from the Vrije Universiteit Brussel, University of Cambridge, École Supérieure de Physique et de Chimie Industrielles de la ville de Paris (ESPCI-Paris) and Empa will be working together with the Dutch Polymer manufacturer SupraPolix on the next generation of robots: (soft) robots that ‘feel pain’ and heal themselves. The partners can count on 3 million Euro in support from the European Commission.
Soon robots will not only be found in factories and laboratories, but will be assisting us in our immediate environment. They will help us in the household, to...
16.08.2019 | Event News
14.08.2019 | Event News
12.08.2019 | Event News
22.08.2019 | Earth Sciences
22.08.2019 | Health and Medicine
22.08.2019 | Earth Sciences