© Fraunhofer ILT, Aachen, Germany.

Laser processes are particularly suitable for manufacturing and processing products for the biomedical sector: from precise joining under sterile conditions to the insertion of pores, cavities and channels in microfluidic systems and lab-on-a-chip solutions using ultrashort pulse lasers or selective laser etching through to the targeted functionalization of surfaces. The laser technology processes required for reliable, safe and highly efficient biofabrication are developed at Fraunhofer ILT, whether for tissue engineering, individualized 3D-printed implants, prostheses or inner ear hearing aids.

Biofunctionalization with laser radiation

High-brilliance fiber lasers can be used to join plastic parts for catheters and microfluidic components without degrading them and under sterile conditions. Short-pulse lasers create micrometer-fine pores in dosing systems and miniaturized drug depots made from a wide variety of materials. And targeted photochemical functionalization can be used to control the wetting and cell adhesion properties of implant surfaces, among other things. The release of active substances or the growth of soft tissue implants can also be controlled with specific photolinkers. Fraunhofer ILT is systematically advancing this promising field of technology.

Marker-free cell selection

The path to affordable personalized medicine, productive production of biologics or fast, effective clinical diagnostics leads through marker-free cell selection with maximum throughput. Fraunhofer ILT is driving forward laser-based process chains that are increasingly coupled with AI methods. The selection and isolation of pluripotent stem cells, high-producer cells or specific immune cells is thus becoming a laboratory routine without restricting the vitality of the cells. In terms of optimal process control, imaging and laser processes go hand in hand.

Additive and subtractive biofabrication

Fraunhofer ILT uses a variety of printing and structuring processes to create living and non-living structures from biomaterials. Selective laser etching (SLE) and surface structuring with ultrashort pulse lasers (USP) play central roles, in addition to lithographic and powder-bed-based 3D printing processes. The spectrum of applications ranges from tissue engineering and the preparation of polymer implants (e.g. blood vessels) for cell colonization to 3D bioprinting of cells and cell cultures or the incorporation of 3D microstructures into mechano-biological products.

Use our infrastructure


Further information about our laboratories