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Process Chains for Isolation and Analysis: from Single Cells to Organoids

Researchers at the Fraunhofer Institute for Laser Technology ILT are working on new tools for the preparation and analysis of single cells and cell assemblies. The team developed the “Liftoscope,” a system for cell sorting for subsequent cultivation that can analyze and transfer biomaterials precisely and in a way that is gentle on cells. In addition to this system, further 3D bioprinting methods are increasingly finding their way into biotechnological research: Thanks to the development of microfluidic organ-on-a-chip systems, various cells can be arranged in a defined and reproducible manner to form artificial tissues. Fraunhofer ILT experts will be presenting the results of their research at analytica in Munich from June 21 - 24.
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Lasers for hydrogen technology – Fraunhofer ILT inaugurates new research platform

The success of the energy transition is closely linked to continued research into hydrogen technologies. A major goal of the Fraunhofer Institute for Laser Technology ILT is to make the fuel cell ready for series production. To this end, the Aachen researchers are setting up a hydrogen laboratory on more than 300 square meters of laboratory space: Here, a wide range of laser technology test facilities will offer public projects and industrial cooperation a research platform that is unique in Germany. On May 5, 2022, the new Hydrogen Lab will open its doors for the first time to participants of the “International Laser Technology Congress AKL'22” in Aachen as part of ILT’s biannual event “Laser Technology Live.”
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Taking the fight to microplastics with lasers

Until now, wastewater treatment plants have not been able to sufficiently filter out tiny microplastics in wastewater, but this could soon change: The first laser-drilled microplastic filter is being tested in a wastewater treatment plant. It contains sheets with extremely small holes just 10 micrometers in diameter. The technology to efficiently drill millions of such holes was developed at the Fraunhofer Institute for Laser Technology ILT, and now the institute’s engineers are scaling up ultrashort-pulse (USP) laser technology in the kW range. Visitors can learn more about the microplastic filter and ultrashort-pulse lasers at the Fraunhofer booth A6.441 at LASER World of PHOTONICS.
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Fraunhofer showcasing innovations at the World of Quantum

The World of Quantum is celebrating its premiere this year at the world's lead-ing trade fair for photonics. The LASER trade fair is thus taking the rapidly growing market for quantum technologies into account. From April 26 to 29, several Fraunhofer institutes will be presenting their latest developments in this field and their respective areas of application in Hall A4, Booth 180.
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A Defining Patent: 25 Years of Metallic 3D Laser Printing

Jasmin Saewe M.Sc. and inventor Wilhelm Meiners stand in front of a small transport trolley with the first LPBF machine.
© Fraunhofer ILT, Aachen, Germany
Jasmin Saewe M.Sc. and inventor Wilhelm Meiners stand in front of a small transport trolley with the first LPBF machine.
Inventors of the process, Kurt Wissenbach and Andres Gasser.
© Fraunhofer ILT, Aachen, Germany
Inventors of the process, Kurt Wissenbach and Andres Gasser.

A drone hovers in the sky above the Fraunhofer Institute for Laser Technology ILT in Aachen. It films 50 employees from the “Laser Powder Bed Fusion (LPBF)” department from above as they stand together and form the number 25. The anniversary of the basic patent for LPBF marks an occasion for a video clip: 25 years ago, only one Fraunhofer ILT researcher was actively working on the project and the patent for metallic 3D laser printing was filed in 1996.

“This is an auspicious occasion for a retrospective and outlook on our technology,” Jasmin Saewe says, head of the LPBF competence area at Fraunhofer.

In LPBF, the metal powder is applied using a scraper and the laser beam is guided along calculated paths over the powder bed. As the laser melts the metal powder, the workpiece is produced layer by layer in the intended shape.

The LPBF process makes it possible to produce complex functional components in a way that is both economical and efficient. Furthermore, the production costs depend less on the geometrical complexity, but mainly on the volume of the component. What was so special about the idea at the time was to focus on materials with interesting applications, such as cobalt-chromium alloys for dental implants, and then to adapt the process accordingly. Today, LPBF is used in a wide range of industrial applications, from turbomachinery and automotive engineering to aerospace and medical technology. In 2019, the global market for additive manufacturing of metals – including system, material and service sales – is estimated at around €2 billion. LPBF accounts for over 80 percent of the market for additive manufacturing with metals, making it the dominant on the market for metallic 3D printing.

The three Inventors certain: "Within the next 20 years, LPBF will play an even greater role. We thinking of the automotive sector in particular!"

You can find the youtube video clip for the 25th anniversary of the LPBF patent here.


Information of Fraunhofer ILT on the current coronavirus pandemic to customers, partners, visitors and those interested in our services

March 18, 2020

At the Fraunhofer Institute for Laser Technology ILT, we place the highest priority on the safety and health of our employees, customers and visitors. Hence, in connection with the ongoing Covid-19 pandemic, Fraunhofer ILT has set up a crisis management team and is implementing the guidelines of the German authorities.

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