“SiCellNet” network

Advanced single-cell tools: highly efficient isolation, positioning and analysis of biological cells

© Fraunhofer IMM, Mainz.

Analysis systems for individual living cells and cell-assemblies are essential tools in modern medicine and pharmacy. Here they enable the investigation of degenerative cell changes and specifically tailored drug combinations for personalized medicine. The Fraunhofer Institutes IMM, ILT, IMS and EMB cover the entire process chain for the production and evaluation of such systems, which can be used to isolate, position and analyze biological cells quickly and with high precision. This capability is increasingly used in pharmaceutical development, medical diagnostics and regenerative medicine.

As a virtual research campus, SiCellNet aims to be a one-stop-shop and single exchange point for SMEs engaged in this product segment. The central cluster of specialized Fraunhofer Institutes provides extensive and capable infrastructural facilities, state-of-the-art process knowledge and targeted development capabilities. Results from ongoing R&D in the fields of on-demand single-cell printing and chip-based cell analysis show-case some of the capabilities of the cluster.

 

SiCellNet supported by:

Fraunhofer Institute for Microengineering and Microsystems IMM

Microfluidics for the study of biological cells.
© Fraunhofer IMM, Mainz, Germany.
Microfluidics for the study of biological cells.

Fraunhofer IMM specializes in microengineering and microsystems, with a particular focus on microfluidic components and systems. These technologies are currently used for automated handling and delivery of single cells, such as in the CTCelect system, which isolates rare cells from a blood sample. 

Fraunhofer IMM's infrastructure includes, among others, the following:

  • The entire technology chain for microfluidic system development (in-cluding prototyping of disposable microfluidic plastic cartridges, auto-mation, and demonstrator construction), 
  • Clean room facilities for silicon-based microstructuring of microfluidic MEMS chips, and
  • Biological laboratories with cell handling technologies.

Fraunhofer IMM also has intensive know-how in the field of single cell dis-pensing. In its current work, it is developing, for example, a micro-droplet dis-pensing silicon chip that can place droplet-encapsulated biological cells rapid-ly and precisely. Applications of this technology range from filling microtiter plates for single cell diagnostics for personalized medicine all the way to tis-sue engineering and 3D printing of organs. 

Fraunhofer Institute for Laser Technology ILT

Process development of LIFT.
© Fraunhofer ILT, Aachen, Germany.
Process development of LIFT.

A versatile tool for (bio)medical technology, laser light is commonly used in analytics, material processing and surface structuring, as well as in additive manufacturing. Fraunhofer ILT has a wide range of technologies for micro- and nanostructuring, mounting and bonding techniques as well as 3D printing technologies. In addition to developing processes and equipment, e.g. for digital light processing (DLP), stereolithography (SLA) and multiphoton polymerization (MPP), the institute is also advancing combination processes and material developments for special biocompatible, photo-curable polymers and hydrogels.

Key areas of focus in biofabrication:

  • Non-contact cell handling by laser-induced forward transfer (LIFT) of single cells, cell clusters and spheroids with UV and MIR laser radiation
  • Process combinations of LIFT with optical analysis processes such as Raman and fluorescence spectroscopy
  • (Vascularized) scaffolds for tissue engineering by photo-polymerization, laser patterning and photomodification
  • Microfluidic structures for cell-on-chip systems

Fraunhofer Institute for Microelectronic Circuits and Systems IMS

Image of a SPAD wafer.
© Fraunhofer IMS, Duisburg, Germany.
Image of a SPAD wafer.

The Fraunhofer Institute for Microelectronic Circuits and Systems (IMS) has many years of experience in the development of smart sensor systems based on CMOS and MEMS technologies. The Business Unit Health of the Fraunhofer IMS develops innovative solutions in the field of optical and electrical biosensors for diagnostic applications in medicine, life science, biotechnology, food and environmental technology as well as pharmaceutical production. The main focus is on the development of

  • Single-Photon Avalanche Diodes (SPADs) for the detection of particularly low-light signals such as chemiluminescence and Raman scattering as well as temporal signals such as fluorescence lifetime
  • Single-molecule sensitive nanosensors made of biofunctionalized carbon nanotubes (CNTs) that fluoresce in the near infrared (NIR)
  • MEMS-based nanopipettes fabricated by atomic layer deposition (ALD) for time- and spatially-resolved measurement of electrophysiological signals from single cells.

For the development of customized sensor systems Fraunhofer IMS has an extensive infrastructure at its disposal

  • ASIC circuit design with own CMOS clean room
  • Microsystems Technology (MST) clean room with post-CMOS processes, 3D integration and ALD
  • Bio- and analysis laboratory with, among others, atomic force microscopy (AFM), fluorescence microscopy, Raman and NIR spectroscopy 

Fraunhofer Research and Development Center for Marine and Cellular Biotechnology EMB

Fluorescence measurement of sweat gland cells.
© Fraunhofer EMB, Lübeck, Germany.
Fluorescence measurement of sweat gland cells.

The biotechnological use of cells is the focus of the research and development efforts of the Department for Cellular Biotechnology. Our scopes of application for human and mammalian cells are biological test and model systems. We establish various organ cultures, which can be exploited for screening assays of the pharmaceutical and cosmetic industries. Moreover, we develop medical cell applications for tissue engineering and cell therapy purposes.

As cell source the department uses in particular stem cells derived from sweat glands but also from other exocrine glands, for which we have evolved a patented isolation procedure. A deployment for the therapy of chronical skin wounds or for peripheral nerve regeneration is currently undergoing testing. The key procedures of cell isolation, handling, propagation and cryoconservation are so far performed by painstaking manual labor. Several steps of the process are thus error-prone and time consuming, so that the required reproducibility can be ensured just minimally. The aim of the department is to automate and standardize cell culture from isolation to cell usage. We therefore develop smart technologies and devices which allow quality management for innovative cell applications.

»SiCellNet« Online Workshop

Advanced single-cell tools: highly efficient isolation, positioning and analysis of biological cells

As a virtual research campus, SiCellNet aims to be a one-stop-shop and single exchange point for SMEs engaged in this product segment. The central cluster of specialized Fraunhofer Institutes provides extensive and capable infrastructural facilities, state-of-the-art process knowledge and targeted development capabilities.

The online workshop will be held on September 21, 2021 from 9:00 a.m. to 1:00 p.m.

We look forward to your participation!

registration

 

Fill out the Registration Form for the online workshop and send it by email to sicellnet@ilt.fraunhofer.de

 

Program

 

See program

costs

 

The event is free of charge.

 

location

 

Virtual via MS Teams

 

Date

 

September 21, 2021, 9:00 a.m. to 1:00 p.m.

 

Organization

 

Fraunhofer Institute for Laser Technology ILT

 

language

 

English