Technology Focus Medical Technology

Medical Technology

Not only can a large number of diagnostic and therapeutic applications be optimized through the use of laser technology, but they become possible in the first place. As a non-contact instrument, light offers great advantages, both in the manufacture of corresponding instruments and in diagnostics itself.

For surgery, wound treatment and tissue therapy, Fraunhofer ILT is developing lasers with adapted wavelengths, microsurgical systems and new laser therapy methods in close cooperation with partners from the life sciences sector. In microsurgery, novel measurement methods based on optical coherence tomography (OCT) are used. Together with experts in neurosurgery, the scientists at Fraunhofer ILT are developing laser-based solutions to reduce, for example, the psychological stress and the risk of injury for patients during operations.

With the help of laser processes such as joining, structuring and functionalization, application-adapted lab-on-a-chip solutions can also be implemented, which, for example, make rapid multiplex diagnostics possible and can be used for point-of-care diagnostics.

Patient-specific implants can be manufactured using Laser Powder Bed Fusion or laser-based stereolithography. Additively manufactured high-resolution and biocompatible scaffold structures for novel implants are used, for example, in regenerative medicine or in the field of organoid test systems in the pharmaceutical industry.

Capillary holders with hydrodynamic focusing for flow cytometry.
© Fraunhofer ILT, Aachen, Germany.
Capillary holders with hydrodynamic focusing for flow cytometry.

In the area of biofabrication and biofunctionalization, Fraunhofer ILT is advancing processes for in vitro test systems or tissue engineering. Here, for example, laser-based printing and structuring processes are used to produce non-living structures from biomaterials. With micro- and nanostructuring as well as photochemical surface modification, this technology focus contributes to the generation of biofunctional surfaces. The institute also focuses its research and development on metrological methods for determining the size distribution of nanoparticles and their chemical composition – e.g., for applications in biotechnology, chemistry or pharmacology.

Fraunhofer ILT has many years of experience and comprehensive know-how in the field of laser medical technology and develops specifically adapted laser systems and processes for customers from industry and research.

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