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2015|16 Annual Report Fraunhofer IGB - MEDICINE

59 Increased survival rates offered by regenerative medicine, quicker and more accurate diagnos- tics using molecular-biological approaches, and a coordinated interaction between biologized implants and their physiological environment are scientific trends which improve healthcare provision and, at the same time, can reduce costs. In the medicine business area at Fraunhofer IGB, we develop solutions in mostly interdisciplinary projects, based on our competencies in tissue engineering, biomaterials, immunology, and infection biology. Regenerative medicine – The focus of regenerative therapies is on the development of hu- man cell-based therapeutics, autologous transplants and biologized implants. Fraunhofer IGB and its Würzburg branch, with the Translational Center “Regenerative Therapies”, cover the entire value-added chain right up to GMP-compliant manufacturing of cell-based implants (Advanced Therapy Medicinal Products, ATMPs) and – together with a network of physicians – phase I clinical studies. Our quality control systems identify potential contaminants (micro- organisms, viruses) by non-destructive means, using spectroscopic, cell-based or molecular methods based on GLP and GMP guidelines. A new approach towards producing dimension- ally stable tissue-like structures (e.g. cartilage, fat tissue) is pursued by the 3D printing of hu- man cells on UV-crosslinkable hydrogels. Diagnostics ew scientific strategies to combat infectious diseases are a high priority Here, the combination of methods of functional genome analysis with our expertise in cell culture technology and infection biology results in a unique position for the development of infection models and diagnostics. We develop new diagnostic methods based on nucleic acids (diagnostic microarrays, biomarker development using high-throughput DNA sequencing) or by means of cellular reporter systems (cell-based pyrogen assay). This information helps to initiate measures for specific treatments or to develop personali ed medicines for different population groups. Medical engineering – For the optimization of surface properties of established medical devices such as stents we use plasma processes to generate bioactive or antibacterial surfaces; we then test the effectiveness and biocompatibility of these surfaces on in vitro tissue models. We also develop biodegradable coatings for bone implants that promote self-healing through cell adhesion. For disinfection and removal of pyrogenic residues we establish plasma steriliza- tion processes for reusable sterile containers in terms of optimum effectiveness and material protection. As a partner of the Fraunhofer Food Chain Management Alliance, we make a contribution to healthcare through the development of physical hygienization processes that protect the foodstuff’s properties. Our medicinal research contributes to the Fraunhofer Group for Life Sciences’ competences; in addition we are networked in the Fraunhofer Big Data Alliance. MEDICINE