Fraunhofer ICT-IMM

Carl-Zeiss-Str. 18-20, 55129 Mainz

Telephone +49 6131 990-0
Fax +49 6131 990-205

This company is co-exhibitor of
IVAM Microtechnology Network


Hall map

COMPAMED 2016 hall map (Hall 8a): stand F39

Fairground map

COMPAMED 2016 fairground map: Hall 8a

Our range of products

Our products

Product category: Microtechnology

Nanoparticle Technologies

In Nanoparticle Technologies division we at Fraunhofer ICT-IMM are dealing with the production and characterization of nanoparticles with diverse attributes and application possibilities in medicine, pharmacy as well as in the consumer goods industry. Another area of expertise is bio-nano interfaces.

The fabrication of Micro- and Nanocolloids with engineered interface for specific applications as well as the development and synthesis of intelligent polymer-based particles are one area of expertise. Particles can be made from a variety of synthetic and natural monomers/polymers either directly through chemical reactions or through precipitation of preformed polymers using manufacturing technologies such as heterophase polymerization, membrane emulsification, emulsification using micro mixers and microfluidic devices. The particles with a size range between 20 nm and 10 µm offer controlled physicochemical properties such as: size, morphology, shape, chemical composition, surface functionalization, high efficacy of hydrophilic and hydrophobic materials encapsulation. 

Another focus is on analyzing nanoparticles of different materials under various conditions, i.e. as colloids in organic solvents, aqueous solutions, physiological conditions, or embedded in solid matrices. Depending on the particle material and surrounding medium, a variety of techniques are applied including electron microscopy (SEM, TEM, cryo-TEM) or optical methods (dynamic light scattering, spectroscopy). In addition, we use atomic force microscopy, field flow fractionation, size exclusion chromatography and analytical centrifugation to characterize nanoparticles. Furthermore we develop new techniques tailored to specific characterization needs.

In the area of bio-nano-interfaces we focus on interfacial reactions between synthetic materials and device components of organic or inorganic nature and biological systems. A particular emphasis is placed on plasma assisted process technologies and their application in surface design. Coatings are of great importance for example for the regulation of the interactions of soft or hard tissue and titanium implants. Another project deals with the interface design and strategies to impart antimicrobial properties to synthetic polymeric materials suitable for wound healing and the detection and signaling of bacterial infection in wound healing applications.

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Product category: Microtechnology

Medical Probes and Technical Sensors

The portfolio of the Medical Probes and Technical Sensors division comprises the development of customer specific MEMS sensors and electrodes for signal detection.

Comprehensive competencies in design of micro structured components and their system integration combined with a wide spectrum of micro fabrication technologies such as mechanical precision engineering, laser material processing, silicon and thin film technology are the unique feature. Applications range from industrial gas analytics to the analysis of liquids and liquid films up to medical diagnostics.

One focal point is the development of medical probes designed to deduce signals from the brain. This allows to locate damaged sections and, if required, to intervene therapeutically. Probes like these are for instance used for minimal invasive treatment of patients suffering from Parkinson Disease.

The EU project NEUWalk which is coordinated by ICT-IMM focusses on the development of a neuroprosthetic interface between brain and spinal cord. In order to bridge the gap in the spinal cord micro electrodes will be used to manage the signal detection and transmission.

Another project is dealing with the widespread disease Diabetes. Goals is the continuous monitoring of the blood glucose allowing to derive adequate therapeutic measures. 

For the separation of low molecular weight gases like Helium (He) or Hydrogen (H2), very often membrane processes are used. The Quartz and Palladium thin film membranes developed at ICT-IMM offer a high pressure resistance at a high permeability for Helium or Hydrogen and are suited for applications in gas sensing but could also be used e.g. in the field of miniaturized reformer units and fuel cells. The geometry and membrane parameters could easily be adapted to other customer specific requirements.

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Product category: Microtechnology

Microfluidic Analysis Systems

Focus of the Microfluidic Analysis Systems division is the customer specific development of automated micro systems and components for medical diagnostics, environmental analysis, biological security applications, food quality control, industrial analytics and process control.

With the help of micro structuring technologies we develop efficient biomedical diagnostic systems (lab-on-a-chip or micro total analysis systems) which minimize the number of work steps, need smaller quantities of materials (e.g. reagents) and provide reliable results at the same time. Following customer specific requirements we transfer complete assays into micro fluidic chip modules based on a modular approach and finally integrate these within complete systems.  Besides the required fluidic or actuatoric components functional units for the detection of biomolecules are implemented in the chip.

Our micro system technology based systems allow a real-time analysis in terms of biological organisms (cells, bacteria, viruses, parasites), their building blocks or metabolites (proteins, nucleic acids, metabolites, toxins, etc.) on-site at the point of care or point of use. Some of the most important macroscopic techniques already could be transferred by us at ICT-IMM into a microchip system: PCR, NA purification, magnetic beads separation, plasma generation, lysis.

We develop systems for:

on-chip isolation and analysis of germs from solid and liquid samples,
separation of eukaryotic cells such as human tumor vs. normal cells,
identification and discrimination of viral, bacterial or eukaryotic organisms,
isolation and amplification of nucleic acids in general or RNA in particular
purification of single proteins or protein mixtures of pro- or eukaryotes.

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Product category: Microtechnology

Continuous Chemical Engineering

The Continuous Chemical Engineering division is dealing with the optimization or even reinvention of chemical production processes via the methods and devices of chemical micro process engineering.

The core competencies range from the development of microreactors to the realization of plants for lab, pilot and production scale. For reactor realization in different materials, e.g. stainless steel, hastelloy or titanium as well as polymers like PMMA or PTFE a broad range of fabrication technologies is available. Further focus is process development based on microreactors and flow chemistry with full exploitation of the advantages of microreaction technology to attain Process Intensification and to open Novel Process Windows. Extreme conditions such as high temperatures and pressures can be handled and controlled in microreactors.

By continuous processing in microreactors we achieve

sustainability and energy efficiency
improved heat and mass transfer
elimination of unwanted side reactions
increase of operational throughput
optimization of product quality.
Our strength thereby is to use the synergies between our experience in the fields of components, processes and plants.

One vision is the flexible on-site production in a modular, container-based concept to realize competitive and highly efficient production processes. The container itself is supposed to contain the entire plant peripherals and control elements required for the production process.

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Product category: Microtechnology

Decentralized and Mobile Energy Technology

The Decentralized and Mobile Energy Technology division covers the entire technology chain with expertise in the areas of catalyst development and stability testing, process simulation, system design and control, development of cheaper fabrication techniques, reactor construction and complete system integration and testing. With a staff of 20 people, the group can be considered one of the largest for fuel processing development in Europe.

Besides the development of single components and complete fuel processing systems for conventional and regenerative fuels, other business interests lie in the fields of liquid hydrogen technology, exhaust gas treatment systems and biofuel syntheses. The microstructured and microchannel reactors together with the integrated catalysts therein allow for the realization of compact and consolidated systems which is crucial for both mobile and stationary applications. A performance range from 100 W to over 100 kW can be covered.

Know-how in the business field of reaction technology and heterogeneous catalysis

Microstructured heat exchanger plate technology allows for new opportunities in the processing of heterogeneous gas phase reactions with (a) greatly enhanced heat and mass transfer and (b) shorter residence time which the necessary catalyst reduces. As a consequence of an intelligent coupling of exo-and endothermic processes, much improved heat management can be achieved via the integration of heating and cooling functions.
As a result of this integration, strongly exothermic (or endothermic) reactions such as (a) CO2 methanation (as a long term energy storage medium) (b) catalytic combustion of hydrocarbons or other toxic substances for exhaust gas cleaning or (c) the reforming of fossil and renewable feedstocks to synthetic gas for synthetic fuel production or hydrogen production of a high enough quality for use in fuel cell systems.
In the last case, further downstream processing steps such as water gas shift, preferential oxidation, and the selective methanation of CO are necessary so as to produce hydrogen of the required quality. For all of the above reactions, Fraunhofer ICT-IMM has successfully developed reactors as demonstrators for practical application.
Many successful and implemented application examples demonstrate the possibilities and the advantages of the technology. The reforming of logistic and renewable fuel such as natural gas, LPG, diesel, methanol, ethanol and polyalcohols can be considered to be the core competence of the business field.

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Product category: Microtechnology

Future Technologies

The Future Technologies division at ICT-IMM is characterized by two themes: Business Development and Simulation. Therewith we link the development of targeted activities for the advancement of our institute with the possibility to test their feasibility before implementation.  In doing so we are able to rely on our more than 20 years of experience as well as to our constant claim to question existing paradigms in favor of new challenges. Our team disposes both of scientific expertise and the close networking in the research landscape, for an active forming of our future as a Fraunhofer institute.

Even for a research and development institute it is essential to constantly realign the focus of R&D activities to the economically and socially relevant topics. At ICT-IMM successful business development, just as in all our divisions, is based upon an interdisciplinary approach. It needs miscellaneous approaches to identify and develop future topics and markets.

A structured innovation process includes:

Evaluation of an innovative, not yet developed business area
Writing of business plans
Planning of concrete business concepts
Analysis of customers and competitors
Initiation of future business, respectively follow-up business
The surveillance and development of new business areas is a continuous process. This process ends in a simulation process which is an important step in opening up every new business area. By this means we are able to identify for us important possibilities of further development and implement them in our institute.

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About us

Company details

The Fraunhofer-Gesellschaft promotes and undertakes applied research in an international context, of direct utility to private and public enterprise and of wide benefit to society as a whole. By developing technological innovations and novel systems solutions for their customers, the Fraunhofer Institutes help to reinforce the competitive strength of the economy in their region, throughout Germany and in Europe. Their research activities are aimed at promoting the economic development of our industrial society, with particular regard for social welfare and environmental compatibility. As Fraunhofer ICT-IMM we are part of the Fraunhofer Gesellschaft with currently 67 institutes and research units. We are not just developing our applications for and with industry but we are also interested in further developing them in a project-oriented manner. We work together with industrial enterprises as well as with research institutions and universities to answer future questions in projects which are co-financed by the national government, the federal states and the European Union.

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