During the investigation of biological samples outside the body (»in vitro diagnostics«), detection reactions using fluorescence markers play a crucial role. These include fluorescence immunoassays and molecular biology detection methods based on the polymerase chain reaction (PCR). With the latter method, even individual pathogens can be recognized by their DNA. Fraunhofer IPM develops technical solutions and devices for partners from industry and research in order to be able to carry out new types of detection reactions independent of specialized laboratory environments. In addition to the comprehensive know-how with regard to the design of photosensitive optics, the ability to develop complete devices and software solutions comes into play. Devices developed by Fraunhofer IPM therefore also contain elements for the feeding and dosing of chemicals or samples as well as for the correct temperature treatment.
Thanks to its extensive experience in the development of functional models and prototypes for medical applications, Fraunhofer IPM can quickly and purposefully provide technical developments that offer partners the opportunity to evaluate the suitability of new types of detection reactions for everyday clinical practice. In addition, the system development in cooperation with the future device manufacturers will continue until prototype maturity. From the beginning, Fraunhofer IPM pays attention to the reliability, user-friendliness, speed and precision of the results when designing the devices. The key success factor here, as in all areas of the department, is the interplay of powerful optics, complete system integration and sophisticated software.