Department of Diagnostics

The Department of Diagnostics offers a value chain that covers the identification and testing of new biomarkers, the bioinformatic analysis of complex transcriptomic and genomic data ("Big Data") as well as the development of prototypes for in vitro diagnostics and point-of-care platforms. Furthermore, it offers a broad range of analytical methods.

In the department's RIBOLUTION Biomarker Center new biomarkers are being systematically identified and validated using state-of-the-art techniques such as next-generation sequencing (NGS) and microarray analysis. A particular focus is on non-coding RNAs, which show high, so far mostly underestimated, biomarker potential. An experienced bioinformatics group provides efficient processing and (statistical) analysis of molecular biological data, particularly of NGS data obtained from large clinical cohorts. Competencies in study and data management enable our scientists to plan and conduct such cohorts. A quality management system has been implemented and certified according to ISO 9001:2015 with an eye to these processes.

A main focus of the department is to develop molecular and immunodiagnostic tests in the medical and food sector. This includes PCR and NGS analyses, lab-on-a-chip systems as well as peptide selection and epitope mapping technologies. Diagnostic needs are addressed e.g. for cancer, cardiological diseases and food allergies as well as pathogen tests for infectious diseases. Moreover, the department has a wide range of additional analytical methods at its disposal and develops novel biointeractive molecules on structural DNA-based scaffolds. New imaging procedures support the analysis of cell biological processes.

 

CardiOmics

The unit carries out research into infectious diseases relevant to cardiac surgery using state-of-the-art OMICS technology platforms. Infective endocarditis and the development of molecular biological diagnostic procedures are of particular scientific interest here, as is the translation of such procedures into routine clinical practice.

 

Ligand Development

The unit focuses on the interaction of biomolecules, in particular the identification of peptides for tumor targeting and antibody characterization. A new peptide phage display method is combined with modern devices and measurement methods.

 

Experimental Imaging

As technical methods continue to be advanced, new imaging procedures and evaluation methods used to depict structures and processes are always available for biological investigations.

 

Image Analysis of Cell Function

The Image Analysis of Cell Function Unit develops new, bespoke image analysis methods for the non-destructive, microscopy-based quantification of physiological and pathological processes.

 

MicroDiagnostics

The unit develops diagnostic and analytical test systems for environmental, food and clinical applications.

 

DNA Nanodevices

The work undertaken in this unit focuses on developing diagnostic and therapeutic applications of nanomaterials constructed by methods such as DNA self-assembly and molecular programming.

 

Next-Generation Diagnostics

The Next-Generation Diagnostics Unit identifies and characterizes disease-associated nucleic acids for their application as diagnostic markers and therapeutic targets, and develops experimental methods for this purpose. 

 

Bioinformatics

The Bioinformatics Unit develops and establishes computer-aided methods for the identification and verification of new biomarkers for personalized diagnosis and prognosis of diseases as well as for the detection of novel therapeutic targets.