Department of Diagnostics

The Department of Diagnostics offers a value chain that comprises the screening and testing of biomarkers, bioinformatic analysis and interpretation of complex transcriptome and genome data (”big data”), development of in vitro diagnostics (IVD) and point-of-care platforms as well as appropriate preclinical animal models.

Within the department, the RIBOLUTION Biomarker Center was established in the course of the FraunhoferZukunftsstiftung- (Future Foundation-) funded consortium RIBOLUTION (RIBOnucleic acid-based diagnostic soLUTIONs) to systematically identify and validate novel diagnostic or prognostic biomarkers. Noncoding RNAs that possess a promising and long underestimated biomarker potential are a particular focus. The RIBOLUTION Biomarker Center provides experienced bioinformatics for analyzing NGS and other complex data sets. Competencies in study and data management serve to design and conduct clinical cohorts as well as to manage clinical and experimental data. For the development of diagnostic assays, a quality management system following DIN EN ISO13485 rules has been implemented.

The development of innovative molecular diagnostic test systems is offered for medical and food applications and comprises PCR- and NGS-based IVDs, lab-on-a-chipplatforms, and strip-based flash tests. The department aims at diagnostic solutions in many clinical fields, including cancer, infectious and inflammatory diseases.

It also offers the development of companion diagnostics and provides many established cell and animal models in various areas like tumor stem cells, rheumatoid arthritis and other chronic-inflammtory diseases as well as many more. Furthermore, xenogene transplantation models serve to close the gap between model and patient.



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.



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. 



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.