Laboratory and Process Automation

The Laboratory and Process Automation Unit delivers solutions for complex laboratory Automation tasks in biotechnology.

Cell culture, cell culture monitoring, and cell culture expansion, are all typical procedures in many laboratories; they are inadequately automated because the individual requirements of the cell cultures can be very different, depending on the source. Often not all parameters are known and require frequent inspection and manual intervention. Automation in back-coupling with an automated and close observation of the cultures can be a remedy and create the basis for better reproducibility of laboratory results.

Monotone workflows up to flexible, active processes likewise can offer special automated solutions in the laboratory and in production. Proven work steps or devices, as well as particular working materials, can thereby likewise be integrated to avoid a system change.

Automated procedures are reliable and standardised, and they permit easier certification and integration into future production. Small improvements in work-intensive or quality-relevant steps can frequently permit great improvements in quantity and quality.

The unit can rely on its many years of experience, characterised by proximity to the user and direct access to biotechnological laboratory processes.

Applied research and development

  • Problem analysis and instrument development for the automation of biochemical and biotechnological laboratory and production processes
  • Development of software applications for the biotechnological and biomedical practice
  • Analysis of technical communications and interfaces of devices for biomedical applications
  • Development of individual software and software modules for image recognition, especially in the area of cell culture and biochips / spots
  • Development and adaptation of software for communication, control and Automation of laboratory and production processes
  • Development and enhancement of software for cross-manufacturer device communication, data transfer, and technical collaboration between various laboratory fields
  • Integration of software in laboratory management and database systems
  • Requirements analysis with the creation of target group and user profile
  • Rapid prototyping of software with interaction and function appraisal
  • Software usability tests


  • Development of automated solutions
  • Software development
  • Creation of feasibility studies
  • Development, design and construction of prototypes up to complete devices and machinery
  • Professional 3D printing in synthetics and metals
  • Production development and small series for surface modification including differentiated plasma treatment

  • Robotic processing system for barrier-free upscaling of throughput
  • Diverse software development environments and tools, hardware-specific programming up to user interfaces
  • 3D printer for diverse materials including metals, rapid prototyping and adaptation of tools for Automation tasks
  • Demonstrators for biotechnological and microfluidic coating and production facilities
  • HPLC, mass spectrometry
  • Scanner technology (Tecan, Axon, Affimetrix), biochip scanner: Applied Precision “Arrayworx”
  • In-house development “FLOW” for simultaneous kinetic measurements in continuous flow
  • Scanning probe microscopy (AFM, SNOM)
  • PVD unit (plasma, sputtering)
  • Cell culture (within the Automation tract)
  • Biochip arrayer for the creation of DNA and biochips (various arrayers available, contact and non-contact)
  • Surfaces modification unit with plasma activation on an industrial scale
  • Cutting laser (foil up to metal) and cutting plotter (foil up to thick synthetics) on an industrial scale
  • Automatic packaging and labeling of biological-technical products on an industrial scale

  • Scheller FW, Yarman A, Bachmann T, Hirsch T, Kubick S, Renneberg R, Schumacher S, Wollenberger U, Teller C, Bier FF. Future of Biosensors: A Personal View. Adv Biochem Eng Biotechnol. 140 (2014):1-28.
  • Schumacher S, Lüdecke C, Ehrentreich-Förster E, Bier FF. Platform Technologies for Molecular Diagnostics Near the Patient's Bedside. Adv Biochem Eng Biotechnol. 133 (2013): 75-87
  • Kozma P, Lehmann A, Wunderlich K, Michel D, Schumacher S, Ehrentreich-Förster E, Bier FF. A novel handheld fluorescent microarray reader for point-of-care diagnostic. Biosensors and Bioelectronics 47 (2013): 415–420.
  • Schumacher S, Nestler J, Otto T, Wegener M, Ehrentreich-Förster E, Michel D, Wunderlich K, Palzer S, Sohn K, Weber A, Burgard M, Grzesiak A, Teichert A, Brandenburg A, Koger B, Albers J, Nebling E, Bier FF. Highly-integrated lab-on-chip system for point-of-care multiparameter analysis. Lab Chip. 12 (2012): 464-473.
  • Linck L, Reiß E, Bier F, Resch-Genger U. Direct labeling rolling circle amplification as a straightforward signal amplification technique for biodetection formats. Analytical Methods 4 (2012): 1215-1220.
  • Bier FF, Teller C. Biosensoren der Zukunft – In-vitro-Diagnostik im Point-of-Care-Format für die personalisierte Medizin. Karsten Conrad, Dirk Roggenbuck, Werner Lehmann, Uwe Schedler, Günter Peine (Hrsg.): Multiparameteranalytik in Forschung und Praxis, Pabst Publishers Lengerich 2011 ISBN 978-3-89967-703-4, pp. 185-188.
  • Bier FF. Autonomous Biosensors – Technologies that help to bring biomarkers to the patient. Clinical Chemistry and Laboratory Medicine, 49 Suppl. 1 (2011): S158.
  • Reiß E, Hölzel R, Bier FF. Preparation of DNA Nanostructures with Repetitive Binding Motifs by Rolling Circle Amplification. Methods Mol Biol. 749 (2011):151-168.