The department develops Lab-on-a-chip systems for the cultivation, processing and analysis of cell samples. The chips can carry out important tasks with a combination of controllable polymer surfaces, dielectrophoretic elements, and fluidic microchannels, as well as suitable sensors. Long-term cultivation and monitoring of defined cell clusters likewise can be reliably performed, as can the micron-precise positioning of solitary cells or the sorting of heterogeneous cell populations.
The department addresses biotechnology issues at the interfaces of biological structures and technical systems. In order to do this, among other things, stand-alone sensor elements or analysis and database tools are developed, which can be applied to various issues from the fields of environmental analysis, food monitoring, herd management, process control and diagnostics. Besides developing point-of-care applications, e.g. for drugs and serum screenings, specific assays are also developed in the department for validating biomarkers. To this end, the department has recourse to a large and varied number of spotting and dispensing technologies.
By integrating biobanks into so-called metabiobanks, the department also facilitates and supports the web-based case-by-case and sample-by-sample search for human biospecimens and associated data across institutional and national borders.