Biofabrication

Cells on TPP-generated protein structures.
© Photo Fraunhofer ILT, Aachen.

Cells on TPP-generated protein structures.

As a quickly growing interdisciplinary field, biofabrication encompasses the exploration of new conceptual ideas and tools for biomedical applications – such as specific diagnostic systems, pharmaceutical and cosmetic tissue and organs test models, as well as long-term artificial organs. These processes include the 3D printing of biocompatible materials to produce support structures for artificial blood vessels and organs, as well as the direct printing of living cells. Fraunhofer ILT is pursuing new approaches in order to rapidly print biocompatible polymers, to develop new resin formulations without toxic components and processing techniques for the flexible printing of functional cell constructs. By means of a photonic surface functionalization, these structures can be locally modified in such a way that, for example, biomolecules preferentially attach to them. In this way, biocompatible test systems can be created for research applications, pharmaceutics and the cosmetics industry.

Thanks to its investigations in laser-assisted processes to select and print cells, Fraunhofer ILT is developing specific cell-micro-environments for cell-biological research, the improvement of tissue models and even for the printing of artificial organs and organ components.

In addition to these printing processes for biofabrication, the group institutes are also developing different methods to functionalize scaffold structures. For many biological or medical applications, the various surfaces must be modified in a first step in order to be coated in a second step, for example. In medical technology and biotechnology, one-way systems often require bio-compatible surfaces in order to promote cell growth on the surfaces or to specifically prevent them, or to provide functional groups to chemically couple biomolecules. The atmospheric-pressure plasma processes developed at Fraunhofer IST are suitable tools for achieving a cost-efficient modification of the surface. In addition, these methods can also be used to suitably modify the surfaces of 3D substrates, such as microtiter plates, PCR tubes or cell culture bags.

Your contacts at the institutes are:

Contact Press / Media

Dr. Jessy Schönfelder

Fraunhofer Institute for Organic Electronics, Electron Beam and Plasma Technology FEP
Winterbergstr. 28
01277 Dresden

Phone +49 351 2586-360

Contact Press / Media

Dr. rer. nat. Nadine Nottrodt

Fraunhofer Institute for Laser Technology ILT
Steinbachstr. 15
52074 Aachen

Phone +49 241 8906-605

Fax +49 241 8906-121

Contact Press / Media

Dr. Michael Thomas

Fraunhofer Institute for Surface Engineering and Thin Films IST
Bienroder Weg 54 e
38108 Braunschweig

Phone +49 531 2155-525