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Our Profile

Research Priorities at the Institute for Bioprocessing and Analytical Measurement Techniques (iba)

Today's research at the iba Institute is application-oriented. Our research focus has crystallized from many years of experience with technical systems in the fields of biotechnology and environmental studies. This experience and the resulting expertise in handling and exploiting integrated biological functions in these systems (e.g. for synthetic purposes) have forged the profile of the iba Institute for Bioprocessing and Analytical Measurement Techniques.  
 
Basic research and implementations in the respective fields have inspired important insights. According to International consensus, the analysis of the technical and/or biological components of technical systems and the ability to alter them are not the only important aspects. It is now considered essential to also control the interactions between components as well as the existing and emerging active biological surfaces in the environment supporting their functions.

Such research on bioactive surfaces originated with environmental and medical research, and it now keeps gaining ground as an important aspect in the life sciences and environmental technology. Research on bioactive surfaces plays a role in cell culture systems as well as in the technical and analytical systems, which are part of the micro and nano technology, the biosensor technology and the environmental biotechnology.

Today, the ground-breaking scientific profile of the iba Institute for Bioprocessing and Measurement Techniques is defined by the work on biotechniques at interfaces.

The objective of the application-oriented research is foremost the creation of technical systems for the life sciences. These systems are then used to channel findings made in basic research into industrial applications. They facilitate for example the knowledge flow from biology to the biotechnology. Developing such systems requires not only the analyses and modification of active biological surfaces but also an extensive biological and technical expertise. Our interdisciplinary team of scientists at the iba Institute brings exactly this expertise in the biological and technical sciences to the systems development.

The research in our department for analytical measurement techniques focuses on impedance spectroscopic methods. This provides us with the tools to investigate the interactions of electromagnetic waves with biomolecular surface structures and so characterize the bioactive surfaces properties of biomolecules and biological species. The result of applying the above described measurement techniques to active biological surfaces (in combination with specific flow systems if necessary) leads to the development of field analyzers and self-contained inline or in situ systems, respectively. The analyzed surfaces may for example be receptors in biosensors or monitoring devices.

Researchers in our department for bioprocessing technologies work on the application-oriented tissue culture of microorganisms and cells (e.g. for attached cell cultures). They also develop microscopic and macroscopic methods to couple and analyze processes (e.g. for the use of electromagnetic fields to retain cells in cell sampling systems).

Our biomaterials department investigates biotechnological issues. The results are relevant for biological test systems and enable us to create surfaces with specific sets of functions. Applications are e.g. the surface coating of sensors with anti-fouling agents and medical applications (e.g. work on the biocompatibility of medical implants or dental alloys).
 
The iba Institute has command of state of the art research tools and technologies to master these research goals.

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