Lab-on-a-Chip system is going to track life on Mars

Fraunhofer ENAS presents a microfluidic sensor system that will search for life marks on Mars / The system is shown for the first time at the COMPAMED 2014 in the IVAM Product Market in hall 8A / booth H23.2

Chemnitz, (PresseBox) - The Fraunhofer Institute for Electronic Nano Systems ENAS enhances its competences in the field of microfluidic cartridges. In the last years the reserachers of the institute developed cartridges for immuno assays and diagnostics of the tropical disease Chagas successfully. Now Fraunhofer ENAS works on a microfluidic cartridge for space applications and applications in rough environments together with European partners in the EU project "PBSA - Photonic Biosensor for Space Applications". Therefore, the sensor system had to withstand high radiation intensity, very high and low temperatures, various atmospheric pressure and humidity. First radiation tests are finished and the irradiated components like biomolecules, photonic sensors and microfluidic cartridges are investigated regarding changed properties. Andreas Morschhauser explains the next development steps: "In a final function test of the system model molecules will be detected in a Martian Environment Chamber under realistic environmental conditions like there are on Mars. Additionally we will evaluate a new exteriorization method of fluidics". The complete system is going to track life marks on the red planet during an uncrewed mars mission. The Fraunhofer researchers present the current cartridge design to the visitors of the COMPAMED. Furthermore, a new control unit is shown for microfluidic catridges which works based on a smart phone App.

The Fraunhofer researchers also present a high-sensitive acceleration sensor as a component of implantable systems. Mario Baum figures out: "These kind of sensors can be used in pulse recognition, patient position monitoring and implant loosening detection. The sensor was manufactured in BDRIE technology in cooperation with the Center for Microtechnologies of the TU Chemnitz. It is characterized by a high aspect ratio as a result of its very deep etched electrode structures down to 100 μm depth. Moreover, the sensitivity is enhanced by the very small distance between the electrodes. Consequently, the sensor device can be further miniaturized." The novel wideband acceleration sensor is presented for the first time at the COMPAMED 2014. It detects movements in the pico meter range. Biocompatible packaging and surface nanostructuring complete the research in the field of implantable systems at the Fraunhofer ENAS.

Furthermore, two different spectrometers for analyzing gases, fluids and solids will be shown. A microspectrometer based on Fabry-Pérot filter elements is shown for the measurement of CO2 and ethanol. This spectrometer was developed in cooperation with InfraTec Dresden GmbH and the Center for Microtechnologies of TU Chemnitz. It is applied for monitoring anesthetic gases. Another spectrometer was developed and is launched together with TQ Systems GmbH in Chemnitz. This grating spectrometer works in the middle and near infra-red range. Various applications can be realized starting from monitoring gases, via analyzing drugs and pharmaceuticals up to analyzing feces fats.

Dr. Olaf Ueberschär from Fraunhofer ENAS will talk about "Micro-Magnetofluidics: A Powerful Tool for Medical Lab-on-a-chip Applications" at the COMPAMED High-Tech Forum by IVAM on Thursday, Nov 13, 2014. He will present a new monolithic integrated 2D magnetic field sensor for vector-resolved microscopic flow speed observation.

Fraunhofer-Institut für Elektronische Nanosysteme ENAS

The Fraunhofer-Gesellschaft is the leading organization for applied research in Europe. 67 institutes and independent research units work at present in Germany. More than 23,000 staff work with an annual research budget of €2 billion. Of this sum, more than €1.67billion is generated through contract research. More than 70 percent of the Fraunhofer-Gesellschaft's contract research revenue is derived from contracts with industry and from publicly financed research projects. Affiliated international research centers and representative offices provide contact with the regions of greatest importance to present and future scientific progress and economic development.

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