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  • Fraunhofer at K 2022 / 2022

    Sustainable and efficient innovations for the plastics industry

    Press release / October 06, 2022

    © shutterstock

    At the world’s largest trade fair for the plastics and rubber industry, 14 Fraunhofer units have adopted the “We know plastics” slogan and will be showcasing innovative, sustainable and efficient approaches, solutions and developments for plastics processing. From October 19 to 26, 2022, the topics of circular economy, digital transformation, climate protection and functionalization will take center stage at Booth SC01 in Hall 7.

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  • Water quality and the circular economy / 2022

    Industrial testing platform for clean water

    Research News / October 04, 2022

    Versuchscontainer im Gemeinschaftklärwerk Bitterfeld-Wolfen. Hier werden neue Wassertechnologien praxisnah erprobt, um  Energie und wertvolle Rohstoffe aus chemischen Prozesswässern zurückzugewinnen.
    © Fraunhofer IKTS

    If we look at all of the business sectors in Germany, industry requires the largest amount of water. This makes access to efficient technology for cleaning and recycling water all the more important for this sector in particular. Ideally, this technology should also allow energy and valuable raw materials to be retrieved so that they can be reused in production. In order to address all of these issues in a practical way, researchers at Fraunhofer have been developing a testing and technology platform. It is located on-site at a large wastewater treatment plant, where the wastewater from one of the largest chemical parks in Europe is treated.

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  • Assessing nanoparticles with medical engineering / 2022

    Multi-organ chip detects dangerous nanoparticles

    Research News / October 04, 2022

    Der Multiorgan-Chip der TU Berlin und von TissUse besteht aus drei Kompartimenten, die durch Mikroflüssigkeiten verbunden sind. Das mittlere enthält ein Lungenmodell, sprich Zellproben. In einem weiteren Kompartiment befindet sich ein Lebermodell.
    © TissUse GmbH, Lizenz: CC BY-ND 4.0

    What happens when we breathe in nanoparticles emitted by a laser printer, for example? Could these nanoparticles damage the respiratory tract or perhaps even other organs? To answer these questions, Fraunhofer researchers are developing the “NanoCube” exposure device. The Nanocube’s integrated multi-organ chip set up in the laboratory of the Technical University of Berlin (TU Berlin) and by its spin-off organization “TissUse” detects interaction between nanoparticles and lung cells, the uptake of nanoparticles into the bloodstream and possible effects on the liver.

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  • Self-driving vehicles / 2022

    LiDAR and radar sensors – space-saving headlight installation

    Research News / October 04, 2022

    LED headlight model with multispectral combiners for coaxially merging optical light, LiDAR (red) and radar beams (green), with the aim of achieving space-saving sensor integration for next-generation driver assistance systems.
    © Fraunhofer FHR

    People use their eyes and ears to pick up on traffic situations involving potential hazards. For self-driving vehicles to do the same thing, they need a whole host of sensors. As the number of sensors they contain increases, however, so too does the amount of space required to fit them in – something that is often incompatible with the vision of designers. Now, researchers at the Fraunhofer-Gesellschaft have discovered a method of integrating certain sensors discreetly. Their solution lies in the vehicle’s headlights, where they are combining optical light, radar and LiDAR.

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  • Increasing system reliability / 2022

    Self-validation of complex electronic systems using grey box models

    Research News / October 04, 2022

    Testleiterplatte mit funktionalen Strukturen zur Erzeugung des digitalen Fingerabdrucks
    © Fraunhofer IZM

    When you mix together black and white, you get gray — and with it, a new method that should allow complex electronic systems to monitor themselves. Using so-called grey box models, on which researchers at the Fraunhofer Institute for Reliability and Microintegration IZM are working, it will be possible to detect signs of wear or manipulation in electronic systems at an early stage, before an actual failure occurs. The new process is being initially developed and tested for safety-critical applications in the automotive and rail sectors. The basic principle can, however, be transferred to many more application areas.

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  • Making the mobility of the future safe / 2022

    Crash test dummies for e-scooters

    Research News / October 04, 2022

    Der Moment kurz nach dem Aufprall in der Simulation. Das Menschmodell wird über den Lenker in die Luft katapultiert.
    © Fraunhofer EMI

    Practical and environmentally friendly, e-scooters offer great flexibility. It is no wonder that more and more people are using this form of transport. However, this rise in popularity has been accompanied by an increase in accidents resulting in severe injuries. The risk associated with these speedy runabouts is widely underestimated. In response to this, Fraunhofer researchers studied a typical accident scenario and the associated injuries as part of the HUMAD project. The experts also tested novel materials for helmets and protective gear. These could provide much better protection than conventional products.

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  • Software-optimized production processes for BioNTech / 2022

    Algorithms for manufacturing mRNA-based pharmaceuticals

    Research News / September 01, 2022

    BioNTech COVID-19-Impfstofffläschchen
    © BioNTech SE

    Back in 2019, BioNTech was far from a household name. Nowadays, however, the pharmaceutical company from Mainz is world-famous for developing and producing Comirnaty©, a COVID-19 vaccine. The company’s original aim was to develop personalized mRNA-based treatments to fight cancer – a goal that it continues to pursue to this day. Since 2016, a research team at the Fraunhofer Institute for Industrial Mathematics ITWM has collaborated with BioNTech to optimize the planning, management and documentation of their production processes. This work culminated in the development of two software platforms, one for vaccines and one for cancer treatments, which help organize and optimize the production processes at BioNTech today. These systems are in use and are continuously adapted and improved as situations and requirements change.

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  • Drug research / 2022

    Proxidrugs in the fight against pathogenic proteins

    Research News / September 01, 2022

    Mitarbeiterin des Fraunhofer ITMP bei der Durchführung eines zellbasierten Assays.
    © Fraunhofer ITMP

    Cells have an efficient waste disposal system. Proxidrugs utilize this system as part of new treatments for cancer, infections and Alzheimer’s disease. Scientists at the Fraunhofer Institute for Translational Medicine and Pharmacology ITMP are working with partners to develop this new drug class.

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  • Sustainable environmental and process engineering / 2022

    Green adhesives made from whey

    Research News / September 01, 2022

    Rasterelektronenmikroskop-Aufnahme einer Kompositmembran. Durch die nur 0,5 nm großen Poren der Zeolithschicht diffundieren die Ethylacetat-Moleküle auf die andere Seite der Membran.
    © Fraunhofer IKTS

    In collaboration with TU Dresden, Fraunhofer researchers have developed a process for obtaining valuable, high-purity ethyl acetate from whey. This can be used, for example, to produce environmentally friendly adhesives, thereby replacing conventional ethyl acetate extracted from fossil-based raw materials. It also eliminates the need for costly disposal of the molasses produced during whey processing.

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  • Smart farming / 2022

    Fighting climate change with heat-tolerant plants

    Research News / September 01, 2022

    Der Feldroboter DeBiFix untersucht ganze Weizenfelder auf den Wachstumsverlauf der Körner in den Ähren. Auf dieser Grundlage kann entschieden werden, welche Sorten sich besonders gut für die Züchtung eignen.
    © Fraunhofer IIS

    Climate change is causing major challenges especially for plant breeders. An intelligent field robot and X-ray technology are helping them selecting heat-tolerant plant varieties. The sensors in the high-tech machine were developed by the Fraunhofer Development Center for X-ray Technology, a division of the Fraunhofer Institute for Integrated Circuits IIS.

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Articles, conference contributions, research reports, studies, patents or utility models: Fraunhofer-Publica documents the publications and patents that result from the research activities of the Fraunhofer institutes.