Research News / 30.7.2014

Treating rare tumors effectively +++ Effective identity management in the cloud +++ Monitoring road bridges

Treating rare tumors effectively

In Germany, approximately 100,000 people each year develop tumors in the gastrointestinal tract. Only two percent of these patients are diagnosed with GIST (Gastrointestinal Stromal Tumors). Unfortunately, this highly uncommon form of cancer often remains undetected in the early stages as the connective tissue tumors develop gradually. By the time the disease is eventually diagnosed, the cancer will have already metastasized in one out of every two patients. The average patient life expectancy is typically less than 3 years. GIST is currently treated with Tyrosine Kinase inhibitors (TKI), which causes specific proteins involved in cell proliferation, resident on the cells surface, to be blocked. However, GIST frequently develops TKI resistance.

In the EU project “MITIGATE,” ten partners from research and industry are devoting themselves to the creation and validation of a closed loop process, so that patients with GIST and metastatic GIST can be treated effectively. This personalized treatment concept encompasses innovative strategies for biopsy extraction and cell analysis. Furthermore, imaging processes and corresponding concepts for minimally invasive treatments will be optimized and adapted for this purpose.Researchers in the Project Group for Automation in Medicine and Biotechnology PAMB of the Fraunhofer Institute for Production Technology and Automation IPA are developing a flexible biopsy needle for extracting tissue samples. The endoscopic instrument features an interface with a module for breaking down the tissue. The GIST cells are then specifically isolated by immune-magnetic labelling. Researchers at the University of Mannheim will then characterize specific molecular markers present in individual patient’s GIST cells through mass spectrometry. The “spectral fingerprint” that results from this data will be compared against an information database of GIST cell subtype classification s, known patient treatment and outcome.  In this manner, ineffective therapies can be excluded before the treatment process begins.

Fraunhofer Institute for Production Technology and Automation IPA,
Project Group for Automation in Medicine and Biotechnology PAMB

Theodor-Kutzer-Ufer 1-3 | 68167 Mannheim |
Contact: Dr. rer. nat. Sabrina Schubert | Phone +49 621 17207-154 |
Press: Axel Storz | Phone +49 621 17207-366 |

Effective identity management in the cloud

Too many cooks spoil the broth? In production, that hasn‘t been true for a long time now. Usually a whole series of partner companies and suppliers are involved in the development of a product. To ensure the various actors can work together effectively without losing time, you need a common platform - cloud based infrastructures unlock highly promising options here. Mind you, certain measures do have to be taken to ensure that only authorized individuals have access to the data. For this purpose, companies use various authentication procedures – based on chip cards, for example, or password generators. The research staff at the Fraunhofer Institute for Industrial Engineering IAO, together with multiple collaborative partners under the auspices of the „SkIDentity“ project sponsored by the Federal Ministry for Economics Affairs and Energy BMWi, is working on integrating the already existing authentication process in cloud computing infrastructures and, in this manner, markedly simplifying identity management. The Stuttgart-based scientists will be exhibiting how this might look in a business setting using a technology presentation for the automotive industry. Engineers at the fictitious automotive corporations and suppliers can identify themselves and log in there, using various chip cards, such as company IDs or the new German personal identity card, in order to work with various authorities within the cloud workspace. Thanks to this management tool, companies would no longer issue their own cards or password generators to partners or suppliers – and thus would save on administrative outlay and expenses.

Fraunhofer Institute for Industrial Engineering IAO
Nobelstraße 12 | 70569 Stuttgart |
Contact: Michael Kubach | Phone +49 711 970-2428 |
Press: Juliane Segedi | Phone +49 711 970-2124 | 

Monitoring road bridges

Many bridges in Germany are in a poor state. Scientists at the Fraunhofer Institute for Structural Durability and System Reliability LBF and the Technical University of Darmstadt have now developed a system for analyzing the structure of bridges. They measure the vibrations that bridges are subjected to, establish their vibrational attributes, and observe them over an extended period of time. For this purpose, they developed a network of highly sensitive acceleration sensors – which are linked to each other wirelessly – into a model bridge. A model train emits the vibrations when crossing over. The sensors are based on MEMS Chips (MicroElectroMechanical Systems), which were equipped with specially adapted housings at LBF‘s facilities. Based on the collected data, and compared with previously defined reference structures, the experts identify defects before the consequences can potentially  become dangerous to automotive traffic or rail passengers. »In the coming years we expect to see the sensors to be gradually integrated in real bridges and that we could review the bridges online. Corresponding European activities are currently on the way«, says project manager Andreas Friedmann from LBF.

Fraunhofer Institute for Structural Durability and System Reliability LBF
Bartningstr. 47 | 64289 Darmstadt |
Contact: Dipl.-Ing. Andreas Friedmann | Phone +49 6151 705-493 |
Press: Anke Zeidler-Finsel | Phone +49 6151 705-268 |