Press releases

  • Environmental risk assessment (ERA) for approving veterinary and human medical products / 2023

    Why does the environmental risk assessment for drugs need to be updated?

    News / September 19, 2023

    Fraunhofer ITEM is actively supporting the regulatory development of environmental risk assessments for drugs. The aim of an ERA is to ensure that the drug manufacturer understands the possible environmental risks and takes appropriate steps to minimize these risks.

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  • Environmental assessment of chemicals / 2023

    Final report published: Review of the OECD Test Guidelines

    News / June 12, 2023

    The OECD Test Guidelines are an important tool for assessing the impact of chemicals on the environment. Updating of the Test Guidelines is organized by the Working Group of National Coordinators for the OECD Test Guidelines Programme (WNT) and the OECD Secretariat. The process is based on proposals from OECD member countries and does not include a regular update review. The Federal Environment Agency commissioned Fraunhofer IME, Fraunhofer ITEM and Ramboll to identify and prioritize a possible need for updating and to prepare a list of possible measures.

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  • Medical engineering / 2023

    Bioresorbable membrane for healing internal and external wounds

    Press Release  / February 01, 2023

    Fraunhofer researchers have succeeded in using the bioresorbable silica gel Renacer® to produce an electrospun membrane that is neither cytotoxic nor genotoxic. This model mimics fibrous structures found in connective tissue and is therefore particularly suitable for regenerative applications, such as for improved wound healing.

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  • Precise therapeutics testing — preventing animal testing / 2022

    Designer immune cells for drug discovery, potency and safety testing

    Press Release  / December 01, 2022

    To prevent testing on animals and create even more precise ways of testing therapeutics, the pharmaceutical industry is increasingly turning to human immune cells. However, the availability of cells like these has been limited to date. Now, Fraunhofer researchers have succeeded in scaling the production of customized immune cells from laboratory up to industrial level.

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  • Research project iGUARD receives follow-up funding for the development of RNA-based drugs / 2022

    1.5 million euros for rapid therapies against viral diseases

    News / November 03, 2022

    Despite successful vaccine development, there are still no effective drugs for most viral diseases. This should change as soon as possible. With the project iGUARD (integrated Guided Ultrafast Antiviral RNAi Drug development) a research team of Prof. Armin Braun, Fraunhofer ITEM, and Prof. Axel Schambach, Hannover Medical School (MHH), is developing RNA-based drugs to combat viral diseases using a natural mechanism of our body. The drugs should be able to adapt particularly quickly to different viruses and thus provide protection against emerging infectious diseases. The project has been supported by the Federal Agency for Leap Innovations (SPRIND) for one year and is now receiving follow-up funding of 1.5 million euros for another year.

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  • BIOSYNTH – modular high-throughput microplatform for future synthetic biology mass data storage / 2022

    DNA, RNA and peptides as storage media

    News / November 02, 2022

    Within the project “BIOSYNTH – modular high-throughput microplatform for future synthetic biology mass data storage”, funded by the Fraunhofer-Gesellschaft in an internal program, an innovative microchip platform for efficient cell-free and digitally controllable biosynthesis will be developed. The Fraunhofer Institute for Organic Electronics, Electron Beam and Plasma Technology FEP is the consortium leader and will work together with the Fraunhofer Institutes for Photonic Microsystems IPMS, for Toxicology and Experimental Medicine ITEM, and for Cell Therapy and Immunology, Branch Bioanalytics and Bioprocesses IZI-BB on the fundamentals for the mass data storage devices of the future with extremely high storage density.

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  • Fraunhofer-High-Performance Center Medical and Pharmaceutical Engineering at COMPAMED 2022 / 2022

    Plasma treatment during 3D printing improves acceptance of implants

    Press Release  / October 28, 2022

    Artificial hip joints, made-to-measure heart valves or precision-fit blood vessels: implants – particularly those based on scaffolds, i.e. 3D-printed framework structures – are playing an increasingly significant role in regenerative and personalized medicine. It is important for the scaffolds to be readily accepted by the body’s cells and for there to be no rejection reactions. Pre-treatment with plasma can ensure the prerequisites for this. In the High-Performance Center Medical and Pharmaceutical Engineering, researchers at the Fraunhofer Institute for Surface Engineering and Thin Films IST have succeeded in integrating a plasma source into a 3D printer, thereby enabling the surface to be modified. The aim is to treat the scaffolds with plasma during the actual printing process in order to produce the desired properties.

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  • Assessing nanoparticles with medical engineering / 2022

    Multi-organ chip detects dangerous nanoparticles

    Press release / October 04, 2022

    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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  • Prof. Antje Prasse, Dr. Benedikt Jäger and their team provide important insights into idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis (IPF) – a fatal disease with limited treatment options – with their paper “Airway basal cells show a dedifferentiated KRT17highPhenotype and promote fibrosis in idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis” (; DOI: 10.1038/s41467-022-33193-0) published in “Nature Communications”.

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