Bioanalytics for Industrial Media

ATTRACT Group "Bioanalytics for Industrial Media (BIM)" is landing

© Fraunhofer IMM
Dr. Sisi Li at work in the lab

Biological hazards in industry can be prevented by identifying target microorganisms and timely decontamination actions. Today, logistics, laboratory assay standards and automation of laboratory procedures are elaborated, but still do not enable a fast response (in “real‐time”) to health hazards that affect humans, or to biological threats that spoil industrial products or infrastructures. In various industrial fields, point‐of‐use (PoU) devices for microbial detection are eagerly demanded. Desired solutions must provide high specificity to detect microorganisms in due time (typically < 1 hour), and at the same time, must be cost‐effective, capable to be implemented on‐site and fully automated. 


Polymerase chain reaction (PCR) is a well‐established technique to detect microorganisms by amplifying specific sections of DNA. There is a clear trend that PCR‐based analytics will be accepted as an industrial bio-detection standard. Many studies and work have proven that PCR reactions can be controlled in fully automated microfluidic systems with minimized reagent consumption, thus it is compatible with industrial requirements.


Recently, IMM Diagnostics division successfully managed to control the PCR reaction time within 15 minutes*. In the past 15 years, Fraunhofer IMM has accumulated a wealth of experience in microfluidic point‐of‐care devices for medical diagnostics, especially in automated lab-on-chip nucleic acid extraction and purification from bacterial and viral pathogens. Fraunhofer IMM’s strategy is to expand the existing technological portfolio to not yet addressed industrial applications. Therefore, the missing link that hinders PCR-based applications to penetrate industrial markets is the tedious sample preparation process to extract microorganisms. Methods for extraction of microorganisms are strongly dependent on the sample matrix and volume, and the target concentration of organisms to be detected. The mission of BIM team is to fill the technology gap by enabling automated microorganism extraction directly from industrial sample. 

Our research and development services

BIM team aims to build up an universal point-of-use real-time media monitoring platform, and add corresponding adaptions in order to provide solutions of early-detection of microbiological hazards to a wide range of industries, such as water industry, food and beverage industry, cosmetics industry, painting and coating industry, fuel and lubricants industry, algae and fish farming industry, agriculture industry, bioreactors and bioprocessing industry, as well as defense and biosecurity industry.


*Press release: "Fraunhofer IMM manages to do qPCR tests to detect SARS-COV-2 in as short as 15 mins"