M7 Containments & SteuerungM7 Containments & Control

Containments & Control

The modification of implants (e.g. for vascular prostheses and fat organoids) is specifically controlled in special containers, in order to optimise defined application properties under specific conditions. Containments of this type make it possible to provide cells with an optimal environment with respect to growth conditions and sterility.

The constraints in a specific container are complex (in this so-called “harsh environment”), with strict requirements for temperature, isolation, moisture, restricted installation space, mechanical robustness, possible sterilisation etc.. It is a major challenge to provide appropriate sensor technology and signal processing under these conditions. For example, data on temperature, pressure, electrical conductivity, pO, pH, acceleration values etc. may have to be recorded and this requires sensor technology, sensor-signal fusion, signal processing, signal storage and wireless transmission from the containment into an external reader. In order to allow long-term measurements in the containment, efficient energy management is of decisive importance. The technical challenges include the energy supply to the sensors and signal processing. The circuit components are subject to an extremely limited performance budget.

In addition, identical containments must be labelled in such a way that there is no risk of confusion. Their measurement data must be accessible through a wireless connection. The RFID technique (radio frequency identification) is to be used for this purpose. With this aim, the prototype of an integrated data recording, data logging and transmission node is being assembled, but has not yet been miniaturised. On the basis of this prototype, the properties - robustness, transmission range, lifetime, etc. - will be validated. On the basis of the validation results, the first design will be further optimised and miniaturised.

Besides the simple monitoring of the containment, direct intervention in the containment is also possible on the basis of the measured data. This is an important innovation and has the essential feature that the containment must not be opened. External control is needed for data transmission out of the containment and control of (for example) an internal reservoir with active substances that influence the modification of the implants.

Work in the module “Containments & Control” will be in close collaboration with the Department of Microelectronic systems (Prof. Dr.-Ing. Blume) and the modules “Tissue Engineering” and “Biocompatibility / Cell Test Systems”.

Here are the staff of this module