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Optoflutronics - Multi-Parameter Screening

In the medical technology, biotechnology and pharmaceutical research, the application of optical methods already belongs to the everyday life. The majority of all biological assays, i.e. test systems, are based on optical readouts. One reason for this lies in the broad applicability of optical assays. At present, however, only very specific parameters can be analysed, what cannot illustrate the complex effects of active or toxic substances in complex cell culture systems or micro-organisms. This, in particular, limits the development of new active substances in the pharmaceutical industry. Thus, unwanted side effects that were not generated by the drug itself but by its metabolites can not be determined.

The project aim of "Optoflutronics - MST-toolbox for multi-parameter screening" is to demonstrate the performance highly integrated optical microsystems for the determination of substances with a large spectrum of activity with little effort. This requires a new approach, to optically determine efficiently and fast various metabolic or cellular characteristics for various relevant organisms. The investigated microsystems offer thus the potential for the solution of existing problems with in vitro assays. This technological approach has huge potential in various application areas:

• Selection of appropriate test organisms and 3D-cultivation of differentiated functional humane tissue cells and multi-cellular systems,

• Investigation of material mixtures, also within low concentration ranges,

• Advancement of ecotoxicological test batteries up to the mechanistical enlightenment of harmful effects.

To achieve these ambitious aims, miniaturized opto-fluidic systems on basis of micro bioreactors and micro fluid segments are necessary. These allow on the one hand the observation of the complex response behaviour of 3D cellular aggregates. On the other hand, in it the separate cultivation of cells in larger series and the determination of the dose-dependent response behaviour of cells to toxic substances and substance combinations of pharmaceuticals and xenobiotics is generally possible.

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>>> Poster: Optoflutronics