Being the biggest organisation for applied research and development services in Europe, the Fraunhofer society (FHG) has a strong track record in innovative sustainable research and in bridging the gap between academic research and industrial application. Five different institutes of the FGH participate in the imSAVAR project: The Institute for Cell Therapy and Immunology (IZI), the Institute for Interfacial Engineering and Biotechnology (IGB), the Institute for Toxicology and Experimental Medicine (ITEM), the Institute for Molecular Biology and Applied Ecology (IME), and the Institute for Material and Beam Technology (IWS). Each of them provide expertise in a wide range of aspects relevant to this project. The IZI develops novel gene- and cell-based therapies with translation into early clinical studies, along with a safety assessment under full GLP compliance up to GMP conform manufacturing. They have expertise in immune-oncology and inflammatory diseases, including the development and optimization of humanized mouse models for patient-specific therapies, as well as in identification and validation of novel RNA and protein biomarkers. The IGB has a long history of developing and accrediting human in vitro models. The Attract group Organ-on-a-Chip designs, fabricates, and characterizes microfluidic platforms for the integration of human tissues as MPSs and focuses on the development of functional 3D tissue models from isolated primary human cells and pluripotent stem cells for applications in drug development. The focus of the ITEM is on the development of translational disease models, diagnostic techniques and innovative therapy approaches. Research activities range from toxicology and consumer protection to non-clinical and clinical drug research and development and safety testing. They offer expertise in immunology of the respiratory tract, inflammation and immune mediated effects in chronic diseases such as asthma, COPD, lung injury and infection. Their top priorities are in vivo, ex vivo and in vitro disease models, and the development of human based in vitro and ex vivo models for the immune system by including the response of immune cells into disease models. The IME develops novel targets, therapies, and biomarkers for preclinical and clinical studies in inflammation, autoimmunity, and neurodegeneration. They focus on novel test systems in vitro/ex vivo and translational readouts in vivo and on the identification of modes of action at novel targets using biochemical and cellular test systems. The IWS has been developing microfluidic systems and microprocessing technologies for more than 15 years. The Micro- and Biosystems Engineering Group has profound knowledge of the applications of different laser technologies, adhesive technologies, molding technologies as well as sensor technologies and many years of experience on the development and implementation of customized MPSs that integrate a variety of functions such as pumps, valves, or oxygenators.
Role within Project
- Developing and refining assays for immune-cell profiling, murine models, GLP conform pre-clinical development up to GMP conform manufacturing
- Biomarker detection and validation, including computational biology
- Leading the development of complex immunocompetent MPS and generating cell lines with innate immune system reporters