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Fraunhofer centre to focus on microfluidic “lab-on-a-chip” technology

Picture: DCU

Fraunhofer is to open a site in Ireland to focus on microfluidic “lab-on-a-chip” technologies.

The Fraunhofer Project Centre (FPC) for Embedded BioAnalytical Systems at Dublin City University (DCU) will open in May this year.

The site is a joint initiative by Science Foundation Ireland and Fraunhofer-Gesellschaft Institute.

It is funded by the Science Foundation Ireland, with €2.5m invested in DCU and €2.5m from Fraunhofer to support the partnership with Fraunhofer Institute for Production Technology (IPT) over five years.

The centre will focus on contract and joint research as well as technology development projects addressing design, development and manufacturing.

Systems will enable “point-of-use” testing of samples for applications including pharmaceutical production, life-science research, quality testing in agrifood and environmental monitoring.

Professor Jens Ducrée, director of the FPC, said: “This Fraunhofer Project Centre at Dublin City University is geared to provide modern lab-on-a-chip technologies for translating 21st century breakthroughs in medical research and the life sciences into reality for the direct benefit of people’s health and lives.”

Co-operation with the FPC at DCU will extend Fraunhofer IPT’s international reach and provide access to DCU’s techno-scientific expertise, infrastructure and equipment, as well as links with the UK and North America.

Combined with Fraunhofer IPT’s capability for scale-up from prototyping to mass production, the partnership will provide “fit-for-industry” systems.

Professor Fritz Klocke, executive director of the Fraunhofer IPT, said the institute has the expertise and equipment for production of microfluidic systems.

“The partnership with the colleagues in Dublin creates a significant added value for us because this synergy not only contributes to the extension of our design competencies but also allows us to establish a centre with distinctly unique features.”

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