FhG IBMT – Germany

Fraunhofer Gesellschaft zur Förderung der angewandten Forschung e.V.
– Institut für Biomedizinische Technik
Ensheimer Strasse 48
66386 St Ingbert, Germany

d-LIVER Contact:

Stephan Kiefer
Group Manager Home Care/Telemedicine
Tel: +49 6894 980156
E-mail: stephan.kiefer(at)ibmt.fraunhofer.de
Website: www.ibmt.fraunhofer.de


The Fraunhofer-Gesellschaft is a non-profit organization that takes its name from Joseph von Fraunhofer (1787–1826), the illustrious Munich researcher, inventor and entrepreneur. Founded in 1949, the research organization undertakes applied research that drives economic development and serves the wider benefit of society. Its services are solicited by customers and contractual partners in industry, the service sector and public administration. At present, the Fraunhofer-Gesellschaft maintains more than 80 research units in Germany, including 60 Fraunhofer Institutes. The majority of the more than 20,000 staff are qualified scientists and engineers, who work with an annual research budget of €1.8 billion. The Fraunhofer-Institut Biomedizinische Technik (FhG-IBMT) is one of the four institutes of the Alliance Life Science of the Fraunhofer-Gesellschaft. FhG-IBMT is working in close collaboration with industry since its foundation in 1987. FhG-IBMT applies its potential on subjects, such as non- or minimal-invasiveness, microsystems engineering, implant technology (interfaces between technical and biological microsystems), molecular and cellular biotechnology, nano(bio)technology, cryotechnology, biocompatibility, ultrasound technology, sensor manufacturing technology, telemetric data and energy transfer, health telematics, intelligent personal health systems and multilocal sensor systems connected by communication technologies. Important R&D fields are industrial applications of the molecular and cellular biotechnology and the cryotechnology for storage of living samples at low temperatures as well as isolation, cultivation and differentiation of stem cells for the regenerative medicine.

Three units of FhG-IBMT will contribute in different roles to the d-LIVER project.

Telematics and Intelligent Health Systems Department

The Telematics and Intelligent Health Systems Department has a well-known expertise in innovative ICT solutions for e-home care, mobile healthcare, telemedicine, secure medical communication, ambient assisted living, semantic biomedical data integration and innovative ICT infrastructures for cryo biobanking or clinical cancer research. The department provides complete disease management platforms composed of wearable sensor solutions with personal health assistants for mobile and home-based telemonitoring complemented by novel personal electronic health record applications linked to eHealth infrastructures. FhG-IBMT has coordinated the European IST project TOPCARE in which a telematic home care platform for cooperative healthcare services was developed to support home therapies such as home ventilation, infusion therapies and coagulation therapies. In addition, the department contributes to the development and implementation of ICT infrastructures for clinical cancer research or HIV vaccine development.

Contribution to the project: Leader of WP7 ‘Communications, patient management and decision support’. The department will lead the development of the Liver Patient Management System (LPMS) and the corresponding Personal Health Manger of the patient. LPMS will include a workflow oriented decision support system  for interventions on chronic diseases.

Key personnel involved:

Scientific team leader: Stephan Kiefer (stephan.kiefer(at)ibmt.fraunhofer.de), Group Manager, was born in Saarbrücken, Germany in 1962. He received his degree in informatics from the University of Saarland, Germany in 1991. Since 1991 he has worked as a scientist in FhG-IBMT where he leads the group Home Care & Telemedicine in the Telematics / Intelligent Health Systems department. His expertise is on biosignal monitoring, personal health systems, telemedicine solutions and IT based clinical and biomedical research infrastructures. His project group has developed telecare systems for stroke rehabilitation and the telehealth platform TOPCARE. Stephan Kiefer has more than 15 years of experience in managing national and international R&D projects and pilot trials in the area of health telematics.

Marco Hüster (marco.huester(at)ibmt.fraunhofer.de), Software Architect, received his degree of business administration from the University of Applied Sciences of Saarland, in 2002. He received his degrees of computer science from the University of Saarland, in 2007 and 2011. Since 2001 he worked for Software AG (formerly IDS Scheer AG), mediserv GmbH and DFKI GmbH aka German Research Centre for Artificial Intelligence. In October 2011, he joined FhG-IBMT where he is a member of the group Home Care & Telemedicine. His research interests are: Artificial Intelligence – Plan Recognition, Decision Support and Database Systems – Database System Architectures, Physical Database Design and Process Formalization – BPMN, Process calculus. Marco Hüster has more than 7 years of professional experience in software development, software design and in leading and managing software development projects.

Selected publications in the field of the project

1.     Ali S., Kiefer S. “Semantic Coordination of Ambient Intelligent Medical Devices – A Case Study“. In Proceedings of ACM SIGCHI, IEEE, EMB International Conference on Pervasive Computing Technologies for Healthcare, London, UK, 2009

2.     Brochhausen M., Stenzhorn H., Daskalaki E., Schera F., Schwarz U., Sfanianakis, S., Kiefer, S., Dörr M., Graf, N. Tsinakis, M.: “The ACGT Master Ontology and Its Applications – Towards an Ontology-Driven Cancer Research and Management System”. Journal of Biomedical Informatics, Elsevier, 2010, E-published ahead of print. DOI 10.1016/j.jbi.2010.04.008.

3.     Kiefer S., Schäfer M., Ali S., Ruff R, Hoffmann K.-P.: “Personal Health Systems for stroke rehabilitation at home – Experiences from pilot trials”. Tagungsband Ambient Assisted Living, 1. Deutscher AAL-Kongress, 30.01.-01.02.2008, pp. 357–361

Biomedical Microsystems Department and research group In-vitro Culture Technologies

The Department of Biomedical Microsystems develops microfluidic devices for cell handling. It also integrates micro sensors and diagnostic chips into complex biomedical devices. The research group In-vitro Culture Technologies at FhG-IBMT is acting at the interface of technical systems/microsystems (MEMS) and cellular, micro- and molecular biology, providing a series of products and services in the field of biotechnology and tissue engineering. The focus of R&D is the development of 3D in vitro cell cultures and methods for a non-invasive and marker-free characterization of cells and tissues. For evaluation of the feasibility of non-destructive cell characterization, a huge variety of cell and molecular biological methodologies is available in the lab and used on a regular basis.

Dr. Thomas Velten (thomas.velten(at)ibmt.fraunhofer.de) received his degree of physics from the University of Kaiserslautern, in 1994. He received his doctoral degree (Dr.-Ing.) in Electrical Engineering at the Microsensor and Actuator Technology Centre at the Technical University of Berlin. As a research and development scientist at Endress and Hauser, Maulburg, he worked on miniaturised pressure sensors. In October 2001, he joined FhG-IBMT, St. Ingbert, where he is currently heading the Biomedical Microsystems department.

Dr. Erwin Gorjup (erwin.gorjup(at)ibmt.fraunhofer.de) received his diploma in biology from the Technical University Darmstadt and his doctoral degree from the University of Saarland, in 2010. Currently, he is heading the research group “In-vitro Culture technologies”.

Contribution to the project: Leader of WP5, development/adaptation of a bioreactor platform based on human or porcine cells suitable for testing different concepts of adding sensor system. Continuous monitoring of cell culture in bioartificial liver support system.

Selected publications/patents in the field of the project:

  1. Cho, S., Gorjup, E., Thielecke, H.: “Chip-based Time-continuous Monitoring of Toxic Effects on Stem Cell Differentiation”. Annals of Anatomy, 191, 145-152, (2009).
  2. Brandenburg, A., Thielecke, H., Hoffmann, C., Malthan, D., Schwarz, R.: “Cultivation of cell culture in automated cell culture system, comprises detecting data condition of cells in the cell culture and regulating the culturing condition based on the detected condition and determining the cells data conditions”. Patent number WO2006119860 (2008).
  3. Velten, T. et al: “Packaging of bio-MEMS: strategies, technologies and applications”. IEEE Transactions on Advanced Packaging, Part B, Volume 28, Issue 4, pp. 533-546 (Nov. 2005).