Research News Archive 2011

December 2011

Recognizing blood poisoning quickly

Speed can save lives – especially in the case of blood poisoning. The more quickly and directly doctors recognize and treat sepsis, the greater the patient’s chances of survival. With the help of a new biochip, physicians will now be able to analyze blood within their own practice.

Thinner thermal insulation

Insulation panels that are both thin and effective are expensive. At present these high-end products are built into energy-saving refrigerators. Innovative components and production techniques are now set to sink the costs – so that private home-builders can also benefit from the new technology.

Lying and sitting more comfortabley

People who have to sit at work often have back pain. People permanently confined to bed are even worse off – they frequently develop bed sores. New smart cushioning is intended to eliminate the discomforts of lying and sitting. An integrated sensor system equalizes pressure selectively.

Monitoring food with millimeter waves

We may be able to see through glass, water and air, but not packing paper, plastic or cardboard. What remains hidden from the human eye is made visible by a new millimeter-wave sensor: unlike x-ray scanners, it can see through non-transparent materials without sending out harmful rays.

Bobsled runs - fast and yet safe

They should prove a challenge for the athletes, but not put them in danger: bobsled runs have to be simulated before being built. This simulation is based on the friction levels of the runners on the ice. Now it has become possible to measure these levels accurately. These results will help build the run for the 2014 Olympic Winter Games.

First aid after tick bites

They come out in the spring, and each year they spread further – the ticks. Thirty percent of them transmit borrelia pathogens, the causative agent of Lyme borreliosis that can damage joints and organs. The disease often goes undetected. In the future, a new type of gel is intended to prevent an infection – if applied after a tick bite.

November 2011

High-tech spider for hazardous missions

Spiders are very agile, and some can even jump. They owe this capability to their hydraulically operated limbs. Researchers have now designed a mobile robot modeled on the same principle that moves spider legs. Created using a 3-D printing process, this lightweight can explore terrain that is beyond human reach.

Flexible learning in a virtual microscope lab

For every medical student, examining specimens under the microscope is part of the syllabus. However, the opening hours of the labs and the number of enlargers are limited. Thanks to a new online platform, students are now able to learn with greater flexibility and independence.

Simulating real-world surfaces

These days, cars are developed on computers, and to assist with this, designers want processes which generate realistic surfaces such as seat covers. Researchers have now developed high-resolution scanners which copy objects and fabric samples in a few minutes, converting them into virtual models. The light effects are startlingly realistic.

A fish test to make food safer

Nowadays, half of all the fish we eat comes from fish farms. The problem is that these fish are increasingly being fed vegetable matter, which could lead to a build-up of residual pesticides in them. A new test shows how high the risk of contamination really is.

Plasma in bags

Using plasmas, sealed plastic bags can be modified at atmospheric pressure so that human cells can adhere to and reproduce on their walls. Cell culture bags of this kind are an important aid for research and clinical purposes and may eventually replace the Petri dishes used today.

Custom glass bending

The possible applications for curved glass panels are many and varied – ranging from facades to designer furniture. Researchers have now developed a process which enables the panels to be shaped six times faster and considerably more cost-effectively. Even small batches can be produced economically.

October 2011

Cell cultures from a machine
Cell cultures form the basis of day-to-day research work in applications that range from the development of drugs and vaccines to the decoding of functions of individual genes. Up until now, cell cultures have been sown, tended, observed and transferred to vessels – all by hand. A new device automates these worksteps completely.

The green look for EV charging stations
The network of electric-vehicle (EV) charging stations in Germany is still relatively sparse, but their number is growing rapidly. The majority of roadside charging points take the form of steel-clad pillars. A group of researchers has set out to develop an alternative design based on environmentally compatible materials.

Software to prevent abuse at the click of a mouse
The soot particle filters found on diesel vehicles are designed to ensure that no harm- ful particles make their way through the exhaust pipe. Often, though, the exhaust from newer-model engines is not hot enough to free the filters from soot particles on a regular basis. A new method removes impurities even at low exhaust temperatures.

A living factory
The time it takes for new products to come to market is getting ever shorter. As a consequence, goods are being produced using manufacturing facilities and IT systems that were designed with completely different models in mind. Fraunhofer developers want to make factories smarter so they can react to changes of their own accord.

Microlenses for 3-D endoscopes
Modern endoscopic techniques enable doctors to perform surgery without major incisions. Certain interventions require instruments with special 3-D optics. Researchers have developed an image sensor that transmits perfect 3-D images from inside the human body thanks to the use of microlenses.

Clean soot particle filters
Teaming up with investigators from the State Office of Criminal Investigation in Berlin, Fraunhofer researchers have come up with an automated assistance system for image and video evaluation that can detect child-pornographic images from among even large volumes of data. Soon, it will make prosecutors‘ work easier.


September 2011

3D television without glasses
Fraunhofer Institute for Telecommunications HHI

Saving  electricity while playing
Fraunhofer Institute for Digital Media Technology IDMT
Fraunhofer Application Center System Technology AST

Early detection of plant disease
Fraunhofer Institute for Molecular Biology and Applied Ecology IME

Crash-safe battery protection for electric cars
Fraunhofer Institute for Chemical Technology ICT

Components based on nature's example
Fraunhofer Institute for Mechanics and Material IWM
Fraunhofer Institute for Environmental, Safety and Energy Technology UMSICHT

Wireless window contacts - no maintenance, no batteries
Fraunhofer Institute for Microelectronics Circuits and Systems

August 2011

Cashless Parking
Fraunhofer Institute for Material Flow & Logistics IML

Data Are Travelling by Light
Fraunhofer Institute for Telecommunications, Heinrich-Hertz-Institut HHI

Solar Power Does Not Have a Long Shelf Life
Institute for Solar Energy Systems ISE

Making Runways Safer
Fraunhofer Institute for High Frequency Physics & Radar Techniques FHR
Fraunhofer Institute for Communication, Information Processing & Ergonomics FKIE

Spotting Weaknesses in Solid Wood
Institute for Wood Research WKI

Special Software Helps to Save Species
Fraunhofer Institute for Integrated Circuits IIS
Fraunhofer Institute for Digital Media Technology IDMT

July 2011

A mobile guide for buses and trains
Fraunhofer Institute for Transportation and Infrastructure Systems IVI

Robotics: Safety without Protective Barriers Fraunhofer
Institute for Factory Operation and Automation IFF

The perfect connection between guitar and computer
Fraunhofer Institute for Surface Engineering and Thin Films IST

Expert help form a distance
Fraunhofer Institute for Communication, Information Processing and Ergonomics FKIE

Accident protection in the windshield
Fraunhofer Institute for Reliability and Microintegration IZM

Saving fuel while plowing
Fraunhofer Institute for Mechanics of Materials IWM

June 2011

An alternative to antibiotics
Fraunhofer Institute for Cell Therapy and Immunology IZI

Aircraft systems in the environmental chamber
Fraunhofer Institute for Building Physics IBP

ARD Mediathek enhanced with new search functions
Fraunhofer Institute for Intelligent Analysis and Information Systems IAIS

Precise assembly of engines
Fraunhofer Institute for Machine Tools and Forming Technology IWU

Goodbye cold sores
Fraunhofer Institute for Interfacial Engineering and Biotechnology IGB

The fine art of etching
Fraunhofer Institute for Microelectronic Circuits and Systems IMS

May 2011

Perfect welds for car bodies
Fraunhofer Institute for Physical Measurement Techniques IPM

Microscope – handy, quick and flat
Fraunhofer Institute for Applied Optics and Precision Engineering IOF

Wireless sensor network monitors microclimate in the forest
Fraunhofer Institute for Microelectronic Circuits and Systems IMS

Water for Mongolia
Fraunhofer Institute for Application Center System Technology AST

Training to promote health
Fraunhofer Institute for Software and Systems Engineering ISST

Finding reserves on the electrical grid
Fraunhofer Institutes for Reliability and Microintegration IZM and for Electronic Nanosystems ENAS

April 2011

European space scout
Fraunhofer Institute for High Frequency Physics and Radar Techniques FHR

Ride-sharing for road freight
Fraunhofer Institute for Industrial Mathematics ITWM

Extreme testing for rotor blades
Fraunhofer Institute for Wind Energy and Energy System Technology IWES

Lightning-fast materials testing using ultrasound
Fraunhofer Institute for Non-Destructive Testing IZFP

Rotten meat doesn’t stand a chance
Fraunhofer Research Institution for Modular Solid State Technologies EMFT

Crash sensor boosts safety in warehouses
Fraunhofer Institute for Microelectronic Circuits and Systems IMS

March 2011

Cameras out of the salt shaker
Fraunhofer Institute for Reliability and Microintegration IZM

SmartEnergyLab: Testing smart energy systems
Fraunhofer Institute for Solar Energy Systems ISE

Defective plastics repair themselves
Fraunhofer Institute for Environmental, Safety and Energy Technology UMSICHT

Better batteries for electric cars
Fraunhofer Instiute for Industrial Mathematics ITWM

How to help heal an injured joint
Fraunhofer Institute for Manufacturing Engineering and Automation IPA

Galileo Labs: better positioning with concept
Fraunhofer Institute for Material Flow and Logistics IML

February 2011

Early Detection Of Lung Cancer
Fraunhofer Institute for Cell Therapy and Immunology IZI

Laser welding in the right light
Fraunhofer Institute for Laser Technology ILT

Emergency Detection Systems for Senior Citizens
Fraunhofer Institute for Experimental Software Engineering IESE

Getting cars onto the road faster
Fraunhofer Institute for Chemical Technology ICT

Government mashups – better contact with public authorities
Fraunhofer Institute for Open Communication Systems FOKUS

UV-transparent coating for image sensors
Fraunhofer Institute for Microelectronic Circuits and Systems IMS

January 2011

Interactive Window Shopping
Fraunhofer Institute for Telecommunications, Heinrich Hertz Institute HHI

Impregnating plastics with carbon dioxide
Fraunhofer Institute for Environmental, Safety and Energy Technology UMSICHT

Radiometer finds sources of fire
Fraunhofer Institute for High Frequency Physics and Radar Techniques FHR

Minerals provide better indoor air
Fraunhofer Institute for Wood Research - Wilhelm-Klauditz-Institut WKI

Fraunhofer Institute for Silicate Research ISC
Learning while driving Fraunhofer Institute for Applied Information Technology FIT

Eating low-fat, thanks to lupin proteins
Fraunhofer Institute for Process Engineering and Packaging IVV