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Successful Thematic Workshop in Flensburg

Horst-Günter Rubahn, coordinator of the project and head of the Mads Clausen Institute in Sonderborg, introduced the network Technet_Nano and proposed companies to get in contact with the partners of the network. Interested companies are invited to visit the clean rooms and laboratories of the partner organizations and to develop new ideas for joint projects.

Helmut Erdmann, project coordinator and biotechnology professor at Flensburg University of Applied Sciences (FLUAS), presented the project lab-on-chip, which is carried out in collaboration with the Southern Denmark University (SDU) in Sonderborg and the University of Applied Sciences in Kiel (UAS Kiel). SDU develops chips whose surfaces are modified by the team of the UAS Kiel. At FLUAS, the application of the lab-on-chip setup in food analysis is tested. "Long, only a few nanometers thick channels are arranged in this lab-on-a-chip microsystems in which even the slightest traces of bacterial contaminants in food can be fast and specific analyzed," explains Helmut Erdmann. The chip enables the food industry to early detect microbial contaminants in liquid and solid matrices. A few microorganisms can rapidly contaminate or even poison large quantities of foods. The use of contaminated production slots represents a major risk for the food industry and the consumer. Therefore, safe and rapid detection methods such as the use of lab-on-chip microsystems are essential.

Many novel methods, such as the detection of electrical biomolecules in microfluidic systems, have been presented by Tommy Schoenberg of Acreo in Kista (Sweden) to the participants of the workshop for the first time. This led to a discussion about its industrial applications, such as in quality assurance. “A new technology has to pay off”, Arne Buchholz from Dupont (formerly Danisco) in Niebüll explains, "especially the food processing industry tightly calculates and respond only very slow to new technologies."

The entrepreneurs were also very interested in the current state of the art regarding Robotics. Using robots, as they are installed at SDU Odense, up to 120,000 samples can be analyzed simultaneously in 24 hours. The researchers in the group of Jan Mollenhauer, Helle Christiansen and Steffen Schmidt use this high-throughput screening to develop screens for drugs against cancer stem cells, which matches to molecular fingerprints of cancer cells. This will simultaneously yield in anti-cancer drugs for personalized treatment approaches. “The workshop was a great success in my perception”, says Prof. Jan Mollenhauer, one of the participants. “It gave an excellent overview about activities in this field within the Baltic Sea Region and led to many new contacts and ideas for joint projects. We appreciate that this network could be set up with support from the Interreg VB program.”

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