Business Unit Health Fraunhofer IMS
© left: Adobe Stock -Blue Planet Studio , right: Fraunhofer IMS
Business Unit Health Fraunhofer IMS

Smart sensor systems for health applications

The Fraunhofer IMS develops smart sensor systems for medical implants, in-situ diagnostics and non-invasive healthcare.

Business Unit Health

In the interdisciplinary Business Unit Health at the Fraunhofer Institute for Microelectronic Circuits and Systems (IMS), we develop smart next-generation biomedical sensor systems for medical implants, in-situ diagnostics and non-invasive healthcare applications. These are specifically adapted to the requirements of the target application in the fields of medicine, life science, biotechnology, food, pharmaceutical and environmental technology. Together with our customers, we bring these systems through to approval.

In the field of Medical Implants we develop sensors for detecting health parameters in the body. Integrated electronic signal processing using artificial intelligence (embedded AI) enables intelligent implants. The resulting theranostic implants enable personalized therapies based on the diagnostics determined by sensors; such as the targeted delivery of an active ingredient. Several implantable pressure sensor systems for long-term monitoring of important physiological parameters such as intracranial, blood and intraocular pressure have been developed at the Fraunhofer IMS in recent years. Some of these developments received CE certification and are still approved as active implants today, such as the shunt sensor for treatment of hydrocephalus patients. One field of growing importance is the area of neuroimplants. The development of a retina implant with significant involvement of Fraunhofer IMS received the prestigious Fraunhofer Research Award.

Pressure sensor implant
© Fraunhofer IMS
Pressure sensor implant for treatment of hydrocephalus patients
Optical and electrical biosensor-systems for diagnostics
© Fraunhofer IMS
Optical and electrical biosensor-systems for diagnostics

In the field of In-situ Diagnostics, we develop optical biosensor systems for the sensitive, specific and parallel detection of enzymes, proteins, DNA or other biomolecules. In this way, we are shaping the transformation from hospital care to home care to anycare, i.e. diagnostics on the body no matter when and where. Application fields besides medicine and life science are biotechnology, pharmaceutical production, food and environmental technology. The core technology of the optical sensors are single-photon avalanche diodes (SPADs) to detect low light intensities like in chemiluminescence reactions and fluorescence lifetimes. Furthermore, we are researching novel nanostructures for biosensing and electrical and fluidic contacting of single cells. In addition to biosensor development, one focus of our work is the integration of biosensors into microfluidic systems (e.g. lab-on-chips (LoCs)) and into biohybrid systems.

In the area of Non-invasive Healthcare, we are developing smart sensor assistance systems that record vital signs without contact or close to the body and evaluate them directly. For example, a measuring station that detects vital parameters without contact represents a significant relief for nursing staff in everyday hospital life. The IMS is researching the most accurate and fastest possible detection of these vital signs in different wavelength ranges and quantifies them using machine learning methods. Furthermore, we are working on the next generation of smart patches that can be worn comfortably and perform analysis directly on the patch using integrated artificial intelligence (embedded AI). In the Living Lab of the Fraunhofer inHaus Center with its hospital engineering and intelligent care room, the novel electronic assistance systems can be evaluated under realistic conditions, optimized and thus best tailored to the use case and the market.

Non-invasive Healthcare by means of optical contactless vital parameter measurement
© Fraunhofer IMS
Non-invasive Healthcare by means of optical contactless vital parameter measurement

Our fields of application - Our expertise for you

Medical Implants

We develop smart medical multisensor implants for closed-loop diagnostics and therapy

In-situ Diagnostics

We develop smart optical and electrical biosensor systems for diagnostic point-of-care (PoC) applications

Non-invasive Healthcare

We develop non-contact and body-worn sensor technology for application in medical technology and care support