Handling Solid Biological Samples

Handling solid biological samples, such as plant segments, tissue specimens or small organisms, is becoming a key process step in many laboratory and production processes in biotechnology, pharmaceutics, medical engineering and the food-processing industry. In laboratory automation, the majority of current systems have been designed to handle liquid samples automatically (pipetting robots). Consequently, most of the processes involving solid biological samples are carried out manually, which hampers reproducibility and makes them more time-consuming and less cost-effective.

In the past, Fraunhofer IPA has focused its developments on the following topics:

  • Non-destructive manipulation of sensitive biological samples using different physical principles (e.g. mechanical, thermal and optical)
  • Determination of sample characteristics to control handling by system theory

Systems developed from the aspect of hygienic design, i.e. easy to clean and sterilize