Technology Offers Medicine / Pharma

Innovative, non-invasive treatment concept for atherosclerotic plaques / arteriosclerosis

At the University of Konstanz multi-functional block copolymers could be developed that remove cholesterol and calcium ions from the atherosclerotic plaques, causing the plaques to dissolve. By changing their mixing ratio, block copolymers can also be adjusted to the plaque composition of the individual patient in order to optimize their effect.
In a mouse experiment carried out in cooperation with the DKFZ Heidelberg, it was shown that the injected polyoxazoline-based block copolymers are distributed throughout the entire body (blood and organs) and then leave the mouse via the bladder. Mice did not show any symptoms during or after the experiment.
Running experiments focus on verifying the promising results of this study in another in vivo test system with optimized polymers.



Fluorescence-based celluar assay for detection of gene regulatory activity of chromatin-associated proteins

Development of eukaryotic cells is regulated by a complex regulatory network of epigenetic signals, thus faulty epigentic states can cause oncogenic transformation and tumor development. To analyze these networks and to identify new targets for drug development a novel epi-reporter in vitro assay was developed. The assay allows to identify and to characterize chromatin-associated proteins, their binding partners and factors that modulate the activity of said proteins inside cells.



New CF treatment: Inhibitors of bacterial quinolone biosynthesis in P. aeruginosa and B. cepacia

This new and uniquely potent compound effectively insulates signal-based attack coordination among pathogenic germs and the associated toxin production. This prevents the spread and at the same time stops immunosuppression. The compound could be used in place of or in combination with antibiotics to provide effective long-term care, particularly in chronically affected patients.



Novel Nanoparticulate Photosensitizers for Daylight-driven Activation

Innovative Hybrid Nanoparticles Generating Singlet-Oxygen for Efficient Photodynamic Therapy (PDT): These two novel types of nanomaterials and efficient daylight-activated photocatalysts are activated by blue, green, and even red light.
They exhibit high photostability and excellent uptake into cells, while the systemic toxicity is low. The concept offers new approaches to the treatment of near-surface tumors as well as for inter- or post-surgery killing of individual remaining cancer cells.



Efficient, low-cost production method for the natural sweetener 5-Ketofructose (5-KF)

5-Ketofructose (5-KF) is the perfect sweetener. Thanks to the inventive method it is now possible to produce the substance efficiently and cost-effectively. For the first time, a natural product produced from renewable raw materials and without any unpleasant aftertaste is made available. It optimally supports diabetic diets without changing the flavour of the meals or drinks.
Recombinant cells of Gluconobacter oxydans are used for its production. Not only can these cells convert fructose to 5-KF in a highly effective manner, but also express enzymes that break down low-cost substrates available in large amounts.



Temporary Microwells – simple and efficient way to homogeneous cell distribution on cell arrays

The invention combines several advantages of conventional systems and offers a simple possibility to realize "temporary microwells" on a cell substrate. In addition, the new arrays ensure homogeneous distribution of transfection material and cells and are also suitable for solid phase transfection.



Identification of "Defense Primers" using OTR – Boosting the innate immune response for agro & pharma applications

The method developed at RWTH Aachen University enables the identification of immune primers using OTR monitoring in a new and very efficient way. Areas of application include plant protection, but also the pharmaceutical industry (preventive medical immune system priming).



Fighting gonorrhea – selective antibacterial agents against multidrug-resistant pathogenic gonococci

This highly effective and specific antimicrobial agent is suitable for the treatment and prevention of gonococci (gonorrhea). It uses a previously unused mechanism against Neisseria gonorrhoeae and does not affect the natural microbial flora - so further development and approval as an antibiotic would be very worthwhile.



Effectively sealing textile fluid bags

This efficient sealing method for multi-layer, woven, three-dimensional fluid containers enables a wide range of applications in a wide variety of industries.
The sealing process can also be integrated into existing manufacturing processes and is suitable for gases and liquids.



Fully automated relocalization of areas of interest on any automated light microscopy system

This technique offers for the first time the possibility of reliable correlative microscopy by means of a cost-effective extension of existing systems. - Identify objects and view them in different systems without any offset!
This platform-independent method opens up a new dimension in automated microscopy and optimizes analyses in all areas of multi-scale imaging.



Biocompatible 3D cell culture system with shape memory effect for gentle and efficient cell cultivation & release

The easily reproducible and cost-effective 3D cell framework, whose macroporous structure consists of shape memory material, allows the absorption and release of cells more gently than conventional methods by purely mechanical action on this stable and at the same time sponge-like material - ideal for cultivating cells in in-vivo-like conditions.



Adaptive mini-lenses for high-resolution magnetic resonance imaging using integrated light microscopy

Thanks to a newly developed adaptive and interference-insensitive mini-optic, high-resolution magnetic resonance imaging can now be performed with integrated light microscopy. The combination also paves new ways for medical diagnostics.



Esophagus electrode probe and method for cardiological treatment and diagnosis

This innovative esophageal catheter has advanced sensors and electrodes that enable comprehensive tissue parameters to be recorded during catheter ablation. Additional sensor technology on the remote side of the heart not only enables reference measurements that allow comprehensive monitoring and thus increase patient safety; hemodynamic monitoring and pain reduction in transesophageal electrostimulation are also possible.



Highly selective modification and detection of epigenetic target nucleobases via tailored TALEs

The invention developed at the University of Konstanz allows for the highly selective detection of epigenetic nucleobases in freely selectable sequences. For the first time, the nucleobases selective, chemical modification of DNA is directly combined with tailored TALE repeats. That leads to a significant competitive advantage regarding sample integrity and required instrumentation.



Determining a person’s biological age, using a sophisticated set of biomarkers

The biological age can reliably be determined with this innovative biomarker set consisting of 30 newly identified biomarkers with a high correlation to the aging process.



Gentle release of cells from hydrogels using lectins for reversible immobilization

This innovation describes hydrogels where cells can be separated from or immobilized in a porous 3D matrix in an extremely quick and gentle fashion. This novel and gentle process, which involves the adapter molecule lectin and its sugar-binding properties, requires only a few minutes and does not result in any by-products causing damage to the cells or the active substances. That is what makes the system an interesting solution for research on artificial biological tissues, for basic research on cell systems in their native environment and for flow cell models, for example.



New antibacterial substance class against MRSA – suitable for the treatment of medically relevant surfaces

A new structural class with antibiotic activity was developed from the privileged structure of bacterial signal molecules. The compounds are characterized by a high level of activity and selectivity against pathogenic bacteria with a low toxicity against human cells. There is thus the possibility of licensing a new antibiotic class that inhibits both methicillin-resistant staphylococcus aureus (MRSA) and gram-negative human pathogens such as Moraxella and Neisseria species. Moreover, it can be used for the impregnation of materials and surfaces.



Direct programmable detection of epigenetic cytosine modifications in DNA using TALEs

Epigenetic modifications at the 5-position of cytosine in DNA provide important clues for diseases such as neurological disorders and a range of cancers. Scientists at the University of Konstanz have now developed a method which allows the direct detection, i.e. without prior chemical modification of the DNA sample, of the epigenetic modification status in the 5-position of cytosine (such as 5mC and 5hmC) in any user-defined sequence. It is a simple and reliable method with high resolution and can be combined with a multitude of detection methods. Detection both in vivo and in vitro is possible.



New strategy against multiresistant hospital microbe

The multiresistant hospital microbe Pseudomonas aeruginosa can form protective biofilms, which make its treatment significantly more difficult. Chronic infections, such as urinary tract infections, enterocolitis, and meningitis, can be fatal, particularly for patients with a depressed immune system. The present invention consists of compounds with high specificity and high affinity which are based on the natural ligand Mannose and act against the lectin LecB, which is a component of the biofilm. This opens the opportunity for a more effective antibiotics therapy by inhibiting the formation of the biofilm through the application of these new glycomimetics.



Early therapy of cystic fibrosis (CF)

At present only the symptoms of the hereditary disease CF, which results in death at a young age, are being treated, not the actual cause. The novel preventive therapeutic strategy consists of an early treatment of CF before any disease-specific symptoms can be detected. In animal trials the early therapy with sodium channel blocker amiloride, commencing immediately after birth, prevents the development of CF. Clinical trials of amiloride as an early intervention preventive therapy against CF are already in the planning phase.



Novel hybrid fluorescent nanoparticles with outstandingly high light intensity

Researchers at the Karlsruhe Institute of Technology (KIT) have successfully developed low-cost, fluorescent dyes with especially high light intensities. These inorganic–organic hybrid dyes can be synthesized easily and isolated, stored and redispersed in common solvents (ethanol/water). They can be excited using blue light (UV or blue light from LED) and emit depending on their composition in the blue, green, red or infrared spectrum. Preferred are applications in the field of medical diagnostic and therapeutic, advertising material and safety equipment (fluorescent marker).

In the field of biology and medicine the advantage of the inventive fluorescent dyes are their sufficient biocompatibility and highly specific signals, that don´t overlap with auto fluorescence of organs, cells and organelles. Thus the hybrid fluorescent dyes represent attractive alternatives to the widely used semiconductor quantum dots and rare earth doted oxides or fluorides.