Medical and Biotechnological Applications

The growth of the medical technology sector is accompanied by a multitude of innovations. The development of new products and medical devices as well as therapies is often based upon highly complex raw materials. Fraunhofer FEP has been researching and developing technologies for the modification, functionalization, and coating of surfaces for many years. For this we utilize our core competencies in electron beam and plasma technology, precision coating and organic electronics. We are increasingly applying this know-how to medical and biotechnological issues in order to offer innovative solutions, technologies and efficient treatment methods.

In particular, the topics of sterilization, hygienization and inactivation as well as the processing of tissue for transplants have experienced significant growth in depth and breadth. The treatment of biological tissue using low-energy electrons offers a new possibility of non-destructive sterilization and preservation, and is a main focus of our research.

We use our core technologies to apply biofunctional coatings to critical surfaces or make specific changes to their properties, such as increasing the compatibility of implants with the biological environment (biocompatibility). In the field of wound healing, Fraunhofer FEP works with various antimicrobial coatings. Treatment of medical devices with low energy electrons has also proven to be an effective tool for germ reduction and sterilization of packaging, implants and medical devices.
In our biomedical laboratory unit, we can directly test treated surfaces for biocompatibility and degree of sterilization. In the inactivation of viruses for vaccine production, we are pursuing the replacement of chemistry-based methods with electron beam treatment. This is faster and at the same time more gentle on the vaccine sera, so that more effective vaccines can be produced in a short time.

In addition, research is being conducted on the use of organic light-emitting diodes (OLEDs) for use in light therapy or cell stimulation, for example. Since 2019, our research activities have been addressing the emerging topics of biotechnological processes, exploring the combination of traditional core competencies of the institute with novel bioreactor systems for a wide range of applications.

Let us find together a suitable solution for your medical or biotechnological applications. We look forward to hearing from you!


Our Services

Fraunhofer FEP offers comprehensive competencies with regard to the development and improvement of technologies for medical applications along the entire value-added chain:

  • Customized feasibility studies
  • Conceptualization and planning of an R&D project complete with PM work packages, milestones, and costing
  • Technology development of coating solutions for medical applications
    Development of biofunctional coatings
  • Development of surface modification by treatment with low-energy electrons, UV or plasma
  • Development of associated systems (e.g. compact sterilizers as in-line system solutions, batch/benchtop systems or end-of-pipe sterilization, e.g. using low-energy electrons)
  • Proof-of-concept e.g. of disinfection and sterilization processes
    Portable and integratable monitoring systems based on OLED or microdisplay technology
  • Evaluation of the bacterial load of processes and products/materials
    Verified microbiological and cell biological test laboratory
  • Closed development chains incl. clinical trials through existing cooperations
  • Cleaning know-how from condition analysis and training to the development of customized cleaning technologies
  • Technology transfer

This development work is augmented and supported by:

  • Acquisition and coordination of projects funded by the state and federal governments as well as by the European Union
  • Economic viabilitiy studies
  • Studies on the state of the art, e.g. literature and patent searches



Cleaning, disinfection and sterilization

By irradiating with low-energy electrons, pharmaceutical raw materials, medical instruments, implants, surgical materials, disposables, fluids and products can be cleaned, disinfected and sterilized, partly in their packaging. Other technologies such as UV or plasma processes complement the possible applications.


Coatings for implants and medical products

Coatings are playing an increasingly important role in the medical field and with the development of innovative high-tech implants. Requirements for biocompatibility, functionality and antimicrobial effective coatings are gaining enormous importance. The technological possibilities of the Fraunhofer FEP for this are manifold.


Surface modification

Special modification of surfaces can reduce bacterial adhesion and biofilm formation. On the other hand, it is possible to improve the attachment of human cells and their growth or to specifically control them by partial modification.


Tissue preparation

Tissue transplantations of e.g. heart valves have become a standard part of medical care in Germany. However, the annual demand for cardiovascular tissue, among other things, is constantly increasing, with insufficient human tissue donors currently available. Transplants from animal tissue offer an alternative.


Vaccine inactivation

During vaccine production, viruses are inactivated in the vaccine solution so that they cannot harm the patient. Usually, this is done with chemicals. Fraunhofer researchers use a different approach and treat the pathogens with electrons.


Sensors and

New developments in medical technology are becoming more and more complex and fulfil numerous requirements in terms of comfort, durability and patient wishes. Increasingly, new materials and components with integrated electronics and memory chips are being used.


Displays and Wearables

Displays in consumer and professional applications are becoming more and more demanding. Smartphones, wearables and TVs are equipped with numerous functions to interactively capture and reflect the world.

Electron-beam technology is one of the core areas of expertise for the Fraunhofer FEP and has been adapted and optimized for numerous novel applications over many years. Non-thermal electron-beam technology facilitates treatment at ambient temperature and atmosphere of many different substrates such as polymers, metals, and biological tissues as well as sensors. During treatment with accelerated electrons, free radicals arise that lead not only to the destruction of pathogens, but also to modification of biological macromolecules.

We can use this core technology to apply biofunctional coatings to surfaces or make specific changes to surface properties, such as increasing the compatibility of implants with the biological environment (biocompatibility). The treatment of medical technology products with low-energy electrons has also proven to be an effective tool for reduction of bacterial levels and sterilization of packaging, implants, and medical devices.

In addition to classical electron-beam technologies, the Fraunhofer FEP has extensive know-how in plasma-assisted large-area coating. These technologies are also used for precision coating, such as with durable and stable sputtering processes for specialized coating systems used in optics, sensor technology, and biomedical engineering. For innovative products of the future, we develop and use roll-to-roll technologies to coat and modify flexible materials such as plastic films, ultra-thin glass, textiles, and membranes for various applications.

The technology and process development for the fabrication of organic electronic components in wafer, sheet-to-sheet, and roll-to-roll processes enables us to develop OLED components, OLED microdisplays, and specialized sensors utilizing organic photodiodes. With the help of integrated circuit and system designs, we can design sensor technology modules for detecting surface contamination, for stimulating special processes via photoemission in selected wavelength ranges, and for measuring substances in the ambient atmosphere or in liquids.

We use all these core technologies of the Fraunhofer FEP to develop innovative, application-oriented and sustainable biotechnological and medical applications. Below you will find an overview of the core expertise of the Fraunhofer FEP as well as selected coatings for the biotechnological and medical sector.

The use of non-thermal electron beams as well as our sputtering systems and PVD processes opens the way to non-destructive and efficient production of coatings for medical devices, instruments, materials, and applications. We develop tailor-made, application-specific technologies, processes, equipment, and facilities with which we achieve a wide variety of surface coatings. The transfer and integration of these technologies into the design of your production processes is our goal. A selection of coatings for medical and biological applications can be found here:


Coatings for
medical applications

The use of non-thermal electron beams as well as our sputtering systems and PVD processes opens the way to the gentle and effective production of coatings for medical devices, instruments, materials and applications.


Electron beam

We utilize thermal, chemical, and biological effects of accelerated electrons in the energy range of 10-300 keV for industrial-oriented technological and engineering development, as well as developing tailored electron-beam sources.


large-area and
precision coating

We develop plasma-activated coating processes for industrial-scale manufacturing as well as economical and high-quality large-area coating based on PVD and PECVD processes. We offer suitable cleaning processes and plasma pre-treatment.



We develop high-throughput industrial roll-to-roll technologies for innovative applications of flexible materials.


Organic electronics

We offer technology and process development for organic electronic components on our pilot production lines, from layout development to encapsulation and component integration for OLEDs, microdisplays, and sensors.


IC design

The core expertise in the Integrated Circuits division includes the design of microelectronic circuits and components at Fraunhofer FEP with application- and customer-specific adaptations of the silicon circuit foundries CMOS processes in order to carry out subsequent additional processing of these circuits at wafer level, such as in-house OLED coating for microdisplays or optoelectronic sensors.




Laboratory facility for modifying organic materials with accelerated electrons


ELLI 300

An innovative system concept for the electron treatment of liquids and liquid systems.


Laboratory Unit

Investigation of the biocompatibility/functionality of surfaces, devices, substances and media.

Proof of efficacy for germ reduction methods and determination of dose-response relationships


Systems engineering

The institute has numerous industry-related facilities for the coating of large surfaces in batch systems, in-line or in roll-to-roll processes, as well as electron beam systems for the efficient processing of surfaces.


Project Description
SteriHealth Development of a new sterilisation technology and a highly effective hygiene assurance process for the provision of aseptically packaged medical devices
Theranostische Implantate Development of intelligent implants
Siphon Development of a siphon insert to prevent permanent bacteriological colonisation
BiClean BiClean - Smart antibacterial surfaces using bidirectional display technology
ELVIRA ELVIRA – Development of a method for electron beam-based inactivation of viruses and bacteria for vaccine production
ELITE NK Cells Electron beam-based inactivation for the production of anti-tumour efficient NK cells
Perikles Pericardial valve prosthesis - innovatively prepared using ultraviolet and electron irradiation from Saxony
DLC-Bio-MIC Development of biofunctional, sterilisation-resistant DLC coatings for use in minimally invasive surgery
DOI: 10.1016/j.surfcoat.2016.12.080
3D-nanobakS Development of multifunctional and antibacterial PVD nano-finish layers for 3D fibres and moulded structures
Mucco RSV Mucolsal RSV antigen application for protection against asthma bronchiale
NGST Next Generation Protective Textiles | NGST






MedTech Pharma


Innovation forum FlexMED





Cluster for Biotechnology & Medical Technology in Saxony


Fraunhofer Business Area Cleaning



Coupling biotechnology and medical technology with the Internet of Things



Collaboration with our clients typically begins with a telephone call or email from the client in order to briefly describe the R&D requirement or technological problem, or to set up a meeting.

From that point onward, we work very closely with the client to develop a plan for the work, which leads to a proposal and bid, and finally to an R&D project. Confidentiality can be ensured from the beginning through a confidentiality agreement.

Please feel free to contact us. If we should not be available when you phone, then please send us a brief email and we will happily call you back.

Contact persons

Ulla König

Contact Press / Media

Dr. Ulla König

Group Manager Biocompatible Materials

Fraunhofer FEP
Winterbergstr. 28
01277 Dresden

Phone +49 351 2586-360

Fax +49 351 258655-360

Gaby Gotzmann

Contact Press / Media

Dr. Gaby Gotzmann

Fraunhofer FEP
Winterbergstraße 28
01277 Dresden

Phone +49 351 2586 353

Simone Schopf

Contact Press / Media

Dr. Simone Schopf

Group Manager Biomedical Laboratory Unit

Fraunhofer FEP
Winterbergstraße 28
01277 Dresden

Phone +49 351 2586 205

Medical-biotechnological applications