Recent Projects

Successful therapy against microbes - investigation using photonics


Infective endocarditis is a life-threatening biofilm infection of the inner lining of the heart, including the heart valves. Prompt and precise pathogen diagnosis is often life-saving. However, antibiotic therapy has so far only been adapted in terms of pathogen species and resistance. This means that it does not do justice to biofilm-associated infections in particular, as antibiotics often fail here. This leads to therapy "on suspicion", the success of which is often limited. In the TEAM project, the photonic method of "fluorescence in situ hybridisation" (FISH) will be used to create the basis for an adapted therapy. FISH can be used to visualise and identify bacteria in tissue sections, determine their number and activity and establish whether they form a biofilm.

Goals and approach

The aim of the TEAM joint project is not only to recognise the infection quickly and reliably, but also to use FISH to make the severity of the infection and the success of the therapy measurable. A "biofilm classifier" is to be developed for this purpose:

  • innovative PNA-FISH for higher sensitivity and improved activity measurements,
  • automated image acquisition and image analysis,
  • intelligent image data archive and
  • objective biofilm staging with the help of artificial intelligence.

In an accompanying clinical study, the results of the image analysis are correlated with the clinical data and the antibiotic therapy.

Innovation and prospects

The aim of TEAM is to carry out a risk stratification of patients on the basis of the "biofilm classifier" and to enable new therapeutic algorithms. In future, FISH will be used to control the dose, duration and selection of antibiotic therapy in a targeted and therefore personalised manner.


Project partners

Rapid and specific identification of microorganisms by photonic FISH under field conditions


Fast and sensitive on-site diagnostics in outbreak situations: Fast, sensitive and specific diagnostics of microbiological pathogens is essential for the protection of the population. Photonic fluorescence in situ hybridisation (FISH) is ideal for the diagnosis of infectious agents under limited conditions 'in the field', i.e. not under laboratory conditions. FISH makes microorganisms visible under the microscope, is fast and specific and does not require sensitive enzymes or spatial conditions.

Goals and approach

The aim of FIELD is the rapid and specific identification of microorganisms using photonic FISH under field conditions: The innovative goal of this project is to make the FISH methodology field-capable. To this end, suitable storage and transport-stable FISH probes, a laboratory guidance system and a digital image documentation system must be researched. For the evaluation of FISH, a robust microscope that can also produce, document and analyse FISH images reliably and in high resolution in the field is still lacking.


Project partners

Innovation and perspectives

Tuberculosis - a globally present infectious disease: The field FISH demonstrator planned in this project is intended to enable diagnostics in the field for the first time using tuberculosis as an example. Clinical samples from patients with suspected tuberculosis will be analysed as part of a clinical study and practical tests under field conditions. This innovative field FISH can not only carry out rapid and reliable infection diagnostics to protect the population in the event of a crisis in Germany, but can also be used worldwide in countries without large laboratory capacities thanks to its mobility and telemedicine approach.


Successfully completed projects

Patient-moderated communication between medical service providers

Project description

The aim of the project was to develop a cross-facility provision of treatment data by the patient to aftercare providers. The innovation consists in the active participation of the patient ("patient empowerment") and in the transfer of selected contents of a medically managed file to aftercare providers. The benefits will be evaluated by the Deggendorf University of Applied Sciences using the example of rehabilitation aftercare and follow-up treatment with selected, representative rehabilitation clinics in the Lower Bavarian spa triangle (Bad Füssing, Bad Griesbach, Bad Birnbach) in terms of manageability as well as process and quality improvement in care. Exploratively, the project realises the transfer to a patient's health record as a further innovation in accordance with Article 20 of the General Data Protection Regulation [GDPR, 2016], which will apply throughout Europe from mid-2018.

Utilisation is guaranteed by the applicant AUC as a developer and implementer of solutions in the healthcare sector and by building on a cooperation platform established in Bavaria and nationwide (TKmed® with more than 200 clinics) and the company E&L.

Project partners

Co-operating partners are:

  • All 27 clinics of the TraumaNetzwerks Ostbayern (TNO)
  • 5 rehabilitation clinics from the Rottal-Inn spa triangle that are actively involved in the pilot study for the evaluation.

Panoramic mapping of the stomach and intestine in endoscopy

Project description

Examinations of the stomach and intestines with an endoscope are used for the early detection and treatment of tissue changes. Due to the limited keyhole perspective, only a section of the walls is visible at any one time. The doctor has to mentally synthesise what they see to form an overall picture. As part of the project, components for mapping and documenting the walls of the stomach and intestines are being developed, analysed and evaluated to provide the doctor with a panoramic image of the cavities during the examination.

Project partners

Development of a high-throughput evaluation of microbiological FISH preparations


Innovative PACS solution for storing and processing high-volume, complex fluorescence microscopy data sets

Project description

Serious infectious diseases are among the ten most common causes of death in Europe and are one of the greatest challenges for healthcare systems. A large proportion of these infections are caused by so-called biofilm infections, for the detection and targeted treatment of which diagnostic methods are currently lacking. However, rapid and specific detection of pathogens is essential for the correct choice of antibiotic therapy. FISH (fluorescence in situ hybridisation) is a recognised diagnostic method that combines the advantages of molecular biology, fluorescence microscopy and histology and is based on fluorescence-labelled DNA probes. Using FISH, microorganisms can be visualised and identified microscopically in a tissue context and quantified according to number, localisation and activity. The Biofilm Centre of the German Heart Centre Berlin (DHZB) has unique expertise in the FISH diagnostics of biofilm-associated infections. Corresponding FISH kits and machines are already under development and are expected to be launched on the market in the next few years. The aim of this project is to develop the final building block for the simple, safe and rapid use of FISH on a large scale.

Photonics, digital image analysis and intelligent management of big data for improved infection diagnostics

FISH produces very large amounts of image data, which are extremely time-consuming and complex to interpret. To solve this problem, three components are being developed as part of this project:

  • digital image analysis for the automatic detection and quantification of microorganisms,

  • a workflow integration and sample handling solution for the quantitative analysis of biofilms for the development of new prevention (e.g. surfaces) and treatment methods (e.g. antibiotics)

  • an intuitive archiving and workflow system for fast and secure storage, organisation and processing of all relevant (image) data.

In a diagnostic study, iSOLID will be evaluated directly on clinical material. In combination with these components, the structural possibilities will be created to utilise this high-throughput FISH technology routinely on a supra-regional and international level, thereby closing the existing gap in the diagnosis of infectious diseases. The common vision of all project partners is to equip other laboratories in this cooperation with licensed know-how and equipment technology for FISH diagnostics in the medium term and to realise the evaluation via Tele-FISH at the Biofilm Centre.

Project partners

Metropolregion - Rhein - Neckar - Raum für Gesundheit

Project description INFOPAT

The Rhine-Neckar Metroploregion (MRN) is one of five BMBF-funded health regions of the future in Germany. The aim is to interlink all players involved in the healthcare industry and thus establish structures and processes that enable cross-sectoral care for chronically ill people. Based on the premise "the citizen and patient at the centre", technologies are to be developed that take into account complex treatment processes, the need for care and the requirements for efficiency and quality. To this end, several application and development projects with a wide range of research projects involving 26 partners from science, research, industry, social services and the public sector will initially be carried out for the use cases of diabetes and colorectal cancer, centred around a patient-controlled personal electronic patient record.



Sub-project description PEPA

This project focusses on the development of a personal electronic patient record (PEPA) across all facilities. It is used for regional communication between all healthcare providers involved in the treatment. It combines the advantages of pure doctor-managed electronic patient records across institutions with those of electronic health records, in which the responsibility for the content lies with the patient in addition to rights management. The PEPA approach strengthens the rights of patients by allowing them to provide data themselves and decide on access authorisations, while at the same time ensuring the high quality and completeness of the data contained, as this also comes directly from the primary systems of the service providers connected to the record. The primary systems are integrated using international standards such as HL7 and DICOM. IHE profiles are also used. This ensures compatibility with the telematics infrastructure.
New data islands are avoided. Additional healthcare providers are quickly connected to the PEPA via appropriate adapters. This avoids media disruptions in intersectoral communication, reduces costs by reducing multiple examinations and saves time for patients on the service provider side by eliminating the need to search for records.

To achieve this, all services, especially document and image management, should be mapped using IHE profiles.

CHILI's tasks were as follows:

  • Provision of PACS components for the PEPA core (image cache)

  • Conception of interfaces for communication with the primary systems (IHE adapter)

  • Functionality for the exchange of medical image data based on IHE XDS-I.b

  • Implementation of image viewing software for embedding in the professional and patient portals (record infrastructure)

  • Implementation of a single sign-on for all components based on IHE XUA / SAML

  • Implementation of an audit interface in accordance with IHE ATAN

  • Configuration and testing of all interfaces in the test and productive system, as well as project-related support and further developments and customisations

Project partners

Sub-project P2 was carried out in collaboration with other partners in the joint project:

D-GRID_MedlnfoGRlD: Provider for integrated medical information image data, therapy options, documentation, research

Project description 

The overall aim of the joint project is to create a user-transparent virtual documentation and information server that provides disease-relevant image and diagnostic findings as well as research and therapy information based on an integrated data structure. For the special medical requirements, data protection functionalities and the infrastructure for the administration of very large and complex distributed data volumes must be developed. The medical focus is on tumour diseases. In line with the philosophy of the Internet, a self-growing structure is to be developed on an open source basis, i.e. the project is open to all interested participants. The solution makes it possible for doctors and researchers to exchange integrated image findings data, e.g. for rare diseases or expert consultations, in compliance with data protection regulations. The standards for the solutions were chosen so that they can be linked to large national and international projects and are compatible with the DICOM and IHE medical standards.

The tasks of CHILI within the framework of the sub-project were as follows:

  • Connection of storage and databases

  • Provision of functionality for the exchange of specialised medical information and medical data (including image data) as well as telemedicine functionalities

  • Conception of interfaces and database structures

  • Creating, configuring and testing the interfaces to the local systems in Magdeburg and Mainz

  • Creating the interfaces to the pathology system

  • Customisation of the recording and evaluation masks in the web interface

  • Implementation of a telemedicine solution in the GRID environment

The results of this project are software implementations that are available on the MedInfoGrid cluster. In particular, these are the services:

  • Educational image collection
    Pathology viewer
    Telemedicine file

These are integrated into the other services of the cluster.

Project partners

  • Universität Magdeburg (Koordinator), Magdeburg
  • NEXUS / CHILI GmbH, Dossenheim
  • Universitätsklinikum Mainz, Mainz
  • OFFIS e.V., Oldenburg
  • Med&Art GbR, Berlin