Biofilms and hygiene

Microorganisms such as fungi and bacteria are omnipresent in nature.  They play an essential role in natural material cycles and are thus of elementary importance for the continued existence of ecosystems. Microorganisms are used industrially in food technology or for the production of antibiotically active substances for pharmaceuticals.

On the other hand, bacteria and fungi cause considerable damage when they occur as contaminants in production and have a negative effect on products. They can also cause technical problems because materials are destroyed or equipment is turned unusable due to microbial growth. Examples include damage caused by fungi in old buildings, deterioration of heat exchanger efficiency due to biofilms, and microbial-induced corrosion damage.

Enormous efforts are also being made in the health sector to prevent the growth of biofilms on natural surfaces such as dental material, but also on synthetic materials such as implants, catheters or medical devices – mainly because of high costs in the event of damage to humans.

At Fraunhofer IGB, we have been working for several years on issues involving the interactions between microbial cells and surfaces. We also have the technical expertise to characterize biofilms and surfaces and to develop individual approaches to prevent bacterial deposits.

Fields of research


Detection of microorganisms

Standardized conventional and specially established methods are used for the detection and identification of bacteria and fungi.


Biological characterization of antimicrobial surfaces

We characterize and develop antimicrobial surfaces.


Biofilms – characterization and avoidance

Where biofilms are unwanted, we support you!

We analyze ...

Confocal Raman microspectroscopy enables spatially resolved identification of chemical, biological and mineral components in complex heterogeneous samples.


Raman spectroscopy and microscopy

The Stuttgart Competence Center for Processing Media (PM)

The Stuttgart Competence Center for Processing Media (PM) for forming and machining – metal working fluids, forming fluids, minimum quantity fluids, multifunctional oils – puts decades of experience at your service.


Cooperation partner: Fraunhofer IPA and Fraunhofer IGB