Biofilms and hygiene

Range of services

Interfacial biology and hygiene

  • Prevention and use of biofilms
  • Microbiological evaluation of surfaces and components in medical engineering, construction, technical applications, hygiene
  • Immobilization of microorganisms on surfaces
  • Localization of microbial contamination and biofilms in production streams
  • Identification of the composition of biofilms
  • Immobilization of microorganisms on surfaces
  • Inactivation and/or reduction of microbial cells by antimicrobial surfaces, photocatalytical processes, plasma sterilization, UV treatment, ultrasound or filtration processes
  • Use of signalling molecules for biosensor applications


Microbiological evaluation

  • Evaluation of microbial impurity on surfaces (e.g. of medical devices, in hygiene and construction) and in production-integrated media (e. g. water)
  • Testing of antimicrobial properties of specially coated surfaces
  • Selection and cultivation of test organisms to evaluate modified surfaces
  • Development of methods for special demands and new requirements


Development of test procedures and innovative materials

  • Creating procedures to minimize the microbial and chemical load in various sectors (e. g. sterilization processes, elongation of retention times for cleansing baths, process water treatment, cost-efficient recycling of production-integrated media, wastewater treatment)
  • Development of innovative materials to reduce the formation of biofilms affecting packaging supply, pipelines, medical equipment and / or for the design of antimicrobial work spaces


  • Microbiological laboratories with modern equipment as well as an appropriately qualified team permit the handling of microorganisms in the risk groups 1 and 2.
  • Activation units are available for the examination of photocatalytically finished surfaces, in which a biological characterization of the specimens can be carried out under defined conditions.
  • Qualitative and quantitative methods of measurement to compare different materials and products.
  • Methods for the evaluation of the adhesion properties and the biofilm formation under static and dynamic conditions.

Test organisms

  • Test organisms of risk groups 1 and 2: Bacteria, fungi, algae (e.g. Escherichia coli, Staphylococcus aureus, Pseudomonas aeruginosa, Aspergillus niger, Scenedesmus spec.)
  • Mixed populations typical of the location: cell wall composition, well-known resistances, genetically determined metabolic properties
  • Use of microorganisms with specific requirements (e.g., anaerobic cultivation conditions, methanotrophic bacteria)
  • Genetically modified strains of relevant organisms for applications in biosensor development (e.g. producing fluorescent proteins)


  • Raman spectrometer with 532 nm, 785 nm laser and CARS technology
  • Biofilm reactoren (e.g. CDC, Drip flow, … ) 
  • Individually designed flow cells
  • Fluorescence microscopy (ZEISS Axio Observer Z1)
  • Sy-Lab BacTrac 4300 for quantitative determination of bacteria
  • Quantitative real time CR (qRT-PCR LightCycler 480)
  • Identification of microorganisms using DNA barcoding (bacteria via 16S, fungi via ITS)
  • Real time impedance analysis (ACEA xCELLigence) for investigation of active agents against biofilms
  • Tecan Infinite 200 PRO
  • Screening processes
  • Standard procedures for evaluating antimicrobial properties of surfaces according to DIN EN ISO standards
  • Culture-based test procedures
  • Scanning electron microscopy (SEM)

Bundled competence for complex requirements

The interdisciplinary cooperation between different R&D departments of Fraunhofer IGB and also with other Fraunhofer institutes provides a close connection of material development, and testing of chemical-physical as well as biological properties. Interested industrial partners are integrated in the context of mission-oriented research. The aim is to create adapted solutions for each of these complex requirements.