Welcome to the website of the AmbuLung project


This project is performed by an interdiscipliary, multinational team of experts.

As one of 60 institutes of the Fraunhofer-Gesellschaft the Institut for Interfacial Engineering and Biotechnology IGB is part of Europe’s largest facility for applied research.

The Fraunhofer Gesellschaft is a non-profit organization and undertakes applied research of direct utility to private and public enterprises and of wide benefit to society. The competences of the Fraunhofer IGB comprise interfacial engineering and membrane technology as well as biotechnology, cell biology and bioprocess engineering.

In the medical business area at the Fraunhofer IGB top-ranking scientist with multidisciplinary backgrounds work together with medical specialists on interdisciplinary projects, addressing topics in the areas of tissue engineering, regenerative medicine, immunology, infection biology, diagnostics, and the “biologization” of established medical products.

The focus of regenerative therapies is on the development of autologous transplants (advanced therapy medicinal products, ATMPs).

The Fraunhofer IGB maps the complete value-added chain up to GMP-compliant manufacturing of ATMPs. Research in biomaterial sciences focus on the development and optimization of materials for biological applications, e.g. implants and cell culture products.

Main topics are bioinspired or biomimetic strategies. Knowledge of specific cell-material interaction is crucially important, especially for the cultivation of primary cells and the in vitro imitation of stem cell niches in tissue engineering.


All the research work has led to more than 200 publications in peer-reviewed-scientific journals reviews as well as 150 patent grants


The overall goal of Fraunhofer IGB's tasks within the AmbuLung project is to develop a surface functionalization which promotes endothelial cell adhesion and leads to long-term functionality, thrombogenicity and biocompatibility of AmbuLung.



The Fraunhofer IGB team

Fraunhofer IGB's contribution as a partner within the AmbuLung consortium will be directed and monitored by Prof. Dr. Ing. Thomas Hirth, the director of the institute, and implemented mainly by two working groups.


Petra Kluger is a biologist and examined in her PhD the interaction between primary cells and modified biomaterial. She built up her own group "cells and biomaterials" at the Fraunhofer IGB and is actually the head of the department "cell and tissue engineering". With her team of experienced scientists Petra has participated in several research projects in the field of tissue engineering, cell-material interactions and endothelalisation. Results were published in peer review journals and led to patent applications. Petra is a lecturer at University of Stuttgart, Hohenheim and the University for Applied Science in Offenburg for tissue engineering, biomaterials and biomedical engineering.


Kirsten Borchers is a biologist and her work is focused on biomaterial development and bio-functionalization of synthetic materials. After her doctorate at University of Stuttgart, which was dedicated to the development of nanoparticle-based 3D microarrays for protein detection, she joind Fraunhofer and built up the biomaterial engineering within the department of interfacial engineering and material science. With her team Kirsten develops new materials based on bio-molecules for applications such as bio-functional coatings or cell encapsulation in the fields of tissue engineering and bioprinting. She is head of the working committee "biomimetic biomaterials" of the Deutsche Gesellschaft für Materialkunde e.V. (DGM) and assistant lecturer at the University of Stuttgart. With her team Kirsten contributes to the AmbuLung project by synthesizing heparin-based coatings featuring both, reactive functions for covalent coupling to the gas exchange membrane and linker functions for the immobilization of of cell-adhesion peptides.


Annika Wenz is a PhD student at the University of Stuttgart. During her Master’s thesis in biomedical engineering, she started working in the field of cell-material interactions and surface endothelialization, and now contributes her experience to the AmbuLung project. Her expertise ranges from biomimetic surface functionalization and the isolation and culture of primary human cells to various methods for cell and surface analysis.


Kirstin Linke is a biological engineer and is working in the field of tissue engineering. She is the head of Quality Control in the GMP Group of the department which is developing ATMP’s (Advanced Therapy Medicinal Products). Her expertise in this field is the development, implementation and validation of quality criteria and tests for the quality control of cell based products which are produced under GMP conditions and provided for clinical use.

Ann-Kathrin Kapfer
is a Biology Laboratory Technician made her education in the department cell and tissue engineering of the Fraunhofer IGB. She is also trained in working under GMP conditions in the field of the development of tissue engineered ATMP’s especially in the quality control.

Markus Schandar is a biologist and the group leader of the GMP group of the Fraunhofer IGB. He is working on cell culture and tissue engineering already during studies and is developing tissue engineered ATMP’s since the late 1990s. He is Head of Production and Qualified Person of the Group and therefore responsible for the GMP conformity of the GMP unit.

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This project is funded by the European Union EU-Flagge sfp