Medical Engineering

In the focus area of Medical Engineering, the department is concerned with electrotechnical approaches to the diagnosis and individual therapy of diseases. It works closely with medical faculties, especially in the Rhine-Main region.

Current Research Questions

  • How can electrotechnical systems and methods help to detect diseases and treat people individually?
Picture: Fachbereich etit

“Essence” does not stand for the common translation of “essential”, but for electromagnetic sensors for life sciences.

But what exactly are life sciences? Translated, one simply speaks of life sciences or biosciences, which reflects the core of the discipline quite well: The science takes a close look at processes and structures of living beings or in which living beings are involved.

It is about the further development of special sensors

The project consists of eleven individual research projects that serve to further develop a special class of sensors that use the interaction of electromagnetic fields with matter to measure and control changes. The aim is to create new sensors for the life sciences through interdisciplinary cooperation, the application of innovative principles, concepts and technologies. These new sensors target different levels, such as biomolecules, cells, biological tissue, substances or mixtures of substances.

Dual-mode microwave applicator

To better understand Essence, let's look at the work of the Microwave Engineering Unit from the Department of etit :

Here, scientists are working on the further development of a so-called “microwave- applicator-system” that can not only localise tumours but also eliminate them. Hence the name “dual-mode-microwave-applicator”.

The keyword “microwave” makes most people think of a kitchen appliance, but that is not what this is about. In fact, the technology is related to our microwave, which also uses electromagnetism to heat things.

In addition, the microwave applicator must be able to precisely locate the tumour in order to then remove it thermally. To do this, the electromagnetic waves first detect tissue abnormalities and then heat them to target them.

The microwave-applicator aims to improve on the well-known minimally invasive therapy of ablation:

1. MRI-compatibility i.e. procedure not performed under CT i.e. no X-rays for the patient and the doctor

2. dual mode, i.e. improved positioning of the applicator and thus greater treatment success.

This is what motivates the scientists in particular: The perspective of helping people. In particular, the goal is to use the applicator not only for tumours in other parts of the body such as the lungs or breast.

Funding from the Senate of the German Research Foundation

The Senate of the German Research Foundation (DFG) decided in 2015 to support the priority programme “Essence” with funding, which will be researched for about six years