INNOVENT

Developments and Projects

Projects funded by the Free State of Thuringia

Here you will find an overview of current projects of INNOVENT that have been funded by the Free State of Thuringia. The project supported by the Free State of Thuringia was co-funded by the European Union within the framework of the European Regional Development Fund (ERDF).

 

2020 IVN 0058: Preparation of an R&D project on: Novel materials and strategies to combat bacterial resistance and biofilm formation regarding bacterial communication (Quorum sensing)

Project No.: 2020 IVN 0058

Project topic: Preparation of an R&D project on novel materials and strategies to combat bacterial resistance and biofilm formation regarding bacterial communication (Quorum sensing)

For about 20 years INNOVENT e. V. has been working in the field of antimicrobial agents. In numerous studies and projects on antibacterial efficacy, fundamental scientific findings have been obtained, some of which have been transferred to application in cooperation with companies. A number of results on a laboratory scale are already available, which can be used commercially after further R&D work. These include the synthesis and modification of antibacterial materials, antibacterial coatings for implants, control release systems and antibacterial wound dressings.

The worldwide increase in bacterial resistance makes it necessary to develop new strategies to combat the germs. One possibility is to inhibit the production of biofilms and the bacterial communication system Quorum sensing (QS). Antimicrobial substances are virtually ineffective against infections caused by bacteria that produce biofilms. These bacteria are no longer or only with great difficulty accessible for antibiotics in the formed biofilms. For example, Pseudomonas aeruginosa, a pathogen causing pneumonia and other infections, protects itself from antibiotics by producing biofilms. This formation can be prevented by interrupting the bacterial communication system Quorum sensing (QS).

Some medically relevant biofilms are:

  • Cystic fibrosis: The chronic lung infection that severely affects cystic fibrosis patients is caused by the gram-negative rod-shaped bacterium Pseudomonas aeruginosa. Once a biofilm has formed on the lungs, the bacteria cannot be destroyed even by the most aggressive antibiotic treatments. Patients with this hereditary disease form viscous mucus in the lungs due to a disturbed salt transport in the epithelial cells, which forms a good breeding ground for pathogens.
  • Contact lenses: Film-forming bacteria can also settle on contact lenses. The germ Pseudomonas aeruginosa in particular plays an important role here. Although it does not occur in the normal flora of the eye, it can get into the eye through mascara sponges or contaminated cleaning solutions for contact lenses. However, corneal inflammation only occurs when there are minor injuries.
  • Implants: Bacterial biofilms are responsible for about 60 percent of all infections in implantation surgery. Patient mortality is particularly high when endogenous implants such as artificial joints or heart valves are affected.
  • Catheters: Intravenous accesses, such as those required for blood transfusions or artificial nutrition, can also lead to serious infections. Germs of the normal skin flora such as Staphylococcus species or pathogens such as various Pseudomonas species can accumulate on the outside of the access before it is introduced into the patient's blood vessels. There, the bacteria then form a film that, if detached, can cause chronic infections.
  • Plaque: The plaque on teeth is not only unattractive, but under certain circumstances also dangerous: caries, gingivitis (bleeding gums) and periodontitis (gum inflammation) can be the result. In addition, germs of the oral flora can enter the blood system through small wounds, which are suspected to cause heart attacks, premature births or diabetes. The great importance of preventing and combating biofilm formation is already apparent from these few examples.

In the previous work at INNOVENT e. V., "individual" strains of bacteria were specifically combated which had a particular effect on the bacterial cell itself, such as the destruction of the cell wall/membrane, introduction of an antibiotic into the cell or through surface effects.

A new challenge is the control or prevention of bacterial biofilms. Bacteria are not lonely, weak unicellular organisms. They are organized, communicative and structured. The vast majority of microorganisms live in complex associations, so-called biofilms. In these structures, which are difficult to destroy, the bacteria show an altered metabolism and a resistance behavior that is many times superior to that of single individuals. Biofilms are responsible for some of the most persistent and dangerous infections as listed above.

 

The Polyclinic for Conservative Dentistry and Periodontology of the University of Jena was commissioned to carry out the work.

2020 IVN 0053: Preparation of an R&D project for the development of processes for surface functionalization of wood-based materials in a regional value-added network

Project No.: 2020 IVN 0053

Project topic: Preparation of an R&D project to develop processes for the surface functionalization of wood-based materials in a regional value creation network

For about five years INNOVENT has been working on the functionalization of wood and WPC surfaces. Such investigations were first initiated at INNOVENT in 2015 with the start of the international research project PlaCoW (Plasma coatings for wood and wood-polymer-composites). After fundamental investigations of the influence of atmospheric pressure plasma technology and flame treatment technology on the base material wood, technical modifications of such coating technologies were carried out. By means of these modifications, the introduction of chemical precursors can be achieved, which in turn enables the deposition of thin functional layers on surfaces. The work carried out within the framework of the R&D project, which has already been completed, has made it possible to gain fundamental scientific knowledge and to demonstrate the possibility of creating coating properties such as antibacterial, fungicidal, water-repellent and/or paint adhesion-improving.

Results are already available on a laboratory scale, which can be used economically in the future after further R&D work. Several conditions must be met for this to happen, and these are to be addressed in a project funded by the "RUBIN - Regional Entrepreneurial Alliances for Innovation" funding instrument. Core topics are the upscaling of coating technology (reproducibility, economic efficiency, ecology) as well as the further processing of coated materials by different technologies to innovative, competitive products.

The economic and innovation consultancy Prof. Dr. Franz Rudolph was commissioned to carry out the work.

2019 WIN 0003: Construction of a measuring station for process control and layer analysis of surface functionalizations

Investment in research-related equipment infrastructure

Project No.: 2019 WIN 0003

Project topic: Development of a measuring station for process control and layer analysis of chemical, electrochemical and plasma chemical surface functionalization of different substrate materials

In the context of increasing demands on components and their surfaces, surface technology is becoming increasingly important. For this purpose, the business-oriented research institute INNOVENT e. V. has been successfully developing new coating systems and innovative surface functionalization for over 25 years. Particularly in the Department "Surface Technology", modern coating processes are applied. Examples of these processes are the generation of thin films, by using atmospheric pressure plasma, flame pyrolysis or the process of plasma chemical oxidation. The associated technological developments include a wide variety of chemical, electrochemical and plasma-chemical surface treatments of numerous materials. At INNOVENT, it is possible to treat the following materials: light metals (aluminum, magnesium, titanium and the corresponding alloys), stainless steels and special materials (Dispal®, molybdenum, tungsten), as well as glass and ceramic materials, wood, textile fabrics and fibers.

Within the scope of the planned investment, a new measuring station is now being built which combines sample preparation as well as process monitoring and layer analysis. This is done in order to successfully meet future challenges in the development of new specific layer systems. Such measures ensure the future competitiveness of the institute. The project includes a glovebox for safe working with sensitive surfaces and porous materials, whose cavities must be filled with a defined gas for analytical purposes. Furthermore, a gravimetric titrator is applied. This delivers fast and precise measurement results in wet chemical analyses for process monitoring. A glow discharge spectrometer for detecting the achieved layer properties and functionalities is also included.

Because INNOVENT operates as a non-profit research institution, industrial customers, and small and medium-sized enterprises also have access to our unique know-how and modern instrumentation and analytical equipment. Due to this, such organizations can also benefit from the location Thuringia.

2019 IVN 0118: Preparation of an R&D project to investigate the distribution and mobility of alkali ions in glass coatings and glass surfaces

Project No.: 2019 IVN 0118

Project topic: Preparation of an R&D project to investigate the distribution and mobility of alkali ions in glass coatings and glass surfaces

The project serves as the research and preliminary investigation for the analytical possibilities and necessities of the time- and location-resolved recording of migration movements. Specifically, network changing chemical components in glass are recorded. This is necessary for the research and development, in order to refine glass surfaces through the application of coatings and modifications.

Molecular dynamic modelling (MD) is an excellent tool for obtaining microscopically based information on alkali ion dynamics. With simulations of the corrosion process, as well as the behavior of possible protective coatings, predictions can be made with high accuracy, in respect to different configurations and environmental conditions. As a result, time-consuming and costly investigations, for each new configuration can be avoided. The simulations require experimental verification and must be adjusted with the results. The R&D project aims to investigate different economically relevant glass configurations. The focus is in the interaction of simulation and experiment, and to optimize the surface technology. Examples of these glass configurations include: float glass in the architectural sector, container and service glass and special technical glass.

 

 

2019 IVN 0117: Preparation of an R&D project to develop processes for the production, processing, and use of functionalized basalt fibers, in a value-added network

Project No.: 2019 IVN 0117

Project topic: Preparation of an R&D project to develop processes for the production, processing, and use of functionalized basalt fibers, in a value-added network

The applicant, in cooperation with four other companies, is developing solutions for the in-situ functionalization of basalt fibers. This is within the framework of the BMBF's "Growth Core Potential" funding instrument. The project will end on 31.12.2019. Laboratory-scale results are already available and can be used commercially, after further R&D work is achieved.
For this, several conditions have to be fulfilled, which will be worked on in a project supported by RUBIN. Core topics include: the upscaling of basalt fiber production and functionalization (reproducibility, economic efficiency, ecology), as well as the further processing of basalt fibers using various technologies. This allows for the production of innovative and competitive products.

The economic and innovation consultancy Prof. Dr. Franz Rudolph was commissioned to carry out the work.

2019 FE 9071: Antibiotic-containing coating for protection against periprosthetic infections

Project No.: 2019 FE 9071

Project topic: Cementless, antibacterially functionalized ceramic femoral condyles with metal-free instruments (KeraKon)

Sub-theme: Antibiotic-containing coating for protection against periprosthetic infections

The so-called aseptic loosening, as well as periprosthetic infections, are the most feared complications when replacing knee or hip joints with endoprostheses in implantology.

With this in mind, the joint project plans to develop and test an oxide-ceramic, antibacterial knee prosthesis. A further goal is to provide the corresponding metal-free medical instruments for implanting the prosthesis.

The tasks of the subproject of INNOVENT include the provision of antibacterial coatings. These coatings will have a long-lasting antibacterial effect to protect against periprosthetic infections, and positively influence the ingrowth of the prosthesis in the surrounding tissue (osseointegration). A further subject of the work is to establish a coating technology for medical devices relevant for endoprostheses.

2018 IVN 0098: Preparation of an R&D project to develop innovative glazing and glazing systems for cultural assets

Project No.: 2018 IVN 0098

Project topic: Preparation of an R&D project to develop innovative glazing and glazing systems for cultural assets

Glass is a multifunctional, transparent material with a unique combination of properties. In combination with INNOVENT's expertise, problems involving use (i.e. changed conditions due to new requirements), and the protection of cultural assets, can be effectively addressed in the field of glass.
For this reason, requirements for the protection of cultural assets are to be combined with new technological possibilities for the functionalization of glass and glazing technology. This will be achieved throught a cooperative R&D project, planned for the near future.

The BIT GmbH was commissioned for the implementation of the work.

2018 IVN 0094: Preparation of an R&D cooperation project for the development of a fiber coating process to increase the service life of fiber ropes

Project No.: 2018 IVN 0094

Project topic: Preparation of an R&D cooperation project for the development of a fiber coating process to increase the service life of fiber ropes

Ropes consisting of high-strength polymer fibers, known as HM-HT fibers (high modulus - high tenacity), have a similar or even higher tensile strength, compared to steel wire ropes. Also, the fibers have a three to five times lower average load-bearing weight. This results in up to seven times greater breaking lengths than steel wire ropes. The so-called fiber-fiber friction inside the rope is considered the main focus of development. This is one of the main damage mechanisms in dynamic applications of fiber ropes.

The texulting GmbH was commissioned to carry out the work.

2018 WIN 0011: Expansion of the technical facilities for chemical, electrochemical and plasmachemical processes Surface functionalization of various substrate materials, but primarily aluminum, titanium and magnesium alloys as well as glass and ceramics

Investment in research-related equipment infrastructure

Project No.: 2018 WIN 0011

Project topic: Expansion of the technical facilities for chemical, electrochemical and plasmachemical processes… Surface functionalization of various substrate materials include, primarily aluminum, titanium and magnesium alloys, as well as glass and ceramics

 

Brief description of the project:

In recent years, the "Electrochemistry" working group of the business-oriented research institution INNOVENT e. V. Jena, has been working on numerous development projects. These include the development of technologies for the chemical, electrochemical and plasma-chemical surface treatment of various materials. Examples of these materials include: light metals (aluminium, magnesium, titanium and their alloys), stainless steels and special materials (Dispal®, molybdenum and tungsten), as well as glass and ceramic materials. The results of these projects have been transferred to the industry, for utilization on a significant scale. The technology transfer is the reason to continue along this successful path, and to pursue and expand the possibilities of this surface functionalization. The investment in modern plant technology will also make an innovative contribution. Such input, will support the competitiveness of the optical and medical technology industries in the state of Thuringia.

Objectives of the project:

New premises are being created for the new technological advancements of plants such as i.e. the process of plasma-chemical oxidation. This will open up new fields of application for these materials with the surface treatment of light metals. It will also offer and expand a useful supplement to the surface treatment processes already in industrial use. The already existing competence in the field of chemical and electrochemical surface treatment will be expanded in such a way, that a new specialist competence for surface treatment will be created. Such a competence, particularly in reference to light metals and other materials, has previously not been available in Thuringia.

2017 IVN 0080: Preparation of an R&D project for the development of an innovative hot melt adhesive, for use in the textile industry and textile restoration

Project topic: Preparation of an R&D project for the development of an innovative hot melt adhesive, for use in the textile industry and textile restoration

The application for an R&D project will be prepared, within the framework of the project.

INNOVENT holds a patent for the production of transparent melting starch fatty acid esters, which can be used as melts and therefore solvent-free as adhesives. After initial research, potential was identified in the fields of "technical textiles", "clothing textiles" and possibly as a by-product for textile restoration. To obtain a market-relevant product, some specific developments are still required.

The Textile Research Institute Thuringia-Vogtland has been commissioned to carry out this work.

2017 IVN 0067: Preparation of an R&D project to develop innovative conservation and use concepts for buildings worthy of protection

Innovation voucher A: preparation of R&D cooperation projects
Project No.: 2017 IVN 0067
Project topic: Preparation of an R&D project for the development of innovative conservation… These concepts will be applied for existing buildings worthy of protection… They are a contribution to sustainable, regional, structural change in the east of Thuringia

One of the future tasks of structurally weak regions such as east Thuringia, is to effectively confront the challenges of demographic change. The combination of technological and social innovations, cross-industry protection of cultural assets, and the growing tourism industry in Thuringia, hold considerable potential. These factors can help the region to achieve new radiance and economic power. Targeted research activities are intended to promote the ability of the players (industry, crafts, culture, tourism industry), in the above-mentioned topics, to bring about sustainable structural change through innovation and networking. The aim of the measure, is INNOVENT’s successful participation in a funded program called "WIR - Wandel durch Innovation in der Region" (Change through Innovation in the Region). This request to send in projects was published by the Federal Ministry of Education and Research.

Thielbeer Consulting was commissioned to carry out this work.

2017 IVN 0056: Preparation of a cooperative R&D project for the development of basalt-filled plasters with antibacterial and antifouling properties

Project topic: Preparation of a cooperative R&D project for the development of basalt-filled plasters with antibacterial and antifouling properties

Within the framework of the project, the application for an R&D project should be prepared.

The antibacterial and anti-fouling properties of certain basalts are to be used, to create a corresponding functionalization of plasters for different applications. The technical, chemical-biological and organizational issues relevant to achieving market maturity, are to be comprehensively answered in one (or more) collaborative research projects.

EBF Dresden GmbH has been commissioned to carry out this work.

2016 IVN 0033: Preparation of an R&D project for the demand-oriented development and production of continuously spun basalt fibers

Innovation voucher A: preparation of R&D cooperation projects
Project No.: 2016 IVN 0033
Project topic: Preparation of an R&D project for the demand-oriented development and production of continuously spun basalt fibers with the aim of achieving a consistent and application-oriented quality of fiber materials along the value-added processes.
 

Within the framework of the project, the application for an R&D project should be prepared. The project is based on basic research at INNOVENT. The research was about the effect of different mineral mixtures on the properties of basalt fibers. In addition to research and market analyses, the project includes the investigation of the problems, the implementation of economic efficiency calculations and the development of an R&D concept.

The Forum Technologie & Wirtschaft e.V. was commissioned to carry out the work.

2016 IVN 0012: Preparatory activities for the application for research into surface treatment with active substances found in the nature

Innovation voucher A: preparation of R&D cooperation projects
Project No.: 2016 IVN 0012
Project topic: Preparatory activities for the application within the framework of an R&D program at the Federal Government for research of innovative surface treatments with active substances found in the nature, for the permanent functionalization of surfaces

Within the framework of the project, the application for an innovation forum is to be prepared. The common basis for the research cooperation will be the use of innovative surface technology and processes for application-oriented integration, for the use of natural active ingredients. The entire necessary value-added chain will be examined. This reaches from the cultivation and raw material extraction to the application of products, as well as the application of different functionalities. All this will be examined from the perspective of potential areas of application.

Forum Technologie & Wirtschaft e.V. has been commissioned to carry out the work.

2016 WFN 0021: In situ XPS investigations on the diffusion of alkali and alkaline earth ions in near-surface regions and SiOx layers on heated glasses

Business-related infrastructure
Research and development projects of business-related research institutions
Project No.: 2016 WFN 0021
Project topic: In situ XPS investigations, on the diffusion of alkali and alkaline earth ions in near-surface regions, and SiOx layers on heated glasses

The project aims to develop and validate a meaningful analysis methodology for the development of effective and cost-effective protective coatings. These protective coatings enable a simpler and more cost-effective production of refinement layers on glass surfaces. In addition, these coatings can serve as a prerequisite for the development and application of refinement layers, as well as for increasing their long-term stability.
An important aspect is the temperability of the protective coatings, which is becoming increasingly important for many applications. Examples are the temperable coating systems on flat and container glass. Another aspect that should be noted is the improvement of energy efficiency. A better knowledge of the effectiveness of the barrier layers and the diffusion processes can help to optimize the coating and tempering processes in glass finishing. This could potentially help glass manufacturers in Thuringia to develop innovative products and processes.

The Fraunhofer Institute for Silicate Research ISC and the company Eurofins Umwelt Ost GmbH were commissioned to carry out this work.