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Continuous DNA-Extraction from microorganisms (Minamed)

For the continuous monitoring of biotechnological processes, we have developed a method that continuously monitors the DNA of microorganisms in a bioreactor.

The goal of the Minamed research project was the continuous monitoring of biotechnological processes such as control of fermentation in drug development. The DNA of microorganisms in a bioreactor has to be monitored constantly. This requires that samples are taken regularly, from which the DNA of the microorganisms is extracted, purified, and then amplified. While a method for continuous amplification, using the so-called polymerase chain reaction (PCR), is already state of the art, a method for the continuous extraction of DNA has so far been lacking. This method was implemented in the sub-project of Hahn-Schickard and is now available for the first time worldwide. The task of the entire collaborative project was to integrate all the necessary steps in one chip in order to enable the use of PCR in an online process control for the first time. The format of the chip is based on the basic geometry of a CD-ROM and uses the efficient manufacturing technologies of mass production of digital data carriers. Instead of the data structures, the disk contains microfluidic functional elements. The fluid interfaces are arranged on the outer edge.

Continuous DNA-Extraction from microorganisms for biotechnology (Minamed)
Funding Number
01.09.2007 to 30.04.2011
Cooperation Partner
Analytik Jena AG, AJ Innuscreen AG, AJ Roboscreen GmbH, IDT - Integrated Device Techology, HNP Mikrosysteme GmbH, bbi biotech, Leibniz-Institut für Photonische Technologien - IPHT
Maturity Level
Functional model



  • Centrifugal microfluidics
  • Continuous monitoring
  • Molecular diagnostics
  • Food and water analysis
  • Alternatives to animal testing