Local active ingredients for the oral cavity

Applying medical or cosmetic active ingredients in the right place inside the oral cavity and ensuring that they stay there continues to present a major challenge. Fraunhofer experts are developing a solution.

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Like balsam on a wound

The Fraunhofer Institute for Microstructure of Materials and Systems IMWS is developing new biomaterials for dermal application in the project »SkinNext«. The researchers in Halle use the unique properties of the natural fibre proteins elastin and collagen for this. These have great potential for use in the fields of dermatology and cosmetics, such as for improved wound healing after burn injuries.

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Help for a dry mouth

A chronically dry mouth is a risk to dental health. Skinomics and the Fraunhofer IMWS want to create a remedy.

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Optimised surfaces for reverse osmosis modules result in better performance

Ceramic or polymer membranes are used for reverse osmosis, upon which deposits, so-called microbial coatings are formed. The Fraunhofer IMWS researches solutions for anti-adhesive membranes.

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Medicine and Environment

Zahnpasta Einfluss Zahnschmelz Auswirkungen
© Fraunhofer IMWS

Maria Morawietz uses a brushing machine to examine the mechanical impact that dental cleansers have on teeth.

Thanks to our interdisciplinary expertise in materials and life sciences, we are in a position to provide industrial customers with scientific and technical advice on issues in the fields of medicine, care, and the environment and conduct research and development projects. Our focus here lies on materials research for dental and personal care products, the development and characterization of biomaterials for medical devices and the biofunctionalization of surfaces.

We characterize and assess materials and products with regard to their functionality, support the screening of new active substances and design customized models to shed light on modes of action and interactions with biological surfaces. We also develop new materials with improved structure and surface compatibility and customized functionality for medical applications and tissue engineering, and offer methods of modifying surfaces that come into contact with biological materials.

In addition to basic and, above all, application-oriented research in the public sector, we support our industrial partners from research and development and quality control through to claim support and assistance with marketing based on scientific findings.

Our expertise and range of methods include, among other things:


General microstructure and surface analysis

High-resolution microscopy (SEM, TEM, EDX, AFM, µX-Ray CT, XRM, Nano-XRM, CLSM)

Surface analysis (XPS, ToF-SIMS)

Mechanical assessment (hardness determination, DMA, numerical simulation (FEM))

Chemical analyses (mass spectrometry, FTIR spectroscopy)


Tests specific to oral care and dentistry

Abrasion measurements (enamel, dentin)

Dental discoloration

Analysis of cleaning

Experimental brush simulation

Assessment of dentinal tubule occlusion

Acid stability

Assessment of de-mineralization and remineralization processes


Skin care and protein-based materials


Development of wound dressing materials (e.g. protein nonwovens, protein sponges)

Development and assessment of in vitro skin models

Biomimetic coatings for implant materials

Molecular structural analysis by means of organic mass spectrometry with a focus on structural proteins

Assessment of biological interactions between materials


Surface coating and functionalization

Chemical and physical vapor deposition

Plasma technologies on a laboratory scale

Wet-chemical coating processes

Surface structuring

Morphological, physical and chemical surface characterization