Dr. Ralf Ahrens [Contact]

We are developing new BioMEMS components, which can be used in different fields of biomedicine, biology and biotechnology. These micro components are fabricated using the micro technologies available at the IMT and the KNMFi. Part of this R&D work is done in close collaborations with different scientific and industrial partners.

Typical applications are found in biomedical and bioanalytical microfluidic devices for PoCT (Point-of-Care-Testing). We also optimize existing medical products through the integration of NEMS- and MEMS parts, like surfaces from implants. We are developing and realizing new BioMEMS based devices for Minimally Invasive Surgery; Neurosurgery and Heart Surgery in combination with Interventional Cardiology.


Micro- and nanofluidic systems with integrated (bio) sensors, such as miniaturized analysis systems (µTAS systems, lab-on-chip systems), spectroscopic flow measurement cells or miniaturized bioreactors, are increasingly required for many novel applications and measurements in modern biology, biotechnology, (bio)chemistry, pharmaceutical industry, analytical and clinical chemistry, environmental analysis, process control, food chemistry, and food monitoring.

The understanding and control of the transport and interactions of biogenous substances, such as proteins, are decisive for further developments in the fields of medicine, pharmacy, and other biotechnologies. Our interest focuses in particular on processes on the cellular and molecular level. These processes take place nearly exclusively in liquids. We are developing microfluidic systems, by means of which processes on the intra- and intercellular scale can be studied.

Cell-on-Chip and Organ-on-Chip

In the research of diseases or for drug screening, so-called in-vivo systems are to be increasingly used in the future. Instead of animal experiments chip-based systems can be used realized which suitable cell material. Until now we have realized microfluidic devices for stem-cell research and systems that can adjust part of blood vessels. These devices can be used for tumor research, e.g. for optically tracking the tumor cells during an extravasations process into surrounding tissue. In other applications we have realized systems for simulation the blood brain barrier.

Teaching, Education, Jobs

We offer lectures at the Department of Mechanical Engineering at the KIT-CS:

  • BioMEMS-I   (Prof. Guber; in winter semester)
  • BioMEMS-II   (Prof. Guber; in summer semester)
  • BioMEMS-III   (Prof. Guber; in summer semester)
  • BioMEMS-IV   (Prof. Guber & co-workers; in winter and summer semester)
  • BioMEMS-Seminar   (Prof. Guber; in winter and summer semester)

We are offering research topics for bachelor and master thesis to students from all over the world as well as interships.

Typically 4 to 5 Ph.D. students are doing their Ph.D. work in our groups. Open positions will be advertised on KIT’s website for job offers.

Teaching Award 2019 (Photo: KIT)
Teaching Award for Prof. Dr. Guber

IMT researcher and head of the department “Microsystems for Life Sciences” Prof. Dr. Guber (in picture second from left) has been honored with the Teaching Award 2019 of the Faculty of Mechanical Engineering for his interdisciplinary lecture series BioMEMS I to IV (Photo: KIT).

More (video in German)…
Picture of the awards ceremony (Photo: KIT)
KIT NEULAND: Common Project of IMT and IMVT Was Awarded.

Dr. Sadir (IMVT) and Dr. Rajabi (IMT) recently won the prize again (3rd this time) for their project „Removal of Cancer Cells from the Blood” in the category “Ideas Competition” (Photo: KIT).

Review awards ceremony

Scanning electron microscopy: E. coli bacteria try to dock with a nanostructured model surface. (Photo: Patrick Doll, KIT)
With Nanotechnology against Bacteria

Scientists of the KIT optimize dental prosthesis with nanostructured surfaces (Photo: Patrick Doll, KIT).

Successful start of the Hand on BioMEMS seminar course

In the summer term 2017, the seminar "Hands on BioMEMS" started for the first time. The aim of this seminar was the development of a novel "Organ on Chip".

Picture of the awards ceremony
KIT NEULAND: Common project of IMT and IMVT was awarded

Dr. Sadir, Dr. Rajabi and Prof. Guber recently won the 2nd prize for their project „Salivary sensing-chip for Early Diagnosis of acute Myocardial Infarction” in the category ideas competition (Photo: KIT).
Review awards ceremony
All winners 2017