Cell-based assays


  • Fast and easy qualitative and quantitative detection of pyrogens e.g. in medical devices, such as surgical instruments, catheters, implants and also intravenously administered drugs.
  • Screening for new agonists and antagonists of the immune receptors
  • Detection of individual ligands or combination of ligands with isolated PRRs

Cell-based test systems for the determination of biological parameters

Several non-clinical tests are running at Fraunhofer IGB to support R&D projects that investigate biological parameters of samples using cell-based assays.

Examples are:

  • Testing of bioactivity, cytotoxicity and immunogenicity of compounds using immune receptor-based assays
  • Screening of TLR agonists/antagonists
  • Testing of antimicrobial properties of substances or surfaces
  • Detection of pyrogens and microbial residues (pathogen-associated microbial patterns, PAMPs)
  • Detection of viruses

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Cell-based assays for pharmaceutical research and drug development

Reference projects

TOPAS-Covid: Test system for investigating inhalation toxicological effects of airborne substances

Breathing through mouth masks, substances from the mask can enter the lungs via the inhaled air. To investigate the inhalation toxicological effects of such airborne substances, we established an in-vitro test system using a culture system of Fraunhofer ITEM and an adapted reporter cell line used for identification of allergy- and asthma-inducing effects.


Duration: December 2020 – November 2022

Screening for new immunmodulators – Discovery and Delivery of PRR antagonists and agonists to regulate innate immune reaction

The receptors of the innate immune system recognize not only conserved molecular patterns of infectious pathogens, but also isolated chemical structures (PAMPs, pathogen-associated molecular patterns), and are referred to as pattern recognition receptors (PRRs).


Duration: November 2012 – October 2015