Hahn-Schickard-Gesellschaft für angewandte Forschung e. V. uses microsystems engineering to develop intelligent products across all sectors - from the initial idea through to production. Within this broad remit, the R+D service provider focuses mainly on the growth areas of life sciences, medical technology, mobility and movement, Industry 4.0, sustainability, energy and the environment. It has developed fast, on-site lab-on-a-chip systems for diagnosing infectious diseases at its base in Freiburg, for example. Using a versatile pilot line for these CD-sized systems, Hahn-Schickard aims to offer its industrial customers more effective support in realizing their product visions from the initial idea to small-scale production. The company is now seeking project partners to help optimize time-consuming and laborious methods in Western Blot protein analysis.

The goal is to simplify, speed up and improve Western Blot for the process conditions of micro-fluidics by developing an automated system using open micro-fluidic structures and compatible biochemical protocols. Hahn-Schickard is currently looking for manufacturers of membranes, antibodies, gels and electrophoresis systems, companies that can handle minuscule volumes of liquid, and users (service laboratories for bioanalytics) as partners for the committee that will oversee the "Western Blots in open microfluidics" (OpenWestern) project. Their services are required to provide practical input for the project and inject valuable ideas. In return, they will enjoy direct access to the project's results. The project is scheduled to commence on 1 November this year and is likely to run until 31 May 2020. It is being funded by the AiF - Arbeitsgemeinschaft industrieller Forschungsvereinigungen "Otto von Guericke" e. V., and the University of Freiburg is the project partner of this interdisciplinary venture.