Getting the dirt on the cleanroom at Long Night of the Sciences
On May 28th 2011, Fraunhofer IZM and TU Berlin’s TU Berlin’s Forschungsschwerpunkt Technologien der Mikroperipherik participated in the Long Night of the Sciences. It was the sixth time that the two institutions presented their latest developments at the annual event that gives the lay public a first-hand look at the latest in scientific research. The TU’s cleanroom drew the biggest crowd. Many of the just over 500 visitors seized the chance to glimpse behind the scenes of microchip manufacturing and take home their very own chip.
Fraunhofer IZM’s focus in 2011 was medical engineering. The institute presented patient-oriented laboratory diagnostics, a lens-free chip microscope that was developed in-house and world’s third-smallest camera, developed for single-use endoscopes. The latter exhibit called for a bit of teamwork, with one visitor operating the endoscopic camera to examine the tummy of a very out-of-sorts stuffed lion, while the other performed microinvasive surgery to remove an accidently “swallowed” piece of foam from said patient.
Saving a lion in distress proved popular, but not to worry - those queuing passed the time analyzing the color spectrum of gummibears using two of the institute’s laser and LED scanners. The exercise showcased Fraunhofer IZM’s fluorescence microscopy-based technology for determining the freshness of foodstuffs. By the end of the night, young and old had learnt a lot more about Fraunhofer IZM’s research and development – and a very great number of gummibears had seemingly vanished into thin air! Well, we’ll just write that off as yet another mystery of science awaiting investigation by inquiring young minds.