3D Cell Culture Vessels Made to Measure

The 300MICRONS GmbH KIT Spinoff Company Develops and Produces Miniaturized 3D Cell Culture Systems.

For nearly twenty years, Professor Dr. Eric Gottwald has conducted research at the KIT to find out how cells can be cultured in three dimensions. Cell culture experiments are important especially in biological and pharmaceutical research and in biotechnology.

Prof. Dr. Eric Gottwald, einer der Gründer von 300MICRONS. Auf den Bildschirmen im Hintergrund sind Aufnahmen von 3D-Zellkulturen zu sehen.

Prof. Dr. Eric Gottwald, one of the founders of 300MICRONS. The screens in the backround show pictures of 3D cell cultures.

Unlike 2D culture vessels, such as the flat Petri dishes, 3D culture systems guarantee a more organotypical growth of cells. As a consequence, results can be transferred more effectively to the human organism. The technology of manufacturing these systems is based on work of the co-founders Dr. Stefan Giselbrecht and Dr. Roman Truckenmüller, two former KIT staff members.

The idea to found a company was hedged by the team well over fifteen years ago. “However, at that time, there was demonstrably no market whatsoever. We were pioneers in our technology,” explains biologist Gottwald. Thus, the team first used a patented manufacturing technique to make a product for research purposes of their own. However, for a couple of years the trend in fundamental research and in industrial use has been in favor of 3D culture systems. In 2014, the three scientists therefore made another attempt at setting up a company. The young company, 300MICRONS, initially employed machines developed in house and a lot of manual work. In this way, 300MICRONS was able to generate its first revenue even before the official establishment of the company. Continue reading

Improve the world with one click

The KIT spin-off Enspire UG implements “social entrepreneurship”: affiliate marketing for the good cause


Mitgründer von Enspire UG: Maximilian Brandenburger

Social commitment is extremely important for Maximilian Brandenburger. Even before he started studying, he gathered a lot of experience in the social area. As a student of industrial engineering at the KIT finally one thing led to the next: together with three other KIT students, he founded the firm Enspire UG in 2011, which maintains the platform sunsteps.org. “‘sun’ stands for positive thoughts and helpfulness, ‘step’ describes the little steps of the individual users, whose many small contributions can do good step by step,” Maximilian explains.


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Robots are becoming flexible – KIT spin-off ArtiMinds Robotics GmbH develops a software with which robots can quickly and intuitively be programmed

Robots have always fascinated him. “I am glad that I decided to study robotics at university after high school,” said Sven Schmidt-Rohr, one of the three founders of ArtiMinds. ArtiMinds Robotics GmbH, founded in August 2013, develops software with which end users can program even complex movements and tasks of a robot.

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Quality along the Supply Chain – KIT Spinoff simQoo Develops Quality Management Software for Companies with a Global Network of Suppliers

Team des KIT-wbk Start-Ups “simQoo” mit Mentorin Fr. Prof. Lanza

When companies are forced to recall their products due to faulty brakes or hazardous substances in food, it becomes clear that quality deficiencies may be associated with high risks for the consumer and high financial losses for the manufacturer. Professional quality management (PQM) is indispensable for manufacturers. However, the process of controlling the goods is of increasing complexity, the more suppliers are involved.

“Quality deficiencies frequently creep into the supply chain. An end product without quality deficiencies requires seamless integration of all suppliers into the quality management scheme,” Kyle Kippenbrock and Stefan Stockey, the two founders of the KIT spinoff simQoo, say. The mechanical engineers are research assistants at the KIT Institute of Production Science (wbk). Their work on projects with German companies in China gave rise to the idea of establishing simQoo.

Quality management and the corresponding IT solutions cause many companies quite a headache: QM information is sent by e-mail, every supplier uses his own data format, statistical evaluation requires quite an effort. The software solutions applied at large enterprises are often associated with high investment costs and quickly outdated. Operation has to be learnt through time-consuming training. Often, it is carried out by a small group of QM experts only.

The solution developed by simQoo facilitates communication even beyond borders of companies. Via an easy-to-understand user interface, all parties involved in the production process can make their QM data accessible to partner enterprises. The data are made available in a standardized format. Error messages or complaints are transmitted in real time. Manufacturers and suppliers can respond quickly to potential quality deficiencies. Stefan Stockey uses a tax declaration software to explain the concept: “You do not need to be a tax expert and to know all currently valid regulations in order to operate the software. In the same way, the software solution of simQoo guides the user step by step through the QM process.” The software can be operated with a PC or smartphone from everywhere in the world. The only thing that is needed is access to the internet.

Their mentor, Professor Dr.-Ing. Gisela Lanza from the Institute of Production Science (wbk), and spinoff coach Dr. Rolf Blattner from KIT’s Innovation Management Service Unit supported the young entrepreneurs actively from the very beginning. Since January 2013, simQoo has been granted an “Exist” founders grant.

Kyle Kippenbrock and Stefan Stockey are now looking for clients to carry out pilot projects. Within the framework of these projects, the software is to be further developed and tested in practice. The clients will profit from a more efficient quality management  and from an increase in competitiveness.

Dipl.-Ing. Stefan Stockey
Kaiserstr. 12, D-76131 Karlsruhe, Germany
Phone:  +49 (0) 721 608-44185+49 (0) 721 608-44185
Mobile : +49 (0) 160 962-54940+49 (0) 160 962-54940

Gene Transfer of the Next Generation – KIT Spin-off Incella GmbH Has Developed a New Method to Optimize Gene Transfer in Cells for the Development of New Cell Transfectants

Die KIT-Wissenschaftler und Gründer des Spin-offs Incella Dr. Pavel Levkin und Dr. Gary Davidson

Genome research and microbiological diagnosis are major components of biomedical examinations. In pharmaceutical industry, such screenings of cell cultures are made to understand the functions of genes or to produce antibodies against certain diseases in a cell. A method frequently applied for fundamental research into cell biology is cell transfection. Foreign DNA or RNA molecules are introduced into a cell, thus causing a genetic modification. Lipid-similar molecules are applied most often for cell transfection.

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