Innovative materials research enables significant progress in the prevention, diagnosis and therapy of diseases, e.g. with improved hygiene, novel imaging techniques or more effective drugs. New materials make a major contribution to ensuring an efficient, high-quality and affordable healthcare system in Germany.
Challenges for the healthcare system are posed not only by an ageing population but also by globalisation. This calls for material solutions that protect people, the environment and products from contamination and contribute to prevention. For example, novel self-cleaning or antimicrobial material systems prevent germs and pathogens from adhering to door handles or keyboards. Innovative filter systems, e.g. in air conditioning and ventilation systems, reduce human exposure to allergens or environmental pollution.
Furthermore, medical devices can be provided with biocompatible and low-wear properties through structuring, coating and functionalization, such as prostheses and implants. This significantly increases the longevity of medical devices and reduces postoperative procedures, which are still necessary after 15 to 20 years due to implant wear and tear. Targeted modifications (individualisation, biologisation) also reduce the risk of a rejection reaction.
Material innovations also enable new approaches in modern drug research. Innovative encapsulation and formulation technologies with innovative excipients help to increase the solubility of active substances and thus increase the efficiency in the therapy of diseases.