Joanneum Research Forschungsgesellschaft mbH
JOANNEUM RESEARCH (JR) is a leading international research organisation located in Graz, Austria, that develops solutions and technologies for businesses and industry covering a wide range of sectors. JR has a focus on applied research and technology development and promotes technology transfer to industry.
HEALTH - The Institute of Biomedicine and Health Sciences provides a link between basic medical research and industrial applications. HEALTH develops comprehensive, interdisciplinary solutions to problems encountered in the fields of medicine, pharmacy, medical technology and health care research. HEALTH is certified according to ISO 9001:2008 and ISO 13485 incl. IEC62304 standards. The vision of the institute - “to bring technical solutions to medical research and health care” - is supported by an interdisciplinary scientific team of about 70 employees including biomedical researchers, biomedical technicians, biochemical analysts, and statisticians.
JR provides a strong expertise in bioengineering and sampling techniques and in clinical and preclinical applications. JR has developed an innovative sampling technique - open flow microperfusion (OFM) - for peripheral tissue sampling which is mainly applied in pharmacokinetics and pharmacodynamics studies. In cooperation with the US FDA, JR is currently developing a new measurement system to test for bioequivalence in the skin. OFM sampling is currently used in various industrial projects and academic projects funded by national (FFG, BMvit) and international institutions (US-FDA, EU).
Role within ImmUniverse
JR provides dermal open-flow microperfusion (dOFM) as a disruptive liquid biopsy technology to the project. dOFM is a minimally invasive in-vivo sampling technique that uses probes with macroscopic openings to sample interstitial fluid in the dermis. It is currently used to investigate pharmacokinetics and pharmacodynamics of drugs that target the skin. JR will evaluate the added value of integrating dOFM as minimal invasive approach for collection of homogenous cell populations (e.g., CD3, CD4, CD8) in patients with atopic dermatitis (AD). dOFM probes are implanted in the dermis parallel to the skin surface of lesional and non-lesional skin in AD patients. This technology allows time and spacial resolved monitoring of biomarkes in different areas of the skin. A novelty in this project will be the sampling of immune competent cells from AD lesional skin and from skin in immediate vicinity to the AD lesions. Monitoring directly in the skin will provide a new level of insight in pathophysiological processes in inflammatory skin diseases. JR also provides analytical methods like metabolomics and FACS equipped for the requirements of ISF samples collected with dOFM. Metabolomic profiling will be performed by hydrophilic interaction liquid chromatography (HILIC) coupled to a high-resolution mass spectrometer Q-Exactive (Thermo FisherScientific). Single cell proteomic analysis will be performed using MS imaging (MSI).