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Into the Future with Metrology - The Challenges of Medical Technology

Into the Future with Metrology

The Challenges of Medical Technology

Medical measurements have a long tradition at PTB, but they have an even greater future as the development towards quantitative and individualized medicine represents a great challenge for metrology. The measurements have to be accurate and reliable, and they have to create confidence. This is where PTB has its core competence. PTB ensures the traceability of many important measurement procedures required, for example, by the EU's In Vitro Diagnostic Medical Devices Directive, but also by the German Medical Devices Act. With its measurement capabilities, PTB is the world leader in this field. According to the Measures and Verification Act, it is the only notified body in Germany to carry out type examinations of sound level meters. With its statutory mandate, PTB also plays an important role in dosimetry. Metrology is indispensable for one of the most important developments in medicine: the trend towards an increasing number of quantitative measurements. PTB is at the forefront of this research, for example, in the field of quantitative magnetic resonance imaging. Here, the aim is to make the measurements more and more reliable and comprehensible. In this extremely complex interdisciplinary field, intensive collaborations with suggestions and ideas coming from all participants are essential. Therefore, PTB wishes to further intensify its existing good contacts with physicians, hospitals and the medical technology industry. If you are interested, please do not hesitate to contact us!

Metrology for AI in medicine: The PTB team has grownMetrology for AI in medicine: The PTB team has grown

PTB has increased its expertise in AI in medicine 

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News (partly in German)

The intense discussions on noise disturbance, particularly in the vicinity of wind turbines, raise the public awareness to infrasound (sound with frequencies < 20 Hz). Of major importance, thereby, is the knowledge about infrasound perception under realistic conditions, e.g. with binaural hearing. The monaural and binaural loudness perception of infrasound was investigated in a study with...

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Prinzip des Laser-Wakefield-Beschleunigers

For decades, particle accelerators have been getting bigger and bigger. In the meantime, ring accelerators with circumferences of many kilometres have reached a practical limit. Linear accelerators in the GHz range also require very long construction lengths. For some years now, however, an alternative is explored: "tabletop particle accelerators" based on the laser excitation of charge waves in...

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Our brains process information via slow and fast brain currents. Up to now, it has been necessary to introduce electrodes into the brain to examine the latter. Within a cooperation between PTB and the Charité, these fast brain signals have been made visible from the outside for the first time – and a surprising variability has been observed. The measurements of these extremely small magnetic...

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Funktionsprinzip des Einzelpartikelzählers

Nanoteilchen sind Tausendsassas. Unter anderem sind sie in der Medizin interessant, um Medikamente oder Impfstoffe gezielt tief in den Körper zu transportieren. Für solche Zwecke muss die Konzentration der winzigen Teilchen möglichst genau bekannt sein. Jetzt wurde in einer Kooperation zwischen der Physikalisch-Technischen Bundesanstalt (PTB) und der Firma LUM GmbH in Berlin ein neuartiges, sehr...

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Medical research at PTB: PreventionMedical research at PTB: Prevention


Hearing well into your old age

From birth to old age, from ultrasound to infrasound, the correct measurement of sound plays a decisive role everywhere – and that includes PTB.

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Medical research at PTB: Diagnostics and TherapyMedical research at PTB: Diagnostics and Therapy

MEG measuring device

New sensors for biomagnetic signals
The value of the minute magnetic fields of the human heart and brain – and of the research that is going on there.

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Droplet Digital PCR

Laboratory values: valuable indicators for diseases 
These were crucial even before corona: What organic and inorganic biomarkers in the blood or serum can tell us.

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Torso phantom

MRI - Safety first!
Magnetic resonance imaging at high magnetic fields up to 7 teslas gives us perfect images, but it also has to be accompanied by good measurements. 

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Tissue-specific relaxation time

When the MRI scanner does the analyses on its ownt 
The change to quantitative measurements in magnetic resonance imaging is in full swing.

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Percentage of the different types of X-ray examinations

It's the dose that counts  
How high is the radiation exposure during X-rays? PTB is addressing this question in various different ways.

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calibration of dosemeters

Apply the right absorbed dose against the tumor 
Our goal: Fighting tumors while protecting the surrounding tissues. Precise measurements play a crucial role here.

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Medical research at PTB: Digitalization in the Health Care SystemMedical research at PTB: Digitalization in the Health Care System

PTB's AI Strategy
Artificial intelligence in medicine is booming. This also applies to PTB and is reflected by PTB’s new AI strategy.

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Model-based observer and machine learning for high-quality images 
The latest procedures using artificial intelligence to analyze images, such as those from mammography screening.

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ECG database

Matters close to the heart: Artificial Intelligence 
The world’s largest ECG database is from PTB and it helps to train methods of artificial intelligence.

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PTB’s Steering Group for Medicine

Since 2019, there have been five Steering Groups at PTB. These Steering Groups coordinate particularly important future-oriented topics and work on them across the boundaries of PTB’s divisions. The task of the Steering Group for Medicine (SG-M) is to develop PTB’s overall strategy in this field, to pursue the implementation of strategic aims and to allow synergy effects to evolve. This requires close coordination with PTB's divisions and intensive cooperation with external partners.


Dr. David Auerbach 
Working Group 3.12
Optical Analysis
Phone: +49 531 592-3102 
Opens window for sending emaildavid.auerbach(at)ptb.de

Dr. Jörn Stenger (Chairperson) ) 
Member of the Presidential Board 
Phone: +49 531 592-3000 
Opens window for sending emailjoern.stenger(at)ptb.de

Dr. Christian Koch 
Head of Department 1.6
Phone: +49 531 592-1600 
Opens window for sending emailchristian.koch(at)ptb.de

Dr. Bernd Güttler 
Head of Division 3
Chemical Physics and Explosion Protection  
Phone: +49 531 592-3010
Opens window for sending emailbernd.guettler(at)ptb.de

Dr. Annette Röttger 
Head of Division 6 
Ionizing Radiation  
Phone: +49 531 592-6010
Opens local program for sending emailannette.roettger(at)ptb.de

Prof. Dr. Tobias Schäffter 
Head of Division 8
Medical Physics and Metrological Information Technology  
Opens window for sending emailtobias.schaeffter(at)ptb.de