Interdisciplinary Agile Medical Engineering Development


Agile Development, Interdisciplinary Teams, Microtitre Plate, Medical Engineering


Within the last years, several multi-parametric screening systems for the work with living tumor cells have been developed at the Heinz Nixdorf Chair for Medical Electronics of the Technical University of Munich. The basic elements of these systems are either bio-electronic chips to monitor living cells or microtitre plates, which are equipped with electronic or optical chips for the detection of physiological signals of the cells. These microtitre plates, however, have to be further developed for a broader use in health care. To unite the different disciplines that collaborate in medical engineering, an agile development process is used and the interdisciplinary collaboration is analyzed by the Chair of Product Development. Despite of the advantages that come with such an agile development, there are many open question such as how to satisfy the strict norms and rules of medical engineering in an agile development.


In this research project, the usage of the microtitre plate is enhanced and prepared for a broader utilization. The overall costs are reduced drastically as different manufacturing techniques are applied. The latter mentioned point is important, as for the practical application in clinical tumor diagnostics, at the end of the day the price is also a decisive aspect for the acceptance of a system with given performance. During the development, a profitable integration of the different disciplines in the product development process will be perused, especially in an agile development environment. The results will be documented in a guideline, which contains the science-relevant conclusions for the application of agile methods in interdisciplinary teams in a medical engineering development, and the enhancement of the microtiter plate serves as a use case in the guide line.


The content of the technical working packages is separated into two design projects. In these projects, student teams work on the tasks under methodical and technical guidance of research associates. Thereby, different aspects can be worked on intensively and a team with different technical foci can be arranged flexibly. Both design projects are run parallel at the Chair for Medical Electronics and the Institute for Product Development. Therefore, a constant cooperation and the exchange between the two chairs as well as the combination of preliminary results is unavoidable. The approaches for methodical product development, agile procedures as well as the approach for the collaboration in interdisciplinary teams are further developed, integrated into each other, and at the same time support the execution of the design projects along the entire project duration. Therefore, in the design projects the methodical contents are combined with the research contents, which result from the further development of the microtiter plate.

Project Partners

Heinz Nixdorf Chair for Medical Electronics


Zeidler Forschungs-Stiftung

Project Term

July 2017 until December 2018