D4C in Medical Technology

Design 4 Circularity. Reducing the use of resources intelligently.

In medical technology, numerous products are designed for single use. In addition to hygienic and logistical advantages, this leads to a high consumption of valuable plastics and metals.

We investigate material flows and recycling methods, but also look at new development processes in order to contribute to the UN Sustainable Development Goals here.


We develop sensors to quantify pollution, automated sorting systems for practice waste and training methods for staff. In doing so, we pay attention to energy and material use and try to find new resource-saving designs together with our partners from industry.

Core Research Questions

Which materials are used e.g. in disposable instruments? How can contaminated products be sensibly recycled? Which materials can lead to less greenhouse gas emissions in the future?

How can waste be sorted easily and safely? Which image recognition algorithms allow the identification of recyclable waste? How can medical practice and hospital waste be sorted automatically?

How can people be motivated to work in a resource-conserving manner and to separate waste? How can it be ensured that misdirected waste is avoided? What barriers exist at the various levels of execution?

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