Current Research Projects

Current Search Projects

Large-area, high resolution electrode array for neural applications

Responsible University: University of Applied Sciences Mannheim (Prof. Dr. Jürgen Giehl)

Co-operating Parter:  University of Applied Sciences Furtwangen

Project Period: 2015 - 2019

Funding:  Ministry of Education and Research
(BMBF, focal point of support: „Ingenieurnachwuchs“), Germany

Brief Description: Chronic diseases are more and more present in our aging society, e. g.  Parkinson's disease can be treated by deep-brain stimulation. Electrical current pulses are emitted to the neuronal cells in the brain (stimulation). Microelectrode arrays are interfaces that can connect nerve cells to electronic circuits. They contain many contact electrodes, by means of which neuronal cell signals or muscle cell signals can be recorded or emitted electrically. Unfortunately the presently existing systems have only small usable active area (a few mm²). Large area electrode arrays (area: a few cm²), such as, e.g. epilepsy diagnostics systems under the cranium, have only small spatial resolution because the contacting of several thousand electrodes per cm² is not technically possible. Therefore a gap exists between highly integrated neuro chips with high electrode density and large-area flexible electrode arrays with insufficient local resolution for medical technology.

In this project, a novel large-area high density flexible electrode array in chip card size is to be constructed.

In this new approach, a miniaturized amplifier chip is installed under 25 microelectrodes, which allows the electrodes to be read out by multiplexing via one output line. Particular importance is attached to the protection of the system against the aggressive body fluids. Due to a special encapsulation layer, which must be mechanically flexible and nevertheless practically as tight as a titanium housing, long-term use is to be made possible in the human body for years.

Modeling, design, realization and automation of printed electronics and their materials

Responsible University: University of Applied Sciences Offenburg (Prof. Dr. Jasmin Aghassi-Hagmann)

Co-operating Partners: Karlsruher Institute of Technology (KIT)

Project Period: 2016 bis 2019

Funding:  Ministry of Science, Research and Arts
(Ministerium für Wissenschaft, Forschung und Kunst), Baden-Württemberg

Brief description: In collaboration with the Karlsruhe Institute of Technology (KIT), the research group "Modeling, Design, Implementation and Automation of Printed Electronics and its Materials" (MERAGEM) is working on the research of printable electronic components for digital economy. Researchers from the disciplines of materials science, physics, electrical engineering and information technology as well as from computer science will jointly research new solutions for printable electronics.

The scientific goal of the project is to systematically research optimized, but not yet industrially useable printing processes and materials. The design of printed electronics based on in/organic materials has to be explored as well as their potential for applications in sensory systems. The components developed in the project are subsequently implemented in a computer-supported design system (CAD) and published in the form of a free download version.

The project is funded by the Ministry of Science, Research and Arts of Baden-Württemberg at first by three years. The project additionally should support the prospects of young academics from Universities of Applied Sciences and in Germany and abroad. A sophisticated selection process based for the selection of excellent young talents will be carried out.

Half of the 12-15 PhD students are researching at the Offenburg site, the other half at KIT. Due to the proximity of the two locations, the doctoral students and professors can regularly exchange scientific information. The exchange takes place through monthly joint doctoral seminars as well as joint activities such as conventions or excursions to companies and research institutes.