Medical Engineering & Neuroprosthetics

Fraunhofer Institute for Biomedical Engineering

Wafer surface activation by means of plasma treatment.
© Fraunhofer IBMT (Photo: Bernd Müller).

The field of activity and research of the Department Medical Engineering & Neuroprosthetics is the development and application of intelligent invasive and non-invasive interfaces to the nervous system for both stimulation and recording of bioelectric potentials.

The necessary hard- and software components are developed and manufactured, ranging from miniaturized, implantable electrodes, monitoring systems and signal processing to the application.

All required technological prerequisites, including clean rooms, plasma equipment, encapsulation technologies (e.g. parylene coating, silicone processing), electrode characterization, simulation tools, reference laboratories etc., are available in the department. Moreover, laboratories for the development and application of devices and methods in clinical neurophysiology have been established. Here, new sensors can be immediately tested, for instance in the environment of a driving simulator.

The integration of cognitive systems is a further step in the development of intelligent implants and self-sustaining distributed sensors and actuators in the Department Medical Engineering & Neuroprosthetics. Particularly for modern monitoring systems, e.g. for intraoperative monitoring and monitoring of elderly people in their domestic environment, cognitive functions are increasingly expected and required.