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 Medical Engineering & Neuroprosthetics Department concerns the development and application of intelligent, invasive and non-invasive interfaces to the nervous system for the stimulation and recording of bioelectric potentials. The necessary hardware and software components are being developed and manufactured, ranging from miniaturized, implantable electrodes to monitoring systems and signal processing, right up to application. The special expertise of the department lies in its comprehensive range of services which covers design, production and characterization including risk management of individual components, but also of the whole implantable and smart system. All required technological prerequisites, including clean rooms, plasma equipment, encapsulation technologies (e.g. parylene coating, silicone processing), electrode characterization, simulation environment, 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 directly tested, for instance in the environment of a drive 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.