Medical Engineering & Neuroprosthetics

Public Projects

Interdisciplinary team work involving different scientific and technical fields is taking place within the framework of projects funded by the European Union as well as the BMBF and other public facilities funded institutions. Increased emphasis is being placed here on cooperation with industrial partners in order to ensure the practical implementation of the applied research.

Implantable, elastic nano-functionalized Polysiloxan-structures for new applications in the field of Neuroprosthetics (elaN)

Description: Development and scientific evaluation of a systematic functionalization of polysiloxanes (PDMS) with nanosubstances to generate new materials for neuroprosthetic applications.
Funding: 16SV5367
Funding period: 10/2010 - 09/2013



Description: Accompanying research within the BMBF framework "intelligent implants"
Contribution of IBMT: Description and evaluation of biological-technical interfaces: telemetry, electrodes, energy consumption
Funding: 16V5007
Funding period: 07/2010 – 07/2013


Closed-Loop Neural Prosthesis for Vestibular Disorders (CLONS)

Description: Development of a prosthetic system for patients suffering from diseases and disorders of the vestibular system. Movements and accelerations are recorded using suitable sensors and converted to control signals which are used for the electrostimulation of the vestibular nerve using multi-channel microelectrodes.
Contribution of IBMT: Development and fabrication of implantable microelectrodes for the vestibular system, organization of workshops and summer schools
Funding: EU-FP7-ICT-225929
Funding Period: 01/2009-12/2012



Description: The objective of Myoplant is to realize a myoelectrically controlled, i.e. controlled by muscle signals, hand/arm prosthesis. For this purpose we are developing an implantable device to receive muscle signals directly and route them wirelessly to the actuated artificial hand. In spite of the augmented degree of freedom, the handling will be more intuitive and easier than with present models based on surface electrodes.
Contribution of IBMT: Invasive interface to the muscle, wireless communication between implant and hand prosthesis and the wireless energy supply of the device’s electronics by the external prosthesis.
Funding: 16SV3697
Funding period: 08/2008 – 06/2011

Description: Development and management of hybrid business models for health care and wellness.
Funding: 01FC8063
Funding period: 12/2008 – 11/2011



Description: The control of pressure load and pressure distribution of the affected body regions plays an important role in the treatment of diabetes and decubitus patients. With the aid of innovative microsensor developments implemented flexibly and individually in various textiles, ulceration in diabetics and wheelchair patients is to be reduced in a targeted and sustained manner by objective measurement of the pressure load on endangered parts of the body. This textile-based system will record and analyse pressure conditions of endangered body regions, indicating overload conditions to the patient, who will then be able to relieve the corresponding body part, e. g. toe, heel or pelvis.
Contribution of IBMT: The Fraunhofer IBMT is responsible for the wireless transmission of the measurement data from the textile (e. g. anti-decubitus sock) to an electronic evaluation device worn on the body. In addition to this, the IBMT is developing the evaluation electronics including the evaluation software.
Funding: 16SV3714
Funding period: 11/2008-10/2011


Continuous intraoperative nerve monitoring as microtechnological navigation instrument (IKONA)

© Fraunhofer IBMT (Photo: Bernd Müller).

Description: Development of a continuous monitoring system for protection of nerve structures during surgical interventions. Using electrical stimulation and recording, the nerve can be monitored over its complete length, and the surgeon is warned by an alarm signal if the nerve is subject to mechanical or thermal stress.
Contribution of IBMT: Project coordination, development and fabrication of electrode systems for stimulation and recording
Funding: 01EZ0722
Funding Period: 09/2007-05/2011


Measuring the Impossible NETwork (MINET)

Description: : All coordinators of the "Measuring the Impossible (MtI)" activities are included in MINET for better collaboration and sustainable exploitation of the results. Information and experience will be transferred in workshops, think tanks and training courses.
Contribution of IBMT: Collaboration in the MINET meetings. Input for e-MINET.
Funded by: EU-FP6-NEST-043297
Time Period: 02/2007-01/2010

European Expert Platform for "Measuring Human Feelings and Emotions (Feel Europe)"

Description: Organization and implementation of a workshop on the topic "measuring human feelings and emotions". The results will be published in a "White Paper" as a basis for further R&D-activities.
Contribution of IBMT: Coordination of the project. Organization of the workshop and editing of the "White Paper". (Working in all tasks)
Funded by: EU-FP6-NEST-043357
Time Period: 02/2007-07/2007

DARPA "Revolutionizing Prosthetics Program"

Description: Development of an artificial arm system to replace severed limbs.
Contribution of IBMT: Characterization of encapsulation materials as well as evaluation of multi layer encapsulation films for the coating of microelectrode arrays for contacting with the nervous system
Funded by: DARPA
Time Period: 09/2006-11/2007

Self organizing Electrodenetwork for the Electrophysiologic Diagnostic (SEED)

Description: The objective of the SEED project to carry out a feasibility study on an intelligent surface electrode for use in a complex electrode system for wireless and multichannel recordings of electrophysiological parameters. The scientific study is to be validated with the set-up of a functioning demonstrator in order to be able to directly evaluate the achieved micro/nano integration and the synergy effects of converging technologies for medical engineering.  
Contribution of IBMT: Coordination of the project.
Funded by: BMBF
Time Period: 04/2007-03/2008

The Fusion of Neuroscience and Robotics for augmenting human capabilities (Neurobotics)

Description: The EU project Neurobotics focuses on three scientific research fields:
1. Interface technology: the focus lies on invasive and non-invasive interfaces to the peripheral nerve system as well as central nerve system
2. Neurosciences with special reference to sensor-motor coordination
3. Robotics in terms of biomimetic and anthropomorphic systems and bionic components
Contribution of IBMT: Development of implantable electrodes for neurostimulation and recording of nerve signals (Sieve, Shaft, tfLIFE electrodes), electrode optimization, packaging and assembly technology, investigations on biological compatibility
Funded by: EU IST-001917
Time Period: 01/2004-12/2007

NIH/NINDS "Chronic Microelectrode Array"

Description: Development of a full integratable, biocompatible, microenergetic, chronic array for neuronal signal recording.
Contribution of IBMT: Development of characterization methods for the measurement of the long-term stability
Funded by: NIH
Time Period: 09/2004 - 09/2008

Intelligente multimodale mobile Sensorsysteme für Anwendungen in Medizin, Arbeitssicherheit und Wellness (INMUSENS, Produkt senSAVE)

Description: The objective of the senSAVE project is the optimization of diagnosis and therapy of cardiovascular diseases to protect the persons concerned from emergencies. In addition to the treatment quality, the focus is on the enhancement of the patient's autonomy and quality of life. Wireless body-sensors are used for the continuous monitoring of patient health. In the event of significant deterioration, an alarm signal to the attending doctor. Patient and doctor can then discuss further measures on the telephone, thus preventing the imminent emergency.
Contribution of IBMT: Development of flexible textile-integrated surface electrode for "dry" ECG monitoring
Funded by: MAVO
Time Period: 01/2005-03/2007

Development of a cybernetic hand prosthesis (CYBERHAND)

Description: Development of a neuroprosthesis for the control of an artificial limb after amputation; control of the prosthesis and sensory feedback take place via the neurotechnical interface.
Contribution of IBMT: Development of implantable electrodes for neurostimulation and recording of nerve signals (sieve electrodes), optimization of electrodes, packaging and assembly of implants
Funded by: EU, IST Program ,IST-2001-35094
Time Period: 05/2002-04/2005

Representation of stimuli as neural activity (ROSANA)

Description: Analyses for the representation of peripheral sensory signals of the central nervous system after tactile and electrical stimulation.
Contribution of IBMT: Development of implantable electrodes that provide high spatial resolution for neural stimulation and recording of nerve signals (sieve electrodes), packaging assembly of implants, telemetry, implant development
Funded by: EU, IST Program IST-2001-34892
Time Period: 05/2002-04/2005

Restoration of bladder function by neuroprosthetics (REBEC)

Description: Development of a neuroprosthesis for neuromodulation of incontinence through selective electric stimulation; development up to clinical testing.
Contribution of IBMT: Development of implantable electrodes for neurostimulation (cuff electrodes), packaging of integrated circuits, stimulator and stimulation pulse  development
Funded by: EU, LIFE-V Program, QLG5-CT-2001-00822
Time Period: 01/2002-12/2004

Implantable and extracorporal modular micro-system-platform (IMEX)

Description: Infrastructure-project for the development and the definition of standardised interfaces inside biomedical micro-systems towards a modular system composition, respectively; establishment of the initiative MikroMedizin.
Contribution of IBMT: Coordination of the development of an implant for pressure-measurement inside the urinary bladder; analysis of the physicochemical properties of biomaterials in long-term studies; knowledge management of the interface between biomedical micro-implants and body tissues and fluids; collaboration in the consortium "Biocompatible packaging and assembling technologies"
Funded by: BMBF, VDI/VDE-IT
Time Period: 06/2002-11/2004

EPI-RET / Retina Implant I & II


Description: Retina implant for the blind.
Contribution of IBMT: Development of technical microsystems with integrated electrodes based on polyimide for an implantable microsystem for patients suffering from blindness caused by retinitis pigmentosa and macular degeneration, hybrid packaging of integrated circuits, acute stimulators for animal experiments up to human applications, cytotoxicity analysis according to ISO 10993
Funded by: BMBF, DLR, 01 IN 501 H 4
Time Period: 08/1995-09/2003

Neuronen-Mikrosonde II (NMS II)

Description: Biohybrid sieve implant for interfacing peripheral nerves
Contribution of IBMT: Development of technical microsystems with integrated electrodes based on polyimide for biohybrid implants, analysis of the cytotoxicity according to ISO 10993, optimization of neurons by genetic engineering (stress and apoptosis resistivity)
Funded by: BMBF, BEO 0311529
Time Period: 07/1999-12/2002

An integrated system for the neuroelectric control of grasp in disabled persons (GRIP)

Description: Development of a neuroprosthesis for neural stimulation in paraplegia patients; restoring of grasp functionality; development up to clinical testing.
Contribution of IBMT: Development of implantable electrodes for neural stimulation (cuff-electrodes), packaging of integrated circuits, telemetry, design of implants
Funded by: EU, ESPRIT Programme, no. 26322
Time Period: 01/1998-12/2001

Stand up and walk (SUAW)

Description: Development of an implant for neuromuscular stimulation in patients suffering from paraplegia for standing up and walking, clinical testing.
Contribution of IBMT: Development of epimysial electrodes, design of implants
Funded by: EU, BIOMED II (BMH4-CT965-1501)
Time Period: 07/1996-06/2000


© Fraunhofer IBMT, Bernd Müller.
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