The research of the institute focuses on fundamental issues concerning application of micro- and nanoelectronics to brain and life science. This requires a better understanding of the interactions between biological systems and electronic substrates and the development of new technologies, resulting in new concepts of interconnection of biological matter to electronic probes, and novel approaches to study cellular functions at the micro- and nanoscale. Here, the aim is a better knowledge of the physiological behaviour and of mechanisms of the neuronal information processing as well as development of new tools for diagnostics and imaging.
In our work we deal with the fabrication of devices able to trace small amounts of biochemicals in the environment or in body fluids. This includes the development of magnetic sensors, which have great potential for biomedical applications. More over high-frequency sensors have promising applications in biology, medicine and safety technology. On the other hand, the integration of biomolecules with electronic components for biosensors as well as for electronic switches will lead to functions that are currently carried out by more conventional semiconductor devices. Living cells such as for example nerve cells show an extraordinary range of functions (highly sensitive biochemical sensing and information processing), so that the functional connection with electronic components for future applications in neuroscience, drug screening and biosensors, as well as in in vivo applications is of great interest.
Our research activities are based on a variety of methods and skills which we continually develop and improve. This work is embedded in the research field of key technologies of the Helmholtz Association, in which our Institute is embedded within the programs Fundamentals for future information technologies and BioSoft: Macromolecular and Biological Systems Information Processing. In addition, our institute is involved in research projects that are funded by national and international funding agencies and include a broad spectrum from basic research to applications and industrial co-operation.