Forschungszentrum Jülich and RWTH Aachen University
Study of functional coupling of sensory cells and neurons with microelectronic devices. Signal processing in biological neuronal networks. Electronic DNA-Chip. Biophysics of lipid bilayers and membrane receptors. Biosensors and bio-magnetic sensors.
Andreas Offenhäusser studied physics and completed his dissertation in 1989 at the University of Ulm. For 2 years he worked in the field of power transistors at Robert Bosch GmbH in Reutlingen, Germany. From 1992 until 1994 he performed a post doctoral study at the Frontier Research Program at RIKEN, Japan. Afterwards, he worked as a group leader at the Max-Planck-Institute for Polymer Research in Mainz, Germany. Since 2001, Offenhäusser is director at the Institute of Complex Systems at Forschungszentrum Jülich and Professor of Experimental Physics at the Rheinisch-Westfälische Technische Hochschule (RWTH) Aachen.
Bioelectronics is an interdisciplinary research field that includes elements of chemistry, biology, physics, electronics, nanotechnology, and materials science. It seeks to exploit the growing technical ability to integrate biological cells and biomolecules with electronics to develop a broad range of functional devices.
An important research aspect is the development of the communication interface between the biological materials and electronic components and novel approaches to study cellular functions at the micro and nano-scale. This seeks at a better understanding of the physiological behaviour and of mechanisms of the neuronal information processing and new tools for diagnostics and imaging. The use of biomolecules and biological cells as the building blocks of higher-level functional devices can be used for recognition or sensing, such as biosensors. Bioelectronics research also seeks to use biomolecules to perform the electronic functions that semiconductor devices currently perform. Andreas Offenhäusser and his colleagues have research activities in both of the following general domains:
- Micro/Nano-electronics for Life-Sciences, i.e. how micro/nano electronic systems can help to solve important problems in life sciences. Examples include integrated devices for detection of cell response, DNA, proteins, and small molecules.
- Life-Sciences for micro/nano electronic systems, i.e. how we can learn from nature to build micro and nano electronic devices. Examples include protein mediated electronic devices and neuro-electronic circuitries.