Biomedical microsystems are one of the most emerging topics in the field of microscale circuits and systems. They can be used in diagnosis, therapy and rehabilitation. Prominent examples are functional electrical stimulators, such as the cardiac pacemaker or the cochlear implant for the deaf, DNA analysis on microarrays, and many more. There main advantage of integrated circuits in these systems is the high degree of functionality, which can be achieved on a very limited amount of space.
This is especially important, if biomedical microsystems are implanted into the human body. Here, the most recent advances are found in neural recorders, which envision the brain-machine interface in the future, and also highly advanced neural stimulators, as the vision prosthesis. Beside stimulation of the human cortex, the retinal implant has received an enormous interest in the last decade. It is a complex microsystem, which is mostly completely implanted into the human eyeball. There it elicts light perception by electrically stimulating the retina. Due to the required high resolution of visual perception, hundreds of stimulation sites are required. Therefore, the use of highly sophisticated integrated electronics for supply generation, data communication, electrical stimulation and more is mandatory.
Our research in biomedical electronics focuses on both, epiretinal (Group Prof. Ortmanns) and subretinal (Group Prof. Rothermel) implants.
Beside, also research is conducted on general circuit techniques for implantable circuits and systems (Group Ortmanns), beyond others on neural recording and stimulation circuitry, electrically safe tissue interfacing, closed loop stimulation electronics, wireless, low-power data communication and real-time control of telemetric energy transfer.
CMOS Circuits for Multi-Channel, Bidirectional Neural Interfaces
S. Reich, M. Sporer: Bidirectional, neural interfaces are a tool which is widely used in the study of the complex interconnections between neurons within the brain. To understand the activity of neural cells, nervous tissue is first stimulated with a current or voltage signal and afterwards its electrical activity is observed ... [more]
Circuit design for a subretinal stimulator
S. Moll, H. Schütz, R. Steinhoff: In this project we develop CMOS circuits optimized for the usage in medical implants. The emphasis is on low-power, optimized silicon area, and optimized performance ... [more]