Research

Our research focuses on the development of printed sensor technology for the investigation of biological systems. Activities and projects can be assorted into the following topic areas.

Novel Fabrication Approaches

Illustration of printing electronics.

We use state-of-the-art printing processes, such as ink jet or capillary printing, to fabricate our sensors and sensor arrays. The resolution limit of modern printing technologies falls within the low micrometer range. In addition to this, printing processes are compatible with 3-dimensional structures as well as flexible and biocompatible materials. As a result, we think these technologies offer a promising alternative to classical planar clean-room technology.

Sensor and Stimulator Arrays

Illustration of an enzyme-based biosensor.

A number of biological processes can be analyzed by the spatiotemporal detection of electrophysiological or chemical cues. However, the sensitive and specific detection of biomolecules often requires complicated lab procedures. We aim to map the activity of specific markers within biological cell populations. To this end, we work on electrochemical sensor array concepts for specific detection of analytes.

Structured model networks

Neuronal network dissected by a thermal lesion (scale bar: 150 µm).

In order to understand the working principles of cellular interactions within structured networks, we apply different methods for network patterning. As an example, we use microfluidic cell-culture chambers that induce directed growth of the network. Furthermore, we apply lesions to cell networks to examine signal propagation or regeneration mechanisms. In the long term, this this research aims at creating structural and functional models of biological structures for investigating disease models.