Interfacing Biology / Neuroscience

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FluidFM Technology

The FluidFM is a perfect technology for interfacing biology at its natural nanometer lengthscale. It is based on hollow AFM cantilevers for local surface modification and single cell manipulation in liquid environment. This LBB technology is commercialized by the LBB spin-off company Cytosurge.


The FluidFM research activities are coordinated by Tomaso Zambelli.

Neuron Networks

Understanding the brain is one of the grand challenges of the 21st century. At present research in this field is revolves around two approaches: First, the study of individual neurons by electronic and biochemical means and, second, the imaging of the whole brain using MRI. We have developed a tool-box in order to create a bridge between these two approaches and to build small networks of neurons with controlled topography on a chip. We apply electronically tunable surface chemistry in combination with micro- and nanostructuring to control the attachment of neurons, the direction of the neurite growth and the formation of synapses. This will allow us to study the activity of such bottom-up neuron networks and, thus, the basic processes of memory and learning. Parallel to this fundamental scientific approach we also perform research related to the effect of applied potentials on the adsorption, conformation, and function of biomolecules and on the behavior of cells. These experiments have immediate relevance for biomedical electric devices such as deep-brain electrodes and implanted biosensors.

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