The NMI is involved in application-oriented research at the interface between the life sciences and material science. In particular, we apply our core competences in micro and nanoengineering to applications in the life sciences and biomedical engineering. Our expertise includes flexible neural interfaces, microelectrode arrays, microimplants, microsensors and microfluidics. We apply techniques of cleanroom microfabrication, thin film deposition, micro- and nanostructuring, surface engineering, and assembly and packaging. We additionally test devices, surface and coatings for functionality and long-term stability.
We work on flexible electronics as well as on glass, quartz or silicon. Functional structures such as electrical conductors and low impedance electrodes can be structured by optical lithography (1 to 100 µm) as well as electron beam, focused ion beam (FIB) and nanoimprint lithography (>20 nm). We employ biostable electrodes made of titanium nitride, iridium, conductive polymers and carbon nanomaterials (e.g. graphene) with optimal properties for electrophysiology (low noise and/or high charge injection capacity). We produce microelectrode arrays and sensors tailored to specific applications, including implantable devices, ex vivo preparations, and 2D or 3D cell cultures. We additionally specialize in packaging, encapsulation and testing.