Contact

Max Planck Institute of Biochemistry
Emeritus Group Membrane and Neurophysics
Prof. Dr. Peter Fromherz
Am Klopferspitz 18
D-82152 Martinsried
Germany
Email: fromherz@biochem.mpg.de

Emeritus Group "Membrane and Neurophysics"

We study the electrical interfacing of semiconductors and of living cells, in particular of neurons. Cellular processes are coupled to microelectronic devices through the direct contact of cell membranes and semiconductor chips. The research is directed (i) to reveal the structure and dynamics of the cell-semiconductor interface and (ii) to build up hybrid neuroelectronic networks.

We explore the new world at the interface of the electronics in inorganic solids and the ionics in living cells. This basic research provides the basis for future applications in medical prosthetics, biosensorics, brain research and neurocomputation.

Neuron from rat brain on a linear array of field-effect transistors. The ionic current in the cell interacts with the electronic current in the silicon.

Signal Transmission from Individual Mammalian Nerve Cell to Field-Effect Transistor

Neuron from rat brain on a linear array of field-effect transistors. The ionic current in the cell interacts with the electronic current in the silicon.
Network of snail neurons on a silicon chip. The cell bodies (dark blobs) are immobilized by picket fences on two-way contacts of capacitive stimulation spots and field effect transistors. They are joined by neurites (bright threads) with electrical synapses.

Noninvasive neuroelectronic interfacing with synaptically connected snail neurons immobilized on a semiconductor chip

Network of snail neurons on a silicon chip. The cell bodies (dark blobs) are immobilized by picket fences on two-way contacts of capacitive stimulation spots and field effect transistors. They are joined by neurites (bright threads) with electrical synapses.
Electrical field potential in organotypic hippocampus slice culture measured by MTA recording 5 ms after stimulation. The spatiotemporal dynamics can be observed in the movie (Quicktime, 8 MB)

High-resolution multi-transistor array recording of electrical field potentials in cultured brain slices

Electrical field potential in organotypic hippocampus slice culture measured by MTA recording 5 ms after stimulation. The spatiotemporal dynamics can be observed in the movie (Quicktime, 8 MB)
 
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