Project Image:
Title of the project:
Three-dimensional electrophysiological and optogenetic systems
Method Development - Collaborative Project - Three-dimensional Electrophysiological and Optogenetic Systems and Methods
Project leader:
Dr. Günther Zeck
Project funding:
  • Bundesministerium für Bildung und Forschung (BMBF)
Project management:
  • Projektträger Jülich
Funding reference number:

The performance of our nervous system, such as sensory perception, memory, or the control of organs, can be investigated and understood if a sufficiently large number of different cell types are identified in the circuits involved and modulated specifically for each cell type. This requires measurement systems and methods that can measure with high signal quality and modulate cells using electrical or optical methods. DREPHOS brings together innovative electrical and optogenetic technologies to solve these challenges for three-dimensional cellular in vitro model systems.


In subproject A of DREPHOS  active microelectrode arrays (CMOS-MEAs) are equipped with needle-shaped electrodes. This makes it possible for the first time to detect cells removed from the surface in three-dimensional tissue preparations. Processes compatible with CMOS technology are being developed for the production of three-dimensional electrode arrays.
On the methodological side, correlative electrical and optical methods for functional mapping of cell types and cellular circuits are being developed. The CMOS-MEA based high-resolution detection method (electrical imaging) is combined with optical microscopy and fluorescence marking techniques. These methods are used to (i) enable cell type-specific functional anatomy, (ii) visualize the signal processing between interconnected cells optically and electrically, and (iii) modulate the activity of identified neuronal circuits. DREPHOS investigates scientific questions in the retina and hippocampus of transgenic mouse lines. The following working groups are involved in DREPHOS at the NMI: Neurophysics, Microsystems Technology, Molecular Neurobiology).