Applied research

Intelligent microsystems for diagnostics, treatment, and monitoring

Probes, chips, and implants – microsystems and nanotechnologies for the manipulation and analysis of molecules, cells, and tissues

Microsystems and nanotechnology are among the technologies with the greatest innovation potential. Biotechnology (bioMST) and medical technology (micromedicine) are among the top ten areas of application for microsystem technology. Smart systems are the latest trend in the development of microsystem technology. Intelligent integration of a multitude of individual components and new materials paves the way for complex systems with ever more functions in ever smaller components. This gives rise to increasingly sophisticated applications, something that benefits biomedical technology in particular. The miniaturization and integration of bio- and nanotechnologies offer opportunities and options for new and improved microsystem functions of diagnosis, treatment, and monitoring.

Due to their size and composition, molecules, cells, and tissues are ideal candidates for manipulation and analysis using microsystems and nanoprobes. Applications include the detection of bacteria and viruses in body fluids, the stimulation and measurement of neuronal activity in cultures, implants for eyes, ears and the brain, and even the production of artificial organs.

The NMI is involved in the design, development, and testing of application-specific microsystems made from biostable and biocompatible materials. Our research and development activities take in the entire value-added chain – from the simulation of a design idea to the development of manufacturing processes for small series production of microsystems with integrated nanostructures and biomaterials.

Biosensors made of carbon nanotubes, long-term stable microimplants, highly sensitive neurochips, and biofunctionalized surfaces for lab-on-a-chip are just a few of the terms at the center of our fascinating research projects and product and process innovations for customers that we develop in cooperation with partners from science, the medical profession, and industry.


"Artificial micro organs"-a microfluidic device for dielectrophoretic assembly of liver sinusoids
Schutte, J., Hagmeyer, B., Holzner, F., Kubon, M., Werner, S., Freudigmann, C., Benz, K., Bottger, J., Gebhardt, R., Becker, H., Stelzle, M., Biomed Microdevices. 2011 Jun;13(3):493-501.

Chemical stimulation of adherent cells by localized application of acetylcholine from a microfluidic system
Zibek, S., Hagmeyer, B., Stett, A., Stelzle, M.
Frontiers in Neuroengineering

Subretinal electronic chips allow blind patients to read letters and combine them to words
Zrenner, E., Bartz-Schmidt, K.U., Benav, H., Besch, D., Bruckmann, A., Gabel, V.P., Gekeler, F., Greppmaier, U., Harscher, A., Kibbel, S., Koch, J., Kusnyerik, A., Peters, T., Stingl, K., Sachs, H., Stett, A., Szurman, P., Wilhelm, B., Wilke, R.
Proc. R. Soc. B

A method for patterned in situ biofunctionalization in injection-molded microfluidic devices
Schuette, J., Freudigmann, C., Benz, K., Bottger, J., Gebhardt, R., Stelzle, M.
Lab Chip. 2010 Jul 30.

MicroPrep: chip-based dielectrophoretic purification of mitochondria
Moschallski, M., Hausmann, M., Posch, A., Paulus, A., Kunz, N., Duong, T. T., Angres, B., Fuchsberger, K., Steuer, H., Stoll, D., Werner, S., Hagmeyer, B., Stelzle, M.
Electrophoresis. 2010 Aug;31(15):2655-63.

Neuroprotective effect of transretinal electrical stimulation on neurons in the inner nuclear layer of the degenerated retina.
Schmid, H., Herrmann, T., Kohler, K., Stett, A.
Brain Res Bull. 2009 Apr 6;79(1):15-25. Epub 2009 Jan 15.

Nano-porous electrode systems by colloidal lithography for sensitive electrochemical detection: fabrication technology and properties.
Lohmüller, T., Müller, U., Breisch, S., Nisch, W., Rudorf, R., Schuhmann, W.Neugebauer, S., Kaczor, M., Linke, S., Lechner, S., Spatz, J., Stelzle, M.
J. Micromech. Microeng. 18 (2008)

Thin-film epidural microelectrode arrays for somatosensory and motor cortex mapping in rat.
Hosp JA, Molina-Luna K, Hertler B, Atiemo CO, Stett A, Luft AR.
J Neurosci Methods. 2008 Jul 30;172(2):255-62. Epub 2008 May 23.

Retinal charge sensitivity and spatial discrimination obtainable by subretinal implants: key lessons learned from isolated chicken retina.
Stett, A., Mai, A., Herrmann, T.
Journal of Neural Engineering 4, p. 7-16

Localized functional chemical stimulation of TE 671 cells cultured on nanoporous membrane by calcein and acetylcholine.
Zibek S, Stett A, Koltay P, Hu M, Zengerle R, Nisch W, Stelzle M
Biophys J. 92(1):L04-6.