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Microtechnical interfaces to neurons

: Stieglitz, T.; Meyer, J.-U.

Anderson, R.C. ; Manz, A.:
Microsystem technology in chemistry and life science
Berlin: Springer, 1998 (Topics in current chemistry 194)
ISBN: 3-540-63424-X
Aufsatz in Buch
Fraunhofer IBMT ()
implant; Implantat; interfaces to neurons; Interfaces zu Neuronen; microtechnique; Mikrotechnik; Nervenprothese; neural device; neural prostheses

In this chapter, different concepts of microtechnical interfaces to neurons are introduced. A description of hand-crafted neural devices is given which demonstrates the principle applications,limitations and needs of advanced interfaces.The postulation for advanced neural interfaces leading to the discussion on utilizing microelectromechanical systems for neural prostheses. Two on-going research projects are presented highlighting the technical possibilities for the design of neural interfaces. The first example describes a neural prosthesis for an amputee model to control an artificial limb. Secondly, concepts and realization steps are given for a sensory prosthesis which will aid people suffering from a special kind of blindness. A discussion on future concepts follows that outlines possible directions of research and development with the aim of clinical use, implantability of the whole system, wireless signal and energy transmission and closed-loop control of and with biological sys tems. Possible applications not only include restorative and rehabilitation purposes but also therapeutic applications for pain relief or bio-artificial drug delivery.