This news release is available in German.
Medical implants, complex interfaces between brain and machine or remotely controlled insects: Recent developments combining machines and organisms have great potentials, but also give rise to major ethical concerns. In their review entitled "Chemie der Cyborgs zur Verknpfung technischer Systeme mit Lebewesen" (The Chemistry of Cyborgs Interfacing Technical Devices with Organisms), KIT scientists discuss the state of the art of research, opportunities, and risks. The review is published now by the renowned journal "Angewandte Chemie Int. Ed." (DOI: 10.1002/ange.201307495).
They are known from science fiction novels and films technically modified organisms with extraordinary skills, so-called cyborgs. This name originates from the English term "cybernetic organism". In fact, cyborgs that combine technical systems with living organisms are already reality. The KIT researchers Professor Christof M. Niemeyer and Dr. Stefan Giselbrecht of the Institute for Biological Interfaces 1 (IBG 1) and Dr. Bastian E. Rapp, Institute of Microstructure Technology (IMT), point out that this especially applies to medical implants.
In recent years, medical implants based on smart materials that automatically react to changing conditions, computer-supported design and fabrication based on magnetic resonance tomography datasets or surface modifications for improved tissue integration allowed major progress to be achieved. For successful tissue integration and the prevention of inflammation reactions, special surface coatings were developed also by the KIT under e.g. the multidisciplinary Helmholtz program "BioInterfaces".
Progress in microelectronics and semiconductor technology has been the basis of electronic implants contro
|Contact: Monika Landgraf|