WOLDOR

WAVEGUIDE-BASED OPTRODES WITH INTEGRATED LASER DIODES FOR OPTOGENETIC INTERVENTION AND ELECTRICAL RECORDING


Relevant for Research Area

B - Core Technologies


Summary

Optogenetics provides the unique opportunity to control neural activity by optical stimulation of specific types of neurons using light sensitive molecules expressed in the cell membrane. In WOLDOR we develop miniaturized, implantable tools, so-called optrodes, comprising integrated light sources (laser diodes (LD), light-emitting diodes (LED)), passive optical components (waveguides, lenses), and electrodes used for the optical interference with brain tissue and electrical recording of neural activity. The devices are based on silicon and polymer substrates used for intracortical and epicortical in vivo applications. We establish new process technologies for hermetically sealed micro-packages for LD and LED chips, and supplement our technical developments by an intense characterization of waveguide materials in view of their long-term stability in biological environments. Our highly miniaturized optrodes will be validated in in vivo applications with freely behaving animals.


Research Status

Optical and thermal characterization of dual-color, LD-based optrodes (up to 40 mm long) with Ormorcer waveguides for intracortical applications, development and validation of innovative design concepts and fabrication methods for chronic implants comprising integrated LED and LD chips as well as humidity sensors, packaged in glass- and silicon-based micro-housings, in vitro studies demonstrating the superior properties of waveguides for long-term stable applications of several months.

Alt MT, Fiedler E, Rudmann L, Ordonez JS, Ruther P, Stieglitz T (2016) Let There Be Light - Optoprobes for Neural Implants. Proceedings of the IEEE 2016, volume: 105, issue: 1, pp. 101-38.