Science and other adventures

From Auckland to Freiburg: Beeing guest at BrainLinks-BrainTools

As part of the international recruiting concepts BrainLinks-BrainTools is constantly supporting the exchange of early career researchers. The Cluster offers to host students from all around the world and gives them the opportunity to be part of our team. The following short report of one guest, visiting us this year unveil interesting insights:

"The winter of 2017 I got the opportunity to visit the Cluster of Excellence BrainLinks-BrainTools and the Faculty of Engineering at the University of Freiburg. This trip was part of a new collaborative project between our group Spinal Cord Injury (SCI) at the University of Auckland and Dr Maria Asplund’s group at the University of Freiburg. This new project looks at developing implants which facilitate regrowth of damaged neuronal tracts following a spinal cord injury. It goes without saying that the team within the Biomedical Microtechnology faculty are experts in implantable bioelectronic probes, and their contribution to the design & fabrication of the first set of prototypes was substantial. Within this three-month trip I got a grasp for the processes and thoughts that went into flexible polyimide device fabrication. At the end of this research visit I was able to take back 48 different polyimide prototypes for testing and implantation at the University of Auckland. The testing procedures involve physical and electrochemical characterisation of the probes, alongside in vivo studies which look at the feasibility of these different prototypes for long term implantation. Results from these characterisation and feasibility studies will be fed back to the University of Freiburg and a final probe design will be made in the coming months.

The three-month research visit to the University of Freiburg was eye opening and I would like to thank everyone that contributed to the design & fabrication of the initial prototypes. In addition, I would also like to thank BrainLinks-BrainTools for hosting me as well as supplying a bike to ensure manoeuvrability within the beautiful city of Freiburg."