News

28.02.2016 - 16:54

Q.com article in the „Physik in unserer Zeit“

A recent open-access article by research partners from the BMBF Q.com Research Network project entitled "Sichere Kommunikation per Quantenrepeater" is published in "Physik in unserer Zeit", which reports on the current state and the main challenges in this field.

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12.12.2015 - 12:00

3rd OCL-TP Workshop

On 10-11th December, the 3rd International Workshop between the "Optical Communication Lab" and the Department "Technological Physics" took place under framework of long-term cooperation agreement between the Israel Institute of Technology and the University of Kassel.

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23.07.2015 - 16:54

OCL-TP Workshop

On 22-23rd July, the 2nd International Workshop between the "Optical Communication Lab" and the Department "Technological Physics" took place under framework of long-term cooperation agreement between the Israel Institute of Technology and the University of Kassel.

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Diamond Based Platforms for Long-term Growth and Investigations of Neurons

The recent development of neurosciences creates an ever increasing demand to the properties and functionalities of materials and devices used for the study of fully organized neuronal networks and their activity. They should provide good and fast attachment of the neurons without the application of extracellular matrix proteins and should not degrade with the time upon contact with the biological system thus allowing long-term measurements. Diamond in the form of thin films is a perspective candidate for such applications due to its outstanding mechanical, optical, electrical, chemical, and bio-properties. This research project aims at the preparation of platforms based on ultrananocrystalline diamond (UNCD) films for the long-term growth of functional neuronal networks and their electrophysiological investigations.

The UNCD films composed of diamond nanocrystallites (ca. 5 nm) embedded in amorphous carbon matrix combine the extreme diamond properties with a rather smooth topography and include nanostructures which enhance the fast and stable attachment of the neurons. Since the surface plays an extremely important role in the interactions with cells various modifications of the UNCD surface by plasma or photochemical processes are applied, followed by patterning of the surface termination.

For the investigation of the biocompatibility and functionality of the layer systems two types of neurons are currently used, namely pacemaker neurons of the cockroach Rhypharobia maderae and olfactory receptor neurons from the tobacco hornworm Manduca sexta which serve as models for the investigation of the spontaneous electrical activity and the directional growth of developing neuronal networks, respectively, both aiming at long-term studies, not achieved till now with other materials.


               

Projekt Partners

  • Prof. Monika Stengl, Dept. of Animal Physiology, University of Kassel, Germany
  • Dr. Giacomo Ceccone, Institute of Heath and Consumer Protection, European Commission Joint Research Centre, Ispra, Italy

Selected publications

Picture gallery

Diamond-based multielectrode array prior to assembly
Fig. 1: Diamond-based multielectrode array prior to assembly
Layout of electrodes and conductive tracks for diamond-based multielectrode array
Fig. 2: Layout of electrodes and conductive tracks for diamond-based multielectrode array
UNCD deposited on glass with varying deposition times
Fig. 3: UNCD deposited on glass with varying deposition times
Neuronal cell cultures grown on top of UNCD-glass layer systems
Fig. 4: Neuronal cell cultures grown on top of UNCD-glass layer systems
Electrode structured through UNCD layer via dry etching techniques
Fig. 5: Electrode structured through UNCD layer via dry etching techniques
UNCD with patterned surface chemistry showing hydrophilic and hydrophobic properties alike
Fig. 6: UNCD with patterned surface chemistry showing hydrophilic and hydrophobic properties alike
Neurons on surface patterned UNCD layers guided by different surface groups
Fig. 7: Neurons on surface patterned UNCD layers guided by different surface groups

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