Technologiedemonstrator: in TPU eingebetteter ASIC
© Fraunhofer IZM
Technology demonstrator: ASIC embedded in TPU

The treatment of chronic diseases does not necessarily have to be accompanied by costly medications and undesirable side effects. Neuromodulation can be used to treat diseases such as chronic headaches, asthma or Parkinson's disease. In order to realize this project, researchers at Fraunhofer IZM are developing a new generation of microimplants in the Europe-wide Moore4Medical project.

One application in the focus of the System on Flex working group is the development of technologies for a thin flexible implant that sends signals to the corresponding nerves in cluster headache in order to eliminate the headache. A flexible and stretchable polyurethane substrate is used here. This special development is carried out in close cooperation with Salvia BioElectronics B.V.

ASICs, passive components and electrodes for stimulating and recording neuronal activities – miniaturizing all these components to a few millimeters, integrating them and building them up for a long time is a major but not insurmountable hurdle. The researchers are currently evaluating which materials they can use for the prototype: This is a key decision, because they must be biocompatible and at the same time suitable for encapsulation and energy transfer. The ASIC is integrated directly into the flexible substrate and contacted directly to the circuit.

The Fraunhofer Institute for Reliability and Microintegration IZM is one of 66 companies involved in the EU-funded Moore4Medical project. At the end of the project in September 2023, an open technology platform is to be created in a kind of toolbox that will enable faster, more cost-effective and more powerful medical technology. Future research could advance these basic building blocks developed in the project for specialized applications in medical technology.

Moore4Medical logo

Moore4Medical has received funding within the Electronic Components and Systems for European Leadership Joint Undertaking (ECSEL JU) in collaboration with the European Union’s H2020 Framework Programme (H2020/2014-2020) and National Authorities (BMBF FKZ 16MEE0074K), under grant agreement H2020-ECSEL-2019-IA-876190

Working Group

System on Flex

The research group System on Flex at Fraunhofer IZM focuses on advancing the fields of flexible hybrid electronics, stretchable electronics and electronic textiles (smart textiles). The goal is developing innovative solutions for various applications. The group focuses on developing scalable manufacturing processes for flexible, stretchable and textile electronic systems.