The emerging field of “Bioelectronics” seeks to exploit biology in conjunction with
electronics in a wider context encompassing, for example, biomaterials for information
processing, information storage, electronic components and actuators. Biomolecules and
biological cells as the building blocks of higher-level functional devices can, moreover, be
used for recognition or sensing within biosensors. Bioelectronics research also seeks to use
biomolecules to perform the electronic functions that semiconductor devices currently
perform. Research activities in both of the following general domains can be distinguished:
Micro/Nano-electronics for Life-Sciences, i.e. how micro/nano electronic systems
can help to solve important problems in life sciences. Examples include
integrated devices for detection of cells, DNA, Proteins, and small molecules.
Life-Sciences for micro/nano electronic systems, i.e. how we can learn from nature
to build micro and nano electronic devices. Examples include protein mediated
electronic devices and neuro-electronic circuitries.
A key aspect is the interface between biological materials and electronics which
requires a highly interdisciplinary research, involving biologists, chemists, physicists,
materials scientists and engineers. Within this context, JARA-FIT works in the fields of both
molecule- and cell-based bioelectronics.
In molecular bioelectronics JARA-FIT focuses on research and development of
applications related to nanobiotechnology, biomolecular engineering, bioelectronic
devices and molecular miniaturization. Here the research centers around the observation of
charged entities at interfaces formed between the soft condensed or liquid phases of living
systems and the solid state world of metallic and/or semiconductor electrodes.
Fundamental studies embrace electron and ion transport phenomena, signaling and signal
transduction, and the associated molecular and organizational structures that control and
influence these in-living systems.