Bioprocess Engineering

Wearables and Implants

Microelectronic systems become increasingly integrated into the human body [1]. Starting point were pacemakers and cochlear implants. But many new systems for monitoring the body's own metabolites [2, 3], technical aids or actuators for pain treatment via peripheral nerve stimulation are under development [4]. 

There are also numerous approaches to recording medically relevant health data in the field of wearable systems for body monitoring. Originally developed as fitness trackers for counting steps, they can be a great help to patients in the treatment of various diseases. They often fall under the name medIoT, i.e. they are understood as medical components in the developing Internet of Things [5]. Nowadays, they can be used to determine energy consumption and blood pressure, blood oxygen saturation, etc., but also to record a mobile ECG.

A seemingly simple health parameter is body temperature. However, from a medical point of view, it is mainly the core body temperature that is of interest, which is not easy to determine with extracorporeal sensors. Existing commercial systems (e.g. iWatch) therefore measure skin temperature only at night. Here it would be interesting to have simple and inexpensive systems that work in an uncomplicated and intelligent way. Within the scope of an ongoing master thesis, we are working on the conception and construction of such a device.


[1] M. Birkholz: “Implantable Microelectronics”, in: Handbook “Bioelectronics: Materials, Technologies and Emerging Applications”, A. Kumar & R.K. Gupta (Eds.), CRC Press, Chapter 21 (2022) ISBN 9781032203133
[2] M. Birkholz, P. Glogener, F. Glös, T. Basmer, L. Theuer: „Continuously operating biosensor and its integration into a hermetically sealed medical implant“, Micromachines 7 (2016) 183
[3] M. Birkholz, P. Glogener, T. Basmer et al.: „System integration of a silicone-encapsulated glucose monitor implant“, Biomedical Technology 59 (2014) S1089