Materials for Brain (M4B): Thin film functional materials for minimally invasive therapy of brain diseases.
The treatment of patients with chronic brain diseases is mainly based on systemic drug treatments. Sufficiently large drug concentrations in the brain are often accompanied by side effects affecting other organs in the body. Neural implants, which allow localized and individualized therapy, are an alternative solution if they can satisfy the following requirements: they must be compact, biocompatible, resilient and highly flexible, particularly when used in kids and teens. Defined, nano-scale, therapeutically active coatings as well as suitability of the implants for diagnostics with magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) can open up new prospects for novel therapies. In order to reach these goals, micro-structured, functional materials based on thin film technology will be investigated for innovative local treatment of epilepsies, brain tumors and vascular diseases. Material-controlled drug release and implant interactions with cells will initially be studied using cell cultures. Subsequently, the effect of the implants on specific structures and functions of the brain will be investigated in disease-related animal models by histological and in vivo approaches by MRI and functional tests (behavioral tests, electroencephalography).