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Center for Biomimetic Microelectronic Systems (BMES) to develop implantable electronics for reversing major disabilities

Wednesday, October 1, 2003

Implantable microelectronic devices for overcoming blindness, paralysis, and stroke damage are the focus of a new center in which engineers from the University of California, Santa Cruz, are collaborating with scientists at the University of Southern California and the California Institute of Technology. CBSE electrical engineering faculty Wentai Liu and Michael Isaacson are key participants in this new endeavor, the Center for Biomimetic Microelectronic Systems (BMES), a national Engineering Research Center based at USC. The National Science Foundation (NSF) will provide $17 million over five years to fund the center, and the UCSC campus will receive about $2.7 million of this.

Biomimetics refers to the use of technology to mimic biological systems. The center tackles problems that require collaboration between researchers in a wide variety of disciplines. According to Liu, a professor of electrical engineering and director of the center's activities at UC Santa Cruz, 'The basic problems involve power and data management, miniaturization of the microelectronic systems, and the interface technology that allows the microelectronics to interact with living tissue."