Biomagnetic Sensing

The detection of magnetic field distributions in the region of the head or torso of humans allows for powerful diagnosis practices of brain (magnetoencephalography, MEG) or heart (magnetocardiography, MCG) functions. Systems used as routine diagnostic tools need to be easy-to-handle and cost-effective, thus operation at room temperature is desirable. Magnetic field sensors based on miniaturized magnetoelectric composites, i.e. composites consisting of at least one magnetostrictive and one piezoelectric constituent, have revealed their potential to detect sub-pT fields at room temperature under certain conditions.

The general objectives of the Collaborative Research Centre CRC 1261 are the research and development of different magnetoelectric sensor approaches with a special focus on high sensitivity at biomagnetic frequencies (Project Area A) and their evaluation and utilization in medically relevant questions (Project Area B). The research program to pursue these goals requires intensive interdisciplinary collaboration between materials scientists, electrical engineers and physicians (neurology and cardiology). It will be supported by two cross-topical projects on micro-/nanosystem fabrication and on biomagnetic measurement techniques. An Integrated Research Training Group will be established with the intent of fostering interdisciplinary collaboration within the CRC 1261. Furthermore, a Scientific Outreach Project will be responsible not only for outreach to the public, students and teachers, but also for communicating in a scientific manner to young scientists.