The SFB 1270/2 "Electrically active implants - ELAINE" involves about 70 scientists from the fields of electrical engineering, computer science, mechanical engineering, material sciences, physics, mathematics, biology and medicine.

The following lecture series will also take place in the 2nd funding period:

"Women in Natural Sciences and (Bio-)Engineering"

This time, the series is organized together with the SFB 1477 LiMatI. The lectures will be held 1-2 per month on Fridays at 2 p.m.

With this lecture series, we would like to provide insights into the everyday professional life of successful female scientists and exciting answers to questions about individual decision-making processes for a life path in STEM fields. STEM is an acronym for the fields science, technology, engineering, and mathematics and is a broad term used to group together these academic disciplines.

Of course, the lecture series is not only addressed to girls and young women - the career path and scientific topics will be interesting for all knowledge-thirsty people.

When: during the semester, Friday 2 - 3 p.m.

Where: Hörsaal Ex04, Experimentalgebäude, Albert-Einstein-Str. 2 (Südstadt-Campus)

Summer semester 2023

23.06.2023, HS Ex04, Albert-Einstein-Str. 2
How to talk to a non-specialist

Nina Meinzer, Senior Editor & Team Leader at Nature Physics

Although writing research papers and giving talks is part of a scientist’s job, any training for these skills is often ad-hoc and often focusses on speaking to one’s own community. However, science is becoming ever more collaborative and interdisciplinary, which is often made difficult by communication barriers. As an editor on a journal that strives to speak to all physicists, it is part of my job to break down these barriers and help our authors talk to a broader audience. In this talk, I will share some basic principles that facilitate communication across subject borders.

Nina Meinzer is a Senior Editor & Team Leader at Nature Physics. They received their PhD in optical physics from Karlsruhe Institute of Technology, Germany, and spent several years as a postdoc at the University of Exeter, UK. In 2016, Nina started their editorial career at Nature Communications before moving to Nature Physics in 2019, where they look after a broad range of optics and photonics papers. As Team Leader, Nina is responsible for the journal’s non-primary content, which aligns well with their passion for science communication.

Previous seminars in the summer semester 2023

Dr. Judith Evers

Dr. Judith Evers

12.05.2023, Hörsaal HS001, Albert-Einstein-Straße 26
Developing closed-loop deep brain stimulation for Parkinson’s disease with an interdisciplinary approach

Dr. Judith Evers, Post-doctoral Researcher at University College Dublin

Deep brain stimulation is a well-established treatment for medically refractory Parkinson’s disease but requires regular battery replacement surgeries, long and uncomfortable programming and has side effects. Closed-loop DBS, that regulates the stimulation delivered dependent on the current disease status, offers the possibility to solves all these limitations.
This talk will cover two translational research topics in the development of closed-loop DBS. First, the dielectric properties of mammalian brain tissue and the effect of stimulation on the electrode-tissue interface which form the foundation of DBS modelling are discussed. Second, a comparison of two closed-loop DBS algorithms to conventional DBS in a rodent study is presented.

Dr. Judith Evers currently works in a post-doctoral position at University College Dublin in the Neuromuscular Systems Lab led by Prof. Madeleine Lowery. She holds a degree in veterinary medicine from Leipzig University, after which she worked in equine medicine in Kildare, Ireland. She completed her PhD on sacral neuromodulation at University College Dublin in 2015. She studies deep brain stimulation for Parkinson's Disease in rodents. Her work focuses on changes in the electrode-tissue interface of stimulation electrodes which affects efficacy and the implementation of closed-loop stimulation, where the applied stimulation adapts to current symptom severity. She has recently established a Parkinson's model in rats in the lab to test new closed-loop stimulation algorithms.

Previous seminars in the winter semester 2022/2023

Prof. Sylvia Speller

Prof. Sylvia Speller

Surface structures for localized electronic excitation and electrostimulation

Prof. Sylvia Speller, Universität Rostock

Nature has brought about astounding performances in living and dead matter. Entangling micro- and nanostructures of both categories may represent a route to realize artificial tissues of hybrid systems, capable to meet current challenges in energy supply and health. To this end such entangled networks should to be broken down to elementary couplings and the respective structure and dynamics of individual units are to be studied. Surface structures can be prepared to fulfill functions such as optical stimulation or electric field hot spots. Localized excitation is a prerequisite to guide excitons through molecule aggregate cables and to develop alternatives to the rather energy consuming electronic circuitries. Localized optical and electric fields can also serve to provoke specific responses from live cells, i.e. to guide cells to places where they are needed. For realizing small micrometric and nanometric structures scanning probe microscopy methods are crucial. Challenges include targeted micro and nanostructuring, enhanced robustness in environments such as electrolytes, and proper docking of structures preserving functionality.

Sylvia Speller is Professor of Experimental Physics at the University of Rostock since 2012. Her research interests are understanding and controlling coupling processes on the nanoscale and the development of scanning probe microscopy methods for complex systems and environments. The PhD she received from the University of Osnabrück in 1995 with a dissertation on Scanning Tunneling Microscopy of atomic structures on metal surface systems. She spent postdoctoral stays at places such as Eindhoven and Leuven and worked as academic staff at the University of Osnabrück, where she completed her Habilitation in 2002. In 2001 she was appointed full professor for Experimental Physics at the Radboud University Nijmegen, where she coordinated research programs on Advanced Scanning Probe Microscopy and acted as director of NanoLab Nijmegen, a program dedicated to knowledge transfer between academia and industry in the field of nanoscience and technology. At the University of Rostock she is active in the department of Life, Light, and Matter (LLM) research of the interdisciplinary faculty (INF) and in the CRCs Electrically Active Implants and Light-Matter Interactions at Interfaces.


Prof. Verena Wolf

Prof. Verena Wolf

Modelling the spread of COVID-19:  Lessons learned

Prof. Verena Wolf, Saarland University, Saarland Informatics Campus
Zoom dial up:

Model-based forecasts of the possible course of the COVID 19 pandemic make an important contribution to deciding on effective interventions. The forecasts published in recent months were mostly only correct for very short periods, especially at the beginning of a wave and the number of cases was often over- or underestimated by a factor of about two to sometimes six or more. The effects of measures such as contact and travel restrictions could only be inadequately predicted by model forecasts.
In this talk, I will discuss the strengths and weaknesses of commonly used models of the spread of viral infections and explain what insights model-based forecasts provide us. They can (and should) be used to justify policy decisions only to a limited extent - be it relaxations or even restrictions.

click here for CV

Prof. Annemie Bogaerts

Prof. Annemie Bogaerts

Towards a sustainable future: Plasma-based CO2, CH4 and N2 conversion into value-added compounds or renewable fuels

Prof. Annemie Bogaerts, Research group PLASMANT, University of Antwerp, Belgium

Plasma technology is gaining increasing interest for various gas conversion applications, such as CO2 and CH4 conversion into value-added compounds, and N2 fixation for fertilizer applications [1-4].
Gas discharge plasma is a (partially) ionized gas, created by applying electricity. It consists of electrons, various ions, radicals, excited species, besides neutral gas molecules. The electrons are mainly heated by the applied electric field, due to their small mass, and they activate the gas molecules by electron impact ionization, excitation and dissociation, creating new ions, excited species and radicals. These are very reactive, so they can easily produce new products. Hence, thermodynamically or kinetically limited reactions can proceed at mild conditions of gas temperature and pressure, because the gas activation is accomplished by the electrons. Typically, gas discharge plasma reactors operate at atmospheric pressure and the gas is introduced at room temperature. Plasma technology has low CAPEX costs. Finally, the plasma reactors can quickly be switched on/off, and because they operate with electricity, they are very suitable to be combined with (fluctuating) renewable electricity, for electrification of chemical reactions.

To improve these applications in terms of conversion, energy efficiency and product formation, a good insight in the underlying mechanisms is desirable. We try to obtain this by computer modelling and experiments.

I will first give a brief explanation about different types of plasma reactors used for gas conversion. That will be followed by an overview of the state-of-the-art in plasma-based CO2 and CH4 conversion and N2 fixation, with these different types of plasma reactors, briefly discussing the opportunities and main challenges. Subsequently, I will present some recent results obtained in our group PLASMANT in this domain, including experiments to improve the performance, and modeling for a better understanding of the underlying mechanisms.

[1]  R. Snoeckx and A. Bogaerts, Chem. Soc. Rev.2017, 46, 5805-5863.
[2]  A. Bogaerts and E. Neyts, ACS Energy Lett. 2018, 3, 1013-1027.     
[3]  K.H.R. Rouwenhorst, Y. Engelmann, K. van ‘t Veer, R.S. Postma, A. Bogaerts and L. Lefferts, Green Chemistry,2020, 20, 6258-6287.
[4]  K.H.R. Rouwenhorst, F. Jardali, A. Bogaerts and L. Lefferts, Energy Envir. Sci., 2021, 14, 2520-2534.


Short CV
Annemie Bogaerts (age 51) studied at the University of Antwerp. She obtained her master in chemistry in 1993, and her PhD in chemistry in 1996. She is full professor at the University of Antwerp since 2012. She is the head of the research group PLASMANT, which she started “from scratch”, and which currently counts about 50 members. Her research focuses on plasma chemistry, plasma reactor design and plasma-surface interactions, by experiments and modeling, for various applications, but mostly for sustainable chemistry (gas conversion, electrification of chemical reactions) and medicine (cancer treatment and virus inactivation).

She has about 600 peer-reviewed publications since 1995, and above 22,000 citations, with a H-index of 74 (Web of Science) (above 31,000 citations and H-index of 90 in Google Scholar). She has above 250 invited lectures at international conferences and universities/institutes in various countries since 1995. She was the supervisor of 48 finished PhD theses (since 2005), and is now supervising 37 PhD students (incl. several joint PhD students), and 13 postdocs.

She is in the editorial board of 15 different journals, and was/is guest editor of 22 special issues in several journals. She also organized several conferences, and is president of the Board of Directors of the International Plasma Chemistry Society. She has more than 30 scientific awards, and she has a prestigious ERC Synergy Grant, and an ERC Proof of Concept Grant. Last but not least, she is married with Wim Schelles since 1996, and they have three children, born in 1997, 2000 and 2002. She is proud of maintaining a good balance between her research career and her family. When her children were young, she always tried to pick them up from kindergarten and primary school, and arranged to work from home during school holidays whenever possible.

Dr.-Ing. Silvia Budday

Dr.-Ing. Silvia Budday

Microstructure-informed in silico modeling of the human brain

Dr.-Ing. Silvia Budday, Lehrstuhl für Technische Mechanik, Friedrich-Alexander-Universität Erlangen

Brain tissue is not only one of the most important but also the arguably most complex and compliant tissue in the human body. While long underestimated, increasing evidence confirms that mechanics plays a critical role in modulating brain function and dysfunction. Computational models based on nonlinear continuum mechanics can help understand the basic processes in the brain, e.g., during development, injury, and disease, and facilitate early diagnosis and treatment of neurological disorders.
By closely integrating biomechanical experiments on human brain tissue, microstructural analyses, continuum mechanics modeling, and finite element simulations, we develop computational models that capture both biological processes on the cellular scale and macroscopic loading and pathologies. We introduce the cell density as an additional field controlling the local tissue stiffness and brain growth during development. We demonstrate that our models are capable of capturing the evolution of cell density and cortical folding in the developing brain as well as regional variations in tissue properties in the adult brain. In the future, those models can provide deeper insights into the behavior of the human brain under physiological and pathological conditions and simulate progression of injury and disease.

Silvia Budday, currently an Independent Research Group Leader at the Institute of Applied Mechanics, Friedrich-Alexander-University Erlangen-Nürnberg (FAU), Germany, studied Mechanical Engineering at the Karlsruhe Institute of Technology (KIT) with a one-year stay at Purdue University, Indiana, USA, and graduated with the best Master’s degree of a female student in 2013. For her PhD on “The Role of Mechanics during Brain Development” at FAU with research stays at Stanford University, USA, and Graz University of Technology, Austria, she was awarded the GACM Best PhD Award, the ECCOMAS Best PhD Award, and the Bertha Benz-Prize from the Daimler und Benz Stiftung as a woman visionary pioneer in engineering. Since 2019, she has been funded through an Emmy Noether-Grant by the German Research Foundation (DFG). In 2021, she was awarded the Heinz Maier-Leibnitz-Prize by the DFG and BMBF and the Richard-von-Mises-Prize by the International Association of Applied Mathematics and Mechanics (GAMM) for her works on experimental and computational soft tissue biomechanics, with special emphasis on brain mechanics and the relationship between brain structure and function.

Previous seminars in the summer semester 2022

Prof. Stefanie Tschierlei

Prof. Stefanie Tschierlei

CO2 activation with light - is it possible?

Prof. Stefanie Tschierlei, Physical Chemistry, TU Braunschweig

Due to the excessive use of carbon-based raw materials for energy production, the greenhouse effect is inexorably increasing. The reduction of CO2, one of the most common anthropogenic greenhouse gases, into more synthetically usable C1 building blocks is therefore highly desirable. A sustainable method for conversion is photocatalysis with suitable photoactive substances. Such a system was developed as early as 1983 by Lehn et al. based on (bpy)Re(CO) 3 Cl (bpy = 2,2'-bipyridine).
We recently discovered an unexpected wavelength dependency of this well-known[2] (bpy)Re(CO)3Cl complex. Irradiation with wavelengths >450 nm triggers an alternative reaction pathway involving a dimeric Re-Re species and results in an increased catalytic activity during the photocatalytic CO2 reduction. Inspired by these results we designed a dinuclear rhenium complex with closely oriented metal centers. The presented study aims on the elucidation of possible reaction mechanism. Therefore, time-dependent catalytic and spectroscopic experiments as well as UV/vis and IR spectroelectrochemical measurements accompanied by TD-DFT calculations were performed.

Stefanie Tschierlei is a full professor (W3) at the Institute for Physical and Theoretical Chemistry and head of the Department of Energy Conversion at the TU Braunschweig. ST studied chemistry at the Friedrich-Schiller-Universität in Jena from 2002 to 2006. After finishing her dissertation in 2010 with summa cum laude she received a DAAD scholarship for a postdoc stay at the Department of Photochemistry and Molecular Science at the Uppsala University in Sweden. She then worked as a researcher at various universities, including Rostock, Stuttgart and Ulm before she was appointed as a professor in August 2020. Since 2022 she is the chairwoman of the GDCh division of photochemistry. Her research is mainly engaged in the spectroscopic and mechanistic study of light-driven processes for (solar) energy conversion, e.g. the splitting of water or the reduction of CO2.

Prof. Bergita Ganse

Prof. Bergita Ganse

How can musculoskeletal research in space help to develop the next generation of active orthopedic implants?

Prof. Bergita Ganse, Kliniken und Institute für Chirurgie, Universität des Saarlandes

Bergita’s research ranges from basic research on musculoskeletal changes in microgravity, to surgery in spaceflight, immobilisation and fracture healing, to clinical research in orthopaedic trauma surgery. Her main research focus is the musculoskeletal system in spaceflight and in immobilisation. Most of the research is conducted together with DLR, ESA and NASA, involving bed rest studies, experiments on board the International Space Station and in Antarctica. With her group at Saarland University, she runs Orthopaedic Trauma Surgery research projects that deal with injury, implant development, fracture healing and biomechanics. Bergita likes to combine research in space with clinical research and to translate the knowledge gained in the space context for the benefit of the patients here on Earth.

Bergita Ganse is a full professor (W3) and head of the Werner Siemens Foundation Endowed Chair for Innovative Implant Development (Fracture Healing) at Saarland University in Germany and a visiting professor at Manchester Metropolitan University in the UK. She is a medical doctor specialized in orthopaedic surgery and physiology, and has completed subspeciality trainings in emergency medicine and sports medicine. Bergita has previously worked at Charité-University Medicine Berlin, Cologne University Hospital, the German Aerospace Center DLR, RWTH Aachen University Hospital (all Germany) and completed a 2-year research fellowship at Manchester Metropolitan University in the UK before she became a full professor in March 2021.


Dr. rer. hum. Anika Jonitz-Heincke

Dr. rer. hum. Anika Jonitz-Heincke

Cellular response to wear and corrosion products

Dr. Anika Jonitz-Heincke, Leiterin Geweberegeneration, Orthopädische Klinik und Poliklinik, Universitätsmedizin Rostock

A comprehensive understanding of wear-induced osteolysis is a prerequisite for developing new preventive or therapeutic approaches that can delay or prevent the progression of osteolysis and the associated implant loosening. In this context, toxicity analyses at the cellular level allow the identification of the specific biological response to wear and corrosion products. Macrophages are reported to be the crucial cell type with regard to the inflammatory event and bone resorption, as these cells are able to phagocytose wear products and release inflammatory mediators in response. In contrast, few studies have indicated that, in addition to macrophages, osteoblasts and fibroblasts are also capable of uptaking wear debris. Therefore, in order to obtain a comprehensive cellular response to wear products, different cell types need to be considered to provide further methodological perspectives for the risk assessment of established and novel implant materials.

Anika Jonitz-Heincke is a scientific researcher in the Research Laboratory of Biomechanics and Implant Technology of the Department of Orthopaedics since 2009. She has managed the tissue regeneration research group since 2012 and in 2016 she became deputy head of the laboratory. AJH completed both her PhD in 2014 and her Habilitation in 2022 in the field of Experimental Orthopedics. Her research interests include various aspects of musculoskeletal tissue regeneration, particularly biophysical stimulation of bone and cartilage tissue, cell-material interaction, and biotribological issues.

Prof. Barbara Nebe

Prof. Barbara Nebe

Cell physiology and tissue regeneration – Physical plasma in BioMedicine
Prof. Dr. Barbara Nebe, Arbeitsbereich Zellbiologie, Universitätsmedizin Rostock

Plasma medicine and plasma biology has become an important area of interdisciplinary research in plasma physics, combining biology, chemistry and physics. The fields of application of physical plasma in biomedicine are increasing and include the direct influence of physical plasma on cells and tissues or the biomaterial surface functionalization. Biomaterials should be bioactive in stimulating the surrounding tissue to accelerate the ingrowth of permanent implants. Plasma-chemical modifications are able to boost not only cell attachment, cell migration and differentiation, but also intracellular signaling.

J. Barbara Nebe is an adjunct Professor of Cell Biology, and chair of the Department of Cell Biology in the Rostock University Medical Center. BN received her Ph.D. in 1995, and the Habilitation and venia legendi in 2005 with the theme “Integrin receptors, cell adhesion, and cell signalling – clinical aspects”. She is focused on cell biological issues in interfacial interactions of the biosystem to implant surfaces, and the impact of physical factors on cell physiology. She is experienced in cross-disciplinary research and project leader of several DFG projects. BN was invited speaker, e.g. in Paris (THERMEC), Ambleteuse (BIOMAT), Shanghai (BIT's RMSC), Las Vegas (THERMEC), Singapore (ICMAT). She organised/co-organised 10 international congresses, e.g. ’Functionalised Bio Materials: Therapeutic Applications’ for the European Material Research Society.