NTT Research, Inc., a division of NTT (TYO:9432), today announced that it has opened an office in Munich, in support of a joint research agreement it entered with the Technical University of Munich (TUM) in November 2019. The joint research agreement associates the NTT Research’s Medical and Health Informatics (MEI) Lab with the Neuroelectronics Group within TUM’s Munich School of BioEngineering. Leading the Munich office is Dr. Tetsuhiko Teshima, an expert in nanomaterials who holds the dual titles of Research Scientist in the MEI Lab and Visiting Researcher in TUM’s Neuroelectronics Group.
The MEI Lab’s two primary fields of research involve the bio digital twin initiative and nanosensor technology. Collaboration with TUM’s Neuroelectronics Group involves the latter, in particular, three-dimensionally transformable and implantable electrodes. The scope for this multi-year research project includes screening and optimizing functional materials, assembling 3D structures and evaluating their biocompatibility. The MEI Lab office in Munich, located on Otl-Aicher Strasse, is a few kilometers northwest of the Englischer Garten, between the city center and TUM to the north. The office is another sign of NTT Research’s commitment to this venture, as well as to expanding its presence beyond Silicon Valley.
“We are delighted to officially open our new branch office, in support of this promising endeavor with the Technical University of Munich,” said Hitonobu Tomoike, M.D., Ph.D., and MEI Lab Director. “We trust this will be a good home away from home for Dr. Teshima, as he pursues our joint goals with TUM to develop flexible electrodes with high biocompatibility.”
At TUM, Dr. Teshima is on the scientific staff of the Neuroelectronics Group, which is led by Dr. Bernard Wolfrum, Professor of Neuroelectronics at TUM in the Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering and the Munich School of BioEngineering (MSB). Dr. Wolfrum’s research focuses on neuro- and bioelectronics. Dr. Teshima, who began his three-year appointment to the MEI Lab on March 1, 2020, has conducted research on bio-interfaces, soft matter and other areas that overlap with specialties of the Neuroelectronics Group. His plan in Munich is first to study conductive and biocompatible materials, new printing techniques and the electrochemical measurement of the developed electrodes; then to develop new types of nanomaterial based sensors that can work inside the body; and finally to obtain data from the targeted tissues using these new sensors and work with NTT Research data scientists to develop automated predictive and diagnostic tools.
The first project that Dr. Teshima is engaged in evolves adding “transformability,” or the ability to change dimensions, to conventional electrodes. Related work in this area includes the questions of which stimuli can generate shape transformation and what changes in electrical or electro-chemical properties are associated with electrode transformation.
In contrast to hard, 2D and brittle electrodes, semiconductors and sensors that are widely available today, Dr. Teshima anticipates a paradigm shift. “I believe that some types of soft, flexible and transformable products will be commercially available, especially in medical fields in the next five years,” he noted in an interview on the NTT Research blog. “By working with the wonderful team at TUM, I hope to provide findings or engineering breakthroughs that can contribute to or accelerate this scientific and industrial trend.”
About NTT Research
NTT Research opened its Palo Alto offices in July 2019 as a new Silicon Valley startup to conduct basic research and advance technologies that promote positive change for humankind. Currently, three labs are housed at NTT Research: the Physics and Informatics (PHI) Lab, the Cryptography and Information Security (CIS) Lab, and the Medical and Health Informatics (MEI) Lab. The organization aims to upgrade reality in three areas: 1) quantum information, neuro-science and photonics; 2) cryptographic and information security; and 3) medical and health informatics. NTT Research is part of NTT, a global technology and business solutions provider with an annual R&D budget of $3.6 billion.
About the Technical University of Munich
The Technical University of Munich (TUM) is one of Europe’s leading research universities, with around 600 professors, 43,000 students, and 10,000 academic and non-academic staff. Its focus areas are the engineering sciences, natural sciences, life sciences and medicine, combined with economic and social sciences. TUM acts as an entrepreneurial university that promotes talents and creates value for society. In that it profits from having strong partners in science and industry. It is represented worldwide with the TUM Asia campus in Singapore as well as offices in Beijing, Brussels, Cairo, Mumbai, San Francisco, and São Paulo. Nobel Prize winners and inventors such as Rudolf Diesel, Carl von Linde, and Rudolf Mößbauer have done research at TUM. In 2006, 2012, and 2019 it won recognition as a German “Excellence University.” In international rankings, TUM regularly places among the best universities in Germany.
About the Munich School of BioEngineering
The Munich School of BioEngineering (MSB) is an interdisciplinary, cross-departmental research center within the Technical University of Munich (TUM). At the MSB researchers from a variety of academic disciplines work together to build foundations for new ways to diagnose and treat diseases and for technologies that compensate for physical disabilities. The MSB offers a wide variety of possibilities for interdisciplinary education in Bioengineering, Biomedical Technologies, Medical Physics, Medical Informatics and related subjects at both the Master’s degree and Doctoral levels.
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