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Active Implants – second Cicor Innovation Insights Symposium, 2. Dezember 2015


Active implants are amongst the technologically most complex and riskiest medical products, and impose very high demands on development, production and licensing. Development focuses first and foremost on patient safety, reliability throughout the entire useful life, bio-compatibility as well as compatibility with other technical medical devices. In addition to these fundamental criteria, miniaturisation, efficient and space-saving energy supply and the wireless exchange of data and energy between the implant and extracorporeal units, as well as between implant components are also very important. Together with CSEM in Neuchâtel, the Cicor Group hosted the second "Cicor Innovation Insights Symposium" on the topic of "Active Implants". Experts from industry and science discussed the current status of state-of-the-art technologies, development and application challenges, as well as the latest trends.

About the event

Around 80 participants met on 2 December at CSEM in Neuchâtel for the second "Cicor Innovation Insights Symposium". Within the context of the Cicor Group's "Innovation Insights" campaign, this second symposium again attracted considerable interest. The event, hosted in cooperation with CSEM SA, was skilfully presented by Harry Heinzelmann, CTO CSEM, and focused on the challenging field of "active implants". The wide-ranging programme included specialist presentations on the subject of neurostimulation, clinical aspects of applications, challenges in the field of cochlear implants as well as new application technologies and systems for chronic diseases.

Presented companies:

  • Wyss Center for Bio- and Neuro-Engineering
  • Sonova Advanced Bionics
  • CorTec GmbH
  • Würzburg University Clinic
  • Sequana Medical AG
  • On Semiconductor

The event also included two dynamic podium discussions on the following lead topics: "Material/technology challenges" and "Market potential". 

Advances in the field of materials and technologies

The following experts took part in the discussion: John Donoghue (Director of the Wyss Center for Bio- and Neuro-Engineering), Konstantin Silberzahn (Research Engineer, Advanced Bionics GmbH, Sonova), Martin Schüttler (CTO of CorTec GmbH), Volker Sturm (Specialist Neurosurgeon, Würzburg University Clinic), as well as Karl-Heinz Fritz (Cicor) and Stefan Mohrdiek (CSEM). The discussion touched upon important aspects that are advancing the development of active implants: materials, housing design, functionality, power supply as well as the miniaturisation of the devices: these factors strongly influence patient acceptance. In addition, new procedures such as optogenetics were discussed, primarily in conjunction with neurostimulation.

Market potential

Matthias Krieger (CSEM), Claude Clément (CTO, Campus Biotech, Wyss Center), Dirk Fengels (Director of Engineering & Manufacturing, Sequana Medical) and Jakob Nielsen (Senior Manager, ON Semiconductor) took part in the second expert discussion. This focused closely, inter alia, on the problem of the very high hurdles (FDA) for the approval of new medical applications and materials. The podium agreed that the overall approvals process was used most effectively when persons from all disciplines – physicists, engineers, industrial partners and universities – as at this symposium – held discussions and worked on specific projects with the help of start-up financiers. This is the only way to drive forward innovations and implement them more quickly.

The event concluded with drinks and snacks, which gave the symposium participants ample opportunity to network and hold discussions. <link 1419 - internal-link "Opens internal link in current window">Further information about the event.</link>

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