Dr. rer. nat. Tom Reimer

Member of the Research Training Group, 15.10.2008 - 14.01.2013

PhD Defence 24.05.2013, Cum Laude

Kortikale neuronale Netzwerke auf Multielektrodenarrays als reduktionistischer Ansatz zur Aufklärung der Funktionsprinzipien des zerebralen Kortex


Influence of electrical fields on neuronal growth and electrical activity in cortical neuronal networks cultivated on neurochips


Cortical neuronal networks on neurochips are a reductionist model system for the investigation of the basic principles of cortical information processing. A precondition for the electrical stimulation of these networks is the understanding of their cellular composition and function. Thus, the first goal is the characterization of the structure and spontaneous network activity. The next step will be to stimulate the networks by electrical fields and to find the relevant parameters that cause a change in neuronal growth and electrical activity.


  1. Cultivation of organotypic cortical networks on glass neurochips and detection of their electrical activity
  2. Characterization of native spontaneous network activity
  3. Immunohistochemical staining of the networks, characterization of their cellular composition and correlation of structure to firing pattern
  4. Stimulation of the networks by electrical fields


So far the following results have been achieved:

  1. Organotypic cortical networks were cultivated and up to 72 units (different detected action potential trains per network) were detected with glass neurochips featuring a 52 electrode array (MEA)
  2. The native spontaneous activity was characterized and two new features were characterized.
  3. Certain interneuron types were identified and correlated to firing patterns. Networks of different cellular composition were correlated to specific firing patterns. Spontaneous activity depends on the cellular composition of the networks.
  4. A chip-stimulation module was designed and built. Networks were coupled to electrical fields in three different ways. Up to now stimulation artefacts were too strong for a clean detection of action potential signal.



  • REIMER, T., BAUMANN, W. and GIMSA, J., 2012. Population bursts of parvalbumin-positive interneurons inhibit spiking pyramidal cells in spontaneously active cortical in vitro networks. Journal of Chemistry and Chemical Engineering, (accepted).


  • NISSEN, M., BUEHLER, S.M., BONK, S., STUBBE, M., REIMER, T., BAUMANN, W. and GIMSA, J., 2012. Sensors for Glass Cell-Culture Chips (GC³). A. Stett, G. Zeck (Eds.) Proceedings MEA Meeting 2012, NMI, Univ. of Tübingen, Reutlingen, pp. 290.
  • REIMER, T., BAUMANN, W. and GIMSA, J., 2012. Are bursting neurons interneurons? A. Stett, G. Zeck (Eds.) Proceedings MEA Meeting 2012, NMI, Univ. of Tübingen, Reutlingen, pp. 57-58.
  • REIMER, T., BAUMANN, W. and Gimsa, J., 2012. Spontaneous activity patterns of cortical in vitro networks depend on cellular network composition in A. Stett, G. Zeck (Eds.) Proceedings MEA Meeting 2012, NMI, Univ. of Tübingen, Reutlingen, pp. 98-99.
  • REIMER, T., BAUMANN, W., Gimsa J., 2010. Burst – induced inhibition in low density cortical neuronal networks in vitro. 7th FENS Forum of European Neuroscience, Amsterdam.
  • KOESTER P.-J., Tautorat C, REIMER, T., Zwanzig M, BAUMANN, W. and GIMSA, J., 2010. Gold Shark Teeth structures on MEAs - Electroplating of Nano-structures on Metallic Microelectrodes. MEA Meeting 2010.
  • VAN RIENEN, U., APPALI, R., BADER, R., BAUMANN, W., BECK, U., BEHREND, D., BENECKE, R., BIALA, K., BIRKHOLZ, H., BURKEL, E., ENGEL, K., EWALD, H., GIMSA, J., GIMSA, U., GONGADZE, E., GRÜNBAUM, A., HABA, Y., LIESE, F., LIU, B., LÜDER, M., MATSCHEGEWSKI, C., MITTELMEIER, W., MIX, E., NEBE, B., NOWAK, K.-A., PAHNKE, J., PAU, H.-W., PAULEWEIT, S., PETERSEN, S., POLNICK, S., REIMER, T., ROTT, G., SALOMON, R., VINTER, E., WEIHE, T. and WOLKENHAUER, O., 2010. Analyse und Simulation von Wechselwirkungen von Implantaten und Biosystemen. (BMT, Rostock-Warnemünde) Biomedizinische Technik/Biomedical Engineering. Vol. 55 (1) ISSN (Online) 1862-278X, ISSN (Print) 0013-5585, DOI: 10.1515/BMT.2010.712/October/2010
  • REIMER, T., BAUMANN, W., KOESTER P.-J. and GIMSA, J., 2010. Gap Junction-vermittelte Signaltransmission in kortikalen neuronalen Netzwerken kultiviert auf Neurochips. BMT 2010, Rostock.
  • REIMER, T., WEISS, D.-G., 2007. Synaptic transmission and electrical activity in cortical neuronal networks in vitro following inhibition of axonal transport by nocodazol. GBM International Conference, Hamburg.
  • LUEDER, M., SALOMON, R., REIMER, T., 2009. iCAMS: An FPGA_Based System for the REAL-Time Monitoring of the Activity of in-vitro Cells. 32nd Annual Conference on Artifical Intelligence, Paderborn.