CILIA - Customized Intelligent Life-inspired Arrays

Project funded by the Future and Emergent Technologies arm of the IST Programme in the 6th Framework Programme

6th Framework Programme


Sensory systems based on arrays of hairs occur widely in nature and function in diverse sensing scenarios, for instance in air (cerci, external sensing hairs in arthropods), in water (lateral line, neuromasts in fish) and in a fluid-filled compartment coupled to air through impedance matching devices and beamforming baffles (mammalian auditory apparatus).

These mechanosensor-systems are amongst the most sensitive sensors known. This suggests that hair-based sensing organs, supported by appropriate neuronal representation and processing, are a model system particularly well-suited for studying the extraction of significant information from noisy environments.


Prof. Andreas Offenhäusser
Institute of Thin Films & Interfaces (ISG2)
Forschungszentrum Jülich
D-52425 Jülich, Germany
Tel: +49 (0) 2461 61 2330
Fax: +49 (0) 2461 61 8733


The CILIA Conference
"Natural and Biomimetic Mechanosensing"
will take place from October 26 to 28, 2009 in Dresden, Germany.
* Biological mechanosensors
* Neuronal processing of mechanosensor arrays
* Artificial life-inspired mechanosensor arrays
* Applications of mechanosensor arrays

Please contact to subscribe to the NBM Conference Newsletter.


CILIA on Television again!

CILIA work has been shown in a cricket centric documentary on National Geographic Channel. It was already televised in the US and in Asia.

See the video here.

Summer School

The CILIA Summer School "Mechanosensors: From biological to bionic systems" took place from March 30 to April 3, 2008 in Sant Feliu de Guixols, Spain.


CILIA on Television!

VPRO has telecasted a documentary on Cilia on June 20, 2007. A web-cast of it (upper box under VIDEO) can be found


Model Systems