D-BSSE Department of Biosystems Science and Engineering Image


The D-BSSE is one of the ETH Zurich's youngest departments and the only one located in Basel outside of the Zurich campus. The unique blend of researchers in this department makes it an exciting venue for academics interested in biological questions.


What kind of research do we do?

The D-BSSE includes researchers from disciplines such as Biology, Chemistry, Physics, Mathematics, Computer Science (Informatics), and Engineering. The collective aim of the department can be summarized as follows:

1. Discover new facts about the functionality of living systems

2. Take these new findings and try to model them

3. Use the resulting models to devise and engineer novel biosystems



Sensitive acid sensor controls insulin production


ETH Zurich researchers from the Department of Biosystems Science and Engineering (D-BSSE) in Basel have developed an implantable device that precisely monitors acid build-up in the body for people with diabetes and produces insulin if acidosis becomes a risk. Read more 


New competence centre for personalised medicine in Zurich - Co-Director Niko Beerenwinkel

DNA sequencing has revolutionised life sciences. Now it’s medicine’s turn: thanks to genetic analysis, treatment tailored to individual patients will be a standard feature in the future. With a new competence centre, ETH Zurich and the University of Zurich are aiming to lead the way in personalised medicine. Read more 


Prof. Karsten Borgwardt is one of the "Top 40 under 40" in Science, selected by the Business Journal Capital

D-BSSE Professor Karsten Borgwardt is one of the "Top 40 under 40" in Science in/from Germany in 2014, an annual ranking of the Business Journal Capital since 2007. Read more 


Microtissues in hanging drops mimic organ system

hanging drops

Researchers are attempting to study the interactions between different cell types of the human body by using cultured cells. Technology recently developed at ETH Zurich now enables a network comprising spherical microtissues in hanging drops that is intended to simulate interactions in a human body and enables the testing of pharmacologically active substances under realistic conditions. Read more 


Article about Prof. Karsten Borgwardt in Handelsblatt

The German "Handelsblatt" published an article about Prof. Karsten Borgwardt who will begin researching at the D-BSSE on June 1st, 2014. Read more 

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