Patients with brain diseases often suffer from side effects of systemic drug treatments. Brain implants can provide a solution, as they allow for a localized therapy directly in the brain so that the drugs do not need to pass the blood-brain barrier. However, there are important requirements that need to be met: the implants need to be biocompatible, compact, and drugs need to be released slowly over long timescales. Furthermore, the mechanical and chemical environment of the brain needs to be taken into account when designing materials for brain implants. In order to reach these goals, the Research Training Group RTG 2154 “Materials for Brain” is investigating novel concepts of micro-structured, functional materials for applications in the brain. For example, 3D scaffolds that provide a large free volume can be loaded with drugs and covered with barrier layers, so that the release of the drugs is controlled. Furthermore, interactions with cells can be tailored by biofunctionalization and structuring of materials. Studies of such cutting-edge functional materials will be an essential step towards novel therapies of brain diseases.