/Acoustic design for ultrasound power delivery for biomedical implants

Acoustic design for ultrasound power delivery for biomedical implants

Leuven | More than two weeks ago

Design and optimize an acoustic wireless power transfer link for miniaturized biomedical implants.

We have seen an incredible transition in computing devices from vast compute servers that filled a whole room towards personal computers, laptops, tablets and smartphones. A similar revolution is happening in the medical diagnostic & therapeutic world. Recent years have seen a rapid rise of advanced (wearable) medical devices that bring high-quality medically-relevant diagnostics to an ever more convenient form factor at an even lower cost. More recently a shift is witnessed towards advanced implantable devices that can be implanted via minimally invasive procedures. Examples include ingestible, injectables, endoscopically implanted devices and subcutaneous implants. Imec is launching a major research effort into such advanced medical implant devices and we are looking for a good master thesis student to tackle a major hurdle in this field.


One of the biggest challenges to overcome in such highly miniaturized devices is the problem of power delivery. Most of the solutions today are battery-powered which has a number of severe limitations (toxicity, patient safety and size/volume). Hence there is a major interest to develop implants that can be wirelessly powered. In this area, inductively coupled devices are the most prevalent, but they rely on fairly large coils. RF-based wireless powering on the other hand is not efficient for deep implants due to the absorption of RF waves by human tissue. Ultra-sound however is a very interesting technique for medical implants and is already widely used for imaging. Ultra-sound is not absorbed as much by the human tissue, while ultrasound transducers can be made very small and even integrated into a chip.


In this master thesis, we will investigate an ultra-sound system for power delivery for miniaturized biomedical implants. Based on acoustic simulations, we will first define the acoustic beam-forming technique and acoustic spec of the transducer to efficiently focus the energy to the implant. The power transfer system itself will consist of an array of Piezoelectric Micromachined Ultrasonic Transducers which can be modelled both analytically and through FEM simulations. Finally, the power transfer system will be characterized in terms of S parameters, pressure output, received voltage and impedance.




Type of project: Thesis

Duration: 6 - 12 months

Required degree: Master of Engineering Technology, Master of Engineering Science, Master of Bioengineering

Required background: Electrotechnics/Electrical Engineering, Nanoscience & Nanotechnology, Biomedical engineering

Supervising scientist(s): For further information or for application, please contact: Dries Tabruyn (Dries.Tabruyn@imec.be) and Veronique Rochus (Veronique.Rochus@imec.be)