Leuven | More than two weeks ago
Delivering the ultrasound inside the body to power the implants
Bringing the power inside an implant had been a major challenge in modern biomedical engineering since the introduction of the first implantable electronical devices. Together with required miniaturization that comes along with the power requirements, MEMS technology with its micrometer sized machines is an ideal candidate to solve some of the crucial problems for biomedical implants. As implantable devices evolve and become more advanced, the size and power consumption requirements are advancing dramatically. This project will focus on the use of ultrasound devices to produce and receive acoustic waves in order to bring electrical power into the body to the implant.
Classical ultrasound transducers consist of a thick layer of piezo material, sandwiched between two electrodes. Their miniaturized counterparts (PMUTs) allow for a much smaller form factor and easier integration with supporting electronics. They are miniaturized drums containing a piezoelectric layer in their membrane that can generate and pick up mechanical deformation of the suspended membrane. This allows PMUT to emit and receive ultrasound waves by respectively vibrating the membrane or detecting the deformation of the membrane by an incoming wave.
By using smart arrays of these small transducers, complex ultrasound fields can be generated and received. It is this beamforming feature of arrays of transducers that allows transferring power with ultrasound. However, these systems are often faced with significant limitation for miniaturization and performance, and finding a way around it can yield in a significant breakthrough of this technology. With new solutions explored in this internship, a significant improvement of such a system can be expected, opening new routes for a future of biomedical implants.
The goal of this project is to develop, design and optimize an innovative acoustic power delivery system. This project will give an opportunity to perform an acoustic analysis in solids, fluids, and gases as well as to participate in development of a state-of-the art acoustic transmitters and receivers. Generally, this is a topic for students eager to understand complex systems with a hands on attitude and interest for MEMS devices and acoustic simulations. High creativity is much appreciated. The work is estimated to be: 50% simulations/calculations (f.e COMSOL, Matlab or likewise), 50% system design.
Type of project: Combination of internship and thesis
Duration: 6-12 months
Required degree: Master of Engineering Technology, Master of Science, Master of Engineering Science, Master of Bioengineering
Required background: Biomedical engineering, Electromechanical engineering, Electrotechnics/Electrical Engineering, Energy, Mechanical Engineering, Physics
Only for self-supporting students.