/Integrated control electronics for autonomous healthcare microrobots

Integrated control electronics for autonomous healthcare microrobots

PhD - Leuven | More than two weeks ago

Enabling precise and minimally invasive interventions and diagnostics with nanotechnology

Microrobots, tiny robotic devices typically on the scale of micrometers to millimeters, have a wide range of potential applications in the field of health and medicine. These miniature robots offer precise control and the ability to navigate in confined spaces, making them valuable tools for various healthcare applications such as drug delivery, cell manipulation, microsurgery, targeted therapy, intravascular navigation, disease monitoring, etc. Control electronics are essential for microrobots to function effectively. Microrobots require precise control and coordination of their movements and actions, and this control is typically achieved through a combination of "in situ" electronics and external control systems. Such electronics performs functions such as navigation and movement, sensing and feedback, communication, power management, control algorithms, data processing and/or safety and redundancy.


The design of the "in situ" control electronics presents several unique challenges due to the miniature scale and specific operational requirements of these tiny robots. This includes circuit miniaturization, wireless power and communication, power efficiency and high-performance sensing and actuation. This PhD research will explore the design of integrated circuits that can provide the necessary control, communication, and intelligence required for miniature robots to carry out specific tasks in a healthcare application.


The main goal of this PhD topic is to investigate and design innovative and high-performance CMOS circuits for specific sensing and/or actuation functionalities that will be defined in collaboration with other imec teams involved in the microrobot microfabrication. The fabricated chips will be later integrated with thin-film (or other type of) of micro-actuators to build an autonomous microrobot demonstrator. The candidate will contribute to the electrical characterization of these prototype systems in real biological applications.


Skills and background:

  • Analog and/or mixed-signal CMOS IC design
  • Knowledge of analog design and verification flows and tools: Cadence Virtuoso, layout and design verification
  • Experience working in bench evaluation
  • Knowledge of PCB design

Required background: Electric or electronics engineering with focus on microelectronics

Type of work: 20% modeling, 50% IC design, 20% characterization, 10% literature

Supervisor: Georges Gielen

Co-supervisor: Carolina Mora Lopez

Daily advisor: Carolina Mora Lopez

The reference code for this position is 2024-123. Mention this reference code on your application form.

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