/Student project: Peripheral nerve stimulation – exploration of experimental methodologies

Student project: Peripheral nerve stimulation – exploration of experimental methodologies

Research & development - Eindhoven | More than two weeks ago

This project aims to develop experimental methodology for spatially selective stimulation of peripheral nerves and local measurement of the stimulation effect within the nerves.

Student project: Peripheral nerve stimulation – exploration of experimental methodologies

What you will do

The peripheral nervous system (PNS) consists of the nerves outside of the central nervous system (CNS) and connects the CNS to the organs, muscles, and skin. It is a bi-directional pathway between the CNS and internal organs and hence can have a powerful impact on the functionality of both. Currently, interest in peripheral nerve stimulation is growing as an alternative or a complement to pharmacological treatment, i.e., treatment with medication, for applications such as epilepsy, pain, depression, and chronic inflammatory diseases.

One of the major challenges is specific spatial stimulation of only the population of nerve fibers within the PNS that is needed for modulating the activity of specific organs. Avoiding unspecific stimulation would have the advantage of minimizing unwanted side effects.

At IMEC we have developed basic experimental setups to measure the effects of different types of stimulation on phantom setups and animal models. This project aims to further expand the available setups and explore the experimental methodology for spatially selective stimulation of peripheral nerves. The main focus would be on in vivo experiments where a selected set of stimulation methods will be tested. Furthermore, an evolution of the sensing subsystem is foreseen to have better estimation of the spatial targeting and the identification of conduction velocity of nerve fibers. To achieve this goal the student will work with benchtop systems using IMEC's and/or off-the-shelf devices and components and perform bench side stimulation experiments, mainly in animals with a simple nervous system, such as worms.

Student tasks:

  • Literature review.
  • Get acquainted with current in-vivo experimental setup.
  • Adapt the existing benchtop system (few iterations envisioned).
  • Design and perform experimental evaluations (several experimental rounds foreseen).
  • Report and documentation, depending on results write a paper.

What we do for you

You will be working on state-of-the-art techniques for stimulation of peripheral nerves, which has an impact on the efficacy of neuromodulation treatments in the healthcare domain. 
You will be working in an inspiring high-tech environment, located within the Holst Centre in Eindhoven, and part of the larger IMEC organization, world-leading in R&D on nanotechnology and electronics. 
You will receive support from experienced researchers from different backgrounds.

We invite you to be part of our multi-disciplinary team, of researchers, engineers and innovators, and grant you the opportunity to contribute to our ambitious aim to have real impact on actual healthcare needs.

Who you are

  • Excellent BSc/MSc student in Biomedical Engineering, Electrical Engineering or equivalent.
  • You are entitled to do an internship in the Netherlands (have EU nationality and/or currently study at Dutch university).
  • Available for 9 months or longer.
  • Have good programming skills in Matlab (knowledge of Python is a plus).
  • Have basic knowledge of signal processing, preferably of biosignals.
  • Experience with lab instrumentation (signal generators, oscilloscopes..) is a plus.
  • Eager to take ownership for your student project.
  • Have a structured way of working.
  • Have good command of spoken and written English.

Interested

Does this project sound like an interesting next step in your career at imec? Don’t hesitate to submit your application by clicking on ‘APPLY NOW’.
Should you have more questions about the project and the recruitment process, you can contact Martijn Kohl of the Talent Acquisition Team, he will be happy to assist you.

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