Synaptrode: building a neural interface at the synapse level.

Leuven - Master projects/internships
More than two weeks ago

Building neuronal networks by axon guidance and synapse induction.

Neurons propagate and communicate information through action potential sequences transmitted via chemical synapses. Understanding information processing in a neural network requires morphological and functional characterization of the network. The goal of the project is to optimize topological axon guidance via grooves and microchannels towards a desired destination. This optimization is framed inside an ongoing research track at the lab of Prof. Sebastian Haesler at Neuro-Electronics Research Flanders (NERF) where multielectrode arrays are functionalized with synapse inducing proteins, allowing for specific neural interfacing with molecularly defined subpopulations. This technique aims to open up new research avenues in molecular neuroscience, neuropharmacology, and neuroprosthetics. We offer the student a highly immersive experience in an international research environment with access to state-of-the-art equipment and possibility to learn from researchers with years of experience in the scientific community. We expect highly self-motivated candidates with a curious mindset and excellent communication skills. Mastery of the English language is a must, as well as willingness to expand knowledge across scientific disciplines. The project consists of 15% literature study, 25% fabrication, 35% cell culture experiments, and 25% imaging and analysis.​​

Type of project: Internship, Thesis, Combination of internship and thesis

Duration: 9-12 months

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

Required background: Biomedical engineering, Bioscience Engineering, Chemistry/Chemical Engineering, Nanoscience & Nanotechnology

Supervising scientist(s): For further information or for application, please contact: Jasper Timmerman (

Only for self-supporting students

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