MSc thesis project proposal

[2021] Data Acquisition System for High-throughput Electrophysiological Signals Recording with Microelectrode Array Chip

The patch-clamp is the gold standard for in vitro measuring action potentials and ion channel currents of excitable cells like cardiomyocytes and neurons. However, it is very bulky and expensive, and the invasive operation on the cells only allows few hours of measurement time. Besides, it is not possible to study cell communications with very low throughput.
The CMOS-based microelectrode array (MEA) almost overcomes all the above limitations, and it is becoming more and more important for scientists to do high-throughput electrophysiological signal recording.
In this project, we have a vacancy for an MSc thesis project to develop the PCB test board and the software interface between our designed MEA chip and the computer. This system should have features to:
1) configure and control each pixel of the MEA;
2) choose different modalities to pace/record cells;
3) visualize the different signals, and
4) store the measured electrophysiological signals from cells in the computer.

[1] J. Putzeys, etc. “Neuropixels data-acquisition system: a scalable platform for parallel recording of 10 000+ electrophysiological signals”, IEEE transactions on biomedical circuits and systems, vol.13, pp.1635-1644, 2019.


• Do literature review about MEA system for high-throughput electrophysiological signals recording;
• Design the PCB and the software interface;
• Test cardiomyocytes using the MEA chip designed by other team members.


Requirements: • A relevant background in electrical engineering, etc;
• Strong interest in PCB design;
• Some hands-on experience with microcontroller programming in C/C++;
• Basic skills in user interface programming (Labview, Matlab, Visual Basic, C/C++).
• Good communication skills in English

Contact Frans Widdershoven

Bioelectronics Group

Department of Microelectronics

Last modified: 2021-04-29