MSc thesis project proposal

[2022] Electro-acoustic heart interface for mapping 3D cardiac electro-mechanical coupling in Arrhythmia


Various diseases such as cardiac arrhythmias, brain dysfunctions, muscle dystrophy, and endometriosis are caused by electrical and/or mechanical dysfunction. Profound knowledge of localized electrical activities and electro-mechanical coupling are crucial to understand pathophysiology and develop novel diagnostic and therapeutic tools. As cardiac arrhythmias are the cardiovascular epidemy of the 21th century, we aim to unravel arrhythmia-related electropathology by generating innovative 3D maps of cardiac electro-mechanics, that will be obtained from integrating bio-signal imaging modalities with ultrafast ultrasound.

To achieve that goal, this project aims to develop an innovative, integrated, flexible electro-acoustic sensor for deep imaging of electro-mechanical properties. In a first-assignment, electrical and ultrasound sensors will be combined in one device, which, when interfaced benchtop measurement system, can record electrical and ultrasound signals simultaneously. In a second-assignment, a software package will be developed to process the data obtained from the device to generate 2D maps of the coupling between electrical and mechanical activity in a heart test phantom.


Assignment 1: This assignment will consist of the design and implementation of a electroacoustic flexible sensor. A flexible printed-circuit-board will be designed, on top of which 2D arrays of electrodes and piezoelectric ultrasound sensors will be mounted. The optimal design of the 2D array of both types of sensors will be investigated to minimize cross-talk. An example can be seen in the figure above, with ring ultrasound piezoelectric sensors concentric with the electric silver-silver chloride ECG electrodes. The flexible device will include high-density interconnections to be interfaced with a desktop measurement setup. This setup can either be implemented by existing measurement equipment, such as the Verasonics Vantage 256 ultrasound system and multi-channel acquisition system for the electrical signals, or by developing a custom printed-circuit board for electroacoustic data acquisition. Prototyping and testing will be performed at the EKL MEMS lab and that the Microelectronics Biosonic lab.

Assignment 2: In this assignment a data acquisition software will be developed, to allow the interpretation, correlation and visualization of the acquired electroacoustic data. The software should be both user-friendly while still allowing for easy manipulation of raw data, and for the visualization of data across the three-dimensional space.



Interested students should contact Dr. Tiago Costa (, Dr. Richard Hendriks (, Dr. Michiel Pertijs ( and Prof. Allen-Jan van der Veen (, by sending an email including the list of courses attended, and more importantly a motivation letter explaining why you are interested in the project.


dr. Tiago Costa

Bioelectronics Group

Department of Microelectronics

Last modified: 2022-06-21