MSc thesis project proposal

[2023] New multi-modal stimulation device for the treatment of tinnitus

Tinnitus, or ringing-in-the-ears, is a common disorder that affects about 10% of the people worldwide. It is characterized by a loud phantom sound and shows much resemblance with phantom pain. In about 3% of all people, the tinnitus is so cruel that it severely affects quality of life, leads to depression, anxiety and insomnia. Unfortunately, there is no treatment for tinnitus of which the efficacy is scientifically proven. The Tinnitushouse Foundation, in collaboration with Dirk de Ridder of the BRAI3N center in Ghent and U. Otago wants to change this. For this, we are looking for your help with constructing a new treatment modality based on multi-modal stimulation.


The idea is to create a device that stimulates tinnitus patients transcutaneously (through the skin) by means of a slowly alternating DC current that has various types of noise superimposed on it. We call this "noise galvanic stimulation" and will be used to stimulate the vestibula, the somatosensory cortex, and the auditory cortex, accompanied by external stimuli, such as sound and pictures.

This project has the opportunity to become also involved in patient studies using the device for the treatment of severe tinnitus.


For this project, we are looking for a student in Biomedical Engineering that is not afraid of discrete electronics, some programming on an Arduino, BeagleBone or Raspberry Pi, electrodes, inspiring doctors and patients.

Contact Wouter Serdijn

Bioelectronics Group

Department of Microelectronics

Last modified: 2023-03-06