MSc thesis project proposal

Advanced materials for engineered heart tissue platforms

Engineered heart tissues (EHT's) have proven to represent effective models to capture in-vitro salient traits of cardiac (patho)physiology. EHT's are typically self-assembled from a culture medium around elastic pillars that register the contraction of the tissue with their deflection. Through knowledge of the pillar dynamics and mechanical properties, the EHT platform allows to extract relevant information on contractile properties of the tissue, which are correlated to their physiology.

At ECTM miniature EHT platforms were recently demonstrated, where functional EHT can be grown and tracked over days in-vitro. The structural polymer that constitutes the main parts of the platform plays a key role, as its chemical, mechanical and optical properties need to be accurately optimized in view of wafer-scale processing, biocompatibility and biological assays.

In this project, novel polymers will be developed, characterized and integrated into the EHT platforms to expand the reach of EHT-based in-vitro models. This project will be conducted in collaboration with Leiden University and Leiden University Medical Center.


This experimental project will involve:

  • Extensive review of state of the art in EHT-based models and alternatives to PDMS;
  • Development and optimization of process flow for polymer processing and integration;
  • Characterization of polymer and EHT platforms;
  • Translation to biological assays;
  • reporting.


You are a motivated  and driven student who thrives in a multidisciplinary setting. A hands-on attitude will be important in this assignment, where a high degree of independency and problem solving capabilities will be required.
You have a background in chemistry, material science or biomedical engineering.
Proper English communication skills and a pro-active attitude are expected.


dr. Massimo Mastrangeli

Electronic Components, Technology and Materials Group

Department of Microelectronics

Last modified: 2023-11-07