MSc thesis project proposal

[2024] Conformable Microelectrode Arrays for Electrical Mapping of the Heart

Background: Myocardial infarction (MI) leads to significant tissue damage, which results in irreversible electrical dysfunction of the heart.1 Currently available therapies are often unsuccessful and therefore innovative, breakthrough strategies are needed. Bioelectronic devices are the primary diagnostic tools for these conditions in patients and are used to detect the abnormalities in electrical conduction (e.g. the surface electrocardiogram - ECG). They are also commonly implanted in patients to restore normal heart rhythm by delivering low energy electrical impulses to the heart muscle (i.e. implantable cardioverter-defibrillators - ICDs).

Aim: the aim of this project is to design and microfabricate conformable multielectrode arrays (MEAs), to monitor the electrical function of myocardial tissue. To achieve higher sensitivity compared to state-of-the-art devices, the active side of the electrodes will be coated with the conducting polymer PEDOT:PSS, which has been proven to lower the impedance of gold-based MEAs.2 These will be fabricated on soft, flexible substrates (i.e. parylene C or polyurethane) to facilitate the attachment on soft tissue. We will specifically employ designs previously used by our collaborators at Erasmus MC,3 to map electrical activity of the heart in > 1500 patients – namely a MEA of 192 (8x24) gold electrodes. The frequency dependent impedance profiles of these electrodes will be extracted, and their size will be optimized (50 μm to 500 μm). After the successful realization of these electrodes the student will work with a team of experts at the Dept. of Cardiology at Erasmus Medical Centre to examine the electrical conduction  of tissue slices extracted from real patients with electrical disfunction of the heart.


(1)        Li, H.; Song, X.; Liang, Y.; Bai, X.; Liu-Huo, W. S.; Tang, C.; Chen, W.; Zhao, L. Global, Regional, and National Burden of Disease Study of Atrial Fibrillation/Flutter, 1990–2019: Results from a Global Burden of Disease Study, 2019. BMC Public Health 2022, 22 (1), 1–13.

(2)        Lu, Z.; Pavia, A.; Savva, A.; Kergoat, L.; Owens, R. M. Organic Microelectrode Arrays for Bioelectronic Applications. 2023.

(3)        Yaksh, A.; van der Does, L. J. M. E.; Kik, C.; Knops, P.; Oei, F. B. S.; van de Woestijne, P. C.; Bekkers, J. A.; Bogers, A. J. J. C.; Allessie, M. A.; de Groot, N. M. S. A Novel Intra-Operative, High-Resolution Atrial Mapping Approach. Journal of Interventional Cardiac Electrophysiology 2015, 44 (3), 221–225.



1st part:  Literature review of MEAs that have been used to monitor and stimulate the heart.  

2nd part: Design, fabrication, and characterization of comfortable MEAs for heartbeat monitoring.

3rd part: Electrical monitoring real patient cardiac tissue slices at Erasmus MC.


MSc students from Microelectronics, Biomedical Engineering, Mechanical Engineering, Materials Science and Electrical Engineering are welcomed to apply. Interested students should contact Dr. Achilleas Savva (, by including their CV, the list of courses attended, and a motivation letter.


dr. Achilleas Savva

Bioelectronics Group

Department of Microelectronics

Last modified: 2024-03-06