ASIC design for a 3D intra-cardiac ultrasound probe

Project description:


A variety of cardiovascular conditions can be treated using minimally-invasive interventions. These interventions are much less stressful to the patient than conventional surgery, shortening recovery time and allowing treatment to take place even at advanced age. Examples are rhythm-disorder treatments or catheter-based valve replacement. Accurate visualization is crucial for the success of such interventions, but currently only two-dimensional visualization is possible. These complex procedures would greatly benefit from real-time three-dimensional (3D) visualization.

In this project, novel 3D visualization methods will be developed that will enable the realization of a real-time 3D catheter-based ultrasound probe. This probe will contain 1000+ very small ultrasonic transducers and integrated electronics for digitizing and transfer of data. The probe will be mounted on a 3.3 mm catheter that can be inserted into the chambers of the heart. From the data produced by the probe, real-time 3D images of the volume where the cardiologist performs his procedure or treatment, will be rendered. This project is a collaboration between the Lab. of Acoustical Wavefield Imaging and the Electronic Instrumentation Lab. of TU Delft, and the Thoraxcenter of Erasmus MC.

We are looking for a PhD candidate who will work in a 4-year period on the development of the electronics that will be embedded in this probe. He or she will focus on the realization of an ASIC that will be integrated in the probe-tip. The ASIC will be responsible for driving the transducer elements with properly-timed high-voltage pulses, and amplifying and digitizing the resulting echo signals. A crucial challenge will be to minimize the number of cables with which the ASIC connects to an imaging system, and realizing the required functionality within the tight space and power constraints of a catheter.


Candidates should have a strong background in analog and mixed-signal CMOS design. Successful tape-out experience and publications are a strong plus. Experience with ultrasound, high-voltage circuit design, MEMs, medical applications, and/or multi-disciplinary research is a plus. Candidates should be self-motivated team players with good analytical, problem-solving and communication skills.


Michiel Pertijs