ASIC design for an ultrasonic brain-monitoring device

Project description:


One in ten children is born prematurely, which amounts to approximately 500,000 preterm infants in Europe each year. Thanks to improvements in fetal and neonatal care, the survival rate in preterm infants has significantly increased. Yet, they regularly show neurodevelopmental problems, including cognitive deficits, motor disabilities and psychiatric diseases with ensuing lifelong burdens for the up-growing individuals and their families. A major cause of these neurodevelopmental problems is brain injury, linked to inadequate brain perfusion during and after delivery.

In this project we will develop a light-weight, low-power monitoring device that uses 3D ultrasound to assess brain perfusion every 10 minutes through the baby’s fontanel. On a workstation, nurses and doctors can monitor the resulting images and provide timely and guided treatment if required. This project is a collaboration between the Lab. of Acoustical Wavefield Imaging and the Electronic Instrumentation Lab. of TU Delft, the Thoraxcenter of Erasmus MC, and the Dept. of Neonatology, UMC Utrecht.

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 monitoring device. He or she will focus on the realization of a battery-powered ASIC that will interface with a 2D array of ultrasound transducers directly integrated on top of the ASIC. The ASIC will be responsible for driving the transducer elements wilth properly-timed high-voltage pulses, and amplifying, digitizing and recording the resulting echo signals. The project will require breakthroughs in integration density and power efficiency.


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