Characterization and modelling of mechanically flexible ultrasound transducers

At TNO (Thesis)

Medical 3D ultrasound is the fastest growing medical imaging modality: it provides real-time images of the body at high speed, where necessary directly at the bedside, is relatively inexpensive and does not burden the patient. Typically, echography - (using the reflections of high-frequency sound waves to construct an image of a body organ,- ) is performed in clinical settings, where a skilled sonographer correctly positions and orients an ultrasound probe on the body, and interprets the images.

At TNO at Holst Centre, we are developing wearable ultrasound, i.e., a (hands-free) ultrasound patch that can be attached to the skin for continuous home monitoring as well as advanced imaging in secondary and tertiary care.

Such patch should be comfortable to wear and thus be compact and light-weight. Meeting these requirements is highly challenging for conventional (rigid and bulky) ultrasound arrays: with increasing array size the force needed to ensure good physical contact with the skin would increase to intolerable levels. This issue is solved when the ultrasound arrays are not rigid but mechanically flexible, so that it can follow the contours of the skin and the body movements during monitoring. Currently, we are working on a disruptive technology to realize flexible (large area) ultrasound transducer arrays. The student project deals with the mechanical and electrical characterization of polymer-based transducer arrays.


Your tasks will be:
• Performing (electrical) characterization in cleanroom(s) and electrical laboratories
• Analysis, modeling and presentation of experimental data
• Modeling and documentation of results in a technical report, depending on results write a paper.


What we do for you:
You will be working on cutting-edge research on a topic that is relevant to both academic and industrial research groups. To help you in this journey, we offer a flexible environment where you can be the leader of your own research while at the same time have support of experts to complete your tasks.


Who are you:

• You are a Msc student in polymer chemistry or experimental physics with both theoretical and experimental skills. Mechanical engineering students with experience with polymer materials are also encouraged to apply.
• You have knowledge of lab equipment and measurements and modelling software through course and/or project work.
• You are available for a period of 9 months.
• You are entitled to do an internship in the Netherlands.
• You are self-starter and able to work independently.
• You have good communication skills in English