Impedance measurement circuit design for peripheral nerve stimulation

Student project at imec (Thesis)


What will you be doing?

The peripheral nervous system (PNS) consists of the nerves outside of the central nervous system (CNS) and connects the CNS to the organs, limbs, and skin. It is a two directional pathway between CNS and internal organs and hence can have powerful impact on the functionality of both. Currently, interest in peripheral nerve stimulation is growing as an alternative or a complement to pharmacological treatment, i.e., treatment with medication, for applications such as epilepsy, pain, depression, and inflammatory bowel disease.

One of the major challenges is specific spatial stimulation of only the nerve that is needed for modulating the activity for the specific treatment. Avoiding unspecific stimulation can also help minimize unwanted site effects. The impedance information between the stimulation electrodes, which could change over time, is a very important parameter to guide the spatially selective stimulation.

This project aims to develop an impedance measurement front-end integrated circuit including an ADC for measuring the impedance across the nerve during the spatially selective stimulation.


Student tasks:
  • Literature survey of the state-of-the-art for PNS stimulation and impedance measurement.

  • Research and development of an architecture and circuits for a low-power impedance measurement front-end incl. an ADC.

  • Collaborate with IMEC experts in PNS, analog and mixed-signal circuits to maximize your research impact.

  • Modelling of the system in Cadence.

  • Development and simulation of the impedance measurement front-end including drawing the schematics and layout using Cadence EDA tools.

  • Tape-out and measurement of the chip (if time permits).

  • Optionally, 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. As part of the team in IMEC you will have the opportunity to learn from the some of the best minds.

IMEC has in-house experts in analog and mixed-signal design who can help you in shaping this multi-disciplinary research project.


Who you are
  • You are a Msc student in Electronics Engineering.

  • You are available for a period of at least 9 months.

  • You have knowledge of analog/mixed-signal circuits through course and/or project work.

  • You have knowledge of ADC architectures and design.

  • You are excited about low-power analog circuit design (for health applications).

  • You are familiar with Cadence design environment or similar CAD tools.

  • You are familiar with MATLAB or Python.

  • You are entitled to do an internship in the Netherlands.

  • You are self-starter and able to work independently.

  • Good written and verbal English skills.


Click on 'apply here' to submit your application. You will then be redirected to e-recruiting.