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Integrated devices for neuronal ultrasound stimulation

Neuronal interfaces have been widely developed in last decades with the purpose of providing a path for communication with the nervous system. The most common neuronal interfaces are based on electrical recording and stimulation of neuronal activity, which typically require surgical implantation of electrodes to achieve the necessary spatial resolution. To overcome the many hurdles and risks of surgery, non-invasive techniques to interface with the nervous system are currently being developed, and one of the most promising techniques uses focused ultrasound as a neuromodulation therapeutic modality. Due to its non-invasiveness, to achieve the necessary high spatial resolution, comparable to implantable electrodes, ultrasound transducers and electronics must be integrated in the same device. Its success may lead the way to surgery-free neuro-prosthetics and electroceuticals.

Read more on Pages 29-31 of ETV's Maxwell 22.4

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Het medicijn van de toekomst slik je maar een keer en is bioelektronisch

Item op BNR Nieuwsradio van 15 juli 2019, met een bijdrage van Wouter Serdijn over het onderzoek op bioelektronische medicijnen zoals onderzocht worden aan de TU Delft

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NWA Idea Generator grant for Richard Hendriks

Restored sound localization for hearing impaired people

Dr. Ir. R.C. Hendriks

The inability of hearing impaired people to localize sound has a big impact on their well-being and self- reliance. Compared to normal-hearing people, hearing-impaired people cannot efficiently use the same localization information. In this project will be investigated whether inaudible localization information can be transformed into a different audible form.

With a sum of 50,000 euros each, NWO granted 37 out-of-the-box research ideas with the potential to make an impact in society.

The applicants receive funding from the Idea Generator programme of the Dutch National Research Agenda (NWA). A total of 1.85 million euros was available.

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Chao Chen receives Else Kooi Award

Chao received the award from Hans Naus and Eugenio Cantatore

The 2019 Else Kooi Award goes to EWI alumnus Chao Chen, for his work on chips for miniature 3-D ultrasound probes. The Else Kooi Award is a yearly prize for outstanding young researchers in the microelectronics field in The Netherlands. Chao received the award, which consists of prize of € 5.000 and a work of art, at the PRORISC Conference in Delft on July 4.

Chao’s PhD was a multi-disciplinary project on the intersection between electronics and ultrasonic imaging, aiming to realize miniature ultrasound probes for 3-D medical imaging. In particular, he worked on endoscope-based probes for real-time 3-D imaging of the human heart. Such probes are an important step forward compared to current 2-D imaging devices. They will provide improved diagnosis of cardiac conditions and guidance of minimally-invasive procedures.

To realize such probes, more than 1000 tiny elements that can send and receive ultrasound need to be integrated in a mm-sized probe tip. Chao developed custom chips that make it possible to connect all these elements using a limited number of cables to an imaging system. To locally process the echo signals, his chips employ innovative amplifiers and beamformer circuits that are substantially smaller and more power efficient than previous designs. Moreover, Chao realized the first chip capable of digitizing the echo signals in the probe, enabling better image quality with fewer cables, and making an important step towards next-generation smart ultrasound probes.

Chao’s work was carried out at Ultrasound ASICs group at the Electronic Instrumentation Laboratory, under supervision of Dr. Ir. Michiel Pertijs, in close collaboration with the Acoustical Wavefield Imaging group at the Faculty of Applied Sciences, and the Biomedical Engineering group at Erasmus MC. Chao's work was part of the MICA project. His PhD thesis can be found here. Chao now works at Butterfly Network, an American company developing hand-held ultrasound scanners.

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Nikita Petrov defended his PhD thesis. Congratulations!

Modern surveillance radars are designed to detect moving targets of interest in an adverse environment, which can encompass strong unwanted reflections from ground or sea surface, clouds, precipitation, etc. Detection of weak and small moving targets in environmental clutter remains, however, a challenging task for the existing radar systems.

One of the main directions for modern radar performance improvement is the application of wideband high-resolution waveforms, which provide detailed range information of objects at the observed scene. Together with such inherent advantages of wideband waveforms as multi-path separation, clutter reduction and improved target classification, additional benefits can be obtained by exploiting target range migration (range walk), essential for fast moving targets in the high-resolution mode.

This thesis aims at the development of novel signal processing techniques for migrating target detection in wideband radars. It involves both resolving range-velocity ambiguities and improvement in target discrimination from ground clutter by accounting for target range migration.

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