PhD Position Interactive Optoelectronic Platform for Advanced Investigation of Fibrillation in Real-size Human Atrial Culture Models

PhD Position Interactive Optoelectronic Platform for Advanced Investigation of Fibrillation in Real-size Human Atrial Culture Models

Published Deadline Location
14 Aug 2 Oct Delft

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An interactive optoelectronic platform to master heart rhythm disorders

Job description

Are you looking for an exciting, cutting-edge and truly multidisciplinary project for your PhD training? The Department of Microelectronics (Technical University Delft) and The Laboratory of Experimental Cardiology (Department of Cardiology) have a joint PhD position available for a project combining state-of-the-art LED technology with gene therapy, artificial intelligence and human tissue models to better understand and treat heart rhythm disorders. Are you the candidate that will join our team of engineers, biologists, physicists and physicians to obtain a PhD degree as crucial stepping stone in realizing your dreams? Then join our project and team.

Heart rhythm disorders are initiated and continued by abnormalities in cardiac electrical activity. As the current approaches to study and treat these disorders are suboptimal, this project aims to break new ground by equipping human tissue culture models of heart rhythm disorders with multi-LED arrays to gain superb control over the electrical activity in these models by spatiotemporally controlled illumination, thereby enabling an advanced approach for investigation and treatment. Such optical modulation will be realized through optogenetics, i.e. by the activation of light-sensitive ion channels expressed in these models. This research requires the creation and application of an interactive optoelectronic platform, which is at the core of this PhD training project.

We are looking for a clearly motivated, very determined and creative PhD candidate with a strong interest in electrical engineering, biomedical research, embedded systems and artificial intelligence, but also, including tissue culture modeling of human disease. Experience in any of these fields would be considered an advantage, but the sheer will to make progress by digging into these subjects is equally appreciated. You should combine a winner’s mentality with a great team spirit and strong communication skills as you will collaborate closely with your team members on frontier research. Given the multidisciplinary nature of this project you should be eager to work in both departments, i.e. the Laboratory of Experimental Cardiology in Leiden and the Department of Microelectronics in Delft.


Delft University of Technology (TU Delft)


  • You combine a winner’s mentality with a great team spirit and strong communication skills.
  • You hold a recent Master’s degree relevant to this project, for example, but not exclusively, Biomedical Engineering or Sciences, Electrical Engineering, Embedded Systems, or Life Science & Technology.
  • You have an outspoken interest in engineering, system integration, and artificial intelligence, but also biomedical research, including tissue culture modeling of human disease.
  • You are looking for position in a multidisciplinary team to collaborate and you are willing to work at different locations (Leiden and Delft).

In addition to a PhD program and the Graduate School, both Universities (TUD and LUMC) offer opportunities to maintain and develop your knowledge and skills. We offer internal courses and in-service training to help you with your personal development. We also offer services for mobility and career advice.

Conditions of employment

Fixed-term contract: 4 years.

TU Delft offers a customisable compensation package, a discount for health insurance and sport memberships, and a monthly work costs contribution. Flexible work schedules can be arranged. An International Children’s Centre offers childcare and an international primary school. Dual Career Services offers support to accompanying partners. Salary and benefits are in accordance with the Collective Labour Agreement for Dutch Universities.

As a PhD candidate you will be enrolled in the TU Delft Graduate School. TU Delft Graduate School provides an inspiring research environment; an excellent team of supervisors, academic staff and a mentor; and a Doctoral Education Programme aimed at developing your transferable, discipline-related and research skills. Please visit for more information.


Delft University of Technology

Delft University of Technology is built on strong foundations. As creators of the world-famous Dutch waterworks and pioneers in biotech, TU Delft is a top international university combining science, engineering and design. It delivers world class results in education, research and innovation to address challenges in the areas of energy, climate, mobility, health and digital society. For generations, our engineers have proven to be entrepreneurial problem-solvers, both in business and in a social context. At TU Delft we embrace diversity and aim to be as inclusive as possible (see our Code of Conduct). Together, we imagine, invent and create solutions using technology to have a positive impact on a global scale.

Challenge. Change. Impact!


Faculty Electrical Engineering, Mathematics and Computer Science

The Faculty of Electrical Engineering, Mathematics and Computer Science (EEMCS) brings together three disciplines - electrical engineering, mathematics and computer science. Combined, they reinforce each other and are the driving force behind the technology we use in our daily lives. Technology such as the electricity grid, which our faculty is helping to make future-proof. We are also working on a world in which humans and computers reinforce each other. We are mapping out disease processes using single cell data, and using mathematics to simulate gigantic ash plumes after a volcanic eruption. There is plenty of room here for ground-breaking research. We educate innovative engineers and have excellent labs and facilities that underline our strong international position. In total, more than 1,100 employees and 4,000 students work and study in this innovative environment.

Click here to go to the website of the Faculty of Electrical Engineering, Mathematics and Computer Science.

Within the Department of Microelectronics, the Electronic Components, Technology and Materials (ECTM) group offers a multi-disciplinary research environment, with a strong interaction with industry, on emerging materials, innovative microstructures and devices and novel integration concepts for health and other applications. This group (dr. RH Poelma and prof. dr. GQ Zhang) has not only an outstanding international reputation in designing and developing complex multi-LED arrays for biomedical use, but also in the integration of different systems into multifunctioning research platforms. The candidate will receive full support from skilled personnel in Delft, while maintaining continuous interaction with the team in Leiden and vice versa. The collaboration between both groups was recently established and resulted in, among others, a broad impact publication in Science Translational Medicine (

The Laboratory of Experimental Cardiology (dr. DA Pijnappels, dr. AA de Vries and prof. dr. K. Zeppenfeld; Department of Cardiology) focuses on the understanding and treatment of heart damage and rhythm disorders for which all necessary facilities, equipment, skills and knowledge is readily available, including the support of dedicated technical personnel. The laboratory is internationally recognized for its research on optogenetics and houses a highly motivated and dedicated team of researchers with backgrounds in biology, medicine and physics. Their research has attracted funding from the Dutch Research Council (NWO, e.g. Vidi grant) and the European Research Council (ERC, e.g. Starting grant) and resulted in many international awards.


  • PhD
  • Engineering
  • 38—40 hours per week
  • €2395—€3061 per month
  • University graduate
  • TUD00414


Delft University of Technology (TU Delft)

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