PhD on Novel glaucoma implant for real-time intraocular pressure monitoring

PhD on Novel glaucoma implant for real-time intraocular pressure monitoring

Published Deadline Location
25 Mar 5 May Eindhoven

Job description

Glaucoma drainage devices are vital in treating glaucoma, an eye disease that can cause visual field loss and blindness. These devices are surgically implanted to reduce intraocular pressure (IOP), a major risk factor in glaucoma, by creating an alternative outflow pathway for the fluid produced by the eye, the aqueous humor. Post-surgery, close IOP monitoring is essential to assess surgical outcomes, however, conventional in-office measurements are inconvenient and unable to capture dynamic IOP changes.

To meet the demand for continuous and remote IOP monitoring, this PhD project aims to develop an innovative glaucoma implant that will not only lower IOP, but also provide real-time and (semi-)continuous monitoring of IOP. To achieve the objectives of this project, you will develop new pressure sensing principles which must meet stringent criteria, including high sensitivity, long-term stability inside bodily conditions, and seamless integration into a glaucoma drainage device, while also adhering to the requirements of minimally invasive surgical procedures. Additionally, the integrated sensor must be biocompatible and flexible. Using theoretical models, you will investigate the performance of different sensing principles and validate these using in vitro microfluidic experiments. Finally, you will integrate the most appropriate pressure sensor into a miniature glaucoma drainage device and test the final concept ex vivo.

Job Description

Glaucoma is an eye disease characterized by damage to the optic nerve and visual field loss. With over 70 million people affected worldwide, and an expected increase to 112 million by 2040, glaucoma stands as the leading cause of irreversible blindness. The primary risk factor for this condition is high intraocular pressure (IOP), resulting from a dysfunction in the fluidic system of the eye responsible for maintaining a balanced amount of aqueous humor - the fluid produced by the eye - in the anterior chamber. Glaucoma drainage devices have been developed to reduce IOP by creating an alternative route for the aqueous humor to effectively exit the eye. Following the surgical implantation of a glaucoma drainage device, it is crucial to closely monitor patients and regularly measure their IOP to assess the early outcomes of the surgery and identify any potential complications. However, these in-office, single-point IOP measurements have several limitations, including that they can be inconvenient, expensive, and may not adequately capture the dynamic fluctuations in IOP that may occur after surgery, potentially missing critical pressure spikes and drops. Consequently, there is a growing demand for continuous and remote IOP monitoring.

In this project, we aim to revolutionize the management of glaucoma after implantation introducing an innovative glaucoma drainage device system that integrates both the functions of an IOP sensor and drainage device. This novel device will not only lower IOP by removing excess fluid from the eye but also enable wireless, real-time, and (semi-)continuous IOP monitoring.

As a PhD working on this project, your primary objective will be to design, implement, and test various concepts of pressure microsensors. These sensors must meet stringent criteria, including sensitivity to the low flow rates of aqueous humor and the relatively small clinically relevant IOP range, long-term stability under bodily conditions, and seamless integration into a minimally invasive glaucoma implant. Your work will also include some theoretical/numerical work, which you can use to predict the performance of different concepts and to help guide the design process for arriving at an optimized prototype. After selecting the most promising sensing principle for IOP monitoring, you will explore different strategies to integrate the pressure sensor into a miniature glaucoma drainage device. After building a proof-of-concept device, you will validate the sensing performance by performing in vitro and ex vivo microfluidic experiments in the lab.

This project will be conducted in close collaboration with prof.dr. Henny Beckers, an ophthalmology expert and renowned glaucoma surgeon from Maastricht University Medical Centre+ (MUMC+), who will provide valuable feedback from an ophthalmologist's perspective.


The PhD student will be embedded in the Microsystems research section at the Department of Mechanical Engineering, headed by Jaap den Toonder, and will be supervised by dr. Inês Figueiredo Pereira and Jaap den Toonder. The Microsystems group manages the Microfab/lab, a state-of-the-art micro fabrication facility that houses a range of micro manufacturing technologies - microfluidics technology is one of the main research pillars of the group. There will be also a close collaboration with the Glaucoomkliniek (glaucoma clinic) at University of Eye Clinic of MUMC+, headed by prof.dr. Henny Beckers.


Eindhoven University of Technology (TU/e)


We are looking for enthusiastic PhD candidates with a background in mechanical, electrical or biomedical engineering, or physics. The ideal candidate would have experience in microfluidics, microfabrication, bioMEMS, and (bio)sensor technology, but excellent candidates with a background in one area (and an interest to master the other) will also be considered. We are looking for a motivated candidate who enjoys working in a multidisciplinary academic environment and has interest in applied research. Our dream candidate is skilled at practical work in the lab and is also able to use and develop theoretical skills needed to develop a fundamental understanding of the subject matter. Other important personal skills include fluent spoken and written English, a proven ability to manage projects, collaborate with a multidisciplinary team, and to be self-driven.

Conditions of employment

A meaningful job in a dynamic and ambitious university, in an interdisciplinary setting and within an international network. You will work on a beautiful, green campus within walking distance of the central train station. In addition, we offer you:
  • An exciting job in a dynamic work environment and a multidisciplinary consortium.
  • A full time appointment for four years by Eindhoven University of Technology (
  • A gross monthly salary in line with the Collective Agreement for Dutch Universities.
  • The possibility to present your work at international conferences.
  • High-quality training programs and other support to grow into a self-aware, autonomous scientific researcher. At TU/e we challenge you to take charge of your own learning process.
  • An excellent technical infrastructure, on-campus children's day care and sports facilities.
  • An allowance for commuting, working from home and internet costs.
  • A Staff Immigration Team and a tax compensation scheme (the 30% facility) for international candidates.

Additional information

About TU/e

Eindhoven University of Technology (TU/e) is an internationally top-ranking university in the Netherlands that combines scientific curiosity with a hands-on attitude. Our spirit of collaboration translates into an open culture and a top-five position in collaborating with advanced industries. Fundamental knowledge enables us to design solutions for the highly complex problems of today and tomorrow. 


Do you recognize yourself in this profile and would you like to know more?
To learn more about the project, please contact dr. Inês Figueiredo Pereira, assistant prof.,

Visit our website for more information about the application process or the conditions of employment. For questions about the application process, you can also contact Hind Boulgalag, HR Advisor,,  or +31 40 247 5902.

Are you inspired and would like to know more about working at TU/e? Please visit our career page.


We invite you to submit a complete application by using the apply button. The application should include:
  • A cover letter in which you describe your motivation and qualifications for the position.
  • A Curriculum vitae, including a list of your publications and the contact information of three references.

We look forward to receiving your application and will screen it as soon as possible. The vacancy will remain open until the position is filled.


  • PhD
  • Engineering
  • max. 38 hours per week
  • University graduate
  • V35.7366


Eindhoven University of Technology (TU/e)

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De Rondom 70, 5612 AP, Eindhoven

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Application procedure

Application procedure

Make sure to apply no later than 5 May 2024 23:59 (Europe/Amsterdam).