Power management IC for ultra-small peripheral nerve interface

Power management IC for ultra-small peripheral nerve interface

Supervisor: Dr Srinjoy Mitra (srinjoy.mitra@glasgow.ac.uk)

Description: The School of Engineering of the University of Glasgow is seeking a highly motivated graduate to undertake an exciting 3.5-year PhD project entitled ‘Power management IC for ultra-small peripheral nerve interface’ within the Systems Power and Energy Division.

Advances in nanotechnology have not only made ultra-small electronic sensors and actuators ubiquitous but are also allowing them to permeate the human body. Such implanted devices interfacing with the nervous system are set to be a key part of the future of diagnostic and therapeutic healthcare technology. There are many challenges in designing components in such a device, from transducer to signal-processing electronics. One of the most important components is the electronic integrated circuit (IC) located right at the signal source that determines the overall power consumption and size of such an implant.

For minimal invasiveness, it is desired that the IC be powered wirelessly. Both RF and ultrasonic power transmission have recently been shown to be a viable candidate for this application. In either of these cases, the amount of power received by the implanted device can vary greatly depending on the position of the implanted device, its angle to the primary source and also from possible occlusion (bone, large blood vessel etc.). This creates a huge problem for the precision circuits that sits on the implant and is necessary for recording and/or stimulating the peripheral nerves. Furthermore, unlike traditional power source, the implant has to be extremely small with no external component connected to it. Hence, efficient power management with an implant device in a very limited area is of great importance for bio-electronic interfaces.

The core outcome of the PhD will be an ultra-low-power and ultra-small IC that will receive wireless power and manage with low loss. The student will design the IC and test it with close collaboration with researchers in wireless and our industrial collaborators. The student is also expected to develop an understanding of the physics energy delivery in an implanted device. It is envisioned that the final device will be tested in an animal facility for in-vivo stimulation of nerves.

The PhD candidate should have an interest in electronics and medical technology. Ideally she/he should have taken courses in IC design and simulation. This is an industry sponsored project partially funded by Dialog Semiconductor, a global leader in low-power ICs for portable devices. The candidate will receive excellent industry relevant training from close collaboration with Dialog and regular visits to its Edinburgh office.  

Funding notes: The studentship is supported by the School via industrial sponsorship, and it will cover home tuition fees for UK/EU students and provide a stipend of £14,296 per annum for 3.5 years. 

How to Apply: Application for this scholarship is made by using the online system at the following link:

http://www.gla.ac.uk/research/opportunities/howtoapplyforaresearchdegree/

It should be noted that this application is to gain admission to our PGR programme with the decision on this being based on your academic achievements, and an offer of admission may be sent out before a decision on this Scholarship is made. Candidates applying for this Scholarship will have their applications further vetted as to acceptability to this Scholarship and will most likely have an interview/discussion with the supervisor before any decision is made

Deadline: 1 July 2017

Start Date: October 2017 (tbc)