MSc thesis project proposal

Strain sensor for Engineered Heart Tissue-on-Chip

Organ-on(-a)-chip (OoC) is an emerging technology which aims at recreating the smallest functional units of human organs on a microfluidic device. The main goal of OoC is to improve the drug development process and possibly enable a personalized healthcare system in the future. One of the most important target organs is certainly the heart. The heart is not just the only muscle working during humans’ entire lifetime: cardiovascular diseases are the most common cause of death globally, and cardiotoxicity is a prevalent cause of drug withdrawal.

Engineered heart tissue (EHT) is a promising platform for the growth and study of heart tissues. It consists of two or more anchoring points (i.e., pillars) around which the tissue self-assembles. There then occurs the need for introducing different mechanical and electrical stimuli to recreate a physiologically relevant native tissue microenvironment.

This project aims to design and integrate strain sensor for measuring the displacement of pillars to assess the contractile force of engineered cardiac tissue.


This experimental project will involve:
Literature survey: Research on the state-of-the-art of micro-fabricated strain sensors, including mechanical properties, materials and design;
Microfabrication: Cleanroom fabrication of the sensor and its integration with the existing platform for culturing EHT;
Characterisation: Electrical characterization of the sensors and comparison with optical sensing methods;
Wet experiments: Experiments with cells and verification of sensor functionality and biocompatibility.

Daily advisor: Milica Dostanic


You are an ambitious hands-on master student from microelectronic, mechanical or biomedical engineering, materials science or (applied) physics. You have good communication skills in English, you are independent and also a team player. The graduation project will have a total duration of 9 to 12 months.

If you are eager to work in a motivating atmosphere with highly skilled colleagues, then send us your CV!


dr. Massimo Mastrangeli

Electronic Components, Technology and Materials Group

Department of Microelectronics

Last modified: 2019-05-10