ASIC design for read-out of multiple sensors in a catheter / guidewire

In the medical domain, there is a trend to go to less and less invasive surgery and interventions. For this, Philips Research has defined the research theme “Image Guided interventions” which aims to find system solutions that will lower the amount of “open surgeries” and lower the amount of X-ray needed during a surgery. Within this research theme, there is a focus on in-body sensors and actuators with build-in electronics.

In a cooperation with the group “micro-sensors and systems”, we have realized an ASIC that is designed to readout of a blood pressure sensor. The dimensions of the ASIC are such that the ASIC fits on the tip of a guide wire. (A guide wire is a thin wire that can be brought into a blood vain/artery during a cardiovascular intervention). The ASIC only uses three (wire) connections. Two wires are needed to power the ASIC, while one wire drives the sensor-signal to the “external world”.

As a next step, the plan is to extend the ASIC-functionality to be able to read-out multiple sensors (e.g. flow- and pressure-sensors). For this, the ASIC should be re-designed to be able to read-out various sensor types.  The goal is to do this without increasing the number of connections to/from the ASIC. This implies that multiplexing means should be added on the ASIC and communication means to address the different sensors. Furthermore, layout aspects are important as the dimensions of the chip are crucial.

Profile candidate:

We are looking for a M. Sc. graduation student with basic knowledge on, and interest in, analogue and mixed-signal IC design. Some knowledge on IC-design tools is desirable.

Supervisor:              Eugenio Cantatore
Project duration:       6-8 months