Readout electronics for highly sensitive parallelized measurements of cellular thermogenesis

Introduction

Precise measurements of temperature are of great interest in a variety of bio-related research questions. Currently, such measurements are mainly performed with fluorescent probes [1]. However, such methods are highly dependent on environmental conditions and the results of various studies are under debate [2,3]. Positive-temperature-coefficient (PTC) devices on the other hand are stable and well-established tools to measure temperature, but suffer from a relatively low sensitivity. Recently, a new approach for producing highly sensitive PTC devices was demonstrated [4,5] that is compatible with printing-based fabrication. Here, we are interested in scaling this approach to parallelized cell culture applications in which dozens of sensors are distributed over multiwell plates. To this end, we are establishing a custom setup capable of controlling the temperature in the immediate environment of the plate as well as reading out the sensors’ response.

Aim & Research Methods

The project aims at designing readout electronics that are able to measure the resistance of 148 sensors in parallel. To this end, you will…

  1. …determine core parameters of the measurement setup (current/voltage control, multiplexing parameters, etc.),…
  2. …lay out electronics capable of reading all sensors in parallel, and…
  3. …program a microcontroller and a GUI.

In doing so, you will be introduced to an interdisciplinary working environment and will learn the following techniques:

  1. Designing electronics and PCBs
  2. Management of large data sets
  3. Design and optimization of custom experimental setups

Requirements

We are looking for a highly dedicated and motivated candidate to work on an interdisciplinary research topic. The candidate should offer:

  1. Excellent analytical and experimental skills
  2. A solid background in electrical engineering, PCB design (Eagle/Altium/OrCAD), and microcontroller programming
  3. Experience with LabView and MATLAB/Python is beneficial

Possible starting date & further information

Potential starting date is as soon as possible. For further details and application contact Philipp Rinklin in person or via email.

References

  1. T. Bai and N. Gu, Small 12, 4590 (2016).
  2. G. Baffou, H. Rigneault, D. Marguet, and L. Jullien, Nat Meth 11, 899 (2014).
  3. M. Suzuki, V. Zeeb, S. Arai, K. Oyama, and S. Ishiwata, Nat Meth 12, 802 (2015).
  4. T. Yokota, Y. Inoue, Y. Terakawa, J. Reeder, M. Kaltenbrunner, T. Ware, K. Yang, K. Mabuchi, T. Murakawa, M. Sekino, W. Voit, T. Sekitani, and T. Someya, PNAS 112, 14533 (2015).
  5. T. Nakamura, T. Yokota, Y. Terakawa, J. Reeder, W. Voit, T. Someya, and M. Sekino, in 2016 IEEE-EMBS International Conference on Biomedical and Health Informatics (BHI) (2016), pp. 485–488.