Toward soft fluidic circuits that control the beating of a soft artificial heart

Work Activities

The Soft Robotic Matter group at AMOLF is seeking a Postdoc who will work together with the Holland Hybrid Heart (HHH) consortium on the design, fabrication and analysis of an artificial soft heart. The HHH consortium is a partnership between Erasmus MC, Eindhoven University of Technology, AMOLF, UTwente, Saxion, TU Delft, and several business partners. The consortium was awarded a 10M € grant by the Nederlandse Wetenschapsagenda. The HHH consortium aims in the next 7 years to conduct the necessary fundamental research, including the first chronic animal trials, to produce a soft artificial heart. The goal of the consortium is to mimic the natural contraction of the heart as much as possible, by generating a pulsatile flow, and coating the inside of the heart with a tissue-engineered lining. Our consortium acknowledges that this multidisciplinary project will only be successful if we work closely as a team.

Within the HHH consortium, your focus will be on controlling the beating of the HHH. You will explore how previously proposed pneumatic circuits can be used with liquids to transform a continuous inflow from a hydraulic pump into pulsating output that will activate the soft artificial muscles in the heart. The goal is to design soft fluidic circuits that, together with the soft artificial heart, will passively adapt to variations in physiological conditions (e.g., blood pressure) without the direct need for electronic sensing. To design such a fluidic circuit capable of passively adjusting to changing physiological conditions, you will also contribute to a numerical system model based on the electronic-fluidic analogy. You will use measured data from the artificial heart in these simulations. Further validation of the model will be done by comparing the results with mock-loop experiments performed within the consortium. In general, there will be active collaboration with researchers in the Soft Robotic Matter Group and within the Holland Hybrid Heart consortium.

Qualifications

We welcome applications from motivated candidates from a diverse range of fields (E.g. Mechanical Engineering, Applied Physics, Material Science, Biomedical Engineering, Computer Science). A background in non-linear mechanics, soft robotics or mechanical metamaterials is an advantage, although we are open to candidates with a diverse range of backgrounds given sufficient motivation. You need to meet the requirements for a doctors-degree and ideally must have research experience in a non-Dutch academic environment. We are looking for candidates that enjoy collaborating in a team, and that have a go-getter mentality in combination with a sound appetite for experimental and numerical work.

Work environment

AMOLF is a part of NWO-I and initiate and performs leading fundamental research on the physics of complex forms of matter, and to create new functional materials, in partnership with academia and industry. The institute is located at Amsterdam Science Park and currently employs about 140 researchers and 80 support employees. www.amolf.nl

The Soft Robotic Mater group @AMOLF (See also: www.overvelde.com) focuses on embodied intelligence within soft robotic devices, aiming to create autonomous robots capable of effective operation in their environments. To realize this goal, the group's focus lies at the intersection of soft robotics and mechanical metamaterials. The group employs a combination of computational, experimental, and analytical tools to investigate how shape, non-linearities, and feedback can be strategically utilized to embody intelligent behavior in mechanical systems. The objective is to explore innovative – yet simple – avenues that extend the frontiers of knowledge, all while remaining dedicated to addressing real-world challenges that have a meaningful impact on society. We provide a highly collaborative and supportive environment, both within the group and institute, and through national and international collaborations.

Working conditions

  • The working atmosphere at the institute is largely determined by young, enthusiastic, mostly foreign employees. Communication is informal and runs through short lines of communication.
  • The position is intended as full-time (40 hours / week, 12 months / year) appointment in the service of the Netherlands Foundation of Scientific Research Institutes (NWO-I) for the maximum duration of 3 years
  • Salary is in scale 10 (CAO-OI) which starts at 4.065 Euro’s gross per month, and a range of employment benefits.
  • AMOLF assists any new foreign Postdoc with housing and visa applications and compensates their transport costs and furnishing expenses.

More information?

For further information about the position, please contact

dr. ir. J.T.B. (Bas) Overvelde
Group leader Soft Robotic Matter Group
E-mail: overvelde@amolf.nl
Phone: +31 (0)20-754 7100

Application

You can respond to this vacancy online via the button below.

Please send your:
–  Resume;
–  Motivation on why you want to join the group (max. 1 page).

It is important to us to know why you want to join our team. This means that we will only consider your application if it entails your motivation letter.

Applications will be evaluated on a rolling basis and as soon as an excellent match is made, the position will be filled.

Online screening may be part of the selection.

Diversity code

AMOLF is highly committed to an inclusive and diverse work environment: we want to develop talent and creativity by bringing together people from different backgrounds and cultures. We recruit and select on the basis of competencies and talents. We strongly encourage anyone with the right qualifications to apply for the vacancy, regardless of age, gender, origin, sexual orientation or physical ability.

AMOLF has won the NNV Diversity Award 2022, which is awarded every two years by the Netherlands Physical Society for demonstrating the most successful implementation of equality, diversity and inclusion (EDI).

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