Revolutionize at-home diagnostics
Join our interdisciplinary student project to transform at-home diagnostics! Work on cutting-edge technology, boost sensitivity, engineer tests for seamless home use, and develop targeted disease detection. Help us to shape the future of healthcare.
Advancing Single-Molecule Sensing for Protein Sequencing
In this project, you will have the opportunity to contribute to the development and optimization of a single-molecule sensor designed for the detection, identification, and sequencing of important biomolecules such as DNA and proteins. The sensor technology is built upon the principles of microfluidics, nanofabrication, and machine-learning data analysis. It is an excellent fit for students who possess skills and a strong interest in these fields and are eager to engage in an interdisciplinary project with significant potential impact.
Living Composite Material
Microorganisms that can be found everywhere in our environment are able to produce a variety of molecules from very simple precursors. Some of the products synthetized by bacteria are materials with fascinating properties such as cellulose with excellent mechanical properties. Materials produced by living cells are attractive because they are produced with minimal energy input and are based on green chemicals. Moreover, if well-designed, these materials still contain the living cells and are thus able to react onto external stimuli. Therefore, they have the potential to repair themselves upon damage or form materials with locally defined microstructures and architectures.
Develop microfluidics for at-home blood testing
Collaborating with a dynamic startup, you will work on designing, manufacturing, and testing microfluidic devices to quantify biomolecules associated with chronic inflammation, heart attacks, and tropical diseases.
Human Organoid-on-Chip to Study Rare Bone Disease
To date, there is still very limited progress in developing organoid models for human musculoskeletal tissues such as bone. A major challenge is reconstructing the native bone microenvironment which is structurally and functionally complex. In this project, we leverage interdisciplinary advances in tissue engineering and microtechnologies to generate a microengineered bone-organoid-on-chip platform for both fundamental and translational research in medicine.
Development of a gastric delivery system for micronutrient supplementation using advanced manufacturing techniques
Iron deficiency anemia (IDA) is one of the most widespread nutritional deficiencies worldwide, increasing the risk for disability and death for more than two billion people. Iron supplements are needed for prevention of iron deficiency, especially among infants, children and pregnant women, and for correction of IDA in all affected individuals. Conventional iron supplements, commonly cause nausea, epigastric discomfort and other gastrointestinal side effects that lead many individuals to discontinue and avoid their use. In this project, gastric resident systems (GDSs) will be produced using advanced manufacturing approaches (e.g., 3D printing) and the resulting release kinetic of the bioactive compounds will be characterized. Based on the results, different GDSs 3D design, formulations, and combination of active compounds will be tested.
Crafting a Photo-Cleavable Crosslinker: Enhancing Watch Design with Chemistry
Embark on a journey with the Swiss watch industry, renowned for its dedication to handcrafted excellence. Together, we're delving into the realm of advanced materials to enhance the art of watchmaking. Our focus lies in developing a groundbreaking photo-cleavable crosslinker, a key player in the application of resins onto watch dials as temporary masks during surface finishing. Join us in pioneering the fusion of craftsmanship and cutting-edge technology!
Biomineralization of Hydrogels-Based Structures
Currently, the mineralization capacity of S. pasteurii is being exploited in developing construction materials in the form of bio-bricks and bio-cement. These materials are mostly compact structures with different degrees of porosity to increase the diffusion of nutrients through the material. Nevertheless, one recurrent challenge in biomineralized structures is the limited precipitation across the structure.
Advanced formulation and manufacturing of personalized sport supplements for increased absorption and bioavailability
Conventional pharmaceutical and nutraceutical products (e.g., sport supplements) provide limited control over the release of bioactive ingredients (AIs) and poor absorption and bioavailability. To grant a proper therapeutic effect and athletic performance, common products need frequent intake at high dosages. This scenario is associated with an increased risk of short and long-term complications that can affect the performance of athletes as well as compromise the health long-term. Recently, novel techniques (e.g., 3D printing) and biomaterial formulation have become available for personalized sport supplements. The high versatility, flexibility, and increase absorption resulting from such products, open the way for increasing performance in sport but also for health benefits to generic people by target physiological characteristics and needs of specific groups.
Microfluidic Brain(neuron) on chip
Do you want to play with microfluidics,microfabrication, iPSCs, neurons and microscopy, and help to understand brain development using tailored Organ-on-Chip? Do you also want to integrate the biosensor and bioelectrodes into the chips? Then this might be the right student project or internship for you! (Technical interest is necessary, but also non-engineering students can apply.)
Wearable device for non-invasive assessment of fatigue
The goal of the project is to develop a wearable device capable of non-invasive measurement of human biomarkers related to performance and fatigue during exercise.
Mechanophores for advanced wearable strain and pressure sensors
The goal of the project is to synthesize and characterize a number of small molecules capable of acting as mechanophore addition to various polymers. These polymers would then be used as wearable strain or pressure sensors.
Conductive thread modification for wearable strain sensors
The goal of the project is to modify commercially available conductive yarns to improve their operational properties for potential employment in novel garment-embedded sensors for human motion detection.
Soft materials with active transitions in mechanical properties
Active and adaptive materials show exciting, new dynamic functionalities that far exceed those of classically passive materials. To enable these new functionalities, we follow a bio-inspired approach based on biochemical processes at the single-cell level. Thanks to these biochemical processes, individual cells can fulfill surprisingly complex tasks such as computing time or finding nutrients. Our goal is to transfer such processes to responsive hydrogels, so that we can locally trigger a chemical wave that self-propagates through the entire material and induces changes in mechanical properties.
Development of multilayer solid electrolytes for lithium ion batteries
Lithium-ion batteries revolutionized the world by enabling applications in mobile electronics, from laptops and smartphones to smartwatches. Today, the electrification of new industries such as electric passenger vehicles, trucks, grid energy storage, and aviation is hindered because conventional lithium-ion batteries have reached their performance peak, making further gains difficult. Next-generation lithium-ion batteries, specifically solid-state batteries, promise the required performance improvements for new market breakthroughs, but low-cost, scalable manufacturing is lacking. At eightinks, an ETH spin-off, we developed and patented a revolutionary solution to the scaling problem of next-generation battery designs and materials: multilayer curtain coating. Our technology allows for thin and multilayer coatings at high speeds, unleashing the full performance potential, and higher throughput enables lower production costs. To ensure the earliest possible market entry, we are working on all relevant aspects of battery production, assembly, design, and testing.
Traceless removal of digitally printed protective films
The Swiss watch industry focuses on perfectioning their capabilities since its beginnings. The use of printable, protective elements during surface finishing processes would allow for a new level of resolution and complexity. Nevertheless, currently used materials are not printable due to their high viscosity and are often hard to remove. We therefore are developing a printable polymeric coating that allows for traceless removal with water.
Master Thesis: Building a 25 MHz NMR spectrometer
A Master project starting in Spring 2023 is available in the group of Prof. Roland Riek, Laboratory for Physical Chemistry (D-CHAB). The student will build a 25 MHz Nuclear Magnetic Resonance (NMR) spectrometer. The spectrometer console will run on a compact board (SDR Lab, Red Pitaya) [1]. A permanent magnet will (10 x 10 x 10 cm3) generate a field of 0.6 T, corresponding to a 1H NMR frequency of 25 MHz.
Single-cell Encapsulation for RNA Sequencing
This project focuses on understanding the metabolism of bacteria exposed to an enzymatic inhibitor. By employing microfluidic systems, we aim to perform a single-based encapsulation in hydrogel beads to be exposed to inhibitors. Using FACS-based sorting and bulk sequencing, bacteria in hydrogel beads will be sorted and the RNA from pool or individual beads will be extracted for sequencing. We aim to create an RNA sequencing protocol for sorted hydrogel beads containing bacteria to analyze the total gene expression profiles of our candidates.
Responsive ultrasound contrast agents for molecular imaging
Ultrasound imaging with contrast agents such as microbubbles and nanodroplets is a promising tool to diagnose and monitor diseases at the molecular level. In our lab, we are interested in detecting soluble molecular targets such as proteases in vivo. To achieve this, we aim to modify the acoustic properties of microbubbles in response to protease activity by altering their shell properties using tight peptide-crosslinked networks.
Magnetic Functionalization of Genetically Engineered Bacteria for Targeted Biomedical Applications
Synthetic biology has paved the way for the development of bacteria with modified surfaces, enabling their functionalization with magnetic materials and diverse cargos. This study explores a novel approach to genetically engineer Escherichia coli to express surface proteins capable of binding magnetic nanoparticles. The engineered bacteria were then further functionalized to carry various cargos, including therapeutic agents and biosensors. The resultant magnetic bacteria exhibited enhanced mobility under external magnetic fields, allowing for targeted delivery and retrieval of cargos. This method holds significant promise for biomedical applications, including targeted drug delivery and diagnostic imaging, showcasing the potential of genetically engineered bacteria as versatile tools in biotechnology.
Ultra-High Molecular Weight Hydrogels With Extreme Mechanical Properties
Hydrogels composed of ultra-high molecular weight polymers exhibit remarkable mechanical properties, including exceptional stretchability exceeding 2000%. This performance stems from the extensive polymer entanglements inherent to their high molecular weight. These entanglements create a dense, interconnected network that distributes stress efficiently, enabling the hydrogel to withstand significant deformation without breaking. The resulting materials combine the advantageous properties of hydrogels, such as high water content and biocompatibility, with superior mechanical robustness, making them ideal for applications in flexible electronics, soft robotics, and biomedical devices. Their ability to endure extreme stretching and recover their original shape highlights their potential in innovative, high-performance material design.
Control of Microrobot For Microvascular Obstruction Treatment
We developed a high-throughput microfl¬uidic droplet-based process for the mass production of microrobots at a laboratory scale. We have successfully demonstrated the navigation of microrobots to the target lesion, and their enhanced thrombolytic performance has been validated within an emboli-on-a-chip micro¬fluidic system. Currently, we are planning ex vivo and in vivo experiments in a pig model to further evaluate the clinical potential of our approach.
Assessing the innovation potential of electrochemical direct air capture
Rapid emission reductions are needed so that the Paris Agreement's target to limit global warming to well below 2°C remains attainable. Pathways in line with this target presume a swift transition to low-carbon energy sources and – on top – the deployment of carbon dioxide removal (CDR) technologies to remove historic emissions and compensate for emissions that cannot be completely eliminated. Direct air capture (DAC) with carbon dioxode (CO2) storage offers a scalable, permanent, and relatively easily measurable, reportable, and verifiable CDR method. However, DAC technologies are still in their infancy and high costs have hindered large-scale deployment of DAC. While there are advantages to DAC in its potential to address emissions from distributed sources, the development and deployment of DAC systems has been limited by their high cost and energy requirements.[1] Most research and development has focused on solid sorbent and liquid solvent DAC, both of which use thermal and electrical energy. To overcome the high energy requirements of DAC systems using thermal energy, electrochemical DAC systems have been recognized as a promising alternative due to their potentially lower energy consumption at lower temperatures and pressures. [2] However, the technological maturity of electrochemical DAC systems is low, with most systems still at laboratory scale. It remains to be assessed how they compare with DAC systems using thermal energy. References: [1] doi.org/10.1016/j.joule.2024.02.005 [2] doi.org/10.1039/D0EE03382K
Photoresponsive slide-ring hydrogels for on-demand modulation of mechanical properties
Hydrogel materials are crosslinked polymer networks with reversible swelling, tunable porosity, elasticity, toughness, and flexibility. Conventional hydrogels often suffer from weak mechanical properties and display brittle and unstable behaviour limiting their scope for load-bearing applications. Such networks consist of side-chain functionalized polymers, whose covalent crosslinks occur at fixed positions on the polymer backbone (Figure 1A). Upon deformation, tensile stress is concentrated on the closest neighboring crosslinks, eventually leading to their rupture and material failure. Hence, the molecular design of high-performance hydrogels with toughness and elasticity similar to rubber is an emerging area of research in the engineering of polymeric materials with applications towards robust medical materials or soft robotics.
Advancing Biomedical Hydrogels with Supramolecular Design
Hydrogel materials are crosslinked polymer networks with reversible swelling, tunable porosity, elasticity, toughness, and flexibility. Conventional hydrogels often suffer from weak mechanical properties and display brittle and unstable behaviour limiting their scope for load-bearing applications. Yet such tough and elastic hydrogels are in high demand as they represent promising substrates for biomedical implants, cartilage repair and as artificial muscles/strain sensors. In this project a new pathway to fabricate stretchable elastic hydrogels is explored.
Drug-Polymer Conjugation for Metal Chelating Microgel Fabrication
The accumulation of metals in tissues can either contribute to or arise from metabolic disorders, resulting in supraphysiological concentrations of deleterious species within organs and tissues. Chronic metal overload can lead to organ failure and arthritis, while in the short term is proinflammatory and complicates wound healing.
Influence of polymer length on end-group reactivity
Polymer networks are made by cross-linking polymer chains at their ends by means of a chemical reaction. While the properties of used reactions are usually very well characterized for small molecules, little is known about how the presence of a polymer chain and its length affect this reaction. In this project, we aim to study this, mostly experimentally, but also including a theoretical approach. We propose to start with boronic ester chemistry, which has been already characterized in literature and in our lab. the reactants will be functionalized on linear PEG chains. We plan on studying both the thermodynamic and kinetic parameters.
Investigating Time Scales of Mechanotransduction of Patient Derived Cells within a Macroporous Biomaterial via In Situ Stiffening
We aimed to design a biomaterial suitable for 3D, in situ stiffening to mimic changes to the dermis during fibrosis and wound healing. By adapting Methacrylated Hyaluoronic Acid (MeHA), a material previously used for 2D in situ studies, to create a 3D macroporous gel comprised of fibrous microgels, we hypothesize we will be able to dynamically increase matrix stiffness without increasing cell confinement, allowing us to identify new mechanotransduction pathways involved in fibrosis and wound healing, specifically myofibroblast activation and macrophage polarization.
Brigham and Women's Hospital: Nonviral Gene Delivery
Gene therapies have the potential to enable the treatment of multiple currently incurable diseases, but delivery of these therapeutic molecules to the target tissue continues to present a major obstacle to their success and clinical translation. Our lab at Brigham and Women's Hospital has invented multiple novel drug delivery strategies, multiple of which have begun to be evaluated in human clinical trials. We are currently working to develop next-generation gene delivery platforms to accelerate the translation of these potentially transformative therapies to the clinic.
Fungal mycelium biomass quantification
Fungal mycelium is a unique, sustainable material with applications in the textile, packaging and food sector as meat alternatives. However, there is an absence of reliable techniques to quantitatively assess mycelial growth in various materials. Our project addresses this gap utilizing High Pressure Liquid Chromatography (HPLC). This method allows us to measure quantitatively how fungi grow in solid materials, making it easier to study and improve how we can employ fungi in various applications.
Investigation of nanoparticles interactions in polymer-nanoparticle hydrogel
The aim of this project is to characterize the aggregation behaviour of nanoparticles and relate them to the macroscopic properties of the polymer-nanoparticle hydrogel.
Intelligent soft-micromachines made from microfluidic chips
This Master's thesis/semester project focuses on the microfluidic fabrication of micromachines with multi-environmental responsiveness. The aim is to develop micromachines capable of adapting to various environmental cues. We envision that these micromachines will be used for complex tasks in biomedical and environmental applications.
Probing the two-state reactivity of iron-oxo complexes: computational and/or experimental studies
Spin states play a significant role in defining the structure, reactivity, magnetic and spectroscopic properties of any molecule. Access to multiple spin states opens exciting possibilities in catalysis, the development of electronic devices, and even quantum computing. Metal catalysts may have access to several spin states, thus giving more leverage for reactivity tuning. Two similar reactions can proceed via two distinctively different mechanisms if they occur on potential energy surfaces with different spin multiplicities. In addition, under certain conditions, a reactant can cross over onto a surface with different spin multiplicity, thereby providing low energy paths for otherwise difficult processes. Such behavior is called two-state reactivity (TSR). Although TSR plays an essential role in organic synthesis and biology, its detailed understanding is limited.
Shaping Microrobots from Ferrofluid Droplets
We invite applications for a Master's thesis / semester project that focuses on the fabrication of microrobots with custom shapes. Using our developed droplet printing technique, this project will explore how different microrobot shapes, created by different magnetic fields and materials, influence their control behaviors in blood vessels. This research aims to advance biomedical technologies, particularly in targeted drug delivery and minimally invasive procedures.
Masters project at PSI (SCD/LMS): Systematic correction of electronic self-interaction with Koopmans functionals
Investigate how best to unite Koopmans and Perdew-Zunger self-interaction corrections for electronic structure calculations.
Masters project at PSI (SCD/LMS): Combining Koopmans and Hubbard corrections for accurate band structures of materials
Investigate how best to unite Koopmans and Hubbard corrections for electronic structure calculations.
Chemical composition of atmospheric aerosol particles from Greenland, the Arctic and the Alps
Global warming induces emissions changes in global ecosystems, for example changes to marine algal blooms, emerging terrestrial vegetation, increasing glacial dust or fires. At the same time human activities in the cryosphere cause emissions from traffic, domestic activities and animal herding. All these emissions change the composition of the atmosphere. As part of this project, you will have the option to analyse aerosol filter samples in the lab, collected during different (ongoing) campaigns, like the GreenFjord project's atmospheric cluster (https://greenfjord-project.ch/). The main task will be to analyse the freshly created data to understand the complex puzzle of atmospheric aerosol sources. You will use state-of-the art mass spectrometers to shed light into the chemical composition of aerosol particles. This work will be carried out at and with the team of the Laboratory of Atmospheric Chemistry at PSI, Switzerland.
Project or thesis student, 60-100%, m/f/d
qCella, a deep tech startup from ETH Zurich, specializes in innovative materials for resistive heating applications. Their paper-thin, flexible heating mats aim to replace traditional heating wire technology in various products like car seats, clothing, and shoes. They are looking for master's students in Materials Science or Chemistry to contribute to product and material development, tackle research challenges with practical applications, design and conduct experiments, and analyze results.
Advanced Atomic Scale Characterisation (IDEA League Doctoral Schools)
14-18 October 2024 - The School at Chalmers University of Technology will concentrate on advanced techniques for high-resolution electron microscopy of interest to scientists currently using transmission electron microscopes for materials science studies. Laboratory sessions will highlight state-of-the-art instrumentation.
Assay development for cancer diagnostics
You will develop a diagnostic test for testicular cancer. The focus of the project will be on creating the biochemical protocols for the test. The project is in collaboration with a prelaunch startup and a hospital (USZ). Therefore, it is ideal for motivated students who want to have a direct impact

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