Students applying for internships must either be awarded credits for their work (e.g. master thesis) or provide their own funding (e.g. non-credited summer internship).

Registered EPFL bachelor and master students

You should organise your agenda to be on site, in Geneva, for at least a full day per week. The travel costs between EPFL Lausanne and EPFL Geneva will be covered.

External students from a partner University

The list of partner universities can be found here. To join the LSBI, you should register first through EPFL academic services – please check the following website for additional information.

External students from a non-partner University

You are welcome to apply to join the LSBI, but you will need to find your own funding source e.g. a scholarship, a grant, etc.


Foreign students are welcome to apply to one of the following schemes to join the LSBI for a summer, a semester or a year-long internship.

EPFL Excellence in Engineering, E3 program for Summer internship

Zeno Karl Schindler Summer School grant

Swiss Government Excellence Fellowship


Pancreas electrical stimulation for insulin secretion

Semester project

We are looking for a semester Project student to join our lab and take part in the development of a system for electrical stimulation of the pancreas in order to achieve an increase in insulin secretion for future possible diabetes treatment. The system will be tested on explanted rodent’s pancreas or anesthetized animals acutely (one day experiment). If successful, it will be further developed for chronic implants (3-6 months).

Project goals:

  • Investigate literature (collaborating with pancreas experts) to better understand which would be the best qualitative expected outcomes due to pancreas electrical stimulation and the stimulation parameters to tune
  • Define and build the system for the experimental setup e.g. how to measure the insuline/glucagon level due to electrical stimulation
  • Help define the experimental procedure and protocol
  • Take part in the design, fabrication and mechanical/electrical characterization of the realized interfaces

Must have:

  • Motivation and interest in the application of neural interfaces in novel domains
  • Knowledge in neuro-electrophysiology (action potentials, ion channels…)
  • Basic knowledge in microcontrollers

Nice to have:

  • Knowledge of sensors, actuators for IoT applications
  • Knowledge of data acquisition and handling
  • Knowledge of CAD use
  • Knowledge of 3D printing
  • Knowledge of microfabrication

To apply: Pietro Palopoli

Neural interface with integrated electronics for neural disease treatment

Semester project / Master thesis

We are looking for a master’s thesis/full time intern student to join our lab and take part in the development of a neural interface that will include integrated chips on a soft substrate. This project will lead to chronic implants (3-6 months) in animals and will represent a first proof of concept of a novel technology we are developing. If successful, it will be further developed for the treatment of epilepsy and spinal cord injury.

Project goals:

  • Define and integrate a wireless standard communication module that can interface with a standard recording and stimulation system
  • Define and integrate a standard power management module (wireless or cabled) that will power the entire system
  • Take part in the design, fabrication and mechanical/electrical characterization of the realized devices

Must have:

  • Knowledge of electrical circuits (analog/digital)
  • Motivation and interest into neural interfaces

Nice to have:

  • Knowledge of wireless communication (Bluetooth, Wi-Fi, NFC) and the wireless module configuration
  • Knowledge of data transmission handling and optimization
  • Knowledge of power electronics and power management
  • Knowledge of CAD use
  • Knowledge of microfabrication

To apply: Pietro Palopoli

Development of bonding technique for chip integration on flexible substrate

Semester project

We are looking for a semester project student to join our lab and take part in the development of a novel bump-bonding technique to integrate standard and ASIC chips on our flexible/stretchable substrates for neural interfaces. The positive outcome of the project will allow two main positive achievements in neural interfaces: the reduction of front-end track impedance enabling better stimulation and recording capabilities; the realization of more compact systems that will reduce the implantation surgery complexity.

Project goals:

  • Investigate and optimize the parameters for bump-bonding with platinum
  • Testing the electrical and mechanical properties of these interconnections
  • Take part in the design, fabrication and mechanical/electrical characterization of the realized devices

Must have:

  • Motivation and interest into neural interfaces
  • Basic knowledge in mechanical or electrical engineering

Nice to have:

  • Knowledge in electrical soldering
  • Knowledge in material science
  • Knowledge in electrical engineering
  • Knowledge of CAD use
  • Knowledge of back-end chip processes

To apply: Pietro Palopoli

Developing an in vitro model of spinal cord injury

Semester project

Spinal cord regeneration is a promising therapy for spinal cord injury (SCI) and is often tested in animal models or explants. These models have led to great advances in our understanding of effective regeneration strategies, but their value is decreased due to high costs, limited control of experimental conditions, and the differences between humans and animals.

We are developing an in vitro model of SCI that utilizes microelectrode arrays (MEAs) to electrically interface with and facilitate the growth of human neural cells. The goal is to promote the growth of spinal cord-like tissues, simulate injury, and test various therapeutic strategies. Depending on your interests and the state of the project, your work may involve one or more of the following: clean room microfabrication, cell/tissue/organoid culture/assessment (immunohistochemistry), developing/testing biomaterial coating techniques, electrical characterization of MEAs, development of a novel (micro)fluidic platform, electrophysiology recordings/analysis, and image analysis.

Project goals:

  • Optimize the materials and geometry of the MEAs/platform to recreate SCI in vitro while maintaining favorable electrical properties
  • Characterize the anatomy and electrophysiology of neural cells/tissues/organoids

Must have:

  • Motivation to advance in vitro models of the nervous system
  • Interest in lab work

Nice to have:

  • Cell culture experience
  • Clean room experience
  • Experience with CAD, 3D printing, and (micro)fluidic systems
  • Understanding of electrochemical assessment methods

To apply: Scott Erickson

Development of multifunctional electronic skin based on electrofluidic microneedle arrays

Master thesis / Semester project

This project focuses on the development of an innovative epidermal patch featuring electrofluidic microneedle arrays designed to painlessly penetrate the human epidermis. Our objective is to engineer a multifunctional electronic skin device that delivers electrical signals and injects fluids with high resolution. The device is fabricated leveraging LSBI expertise in microfabrication techniques of soft substrates using advanced, biocompatible materials, incorporating integrated electrical and fluidic systems to enable both precise drug delivery and accurate biosignal monitoring.

This project will consist on the optimization of the fabrication process, taking especially care of the final device assembly and the integration of the cleanroom fabricated components with external flexible PCBs or microfluidic chips. The project will also involve rigorous testing of the device’s electromechanical properties, initially in laboratory settings, followed by animal studies to evaluate biocompatibility and functionality. With successful preliminary outcomes and necessary ethical approvals, we plan to conduct trials on human subjects to test its capabilities in enhancing sensory feedback and physiological monitoring.

Must-have competencies:

  • Problem-solving mentality
  • Independence and motivation
  • Basic concepts of biomedical engineering

Nice-to-have competencies:

  • General knowledge in materials science
  • Experience in microfluidics and microelectronics


  • Tehrani F., Teymourin H., Wuerstle B. et al.An integrated wearable microneedle array for the continuous monitoring of multiple biomarkers in interstitial fluid.  Biomed. Eng (2022).
  • Wang H., Pastorin G., Chengkuo L. et al. Toward Self-Powered Wearable Adhesive Skin Patch with Bendable Microneedle Array for Transdermal Drug Delivery. Advanced Science (2016).
  • Jung, Y.H., Yoo, JY., Vázquez-Guardado, A. et al.A wireless haptic interface for programmable patterns of touch across large areas of the skin. Nat Electron (2022).

To apply: Emilio Fernandez Lavado

Optimization of kirigami patterns for stretchable interconnects

Semester project / Master thesis

Long-term implantation of neural interfaces in dynamic environments, such as the cervical spinal cord is challenging.  Indeed, the implant must be able to accommodate for a wide range of motion to avoid displacement of the device or breakage. To address this issue, a technology was developed within the LSBI to fabricate soft neural interfaces based on the engineering of stretchable interconnects, encapsulated in between two layers of silicone. The stretchability of the interconnects is achieved by micro-patterning periodic cuts (also referred to as kirigami) into thin sheets of Polyimide/Platinum/Polyimide [1]. The main challenge of this technique is to achieve both high conductivity and high stretchability. The high conductivity is necessary to deliver currents at the electrode site in a range that is sufficient to recruit the targeted neurons. Reversible stretchability of the device is key in ensuring that the components can deform following the movement of the surrounding tissue, thereby reducing the mechanical mismatch that can lead to fibrotic encapsulation of the implant, typically seen with rigid implants.

The aim of this project is to optimize the patterning of the interconnects to satisfy application-specific conductivity and stretchability requirements. In particular, the student will conduct a study on networks of serpentines. Due to their sinuous geometry, serpentines unfold under tensile strain, resulting in spring-like mechanical behavior. Varying the shape of each serpentine unit and their connection pattern gives rise to a vast collection of electro-mechanical properties. The deformation and electrical resistance of the patterned networks will be computed through custom code. The student will participate in the development of a robust optimization scheme that will allow for a network geometry that minimizes both local strain and resistance depending on a given set of conditions. These conditions include material properties, interconnect dimensions, type of deformation, …

Once the optimization scheme is set in place, experimental validation will be conducted. Ultimately, we aim to obtain a user-friendly interface to accelerate and help guide the next design iterations of neural implants, such as cervical spinal cord implants.

 Project goals:

  • Implement a script to that identifies the optimal serpentine network.
  • Provide an analysis of performance of the optimization scheme.
  • Define the design specifications for a set of conditions.
  • Conduct experimental validation.

 Must have: 

  • Python coding experience
  • Knowledge of optimization principles and algorithms
  • Good understanding of mechanics and material properties

Nice to have: 

  • Experience with simulation software (COMSOL, ABAQUS)

To apply:

Uday Kusupati, Laurine Kolly

  • Nicolas Vachicouras. Soft microfabricated neural implants: a path towards translational implementation. 2019.