About Us

The Mission of the Institute of Bioengineering (IBI) is to perform world-class quantitative, systems- and design-oriented research in and for the life sciences. By breaking down the boundaries between engineering, physics, chemistry, computer science and the life sciences, we strive to better understand basic biological principles and transform this knowledge into innovative technology platforms and clinical applications.

The IBI sits at the nexus between life sciences and engineering, being situated in both the School of Life Sciences and the School of Engineering. This dual affiliation allows great diversity in hiring faculty from different backgrounds and with different research perspectives. it also provides a rich educational environment, both at the BS/MS and at the PhD levels, especially since our joint MS program in Life Sciences Engineering is shared between the two Schools.

The IBI’s research agenda has evolved into four main fields of activity: Bioimaging and Bioinstrumentation, Biophysics and Quantitative Biology, Nano- and Microscale Bioengineering, and Neuroengineering.

In pursuit of basic biological principles, IBI faculty investigate questions such as:

  • How fundamental biophysical processes are at work at the single-molecule and nanoscale, and in 3-dimensional soft biological systems
  • How complex biological networks such as gene regulatory or metabolic networks are regulated, as well as transmitted and evolved within populations
  • How biophysical and biomolecular signals interact in controlling cellular behaviour
  • How cellular micro-environments control cellular behaviour and morphogenetic processes
  • How stem cell fate, such as self-renewal and differentiation, are regulated
  • How cell migration and trafficking in complex environments is modulated

Our goal is to transform knowledge gained from such studies into novel, bio-inspired applications. To that end, the IBI faculty develops novel technologies in areas including:

  • Delivery of small molecule drugs, proteins and DNA, based on synthetic biomaterials
  • Materials in bio-nanotechnology
  • Immunotherapy based on active biomolecules and nanomaterials
  • Novel molecules for photodynamic therapy
  • Tissue engineering for therapeutics
  • Interventional and diagnostic biomedical micro-devices and image processing tools
  • Biosensors and neuro-electrodes
  • Soft bioelectronic (“electronic skin”) and brain-machine interfaces
  • Sensory and motor neuroprosthetics
  • Biorobotics, biomechanics and cardiovascular modelling
  • Rehabilitation monitoring based on movement or gait measurement and assessment
  • Biotechnology for therapeutic protein production, as well as
  • Innovative physiological modelling based on biomolecular and stem cell approaches.

Institute of Bioengineering labs are found on two campuses:

Institute of Bioengineering campuses | © EPFL