Optimization of Electrode Geometry for Congestive Heart Failure (CHF) patient monitoring application using COMSOL simulation

(at IMEC-Netherlands, Holst Center Eindhoven)

Background and problem statement

At Holst Centre in Eindhoven, a compact bio-impedance monitor is being developed to be used in CHF patient monitoring applications. CHF patients are patients who suffer from the fluid build-up in their lung. There is no golden standard to monitor this type of patient yet. The conventional ways of monitoring are either tracking the body weight change of the patient every morning or taking a X-ray or CT scan in the hospital, while none of them can achieve convenience, high accuracy or correlation, and continuous monitoring at the same time.

The bio-impedance monitor injects a small current into the body through two electrode and measures through two other electrodes the impedance of the body. The idea is that in CHF patients this bio-impedance will change over time, as more fluid accumulates in the lungs. In this manner, a bio-impedance monitor for CHF patient has quite promising future, as bio-impedance change in time can be a measure for pulmonary fluid accumulation in CHF patients. Moreover, it is in compact-size and consumes low power so that it can continuously monitor the fluid build-up status of CHF patients.

Of course, there are many challenges from all of the hardware, system, software, and validation perspectives to use bio-impedance monitor for CHF patients.


This assignment is to optimize the electrode geometry for CHF patient validation in terms of electrode size and placement, and orientation and distance of the electrode pair. To this end an available 3D model of the body needs to be converted and implemented in COMSOL. Given the system constraints, the goal is to achieve the highest sensitivity to the pulmonary fluid build-up with the varying parameters mentioned above. After finding the optimal parameters, it is also required to calculate the obtained sensitivity in function of accumulated fluid amount and detected impedance change.

Candidate profile

We are looking for an enthusiastic student with the following background:

•Bachelor or Master-level student in the field of Biomedical engineering, Electrical engineering, Mechanical engineering, Physics, or any relevant area

•Must have experience with COMSOL in electrical current (ec) simulation, preferably with 3-D model

•Knowledge and/or interest in biomedical applications

•Highly motivated student eager to work independently and expand knowledge in the field

•Good verbal and written communication skills in English


•Literature study



•Thesis writing

Educational program



Research theme

From Neural Circuit Behaviour to Human Sensory-Motor Function

Principal Investigator track

Jan R. Buitenweg: Nociceptive and Somatosensory Processing

Supervision and info

Eva Wentink