Openings

PhD Position

Millimeter-Wave Technologies for Biomedical Electromagnetics

  • Context

Millimeter-wave (MMW) technologies are increasingly used for various applications. In particular, they have been used for high data rate communications [> 5 Gb/s], and 60-GHz technologies are expected to be integrated in the near future in the next generation mobile systems. Besides, it was suggested that MMW can be used for a number of biomedical applications, including remote monitoring of wounds and non-invasive detection of glucose level. Recently, our research group has demonstrated the possibility of selective focusing of heating in cutaneous and sub-cutaneous layers by means of MMW. This opens a door to new potential applications of MMW in the field of biomedical electromagnetics, including selective targeting of skin cancers.

  • Objectives

The main purpose of this PhD research project is to explore the potential of MMW for innovative applications in the field of biomedical electromagnetics.

  • Work description

The PhD student will work at the Institute of Electronics and Telecommunications of Rennes (IETR), UMR CNRS 6164, Rennes, France. The guidelines of the PhD project are threefold:

  1. To explore the potential of the 30–100 GHz range for selective non-invasive high-resolution focusing of heat within human skin and sub-cutaneous layers based on recent advances in the field. This work will include numerical analysis of the electromagnetic field propagation and heat deposition in the body, design of radiating structures for the near-field focusing, and measurements using tissue-equivalent phantoms.
  2. To develop a dosimetric methodology for accurate control of exposure and local heating applied to pulse-modulated MMW radiations. A unique experimental tool recently developed by the IETR and able to generate short thermal pulses with the peak amplitude of several tens of °C will be used in this part of the study.
  3. Finally, previously developed methodologies and approaches will be used for selective targeting of cancer cells and tissues. This part of the study will be carried out in  collaboration with experts from French Institute for Research on Environmental and Occupational Health (IRSET) and Institute of Cell Biophysics (ICB).
  • Candidate

Education: MS or equivalent. Background: electromagnetics, numerical modeling, antenna design, microwave / MMW measurements. Knowledge in biology / biophysics is welcome but not mandatory.

  • Contacts

To apply please send your CV, motivation letter, and reference letters (optional) to:

  • Maxim ZHADOBOV (maxim.zhadobov@univ-rennes1.fr)
  • Ronan SAULEAU (ronan.sauleau@univ-rennes1.fr)


PhD Position

Near-Field Exposure Assessment in Emerging 5G Scenarios

  • Key words

Electromagnetic / thermal modeling, experimental dosimetry, microdosimetry, 60-GHz band, tissue modeling, microwave antennas and systems, millimeter-wave measurements.

  • Context

Continuous development of mobile terminals, such as smart phones, tablets, body-worn devices, has increased the wireless data traffic, which will keep growing due to the video streaming applications and cloud computing. The increasing need in high-performance mobile communications leads to a fast development of next generation heterogeneous 5G cellular mobile networks. The upper limit of the spectrum used for 5G wireless networking has shifted towards the millimeter-wave (MMW) band. By 2020, MMW mobile broadband systems will be integrated in 5G networks, in particular for the user access and backhaul / fronthaul applications. In particular, the 60–GHz transceivers (i.e. 57–66 GHz in Europe) are expected to be integrated in the user terminals, which allow for a larger channel bandwidth, higher data rates (beyond several Gb/s), high level of security for short-range communications, and low interference with adjacent cells.

The corresponding new usages and services will involve interaction of radiating devices with the human body, both in terms of body impact on wireless device performances as well as in terms of user exposure. This includes near-field exposure by wearable and mobile devices operating in vicinity of the human body. Radiated powers of the user terminals may result in locally very high exposure levels under near-field exposure conditions due to localized absorption at MMW, potentially exceeding exposure limits. Proposing solutions for accurate dosimetry in the near-field scenarios in V band (50–75 GHz) is of uppermost importance to anticipate the forthcoming deployment of 5G networks.

  • Objectives

This PhD project will address the open challenges related to numerical and experimental near-field dosimetry around 60 GHz, both for adults and children, contributing to environmental safety of emerging MMW systems.

  • Work description

The PhD student will work at the Institute of Electronics and Telecommunications of Rennes (IETR), UMR CNRS 6164, Rennes, France. The main research directions to be followed are threefold:

  1. Modelling the electromagnetic field and resulting body heating in V band in order to gain an insight into local submillimeter-scale phenomena occurring during exposure of users.
  2. Assessment of exposure to MMW taking into account morphological differences and age-dependent electromagnetic properties of soft tissues.
  3. Development of a MMW dosimetry system prototype and associated methodology accounting for a potential increase of exposure levels due to presence of the human body.
  • Candidate

Education: MS or equivalent. Background: electromagnetics, numerical modeling, microwave / thermal measurements. Knowledge in biology / biophysics is welcome but not mandatory.

  • Contacts

To apply please send your CV, motivation letter, and reference letters (optional) to:

  • Maxim ZHADOBOV (maxim.zhadobov@univ-rennes1.fr)
  • Ronan SAULEAU (ronan.sauleau@univ-rennes1.fr)


Post-Doctoral Position

Integrated Antennas for Efficient Data Transfer and Powering of Implanted in Body Devices

  • Research Fields

Biomedical telemetry, miniature antennas, conformal antennas, implantable wireless devices, in-body communications, through-body transmission

  •  Research environment

The Post-Doctoral Researcher will join Electromagnetic Waves in Complex Media (WAVES, www.ietr.fr/spip.php?article1616) Team of the IETR. Our research activities in biomedical electromagnetics cover a wide spectrum of fundamental and applied research spreading from multi-physics and multi-scale modeling to advanced technologies for body-centric wireless communications. The team was at the origin of pioneering innovations in biomedical electromagnetics, including the first mm-wave tissue-equivalent phantoms, novel reflectivity based surface phantom concept, new broadband multi-physics characterization technique for Debye-type materials, innovative mm-wave textile antennas for smart clothing, ultra-robust miniature implantable UHF antennas, first mm-wave reverberation chamber.

  • Scientific project

Wireless implantable, ingestible, and injectable in-body devices offer breakthrough possibilities for biomedical telemetry, telemedicine, and neural interfacing. Biotelemetry allows for continuous monitoring of various physiological parameters in clinical research and in medicine, where it can be used for disease prevention and treatment. Neural interfacing makes it possible to study the brain, restore sensory function, and assist in the rehabilitation of amputees, survivors of paralysis, and patients with neurodegenerative diseases. Advanced microelectromechanical systems, integrated circuits, and microfluidics continuously drive innovation in both fields. Wireless powering and recharge substantially extend the lifespan of wireless implants and help to avoid surgery for replacing batteries.

Establishing a robust medium- to long-range (i.e. 5–20 m) link between an in-body device and external equipment remains a major challenge. This is mainly due to low radiation efficiencies (η < 0.1%) of in-body antennas operating in lossy media and in part due to impedance detuning issues caused by uncertain electromagnetic properties of body tissues. Considering typical maximum input power levels ranging from several up to about 50 mW (limited by safety standards) and receiver sensitivities, this provides a line-of-sight operating range only up to several meters. Moreover, even an intrinsically isotropic in-body antennas becomes directive due to their radiation not only attenuating but also diffracting and scattering while propagating through highly heterogeneous human body.

The main goal of this post-doctoral project is to conduct a multi-disciplinary study on development, optimization, and characterization of robust and efficient multi-band antenna systems for implantable biotelemetry and telemedicine devices. In particular, the candidate will investigate and analyze the antenna–tissue decoupling mechanisms, design robust multi-band antennas (target frequency bands are mainly 403 MHz, 434 MHz, 1.4 GHz, and 2.45 GHz) with improved radiation efficiency. Finally, we aim to develop new characterization methods for such antenna systems involving far-field and experimental dosimetry techniques. A prototype of the system will be fabricated and experimentally validated in close collaboration with the industrial and academic research partners.

  • References

D. Nikolayev, M. Zhadobov, P. Karban, R. Sauleau. Electromagnetic radiation efficiency of body-implanted devices. Physical Review Applied, 9(2), pp. 024033(12), Feb. 2018.

D. Nikolayev, M. Zhadobov, P. Karban, R. Sauleau. Conformal antennas for miniature in‐body devices: the quest to improve radiation performance. Radio Science Bulletin, 363, pp. 52-64, Dec. 2017.

D. Nikolayev, M. Zhadobov, R. Sauleau, P. Karban. Antennas for ingestible capsule telemetry. State-of-the-Art in Body-Centric Wireless Communications and Associated Applications, IET, pp. 143 – 186, Jun. 2016.

  • Candidate

Education: PhD degree or equivalent.

Background: electromagnetics, antenna design, numerical modeling, microwave measurements. Knowledge in biology / medicine is welcome but not mandatory.

The candidate should have less than 3 years of experience after the PhD defense and should not previously work at the IETR.

  • Timeline

Duration: 12 months, potentially renewable

Starting Date: between 01/09/2018 and 01/03/2019

  • How to apply

To apply please send your CV, motivation letter, reference letters (optional), and a copy of your PhD diploma to

Maxim ZHADOBOV, CNRS Researcher (maxim.zhadobov@univ-rennes1.fr)