Biomedical Technology and Imaging



PD Dr. med. Dr. med. dent. Dominik Ettlin

Center of Dental Medicine, University of Zurich

Research Focus: Our clinical focus is the biopsychosocial evaluation and management of patients suffering from athrogenic, myogenic and neurogenic trigeminal pain disorders. The interdisciplinary team includes dentists, physicians, psychologists and neuroscientists.

We aim at better understanding peripheral and central pathomechanisms underlying these disorders, utilizing primarily functional magnetic resonance imaging and spectroscopy (fMRI and fMRS). We developed several MR-compatible setups for reliable stimulation of extra and intraoral structures.

We are also interested in behavioral aspects of pain. By collecting multicenter clinical data, we analyze potential pain etiologies and modifying factors.

Keywords: trigeminal sensory system, nociception, (orofacial) pain, brainstem and cortical pain fMRI, fMRS, questionnaires, clinical pain trials

Topics: Sensory Systems, Neural Basis of Behavior, Disorders of the Nervous Systems, Biomedical Technology and Imaging, cognitive neuroscience

Publication: PubMed



Tommaso Fedele


Dr. Tommaso Fedele, Junior Group Leader

Dept. of Neurosurgery, University Hospital Zurich

Research Focus: High frequency oscillations (HFO, f > 80 Hz) in intracranial EEG have been shown as a promising biomarker of of the epileptogenic zone. We standardize the detection of clinically relevant HFO in pre-operative and intra-operative invasive EEG to improve surgery outcome. We aim to extend HFO detection to non-invasive scalp EEG, using a low-noise custom-made EEG device. We also investigate epilepsy dynamics and cognitive processing at multiple spatial scales recording EEG and  single unit activity in the mesial temporal lobe.

Keywords: neurophysiology; epilepsy; high frequency oscillations; single unit activity

Topic: Biomedical Technology and Imaging


Roger Gassert


Prof. Dr. Roger Gassert
Rehabilitation Engineering Lab, Department of Health Sciences and Technology, ETH Zurich

Research Focus: We apply robotics, wearable sensor technology and non-invasive neuroimaging to the exploration, assessment and restoration of sensorimotor function, with the goal of promoting recovery following neurological injury and developing assistive technologies for the compensation of remaining deficits.

Keywords: physical human-machine interaction, rehabilitation robotics, haptics, assistive technology, neural control of movement, neuroimaging, neurofeedback

Topics: Sensory Systems, Motor Systems, Disorders of the Nervous System, Biomedical Technology and Imaging




Alexander Huber


Prof. Dr. med. Alexander Huber
Department of Otorhinolaryngology, Head and Neck Surgery, University Hospital Zurich

Research Focus: In our laboratory for biomechanics of hearing we develop a comprehensive understanding and a detailed theoretical model of the physiological and pathological processes of the peripheral auditory system (from the pinna to the auditory nerve).

The objectives are 1) Experimental studies of physiological and pathological processes of hearing, 2) The development of a detailed mathematical model of hearing, and 3) The optimization and development of hearing aids and hearing prostheses in collaboration with the industry. We are an interdisciplinary research team of graduates from different specialties, with competence in investigation techniques of acoustics, vibro-mechanics, fluid dynamics, electrophysiology and behavioral audiometry by taking into account the latest measurement technology.

Keywords: Hearing, Biomechanics, Implants

Topics: Sensory Systems, Biomedical Technology and Imaging


Jakab Andras


PD Dr. Dr. med. András Jakab, Junior Group Leader
Center for MR-Research, University Children’s Hospital Zurich
Research Focus: Our research focus is studying normal and pathological human brain development using non-invasive medical imaging approaches, such as magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) prenatally and in early postnatal life. We aim to understand how common congenital disorders affect brain development, and how these manifest in clinical symptoms. We are interested in utilizing the latest computational image analysis approaches to improve data quality, and to construct models of human development. We also support interdisciplinary clinical research projects that consist of radiologists, neonatologists, neurosurgeons and basic scientists.

Keywords: magnetic resonance imaging, brain development, fetal development, image processing

Topics: Disorders of the Nervous System, Biomedical Technology and Imaging



Jan Klohs


Dr. Jan Klohs
Institute for Biomedical Engineering, University and ETH Zurich

Research Focus: Our research aims at developing novel non-invasive imaging techniques for the characterization of preclinical models of brain diseases. A major scientific focus is to elucidate the role of vascular dysfunction, an aberrant coagulation, inflammatory and neurodegenerative processes on brain function in cerebral ischemia and Alzheimer`s disease. To this end, we employ imaging techniques like near-infrared fluorescence imaging and magnetic resonance imaging as well as develop novel molecular imaging probes to generate a variety of target-specific, potentially translatable read-outs. For validation of the imaging marker relevant experimental and genetic mouse models of human disease, pharmacology, biochemical and immunohistochemical techniques will be employed. Since the investigated processes are generic the generated imaging marker might be applicable to a number of brain diseases.

Keywords: Near-infrared fluorescence imaging, magnetic resonance imaging, preclinical models of brain diseases

Topic: Biomedical Technology and Imaging

Publications: pubmed


Spyros Kollias


Prof. Dr med. Spyros Kollias
Neuroradiology Clinic, University Hospital Zurich

Research Focus: 

i) High-resolution structural imaging of neural tissue in vivo: a) imaging CNS myeloarchitecture with clinically relevant applications, using DTI, b) application of advanced techniques (MRS, DTI, Perfusion MRI), for increasing the specificity of MR technology

ii) Multimodal imaging and connectivity mapping of degenerative CNS disease: a) functional organization of the motor and visual systems and their post-lesional reorganization, b) developing imaging and metabolic biomarkers in dementias, b) neuroimaging of migraine, c) functional analysis of brain plasticity and functional recovery of function in paraplegia, d) multimodal imaging in schizophrenia.

iii) Advanced imaging of the spinal cord: including high-resolution structural MRI, MRS, and DTI with applications in oncological, traumatic and neurodegenerative pathologies.

Keywords: Neuroimaging, MRI, functional brain mapping, MR Spectroscopy, Brain connectivity, multimodal imaging.

Topics: Biomedical Technology and Imaging, Cognitive Neuroscience, Disorders of the Nervous System

Publications: pubmed


Vartan Kurtcuoglu



Prof. Dr. Vartan Kurtcuoglu
The Interface Group, Institute of Physiology, University of Zurich

Research Focus: My group’s goal is to address clinical needs through the convergence of engineering, biological and medical research. Within the neuroscience field, we focus on transport processes in the fluid spaces of the brain, namely in the cerebrospinal, interstitial and perivascular fluids. By combining computational techniques with experimental methods, we aim to understand the dynamics of cerebral fluid motion, the driving forces behind these and how they, along with the associated transport processes of metabolites and other substances, are involved in the pathogenesis of CNS disorders

Keywords: volume transmission, fluid dynamics, hydrocephalus, astrocyte network, mechanosensing

Topic: Computation and Modeling, Biomedical Technology and Imaging, Disorders of the Nervous System




Ruiqing Ni


Dr. Ruiqing Ni, Junior Group Leader
Institute for Biomedical Engineering

Research Focus: My research goal is to understand the mechanisms underlying Alzheimer’s disease, with a focus on detecting aberrant brain network activity, Aβ, tau and neurodegeneration by using multiscale high-resolution neuroimaging techniques (MRI, Optoacoustic tomography, PET).
Keywords: Alzheimer’s disease, Neuroimaging, transgenic mouse models

Topic: Biomedical Technology and Imaging, Disorders of the Nervous System
Publications: pubmed

Klaas Prüssmann


Prof. Dr. Klaas Prüssmann
Institute for Biomedical Engineering, University of Zurich and ETH Zurich


Topic: Biomedical Technology and Imaging



Robert Riener


Prof. Dr. Ing. Robert Riener
Sensory Motors Systems Lab, Dept of Health Sciences and Technology, ETH Zurich and Paraplegic Center, University Hospital Balgrist Zurich

Research Focus: Robert Riener and the members of his Sensory-Motor Systems (SMS) Lab investigate the sensory-motor actions in and interactions between humans and machines. The research focuses on the study of human sensory-motor control, the design of novel mechatronic machines, and the investigation and optimisation of human-machine interaction. Riener’s Lab has developed famous rehabilitation robots (such as the ARMin) and virtual reality technologies applied to the area of neurorehabilitation. Main application areas are the fields of neuro-rehabilitation and sports. R. Riener is also the initiator and organiser of the Cybathlon 2016 in Kloten, Zurich.

Keywords: Neurorehabilitation, rehabilitaiton robotics, motor learning, control of motion, biomechatronics
Topic: Motor Systems, Biomedical Technology and Imaging


Markus Rudin


Prof. Dr. Markus Rudin
Institute for Biomedical Engineering, University of Zurich and ETH Zurich


Topic: Biomedical Technology and Imaging



saab aiman


Dr. Aiman Saab, Junior Group Leader
Institute of Pharmacology and Toxicology, University of Zurich

Research Focus: Myelinating oligodendrocytes and astrocytes are suggested to play an important role in maintaining neuronal functions and long-term integrity. In white matter tracts, axons are almost completely ensheathed by myelin and the axonal compartment may receive metabolic support from surrounding glial cells. Our research focuses on understanding the molecular mechanisms governing neuron-glial interactions and metabolic cooperation. How do myelinating oligodendrocytes and astrocytes sense neuronal activity and how are these signals translated into maintaining neuronal functions in the young and aging brain? Could perturbations in glial metabolic support to axons impact the etiology and pathogenesis of age-related neuropsychiatric and degenerative diseases? To address these questions we combine molecular genetics, electrophysiology, in vivo and ex vivo two-photon imaging, histology, electron microscopy and behavioural studies in various transgenic and knockout mouse models to investigate cellular mechanisms regulating intercellular communication, brain energy homeostasis and cellular integrity.
Keywords: white matter, axon-glial interactions, myelinated axons, oligodendrocytes, astrocytes, axonal integrity and energy metabolism, neurodegeneration
Topics: Molecular and Cellular Neuroscience, Disorders of the Nervous Systems, Biomedical Technology and Imaging

Publications: pubmed

Johannes Sarnthein


Prof. Johannes Sarnthein
Dept of Neurosurgery, University Hospital Zurich

Research Focus: Establish neurophysiological biomarkers to improve the outcome of neurosurgical interventions. We correlate intraoperative measurements with postoperative outcome to optimize the neurophysiological guidance of the surgeon. We analyze data obtained during surgery to investigate the physiological mechanisms involved. For example, high-frequency oscillations (HFO) are a promising new marker for epileptogenic brain tissue in intracranial recordings in epilepsy patients, both before and after resection of the epileptogenic zone.

Keywords: intraoperative neuromonitoring; patient registry; tumor; epilepsy

Topic: Biomedical Technology and Imaging

Publications: pubmed


Janos Vörös