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



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



Lutz Jäncke


Prof. Dr. rer. nat. Lutz Jäncke
Department of Psychology, Division of Neuropsychology, University of Zurich

Research Focus: The research group of Lutz Jäncke focusses on the plasticity of the human brain due to training and expertise in various areas (language, motor behavior etc.). For their research they use fMRI, sMRI, DTI, high-density EEG, TMS, and tDCS. A specific focus is placed on the neural and psychological foundations of music processing. In addition, they also work on the longitudinal changes of the human brain in the elderly. This research topic is the main content of a major University Research Priority Program (URPP) entitled „Dynamic of Healthy Aging“ of which LJ is the scientific director.

Besides these basic research project, Jäncke’s group works on the development of neuroscientific biomarkers for specific cognitive functions, which can be used objectively in different cultural contexts and which also can be used in clinical and rehabilitation contexts. A new research project focusses on the search for individual brain „finger“ prints.
Keywords: music processing, music expertise, expertise, brain plasticity, language processing, functional brain mapping, EEG, ERP, fMRI, sMRS, DTI, longitudinal studies, aging, brain anatomy, biomarker
Topics: Disorders of the Nervous System, Cognitive Neuroscience, Biomedical Technology and Imaging, Biomarker
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

Patriarchi Tommaso