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PhD: SMART Minimally Invasive Instrument development for low resource settings

Minimally invasive surgical techniques bring many advantages for patients, especially in low-resource settings, because of e.g. a reduced risk of infection …

3 maanden geleden


Mekelweg, Delft, Zuid-Holland
Tijdelijk contract / Tijdelijke opdracht
Uren per week:
38 - 40 uur
€ 2222 - € 2840 per maand


Minimally invasive surgical techniques bring many advantages for patients, especially in low-resource settings, because of e.g. a reduced risk of infection and shorter hospital stays. Unfortunately, thecurrently used devices are expensive and difficult to clean, and require a sterile operating-room environment.

We propose to develop an innovative SMART surgical equipment system, where SMART stands for Safe, Minimal dimensions, Affordable, Reliable and Transparent (=easy to use). The system will allow minimally invasive surgery without the need for a sterile operating room, even in low resource settings.

We will use a human-centric design approach and co-creation involving clinicians, designers, entrepreneurs and engineers to develop deflectable, easy-to-manufacture, easy-to-use and easy-to clean instruments based on a new rotating shaft principle, an isolator system to protect the incision and instrument shaft from (dirty) open air, and other affordable equipment needed. Prototype testing will be done together with clinical groups in India, (new) spin-off companies and surgical device certification experts. After testing, the developed instruments will be ready for full scale clinical testing.

The SMART surgical system will change the way surgery can be performed in low-resource settings, making minimally invasive surgery accessible for patients all over the world.  


A master of science in Biomechanical engineering/Biomedical engineering/Mechanical engineering/Industrial designing is, however, particularly relevant.

Strong academic record with proven track record in design and development projects in medical device development is required

Special interests for and competence in tech development, developmentor other R&D work for developmental area's within a research institute or universities in the health sector can be advantageous.

We emphasize collaborative skills, initiative, ability to accomplish tasks, practical skills, and ability to create and establish new projects in collaboration with colleagues.  


TU Delft offers a customisable compensation package, a discount for health insurance and sport memberships, and a monthly work costs contribution. Flexible work schedules can be arranged. An International Children’s Centre offers childcare and an international primary school. Dual Career Services offers support to accompanying partners. Salary and benefits are in accordance with the Collective Labour Agreement for Dutch Universities.

As a PhD candidate you will be enrolled in the TU Delft Graduate School. TU Delft Graduate School provides an inspiring research environment; an excellent team of supervisors, academic staff and a mentor; and a Doctoral Education Programme aimed at developing your transferable, discipline-related and research skills. Please visit www.tudelft.nl/phd for more information.

Additional information

For more information about this position, please contact Prof. Jenny Dankelman, Section Head Medical Instruments, email: j.dankelman@tudelft.nl, phone: +31 (0)15-2785565.

For application, please send a detailed CV along with a letter of application by 16 June 2018 to application-3mE@tudelft.nl.
When applying for this position, please refer to vacancy number 3ME18-33.