Post-Doctoral Position: Development of a robotic system for training 3D skeletal muscle tissues engineered in vitro (2024)

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Published Deadline Location
27 Jun 24 Dec Enschede

Job description

Job Description

The Neuro-Mechanical Modeling and Engineering Lab ( is seeking for an outstanding post-doctoral fellow to work within our new Project ROBOREACTOR funded by the prestigious European Research Council (Consolidator Grant). You will join an international team working on a novel and ambitious project at the frontiers of robotics, muscle physiology and regenerative medicine (

The opening
You will develop a robotic system to pace (i.e., both mechanically and electrically) skeletal muscle tissues engineered in vitro from human-induced pluripotent stem cells. The envisioned robotic system will enable skeletal tissues to be simultaneously stretched (i.e., via movable pillars), while receiving electrical stimulation (i.e., via carbon electrodes). The robot will deliver closed-loop controlled mechanical strain to the tissue under various levels of activation over a period of 4 weeks to study tissue structural remodeling.

Your tasks will be:

  • Design and develop the robot for tissue pacing including:
  • Selection of biocompatible materials for the robot structure.
  • Selection of sensors for closed-loop control, to be compatible with a cell culture incubator, visible light and fluorescence microscopy as well as stimulation electrodes.
  • Development of low-level controllers of tissue strain and electrical activation.
  • Conduct in vitro experiments, perform tissue handling and analyses (e.g., (immuno)histology, imaging, or qPCR analyses) to assess the efficacy of the robot in promoting muscle tissue growth over a 4-week period. This task will be conducted together with a PhD candidate team member.

Your work will be facilitated by in-house expertise and mentorship. You will collaborate with top-scientists on aspects including muscle-on-a-chip and statistical modelling, giving large opportunity to perform impactful research!


University of Twente (UT)


  • Designing, fabricating and controlling robots for pacing small skeletal muscles (e.g., 3-5 mm long) engineered from cell cultures in vitro.
  • Experience with precision actuators control.
  • A PhD in Mechanical Engineering, Robotics, BioHybrid Robotics, Biomedical Engineering, Bioengineering, or a related field.
  • Can work in a cell culture lab for engineering muscle tissues via cell culturing, particularly for skeletal muscle research.
  • Can perform basic analyses of tissue structure and force-generating capacity.
  • Interpersonal and organizational skills, with high motivation and both oral, as well as written communication abilities
  • Coordinating undergraduate and graduate students.
  • Proficient in written and oral English.

Conditions of employment

  • A full-time 3-year position.
  • Gross salary between € 3.877,- and €5.090,- per month depending on experience and qualifications;
  • An annual holiday allowance of 8% of the gross annual salary, and an annual year-end bonus of 8.3%
  • A minimum of 29 holidays.
  • Professional and personal development programs.
  • Access to Neuromechanics and Tissue Engineering outstanding facilities.
  • Proximity to Enschede, a mid-size city with a large social offer, immersed in the nature of the Twente region.
  • Fun work atmosphere with social lab retreats.
  • A solid pension scheme.


ERC Consolidator Grant ROBOREACTOR: Is it possible to regenerate new, healthy biological tissues in the human body after neuro-muscular injuries such as a stroke? Can we develop intelligent robots that autonomously discovers the electro-mechanical stimuli needed for skeletal muscles (and its innervating spinal motor neurons) to regenerate over time, potentially outperforming conventional rehabilitation? These are some of the questions my team and I will address in the coming 5 years. We will do that by proposing radically new sensor-driven, AI-powered computational models to predict structural remodelling in the skeletal muscle across large time scales i.e., weeks to months. We'll use these predictive models to command rehabilitation robots closed-loop control key muscle adaptation and remodelling both in vitro and in vivo.

Project Web Page

European Research Council (ERC)'s mission is to encourage the highest quality research in Europe through competitive funding and to support the best of the best in Europe's frontiers research

Additional information

Apply by August 26th, 2024. Applications must include the following documents:

  • A video (2-minute max) describing your scientific interests and why you want to apply for this position.
  • A cover letter (1-page max) specifying how your experience and skills match the position as well as summarizing work in your masters.
  • A CV including English proficiency level, nationality, visa requirements, date of birth, experience overview, and publication list.
  • Contact information for at least two academic references. A support letter will be requested only if your application is considered.

The first interview will take place in the week of September the 9th. Start of the contract is expected as soon as possible and no later than December 2024.

For questions, please contact Prof. Massimo Sartori, mail: Please, only apply via the web platform and not via email.

High Tech and Human Touch Join the university of technology that puts people first. Create new possibilities for yourself, your colleagues and society as a whole. Using modern technology and science to drive innovation, change and progress. That’s what it means to work at the University of Twente. Looking for a job that matters?
Post-Doctoral Position: Development of a robotic system for training 3D skeletal muscle tissues engineered in vitro (2024)


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