Project presentations on the website

Every project supported by Gebert Rüf Stiftung is made accessible with a web presentation that informs about the core data of the project. With this public presentation, the foundation publishes the funding results achieved and contributes to the communication of science to society.




Für den Inhalt der Angaben zeichnet die Projektleitung verantwortlich.


Dieses von der Gebert Rüf Stiftung geförderte Projekt wird von folgenden weiteren Projektpartnern mitgetragen: heig-vd, Institute of Information and Communication Technologies; Oslo University Hospital, Norway; Medtronic Bakkens research center, Netherlands; Imasonic, Besançon, France

Project data

  • Project no: GRS-055/12 
  • Amount of funding: CHF 95'000 
  • Approved: 24.01.2013 
  • Duration: 08.2013 - 06.2016 
  • Area of activity:  Pilotprojekte, 1998 - 2018

Project management

Project description

The present state of the art of implanted devices is based on primary batteries, i.e. which cannot be recharged when depleted, i.e. the patient must be operated to change the device. Slowly, new implanted devices are appearing which can be recharged with radio-frequency waves, with antennas or coils which needed to be placed close to the skin because the radio waves are strongly absorbed by the body tissues.

The present project uses ultrasound, which propagates deeply into the body, to communicate with the implant and to recharge its battery. This opens the way to a new breed of implanted monitoring devices which can be “implanted and forgotten” and brought to life when needed, by recharging them through an external device applied to the skin. Another goal of this project is to provide a demonstrator for these innovative uses of ultrasound. The Oslo University Hopital is also interested to use them for in-vivo testing.

What is special about the project?

The innovation is in the use of ultrasound for in-body communication and energy transfer, as opposed to diagnostic and treatment. The particularity of this project is to use asymmetric communication, where all the burden of the power and complexity is on the external device applied to the skin, leaving a very simple and very low power implanted device.

Beyond the medical field, as ultrasounds propagate well through homogeneous solids and liquids, this technology can be applied in the fields of oil industry (communication through pipes) or chemical, food and biotech industry (monitoring of reactors and processing tanks).


The electronics has been redesigned into a new demonstrator, packaged in a titanium casing. This demonstrator now uses commercially available components, offering an evolution path to an implantable solution.

Piezoelectric transducers are highly non-standard products, which are only custom-designed and built by their manufacturer. Unfortunately, we had shortcomings with the partner that was intended to supply the piezo transducers, who chose not to deliver new devices, for reasons of their own. Thus we could not test thoroughly the demonstrator in the testing tank, as was intended first. Of course, that made it also impossible to perform the animal tests.

The Wyss Center for Bio and Neuro Engineering in Geneva (http://www.wysscenter.ch) has expressed interest in the technology, and the project is foreseen to continue, offering further possibilities of development of this very interesting technology.


Publication foreseen in Jan 2014 in HES-SO/HEIG-VD newsletter.


Persons involved in the project

Dominique Bovey, University of Applied Sciences of Western Switzerland, project manager dominique.notexisting@nodomain.combovey@heig-vd.notexisting@nodomain.comch
Pascal Coeudevez, University of Applied Sciences of Western Switzerland pascal.notexisting@nodomain.comcoeudevez@heig-vd.notexisting@nodomain.comch
Dr Ing Ilankgo Balasinghan, researcher, Oslo University Hospital ilangko.notexisting@nodomain.combalasinghan@medisin.notexisting@nodomain.comuio.notexisting@nodomain.comno
Dr Jacob Bergsland, cardiologist, Oslo University Hospital jbergsland@ous-hf.notexisting@nodomain.comno

Last update to this project presentation  17.10.2018