Aimée Sakes

Dr. ir. Aimée Sakes is an assistant professor at the Biomedical Engineering Department (BMechE – BITE group) of the faculty Mechanical, Maritime & Materials Engineering (3mE) at TUD, where she earned both her MSc and PhD titles with honours (2013, 2017). Her doctoral research focused on the development of bio-inspired instrumentation based on shooting and transport mechanisms found in nature, such as the chameleon tongue, ovipositors of parasitic wasps, and snake locomotion. Her work has resulted in a range of novel prototypes, primarily in the medical technology domain, among which a series of innovative impulse catheters, the world’s first steerable 3D-printed bipolar electrosurgical grasper, and a new type of transport mechanism inspired by the ovipositor (egg-laying needle) of parasitic wasps (patent pending). She has set up close collaborations with high-ranking academic institutes, such as WUR, Imperial College (UK), Tokyo Institute of Technology (Japan), and Seoul National University (South-Korea). She also collaborates with world-leading companies, such as Philips (Netherlands) and Asahi Intecc (Japan) to commercialize her ideas.For her work, she has received two grants: Aspasia grant for female researchers at TUD and an NWO-TTW demonstrator grant on her “hydraulic hammer catheter”. Additionally, she has been awarded the best female PhD Cum Laude of the TUD in 2018, the journal on Cardio-Vascular Engineering and Technology (CVET) Most Downloaded Article Award in 2017,and the Medical Delta Young Talent – Scientist Award in 2017 (amongst others). Driven by her fascination of aquatic, soft-bodied, and volant animals, such as octopi, squid, and Hercules beetles, she is currently exploring other application areas where bio-inspired technology can make a real difference!