Paul Breedveld

Prof. dr. ir. Paul Breedveld studied Mechanical Engineering at TUD, where he obtained his MSc and PhD degrees in 1991 and 1996, both with honours. Extending his experience in space robotics to the medical field, he continued developing ingenious surgical devices inspired by smart solutions in nature, sponsored by a personal research grant from the Royal Netherlands Academy of Arts and Sciences (KNAW). Collaborating with a number of academic hospitals, medical companies and technical and biological research groups, the research within his group (Bio-Inspired Technology, BITE) has resulted in a number of patents which led to products commercialized by (spin-off) companies. His research was rewarded in 2012 with a prestigious Dutch VICI research grant on the development of dendritic manoeuvrable devices for endo-nasal skull base surgery, followed by an Antoni van Leeuwenhoek personal professorship at TUD, in 2013. In 2014, Prof. Breedveld was appointed Chairman of the Board of Examiners of the Faculty Mechanical, Maritime & Materials Engineering of TUD. In 2016, Breedveld was one of the founders of the  PainLess Foundation: a Dutch initiative to find innovative solutions for patients with chronic and incurable pain. He has published more than 120 scientific journal papers and his h-index is 21. Breedveld’s long-lasting research collaboration with applicant van Leeuwen has led to a number of innovative bio-inspired devices, among which ultrathin self-propelled steerable needles based on ovipositors of parasitic wasps, bio-adhesive reversible gripping technology based on tree frog adhesion, and snake-like soft-robotic instruments inspired by the anatomy of squid tentacles. He is currently expanding his biological fascination into other fields of mechanical engineering. This has led to a new collaboration with NEMAG on novel bio-inspired grab designs, with initial research done on the application of squid-inspired fluidization technology into waterjet grabs.