Interview with David Fernandez Rivas, Cuban ERC Grantee

David Fernandez Rivas has been awarded this year an ERC Starting grant of € 1.5 million to develop his project focused on the development of needle-free injections, or ‘bubble gun’, as the technology is based on ‘pushing’ liquid into the skin using laser-made bubbles.


In this video, David Fernandez Rivas gives tips on a successful ERC proposal and tells us about his experience as a LAC researcher in Europe:




In his project Bubble Gun, Fernandez Rivas is working on predictable, reproducible, and efficient injection of liquids that will enable a wide range of technologies, such as additive manufacturing, coating modifications, the delivery of drugs and vaccinations.


David Fernandez Rivas biography:

David is originally from Cuba. He studied nuclear and energy engineering at the Instituto Superior de Ciencias y Tecnologías in Havana, Cuba, and worked as a researcher until 2010. Between 2007 and 2010 he alternated his teaching duties in Cuba with his PhD studies at the University of Twente in the Netherlands. David Fernandez Rivas is currently an assistant professor at the Mesoscale Chemical Systems (MCS) group at the University of Twente. He received his PhD at the University of Twente in 2012, and is also a visiting scientist at the MIT’s Department of Mechanical Engineering. David co-founded BuBCLEAN in 2013, a spin-off from the University of Twente, commercialising the BuBble bags. In 2017, David won the StartUpLaunch competition and his working in his start-up company InkBeams on further commercialisation of needle-free injection technology.


This ERC project is hiring for a Phd and a Post-Doc position!


2 OPEN POSITIONS as part of the ERC Starting grant project BuBble Gun within the MESOSCALE CHEMICAL SYSTEMS GROUP :

1) One post-doc position (2 years).

More details attached.

Deadline: When vacancy is filled

Read more about the ‘Bubble Gun’-project here: http://davidfr.ddns.net/wordpress/index.php/initiatives-projects/bubble-...

2) PhD2 - Jetting: rheologic investigations to achieve reproducible jetting with minimal jet break-up.

This project will be focused on characterization of liquid jets (diameter, length, volume, velocity, satellite droplets size distribution, etc.). The rheology of the jets made with a microfluidic device where cavitation takes place will be tuned to obtain predictable jets with velocities ∼100 m/s and diameters ≤50 μm. This will be achieved with additives and geometrical control of contact line and meniscus to focus energy. These jets should be able to penetrate the human skin.

As part of the ERC Starting grant project BuBble Gun, the PI is looking to fill 1 PhD position (4 years).


The needle-free delivery of liquid jets into soft and heterogeneous substrates, e.g. human tissue, has been hindered by the need to reach specific penetration depths with energy efficient means, by the break-up of jets that impedes control over the dose delivery, and by liquid splash-back after impacting the substrate that causes cross-contamination between injections. BuBble Gun aims at overcoming these challenges.


BuBble gun will advance scientific knowledge at the intersection of microfluidics, physics, and bioengineering, to enable unprecedented physical understanding and control over cavitation, jetting, and injection phenomena. We will develop a portable energy-efficient injection platform by using ultra-high-speed imaging, and quantifying injections with experimental resolutions below the microsecond and micrometer scales. The rheological properties of the jets will be tuned with biocompatible additives to ensure cohesion, before injecting them into in-vitro targets and ex-vivo skin. Numerical models will assist in untangling the influence of microfluidic configuration and material properties on the injection outcome.


Applications should include the following documents:


  • A motivation letter describing why you apply for this position, with a description of your research interests (no more than 1 A4).
  • A detailed CV.
  • Academic transcripts from your Bachelor’s and Master’s degrees.
  • Email addresses of at least two references who are willing to send a letter of recommendation on your behalf.





About the ERC

The ERC (https://erc.europa.eu/) is led by an independent governing body, the Scientific Council. The ERC has a budget of over €13 billion and is part of the EU research and innovation programme, Horizon 2020.

Watch the ERC video here.

ERC Starting Grant

European Research Council (ERC) Starting Grants are designed to support excellent Principal Investigators at the career stage at which they are starting their own independent research team or programme in all scientific fields.

The call is annual and open to researchers of any nationality with 2-7 years of experience since completion of PhD.

Check the other opportunities open to Latin American and Caribbean researchers in the guides on ERC we prepared for you (links below).

Contact ERC National contact points (NCPs):

In LAC countries and in Europe: http://bit.ly/Horizon_NCP


Additional resources:


Focus on ERC for LAC researchers

Interview with Juan Manuel Toro, Colombian ERC Starting Grant awardee

Interview with Germán Sumbre, Argentinian ERC Starting and Consolidator grants awardee

Brazilian, other LAC ERC grantees and team members


© Photo: Gijs van Ouwekerk





erc_vacancies_bubble_gun_postdoc.docx (20.29 KB)