Research Centre for Biomedical Engineering
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Biomedical Engineering

Seminars and Events

Featured Seminar

“Applied Biomedical Signal Processing and Intelligent eHealth (ABSPIeH)”

Date: 7th of August 2018, 11:00

Room: C304, Tait Building

Speaker: Dr Leandro Pecchia - Associate Professor, School of Engineering, University of Warwick

Dr Leandro Pecchia graduated in Biomedical Engineering in 2005 and received the PhD in Health Economy and Management of Healthcare Services in 2009 from the University “Federico II” of Naples. Since 2013, he is Assistant Professor of Biomedical Engineering at The University of Warwick, UK, where he directs the Applied Biomedical Signal Processing and Intelligent eHealth Lab (ABSPIE). He has authored or co-authored about 100 peer-reviewed papers on journals, books and conferences in the fields of Health Technology Assessment (HTA), machine learning and biomedical signal processing applied to healthy ageing, chronic diseases, falls prediction in the elderly. Dr Pecchia is the Chair of the IFMBE Healthcare Technology Assessment Division, Chair of the Public Affair Working Group of the European Alliance of Medical and Biological Engineering and Science and member of the IUPESM Committee on Education and Training.


Health problems, particularly in later life, depend on complex and dynamic interactions among a multitude intrinsic and extrinsic factors. Advancements in sensing technologies and artificial intelligence are opening new and unexplored scenarios for integrated physiological and behavioral monitoring, which may help disclosing and modelling those interactions. This talk, will present research activities of the ABSPIeH lab (School of Engineering, University of Warwick) in which wearable sensors, artificial intelligence and biomedical signal processing have been integrated to model different health conditions investigating associations among sleep and human-balance, ECG and hypoglycemic events, HRV and mental stress, HRV and accidental falls in later life.

Past Seminars

“Respiratory Muscle Research at King’s – It’s not all about the lungs”

Date: 4th July 2018, 11:00

Room: C320, Tait Building

Speaker: Dr Gerrard Rafferty - Reader in Human & Translational Physiology, King’s College London

Dr Gerrard Rafferty, Reader in Human & Translational Physiology at King’s College London (KCL) in the Centre for Human and Applied Physiological Sciences in the School of Basic & Medical Biosciences in the Faculty of Life Sciences and Medicine. He is a well-established researcher in the area of respiratory and peripheral muscle physiology across the life course in health and disease and has published widely in this area. Working at the interface between basic and clinical physiology, his research has been translational, involving the development and further refinement of measurement techniques to allow understanding of basic physiological processes and the effect of disease pathology and treatment interventions.

Microvascular Imaging

"Vascular Optics: Opportunities in Microvascular Imaging and Photoplethysmography"

Date: 4th of September, 2017

Room: C313, Tait Building

Speaker: Dr John Allen - Northern Medical Physics and Clinical Engineering. Freeman Hospital Newcastle upon Tyne, UK

Dr John Allen is Lead Clinical Scientist / Senior Research Scientist for Microvascular Diagnostics in Northern Medical Physics and Clinical Engineering, at Newcastle's Freeman Hospital. He is also an Honorary Clinical Senior Lecturer in the Institute of Cellular Medicine at Newcastle University. Dr Allen has over 25 years' experience in vascular optics and associated clinical measurement, research and device development - publishing and presenting widely in each of these areas. John is an Accredited Senior Imaging Scientist and Fellow of the Royal Photographic Society.


Microvascular Imaging
The Newcastle Microvascular Diagnostics Service (MDS) provides a comprehensive array of optical and thermal technologies for assessing micro-circulatory blood flow and function. The clinical test portfolio covers four main areas: connective tissue disease and Raynaud's phenomenon, specialist limb studies (i.e. amputation level, muscle compartment perfusion and venous physiology), neurovascular assessment, and burn wound depth assessment. A brief overview of the history and development of the MDS, tests performed, R&D undertaken, clinical management, and future service directions will be summarized.

Photoplethysmography (PPG)
PPG is a low-cost optical technique that can detect blood volume changes in the microvascular bed. The PPG comprises a pulsatile ('AC') physiological waveform attributed to cardiac synchronous changes in the blood volume with each heart-beat, and is superimposed on a slowly varying ('DC') baseline with various lower frequency components attributed to respiration, sympathetic nervous system activity and thermoregulation. PPG technology can provide valuable information about the cardiovascular system, and is used in a wide range of commercially available medical devices for measuring oxygen saturation, blood pressure and cardiac output, assessing autonomic function and detecting peripheral vascular diseases. This talk highlights the recent resurgence of interest in the technique, driven by the demand for low-cost portable / wearable devices for the primary care and community based clinical settings, low-cost / miniature semiconductor components, and the advancement of signal processing / pulse wave analysis techniques.

“Innovative Medical Technology”

Date:June 12 2017 - 15:00

Room: Room C318 Tait Building

Speaker: Professor Dingchang Zheng – Faculty of Medical Sciences- Anglia Ruskin University, Chelmsford, UK

Prof Dingchang Zheng, Prof of Medical Technology Innovation, received his    B.Eng. degree in Biomedical Engineering from Zhejiang University, China, in    2002, and the Ph.D. degree in Medical Physics from Newcastle University, UK, in    2006. He is the program leader of the BSc and MSc in Medical Technology at    Anglia Ruskin University, and was a research group leader at Newcastle    University.    Prof Zheng is a research expert in cardiovascular engineering, working across    multidisciplinary areas with electronic engineers, medical physicists, computer    scientists, clinical consultants, industrial partners, guideline makers, and allied    professionals at different stages along the pathway of cardiovascular device    development and commercialization. He has earned his reputation in research    and development of novel cardiovascular technologies and devices with    scientific and socioeconomic impacts to address unmet clinical needs,    particularly in novel blood pressure and arterial stiffness measurement    techniques, and recent developments on monitoring devices and systems using    cardiovascular parameters for early detection of pre-term labor, pregnancy    induced hypertension, pneumonia, and sleep apnoea.


Innovative Medical Technology for Accurate and Reliable BP measurement Blood pressures (BP) are commonly measured non-invasively by manual auscultatory and automatic oscillometric method. However, it is still one of the most poorly performed diagnostic measurements in clinical practice. The importance of accurate BP measurement is without doubt in clinical practice, and small inaccuracies in BP measurement can have considerable consequences. This talk will focus on the effect of physiological factors and measurement conditions on BP determination. In addition, innovative techniques being developed at Newcastle and Anglia Ruskin Universities to achieve reliable and accurate measurements will be introduced.
Innovative Medical Technology to Assess the Health of the Peripheral Artery Arteries are naturally compliant, but become stiff and less able to respond to different clinical and physiological changes. Poor compliance is an independent predictor of cardiovascular morbidity. A method for assessing the normal flexibility of arteries would therefore be of great value. Current non-invasive techniques, including ultrasound measurement, analysis of arterial pulse characteristics and measurement of pulse wave velocity, measure the compliance indirectly. However, as suggested by the UK national and international guideline bodies, there is currently no acceptable, reliable compliance technique for routine clinical use. This indicates an urgent need to develop alternatives. This talk will introduce a novel and award-winning technique developed at Prof Zheng’s group to measure accurately arterial elasticity (distensibility) with applied external cuff pressures around the arm. Next, its clinical effectiveness from various clinical validation studies will also be discussed.

“Implantable Cardioverter Defibrillators Today”

Date:  Monday 5th December - 14.00

Room: Room C305 Tait Building

Speaker: Dr Stephen O’Connor Ph.D., Hon. FRCP –Global Bio Enterprises Limited, Milton Keynes, UK.

Stephen O’Connor graduated in Physics at King’s College London and continued with post-graduate studies, obtaining M.Sc. and Ph.D. qualifications, at St. Bartholomew’s Hospital, University of London. He is a Chartered Engineer and Chartered Physicist, as well as being a Fellow of the Institute of Physics and the Institute of Physics and Engineering in Medicine. He became an Honorary Fellow of the Royal College of Physicians, London in 2005, the highest honour that they can bestow on a non-medically qualified person. He has worked within biomedical engineering for 38 years and with implantable medical devices for 26 years. Areas of endeavour include instrumentation, physiological measurement and implantable devices. More specific areas of interest include pulmonary function and drug delivery systems, cardiovascular prostheses as well as implantable devices for use in cardiology and Neurology. He consults with a number of start-up companies in his areas of interest. He is a Visiting Professor at City, University of London.


Implantable Cardioverter Defibrillators (ICDs) have revolutionised out-of-hospital treatment and patient outcomes for life-threatening heart conditions. The seminar will commence with early life saving stimulation of the heart and steps that led the way to transvenous ICDs. A full description of the latest implantable defibrillator, subcutaneous implantable cardioverter defibrillator, S-ICD, will be presented including a new, improved implant technique.

“The bio-inspired artificial pancreas for treatment of diabetes”

Date: 8 June 2016 at 4:00 PM - 5:00 PM

Room: Northampton Suite A

Speaker: Dr Pantelis Georgiou – Imperial College London

Pantelis Georgiou currently holds the position of Senior Lecturer at Imperial College London within the Department of Electrical and Electronic Engineering. He is the head of the Bio-inspired Metabolic Technology Laboratory in the Centre for Bio-Inspired Technology; a multi-disciplinary group that invents, develops and demonstrates advanced micro-devices to meet global challenges in biomedical science and healthcare. His research includes ultra-low power micro-electronics, bio-inspired circuits and systems, lab-on-chip technology and application of micro-electronic technology to create novel medical devices. One of his key research focuses is on new technologies for treatment of Diabetes such as the artificial pancreas but also develops novel lab-on-chip technology with application in genomics and diagnostics in antimicrobial resistance (AMR), in addition to wearable technologies for rehabilitation of chronic conditions. Dr. Georgiou graduated with a 1st Class Honours MEng Degree in Electrical and Electronic Engineering in 2004 and Ph.D. degree in 2008 both from Imperial College London. He then joined the Institute of Biomedical Engineering as Research Associate until 2010, when he was appointed Head of the Bio-inspired Metabolic Technology Laboratory. In 2011, he joined the Department of Electrical and Electronic Engineering, where he currently holds an academic faculty position. He conducted pioneering work on the silicon beta cell and is now leading the project forward to the development of the first bio-inspired artificial pancreas for treatment of Type I diabetes. In addition to this, he made significant contributions to the development of integrated chemical-sensing systems in CMOS. He has pioneered the development of the Ion-sensitive Field effect Transistor, an integrated pH sensor which is currently being used in next generation DNA sequencing machines, demonstrating for the first time it’s use in low-power weak-inversion, and it’s capability in a multimodal sensing array for Lab-on-chip applications. Dr Georgiou is a senior member of the IEEE and IET and serves on the BioCAS and Sensory Systems technical committees of the IEEE CAS Society. He is also the CAS representative on the IEEE sensors council. In 2013 he was awarded the IET Mike Sergeant Achievement Medal for his outstanding contributions to engineering and development of the artificial pancreas.


Our body is capable of controlling the glucose released from the food we eat, though secretion of insulin, a hormone secreted from an organ called the pancreas. Type 1 diabetes is an auto-immune disease that affects the pancreas in our body by destroying the beta-cells, the cells which produce this hormone. This results in an extremely high concentration of a glucose, which when not regulated can lead to severe secondary complications such as blindness, heart disease and nerve damage and affect the quality of life of people suffering from diabetes. Type 1 diabetes currently affects 10% of the 285 million people suffering from diabetes and its incidence is increasing rapidly. In order for intensive management of diabetes there is a need for an artificial equivalent which is capable of sensing the glucose from the blood when we eat and releasing insulin in a continuous closed-loop fashion. In this talk I will present my development of the bio-inspired artificial pancreas, a closed-loop system that replicates the functionality of the biological pancreas to deliver real-time glucose control. At the heart of the device lies the silicon beta-cell, a microchip which replicates the behaviours of the beta-cells of the pancreas and when connected to a glucose sensor can calculate the amount of insulin you need to stay healthy and reduce all the aforementioned secondary complications. This device is currently being worn by people with diabetes and I will show results of our ongoing clinical validation in UK hospitals.

“Low Cost, Point of Decision Molecular Sensing”

Date: May 11, 2016 at 12:30 PM - 1:30 PM

Room: Northampton Suite A

Speaker: Dr Tony Cass – Imperial College London

After graduating with degrees in Chemistry from the Universities of York and Oxford Tony moved to Imperial College London where he is Professor of Chemical Biology in the Department of Chemistry and the Institute of Biomedical Engineering at Imperial College London. He is a Fellow of both the Royal Society of Chemistry and the Royal Society of Biology as well as a member of the Institute of Engineering and Technology and the American Chemical Society. Tony’s research has been recognised by a Royal Society Mullard Medal and a Royal Society of Chemistry Chemical Landmark Award, he is also co-founder of Bionano Consulting.


Making analytical measurements close to the point of decision has long been recognised as an important route to effective management, whether of human or animal health, process manufacture or environmental quality.
Making the sensors low cost and easy to use then enables them to be widely adopted and opens the opportunity to ‘crowd source’ analytical data in a way that is not feasible with laboratory based instruments. Prof. Cass will discuss three of his group’s current projects in continuous glucose sensing, in influenza detection and measurement of arsenic in drinking water that illustrate some of these ideas.

“Neural Interfaces & Microsystems: from State-of-the-Art to the Next Generation”

Date: 6 April 2016 4:00pm - 5:00pm

Room: C320

Speaker: Dr Timothy Constandinou – Imperial College London

Dr Timothy Constandinou is a Senior Lecturer and EPSRC Research Fellow at Imperial College London and also Deputy Director of the Centre for Bio-inspired Technology. Dr Constandinou received BEng and PhD degrees in Electronic Engineering from Imperial College London in 2001 and 2005, respectively. He leads the Next Generation Neural Interfaces research group at Imperial; a multidisciplinary team of approx. 15 full time researchers. The group utilizes integrated circuit and microsystem technologies to create advanced neural interfaces that enable new scientific and prosthetic applications. The ultimate goal is to develop devices that interface with neural pathways for restoring lost function in sensory, cognitive and motor impaired patients. He is currently associate editor of IEEE Trans. Biomedical Circuits & Systems (TBioCAS), is chair-elect of the IEEE Sensory Systems Technical Committee, and member of IEEE BioCAS Technical Committee. He is currently chair of the IET Awards & Prizes committee and also serves on the IET Knowledge Services Board.


We are now entering a tremendously exciting phase in our quest to understand the human brain. With large-scale programmes like the US BRAIN Initiative and the EU Human Brain Project, there is currently a huge appetite for new neurotechnologies and applications. We have already witnessed the impact made by devices such as cochlear implants and deep brain stimulators, with hundreds of thousands of individuals that have and are benefitting every day. Soon, similar assistive technology will emerge for the blind, those suffering from epilepsy, and many others. With the current capability in microtechnology, never before have there been so many opportunities to develop devices that effectively interface with the nervous system. Such devices are often referred to as neural interfaces or brain-machine interfaces and range from wearable surface-electrode systems to fully implantable devices. Neural prostheses use such interfaces to bypass dysfunctional pathways in the nervous system, by applying electronics to replace lost function. Research at the Next Generation Neural Interfaces Lab is aimed, ultimately at developing such devices to provide neural rehabilitation by exploiting the integration capability and scalability of modern semiconductor technology. This talk will review the "state-of-the-art" in the field through examples of our ongoing research, and will identify the key technological challenges. This will set a vision for the future towards next generation systems. The talk will specifically feature the following projects: CANDO – developing a new type of closed-loop optoelectronic pacemaker for focal epilepsy; SenseBack  – providing sensory feedback via a peripheral nerve Interface for hand prosthetics; iPROBE – developing highly scalable (1k+) channel neural recording with real-time spike processing; ENGINI – creating mm-sized, autonomous and distributed neural implants.

“Research in Biofluid Mechanics: some examples”

Date: 17 February 2016 13:00pm - 14:00pm

Room: AG04

Speaker: Professor Christoph Bruecker City, University of London

Professor Christoph Bruecker recently joined the Department of Mechanical Engineering and Aeronautics, City, University of London as BAE SYSTEMS Sir Richard Olver Chair in Aeronautical Engineering  in  August 2015. He received his  PhD degree in Fluid Mechanics from the Technical University of Aachen (RWTH), Germany. He has spent two years as a PostDoc at the von Karman Institute, Rhode-St-Genese, Belgium, studying biofluid mechanics. After habilitation he went as full Professor to the Technical University Freiberg, Germany, where he became the Director of the Institute of Mechanics and Fluid Dynamics. He left after ten years to join City, University of London and was then awarded as Honorary Professor at Freiberg. His research interests are flow control in external and internal flows, biological flows, unsteady vortex dynamics and development of sensors and laser measurement techniques.  He has supervised numerous national and international research projects.


The talk gives an overview of the research activities in the field of biofluid mechanics, which has been carried out over the last years and will continue at City within the framework of a new Bio Fluid Mechanical Lab. Flow studies in the circulatory system as well as in the human airways are reported with respect to their fundamental fluid mechanical behaviour and possible contributions to the medical devices industry.  In addition, bio-inspired design and sensory developments are discussed, as these concepts are more and more contributing to the field of applied aerodynamics.

RCBE Journal Club

In order to keep the ideas flowing and the conversation ongoing, the members of the centre get together every two weeks to discuss a peer-reviewed paper from any discipline, mostly related to the work done within the centre.