Institute of Biomedical Engineering

São José dos Campos, Brazil

Institute of Biomedical Engineering

São José dos Campos, Brazil

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News Article | May 16, 2017
Site: www.eurekalert.org

The team of researchers at Kaunas University of Technology (KTU) are developing the multifunctional scales, which can monitor health and inform about potentially dangerous life conditions, such as arteriosclerosis or cardiac arrhythmia Weighing oneself has become one of the most common morning rituals. However, your weight is not the only message that can be delivered by your bathroom scales: the team of researchers at Kaunas University of Technology (KTU) Institute of Biomedical Engineering are developing the multifunctional scales, which can monitor your health and inform about potentially dangerous life conditions, such as arteriosclerosis or cardiac arrhythmia. "Hospitals are fully equipped with advanced technologies for diagnosing illnesses and critical conditions, but it is too expensive to use this equipment for everyday health monitoring. On the other hand, people do not have many devices for personal health monitoring at home, and these devices could be very practical", says Vaidotas Marozas, the Director of the KTU Institute of Biomedical Engineering. He is convinced that although elderly people today are relatively cautious of technologies and prefer to be treated by medication, the future generations will rely on personal health monitoring technologies more. Bathroom scales, a common accessory of every household, can become a useful tool for health monitoring. A team of KTU researchers have already developed a prototype of multifunctional body composition scales, and are now improving the model by adding new functions and parameters. Body composition scales supplemented by handlebar and matching technologies can measure a person's pulse through sensors on the handlebar and footpad electrodes. KTU researchers have developed a method, which can help identify the problems in the person's arterial condition by the pulse arrival time from heart to the feet. "We are measuring the speed of blood pulse wave: the faster the speed, the stiffer the arteries, which, in turn can already warn about the development of arteriosclerosis, and the latter can be the cause of increased blood pressure and other conditions", says Birut? Paliakait?, KTU biomedical engineering master's student, working with the team of researchers from the very start of the project. Paliakait? for the research on monitoring arterial condition with body composition scales was awarded by the Lithuanian Academy of Science. More than 20 Parameters to Be Measured in the Future "When a person has final stage of renal insufficiency syndrome, he or she has to undergo the dialysis several times a week. As kidneys cannot manage keeping the balance of microelements in the organism, the risk of potentially life threatening conditions, such as increased potassium concentration in blood, i.e. hyperkalemia, arises", says Paliakait?. Therefore, KTU researchers, collaborating with medical professionals, are aiming to integrate the function of recognising the development of hyperkalemia into the scales. When indicating this potentially life-threatening condition, the scales would notify the doctor, who might decide to move the planned dialysis into earlier date. "We are continuously increasing the number of parameters, that can be measured using our scales. For example, alongside arterial stiffness, the scales can also detect cardiac arrhythmia. I believe, that in the future, the multifunctional body composition scales will measure more than 20 various health parameters", says Marozas. Head of the Institute, Professor Vaidotas Marozas is convinced that such household health monitoring device would be affordable for everyone. "Our technology is less complex than that of a smart phone, which needs expensive materials and elements. We are creating data processing algorithms, and our main resource is our intellect", says Marozas. The research was partly funded by CARRE, funded by the European Commission under the grant No. FP7-ICT-611140. The EC evaluated the project as excellent (achieving its objectives and technical goals) and even exceeding expectations.


News Article | May 16, 2017
Site: phys.org

Multifunctional scales created at KTU Institute of Biomedical Engineering can inform about potentially life threatening conditions. Credit: KTU Weighing oneself has become one of the most common morning rituals. However, your weight is not the only message that can be delivered by your bathroom scales: the team of researchers at Kaunas University of Technology (KTU) Institute of Biomedical Engineering are developing the multifunctional scales, which can monitor your health and inform about potentially dangerous life conditions, such as arteriosclerosis or cardiac arrhythmia. "Hospitals are fully equipped with advanced technologies for diagnosing illnesses and critical conditions, but it is too expensive to use this equipment for everyday health monitoring. On the other hand, people do not have many devices for personal health monitoring at home, and these devices could be very practical", says Vaidotas Marozas, the Director of the KTU Institute of Biomedical Engineering. He is convinced that although elderly people today are relatively cautious of technologies and prefer to be treated by medication, the future generations will rely on personal health monitoring technologies more. Bathroom scales, a common accessory of every household, can become a useful tool for health monitoring. A team of KTU researchers have already developed a prototype of multifunctional body composition scales, and are now improving the model by adding new functions and parameters. Body composition scales supplemented by handlebar and matching technologies can measure a person's pulse through sensors on the handlebar and footpad electrodes. KTU researchers have developed a method, which can help identify the problems in the person's arterial condition by the pulse arrival time from heart to the feet. "We are measuring the speed of blood pulse wave: the faster the speed, the stiffer the arteries, which, in turn can already warn about the development of arteriosclerosis, and the latter can be the cause of increased blood pressure and other conditions", says Birut? Paliakait?, KTU biomedical engineering master's student, working with the team of researchers from the very start of the project. Paliakait? for the research on monitoring arterial condition with body composition scales was awarded by the Lithuanian Academy of Science. More than 20 Parameters to Be Measured in the Future "When a person has final stage of renal insufficiency syndrome, he or she has to undergo the dialysis several times a week. As kidneys cannot manage keeping the balance of microelements in the organism, the risk of potentially life threatening conditions, such as increased potassium concentration in blood, i.e. hyperkalemia, arises", says Paliakait?. Therefore, KTU researchers, collaborating with medical professionals, are aiming to integrate the function of recognising the development of hyperkalemia into the scales. When indicating this potentially life-threatening condition, the scales would notify the doctor, who might decide to move the planned dialysis into earlier date. "We are continuously increasing the number of parameters, that can be measured using our scales. For example, alongside arterial stiffness, the scales can also detect cardiac arrhythmia. I believe, that in the future, the multifunctional body composition scales will measure more than 20 various health parameters", says Marozas. Head of the Institute, Professor Vaidotas Marozas is convinced that such household health monitoring device would be affordable for everyone. "Our technology is less complex than that of a smart phone, which needs expensive materials and elements. We are creating data processing algorithms, and our main resource is our intellect", says Marozas. Explore further: Team suggests device for distant monitoring of blood pressure


News Article | May 17, 2017
Site: www.sciencedaily.com

Weighing oneself has become one of the most common morning rituals. However, your weight is not the only message that can be delivered by your bathroom scales: the team of researchers at Kaunas University of Technology (KTU) Institute of Biomedical Engineering are developing the multifunctional scales, which can monitor your health and inform about potentially dangerous life conditions, such as arteriosclerosis or cardiac arrhythmia. "Hospitals are fully equipped with advanced technologies for diagnosing illnesses and critical conditions, but it is too expensive to use this equipment for everyday health monitoring. On the other hand, people do not have many devices for personal health monitoring at home, and these devices could be very practical," says Vaidotas Marozas, the Director of the KTU Institute of Biomedical Engineering. He is convinced that although elderly people today are relatively cautious of technologies and prefer to be treated by medication, the future generations will rely on personal health monitoring technologies more. Bathroom scales, a common accessory of every household, can become a useful tool for health monitoring. A team of KTU researchers have already developed a prototype of multifunctional body composition scales, and are now improving the model by adding new functions and parameters. Body composition scales supplemented by handlebar and matching technologies can measure a person's pulse through sensors on the handlebar and footpad electrodes. KTU researchers have developed a method, which can help identify the problems in the person's arterial condition by the pulse arrival time from heart to the feet. "We are measuring the speed of blood pulse wave: the faster the speed, the stiffer the arteries, which, in turn can already warn about the development of arteriosclerosis, and the latter can be the cause of increased blood pressure and other conditions," says Birutė Paliakaitė, KTU biomedical engineering master's student, working with the team of researchers from the very start of the project. More than 20 Parameters to Be Measured in the Future "When a person has final stage of renal insufficiency syndrome, he or she has to undergo the dialysis several times a week. As kidneys cannot manage keeping the balance of microelements in the organism, the risk of potentially life threatening conditions, such as increased potassium concentration in blood, i.e. hyperkalemia, arises," says Paliakaitė. Therefore, KTU researchers, collaborating with medical professionals, are aiming to integrate the function of recognising the development of hyperkalemia into the scales. When indicating this potentially life-threatening condition, the scales would notify the doctor, who might decide to move the planned dialysis into earlier date. "We are continuously increasing the number of parameters, that can be measured using our scales. For example, alongside arterial stiffness, the scales can also detect cardiac arrhythmia. I believe, that in the future, the multifunctional body composition scales will measure more than 20 various health parameters," says Marozas. Head of the Institute, Professor Vaidotas Marozas is convinced that such household health monitoring device would be affordable for everyone. "Our technology is less complex than that of a smart phone, which needs expensive materials and elements. We are creating data processing algorithms, and our main resource is our intellect," says Marozas.


News Article | February 15, 2017
Site: www.newscientist.com

The future of healthcare could be in your pocket. Two new medical apps that help people monitor their health at home, reducing their need to visit a doctor, are set to be rolled out to as many as four UK National Health Service trusts over the next year. The apps, which are currently being trialled in four hospitals in Oxfordshire, UK, transmit patient data from a tablet or smartphone directly to clinicians. According to Ilan Lieberman, a member of the Royal Society of Medicine’s council on telemedicine and e-health, such apps will have a huge impact on the management of chronic diseases. One system, called GDm-health, helps manage the treatment of gestational diabetes – a condition that affects about 1 in 10 pregnant women. The smartphone app lets women send each blood glucose reading they take at home to their diabetes clinician. “Now when a diabetes midwife logs on between clinics, she will see all the patients who are most in need of attention,” says Lionel Tarassenko, of the Oxford University Institute of Biomedical Engineering, who led the development of the technology. A two-year trial at the Royal Berkshire NHS Foundation Trust found that the system meant that patients didn’t need to go in person to the clinic as often, reducing the number of patient visits by 25 per cent. “We’ve got three trusts wanting to install this for their gestation diabetes management,” Tarassenko says, but his research group is too small to support any more trials. To overcome this hurdle, Drayson Technologies, owned by entrepreneur and Labour peer Paul Drayson, is setting up a team of developers and support staff based in Oxford, UK, to commercialise it. The team will manage the rollout of this technology – as well as two other apps – at up to four as-yet-unnamed NHS trusts within a year. Beyond that, Drayson says he plans to eventually offer these products to the entire NHS. “This technology enables patients to go home and then be able to safely monitor their condition and be well connected back to the hospital,” Drayson says. Charles Lowe, managing director of the Digital Health and Care Alliance, says that these smartphone apps make it easier for patients to manage their conditions while carrying on with their daily routines. Another system being rolled out by Drayson Technologies, also developed by the Oxford University Insittute of Biomedical Engineering, is for managing chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), a condition that affects between 1 million and 1.5 million people in the UK. Patients with COPD use a finger probe to measure their heart rate and blood oxygen saturation every day and enter the results into an app. After three months of measurements, the app learns to recognise a patient’s specific range of normal oxygen saturation levels, and issues an alert to clinicians when the measurement falls below that range. “It is very important that the analysis adapts to individuals,” says Tarassenko. If the system is too sensitive, it will send too many alerts to clinicians, but if it’s not sensitive enough, it might miss problems. In a 12-month clinical trial, the app reduced hospital admissions by 17 per cent and GP visits by 40 per cent. “Patients are much more confident about managing themselves and are getting into trouble far less often,” Tarassenko says. A third product ready for rollout, called SEND, is an iPad app used by nurses to input details about patients’ vital signs as they make their rounds of the wards. It automatically calculates an early warning score based on the vital signs, giving an indication if the patient is deteriorating. Rury Holman, at the Oxford Biomedical Research Centre, thinks the NHS trials are the right way forward. Although smartphone app stores are already crammed full of medical apps designed to manage all kinds of conditions, he believes that if similar apps are going to be used in the UK healthcare system, it’s vital they are developed in close collaboration with the NHS. “It’s a bit like the Wild West out there with lots of keen and very motivated people producing these apps,” he says. “What we need are consistent standards and an interface with electronic patient records, particularly with the NHS, so that information, with permission from the patients, can be put to use centrally.” But approaches like this can raise privacy concerns. Last year, New Scientist revealed details of a data-sharing agreement between the NHS and Google’s DeepMind that gave the company access to healthcare data on 1.6 million patients including details of drug overdoses and abortions. Since late 2015, the AI company has been developing a healthcare app, Streams, that monitors the health of people with acute kidney injury. According to Tarassenko, his diabetes and lung disease apps only have access to information relating specifically to those conditions. The measurements sent to clinicians via the app are fed into existing patient records, but that process takes place outside of the app, within the NHS’s central patient record systems. Developing these apps has taken eight years, but Tarassenko says securing the appropriate ethical clearance and building up a clear evidence base for their use is a critical, journey. “It’s been very important for us to have credibility with our clinical colleagues, and we will continue to do that because it’s designed in the NHS, for the NHS.”


Chung Y.-C.,National Taiwan University | Hsieh W.-Y.,Industrial Technology Research Institute of Taiwan | Young T.-H.,National Taiwan University | Young T.-H.,Institute of Biomedical Engineering
Biomaterials | Year: 2010

Ternary nanoparticles with negatively charged surface were prepared by coating single-stranded oligonucleotides (5′-C10A20-3′) on histidine-conjugated polyallylamine (PAA-HIS)/DNA complexes for gene delivery. Characterization of PAA-HIS/DNA/oligonucleotide complexes demonstrated that nanoparticles possessed the negative surface charge -27 mV and size of around 100 nm when the molar ratio of oligonucleotide/PAA-HIS exceeded 1.5. The negatively charged oligonucleotide-coated PAA-HIS/DNA complexes could be entirely internalized by the living HeLa cells to exhibit high gene expression with low cytotoxicity and the resistance against erythrocyte agglutination and serum inhibition. Since the gene expression of PAA-HIS/DNA complexes was significantly inhibited by coating other polyanions and oligonucleotides, the ternary PAA-HIS/DNA/deoxyadenosine-rich oligonucleotide complexes were uptaken by specific receptor-mediated process. Additionally, the deposition of a layer of oligonucleotides onto the binary PAA-HIS/DNA complexes could effectively transfect various types of cells including HEK-293, HepG2 and Hs68 cells, indicating the technology of coating specific oligonucleotides on PAA-HIS/DNA complexes or other cationic binary DNA complexes might facilitate the use of nanoparticles for safe and efficient gene delivery and eventual therapy. © 2010 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.


Woods S.P.,Institute of Biomedical Engineering | Woods S.P.,Duckworth and Kent Ltd. | Constandinou T.G.,Institute of Biomedical Engineering
IEEE Transactions on Biomedical Engineering | Year: 2013

This paper describes a platform to achieve targeted drug delivery in the next-generation wireless capsule endoscopy. The platform consists of two highly novel subsystems: one is a micropositioning mechanism which can deliver 1 ml of targeted medication and the other is a holding mechanism, which gives the functionality of resisting peristalsis. The micropositioning mechanism allows a needle to be positioned within a 22.5 ° segment of a cylindrical capsule and be extendible by up to 1.5 mm outside the capsule body. The mechanism achieves both these functions using only a single micromotor and occupying a total volume of just 200 mm3. The holding mechanism can be deployed diametrically opposite the needle in 1.8 s and occupies a volume of just 270 mm 3. An in-depth analysis of the mechanics is presented and an overview of the requirements necessary to realize a total system integration is discussed. It is envisaged that the targeted drug delivery platform will empower a new breed of capsule microrobots for therapy in addition to diagnostics for pathologies such as ulcerative colitis and small intestinal Crohn's disease. © 1964-2012 IEEE.


Taherkhani S.,Institute of Biomedical Engineering | Taherkhani S.,McGill University | Mohammadi M.,Institute of Biomedical Engineering | Daoud J.,McGill University | And 2 more authors.
ACS Nano | Year: 2014

The targeted and effective delivery of therapeutic agents remains an unmet goal in the field of controlled release systems. Magnetococcus marinus MC-1 magnetotactic bacteria (MTB) are investigated as potential therapeutic carriers. By combining directional magnetotaxis-microaerophilic control of these self-propelled agents, a larger amount of therapeutics can be delivered surpassing the diffusion limits of large drug molecules toward hard-to-treat hypoxic regions in solid tumors. The potential benefits of these carriers emphasize the need to develop an adequate method to attach therapeutic cargos, such as drug-loaded nanoliposomes, without substantially affecting the cell's ability to act as delivery agents. In this study, we report on a strategy for the attachment of liposomes to MTB (MTB-LP) through carbodiimide chemistry. The attachment efficacy, motility, and magnetic response of the MTB-LP were investigated. Results confirm that a substantial number of nanoliposomes (~70) are efficiently linked with MTB without compromising functionality and motility. Cytotoxicity assays using three different cell types (J774, NIH/3T3, and Colo205) reveal that liposomal attachments to MTB formulation improve the biocompatibility of MTB, whereas attachment does not interfere with liposomal uptake. © 2014 American Chemical Society.


Hu Y.,Institute of Biomedical Engineering | Georgiou P.,Institute of Biomedical Engineering
IEEE Transactions on Biomedical Circuits and Systems | Year: 2014

This paper presents a robust, low-power and compact ion-sensitive field-effect transistor (ISFET) sensing front-end for pH reaction monitoring using unmodified CMOS. Robustness is achieved by overcoming problems of DC offset due to trapped charge and transcoductance reduction due to capacitive division, which commonly exist with implementation of ISFETs in CMOS. Through direct feedback to the floating gate and a low-leakage switching scheme, all the unwanted factors are eliminated while the output is capable of tracking a pH reaction which occurs at the sensing surface. This is confirmed through measured results of multiple devices of different sensing areas, achieving a mean amplification of 1.28 over all fabricated devices and pH sensitivity of 42.1 mV/pH. The front-end is also capable of compensating for accumulated drift using the designed switching scheme by resetting the floating gate voltage. The circuit has been implemented in a commercially-available 0.35 μ m CMOS technology achieving a combined chemical and electrical output RMS noise of 3.1 mV at a power consumption of 848.1 nW which is capable of detecting pH changes as small as 0.06 pH. © 2014 IEEE.


Martel S.,Institute of Biomedical Engineering | Martel S.,Ecole Polytechnique de Montréal
IEEE Control Systems | Year: 2013

Although navigation control has been applied in a multitude of environments, relatively little is known about the challenges and issues of navigation control in the vascular network. In an adult human, the vascular network consists of nearly 100,000 km of blood vessels, with diameters ranging from a few millimeters in the artery to just a few micrometers in the capillaries, and blood flow rates ranging from a few tens of centimeters per second to a few millimeters per second. Although vascular networks present great challenges, due to various environmental conditions, they are of special interest in medical microrobotics since they allow navigable agents to be delivered anywhere within the body. Controlled endovascular navigation would allow targeted surgical, diagnostic, and therapeutic interventions. In cancer therapy, for instance, although many of the most deadly cancers are initially located in a single region, modern therapies such as chemotherapy continue to inject excessive amounts of toxic agents thecirculate systematically throughout the vascular network. In general, only a tiny fraction of the drug reaches the treatment region [1]. Even the level of targeting achieved by agents with special coatings to enhance tumor cell specificity is far from optimal when they are injected systematically in the vascular network. Since the therapeutics do not discriminate between cancerous and healthy cells, systemic circulation of these agents must be avoided to eliminate, or at least minimize, secondary toxicity that affects healthy organs. © 2013 IEEE.


Martel S.,Institute of Biomedical Engineering
IEEE/ASME International Conference on Advanced Intelligent Mechatronics, AIM | Year: 2014

Magnetic manipulation of untethered agents is likely to play a critical role in several interventions conducted in the human body. Such interventions ranging from surgeries to drug deliveries require magnetic manipulation methods with characteristics that are best suited for the type of interventions being considered. The main characteristics include but are not limited to the magnetic field strength, the magnitude of the magnetic gradients, the rate at which such directional gradients can vary, the degree-of-freedom (DOF) being supported, appropriateness of the imaging modality for real-time positional assessments of the agents being manipulated, the total workspace, and the duty cycle or the period of time that such magnetic manipulation can be performed without interruption. Since no single existing magnetic manipulation method is optimized for all of the above characteristics, emphasizes the need to select the appropriate method that will offer the best required characteristics for a given type of interventions. Here, a study and review of such main magnetic manipulation methods and systems with the corresponding characteristics and the related preferred type of interventions are provided. © 2014 IEEE.

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