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Vasiliki Giagka appointed associate editor for Bioelectronic Medicine

Bioelectronic Medicine (BM) is an open access, peer reviewed and relatively young journal published by the Feinstein Institute for Medical Research (in New York, NJ, USA) on BMC’s platform (part of Springer Nature): https://bioelecmed.biomedcentral.com. The journal brings together material science, molecular medicine, bioengineering, neuroscience, computer science and other related disciplines focused on new insights into the role of the nervous system in disease and health, and the importance of discovering new molecular mechanisms and technologies to treat disease. The journal has an expanded community and multidisciplinary audience from healthcare, technology and scientific research. Specialists writing for BM come from fields such as neuroscience, biology, bioengineering, electronics, computing, data analytics, molecular medicine, pharmaceuticals, medical devices, and personalized medicine and last named is extremely important in the upcoming domain of bioelectronic medicine, also known as electroceuticals, the electronic counterparts of pharmaceuticals.

At the core of electroceuticals is the electrical signal used by the nervous system to communicate information. Virtually every cell in the body is directly or indirectly controlled by these neural signals. Bioelectronic medicine technologies can record, stimulate and block neural signaling. Through its ability to manipulate neural signals it will change the way physicians treat diseases and conditions such as rheumatoid arthritis, Crohn's disease, diabetes, paralysis, bleeding and even cancer.

All articles published by BM are made freely and permanently accessible online immediately upon publication, without subscription charges or registration barriers. This nicely aligns with Delft University of Technology’s Open Acces policy.

For the same journal, Wouter Serdijn (also Section Bioelectronics at Delft University of Technology) has agreed to be serving as contributing editor. In this role, he will advise the editors of new trends, which may soon become prevalent in the field; keep up-to-date with the journal’s publications and provide feedback to the editors; contribute topic ideas and manuscripts to thematic series that will be implemented by the journal in the future; recommend articles from the field for publication.


Wouter Serdijn nieuw lid Wetenschappelijke Raad Medical Delta

Als lid heeft Wouter Serdijn de taak om bij te dragen aan het creëren van het wetenschappelijk programma en daarmee aan de visie van Medical Delta. Hij helpt mede vorm te geven aan onderzoeksprogramma’s en zal als ambassadeur optreden. Serdijn: “Met diverse langlopende samenwerkingen met zowel het ErasmusMC en het LUMC waren EWI en mijn sectie Bioelectronics al ‘Medical Delta’ vanaf het eerste uur. Niet zo verwonderlijk, want het behouden en terugwinnen van 100% gezondheid gerelateerde kwaliteit van leven vraagt steeds vaker micro-elektronische ondersteuning. Deze ondersteuning is belangrijk, zowel voor het begrijpen van de menselijke fysiologie en het menselijk gedrag als voor het betrouwbaar stellen van een diagnose, voor het nauwkeurig en ongestoord monitoren en voor een succesvolle persoonlijke behandeling. Ik denk dat dit goed aansluit bij de missie van Medical Delta en ik draag namens EWI graag een steentje bij.”

Medical Delta is een netwerk van life sciences, gezondheids- en technologie-organisaties. Gevestigd in de Nederlandse Rijndeltaregio bundelen zij een brede kennis en ervaring en fungeren als katalysator voor innovatie en samenwerking op het gebied van gezondheid.

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First Microelectronics Synergy Grants

According to Professor Geert Leus who heads the ME Research Committee, the Synergy Grants are also intended to kick-start the research of young faculty, as it can be quite challenging for them to obtain funding at the beginning of their research careers. The grants cover half the costs of a PhD candidate, with the rest coming from existing research funding. ‘The submitted proposals were carefully evaluated by the ME Research Committee on the basis of their scientific quality, their clarity and feasibility, the synergy between the participating sections, and the relationship to the departmental themes. The ME Management Team (MT) then decided to award Synergy Grants to the top three proposals.’

Changes

The aim of the grants is to encourage newly emerging combinations of technologies and to facilitate cross-overs between them, thus strengthening and broadening the department's research portfolio. This goal fits seamlessly within the research strategy of ME, which has defined itself around the four themes of Health & Wellbeing, XG, Safety & Security and Autonomous Systems to better address societal challenges.

Winners

Last week, the winners were received by the ME MT. They received flowers from the head of the department (Kofi Makinwa) and had the opportunity to briefly present their proposals to the assembled MT. Below are short descriptions of the successful proposals.

Akira Endo & Sten Vollebregt: ‘The aim of our project TANDEM: Terahertz Astronomy with Novel DiElectric Materials is to develop advanced dielectric materials to realize superconducting microstrip lines with very low losses in the frequency ranges of 2-10 GHz and 100-1000 GHz. The PhD candidate will combine the dielectric deposition, characterization, material expertise and facilities of the ECTM group and the Else Kooi Laboratory, and the submillimetre wave device measurement capability of the THz Sensing Group and SRON. The aim is not only to realize low loss dielectrics, but also to understand the underlying physics that governs these losses. If successful, these microstrips will be immediately applied to enhance the sensitivity of the DESHIMA spectrometer on the ASTE telescope in Chile.’

Bori Hunyadi: ‘On one hand, the vast complexity of the human brain (10^11 neurons and 10^14 connections) enables us to process large amounts of information in the fraction of a second. At the same time, imperfections of the wiring in this vast network cause devastating neurological and psychiatric conditions such as epilepsy or schizophrenia. Therefore, understanding brain function is one of the greatest and most important scientific challenges of our times. Brain function manifests as various physical phenomena (electrical or e.g. metabolic) at different spatial and temporal scales. Therefore, the PhD candidate working on this grant will develop a novel multimodal and multiresolution brain imaging paradigm combining EEG and a novel imaging technique, fUS. The specific engineering challenge is to understand and describe the fUS signal characteristics, deal with the large amount of data it records using efficient computational tools; and finally, formulate the specification of a dedicated non-invasive, multimodal, wearable EEG-fUS device.’

Virgilio Valente & Massimo Mastrangeli: ‘The seed money of the Synergy Grant will partially support a joint PhD candidate to investigate the tight integration of an heart-on-chip device with dedicated electronic instrumentation in the same platform. Our aim is to bring sensing and readout electronics as close as possible to a cardiac tissue cultivated within a dedicated micro physiological device. The grant helps promoting the logical convergence between current departmental research activities at ECTM and BE and within the Netherlands Organ-on-Chip Initiative (NOCI) on the development of instrumented organ-on-chip devices.’


Microelectronics at work for sustainable healthcare

The Medical Delta has launched twelve research programmes that work on technological solutions for sustainable care. EEMCS is represented in three programmes; Neurodelta (Wouter Serdijn), Medical Delta Cardiac Arrhythmia Lab (Wouter Serdijn and Alle-Jan van der Veen) and Ultrafast Ultrasound for the Heart and Brain (Michiel Pertijs), all part of the Microelectronics department.

In order to give the research programmes an extra impulse, a strategically important project is financed within each research programme.

In the Medical Delta 2.0 Neurodelta program Vasiliki Giagka and Wouter Serdijn (both Section  Bioelectronics) will work on miniature implants for simultaneously measuring and influencing brain activity by means of light and ultrasound.

Read more about Vasiliki Giagka's work: https://www.tudelft.nl/ewi/actueel/nodes/stories/elektrische-implantaten/

 

Within the Medical Delta 2.0 Cardiac Arrhythmia Lab, Virgilio Valente (Section Bioelectronics) and Richard Hendriks and Borbala Hunyadi (both Section CAS) will work on new bioelectronic signal acquisition and processing techniques to identify the electropathology of cardiac dysrhythmia, such as atrial fibrillation, in an organ-on-chip set-up.

Read more about the work of Virgillio Valente: https://bme.weblog.tudelft.nl/2018/12/11/biocmos/ 

 

Within the Medical Delta 2.0 programme Ultrafast Ultrasound for the Heart and Brain, Michiel Pertijs (Section Electronic Instrumentation) will work on smart ultrasound probes that can take 3D images of the heart and brain at high speed, with the aim of enabling new and better diagnostics of cardiovascular and neurological disorders.

Read more about the work of Michiel Pertijs: https://www.tudelft.nl/ewi/actueel/nodes/stories/echos-uit-een-pleister/    

 

More information about Medical Delta: www.medicaldelta.nl/news/overzicht-programmas-medical-delta-20192023


Health Prototype Grant for Virgilio Valente

The TU Delft Health Initiative objective is to promote research in the field of healthcare at Delft University of Technology and they granted 13 out of total 26 applications. ‘Organs-on-chip (OoC) systems represent the new frontier in biomedical engineering, aiming at re-producing and mimicking key aspects of living organs on microengineered biosystems, by modeling the structural and functional complexity of organs, tissue to tissue interactions and cellular metabolism. Coupled to microfluidics and multi-parameter sensing, OoCs promise a significant revolution in the development of future targeted drugs and therapies, by providing a vital alternative to conven-tional cell cultures and animal models. By leveraging the distinctive features of modern complemen-tary metal-oxide semiconductor (CMOS) technology, coupled with high-density microelectrode array (MEA) systems, we can develop complex yet com-pact microelectronic biodevices capable of interact-ing with biological networks at a single-cell scale with unprecedented resolution and sensitivity. Im-pedance-based measurements (IM) have shown significant potential in monitoring cell and tissue contractions, morphology and cell-to-cell heteroge-neity. Impedance assays are currently routinely developed to assess drug toxicity in cardiac cell cul-tures. Commercial systems, including the xCELLI-gence RCTA by ACEA Biosystems, are based on the use of two electrodes for IM, which greatly limits the measurement resolution. To date, there is no com-mercial or research system capable of measuring impedance profiles from cardiac cell culture with high resolution.’

Read more about the work of Virgillio Valente: https://bme.weblog.tudelft.nl/2018/12/11/biocmos/