Invited Sessions

Microfluidic Systems for Cell Manipulation and Analysis

Organizers: Weiqiang Chen* and Raymond H. W. Lam (USA)

Microfluidic technology is creating powerful tools for study and control of cell behaviors from single- to multi-cellular organism level with precise and localized application of experimental conditions unreachable using common macroscopic tools. Microfluidic systems have shown unique advantages in performing analytical functions such as controlled transportation, immobilization, and manipulation of biological molecules and cells, as well as separation, mixing, and dilution of chemical reagents, which enables the analysis of intracellular parameters and detection of cell metabolites, even on a single-cell level. Thus far, microfluidic applications have been involved in many experimental parts of cell manipulation and analysis, such as cell trapping/sorting, cell culture/co-culture, cytotoxicity, biomolecular biosensing, PCR, DNA sequencing, and gene analyses. Furthermore, micro total analysis system, likewise named “lab on a chip”, integrates sequentially analytical processes such as pre-treatment, separation, and detection of samples in a single microfluidic device. This invited session will invite international scientists to provide a discussion on the recent advances in microfluidics-based techniques for cell manipulation and analyses, precise control of cell microenvironments, and disease diagnosis and treatment. Special attention is devoted to a number of microfluidic devices for cell-based assays, including single-cell sorting and manipulation, biochemical sensing chip, whole cell sensing chip, and in vitro cell and tissue microenvironments.

New Trends in Perinatal and Pediatric Imaging

Organizers: Enrico Grisan, Marius George Linguraru*, and Natasha Lepore (USA)

The link between prenatal, perinatal (the time immediately before and after birth) and children healthcare, and the role of early life developmental alterations in later life health is a lively topic in the research community. Thus, having the possibility of monitoring developmental health through imaging and quantitative imaging biomarkers will allow a better understanding of this crucial period of life and of its long-term consequences. Moreover, at variance with the vast number of  tools developed by the research community for studying adult and elderly patients, a limited number of these is addressing the specificities and difficulties of younger patients. This invited session aims at bringing together researchers working on perinatal and paediatric imaging, on image biomarkers discovery and quantitative image analysis of this crucial period of life.

Voice Frequency Analysis: Expectation for the Convenient but Powerful Diagnostic Tool for Neuropsychiatric Disorders

Organizers: Yuji Morimoto*, Shinichi Tokuno, Shunji Mitsuyoshi, Shuji Shinohara, Mitsuteru Nakamura, Masakazu Higuchi, Yasuhiro Omiya, and Naoki Hagiwara (Japan)

The relationship between disease and voice has been studied in the field of acoustic phonetics since long ago. They have been studied mainly in the frequency band (F1, F2 …) which are obtained by Cepstrum analysis of voice. They are influenced by the shape of the vocal tract called the formant (the cavity from the vocal cord to the mouth). On the other hand, studies using the fundamental frequency (F0) which is obtained as a lowest frequency by FFT also have been reported. F0 is affected vocal cord vibration, and currently there are various methods of F0 analysis. F0 contains a lot of involuntary components compared to the formant. Therefore, analysis of F0 is potentially available to diagnose various diseases. Now, the range of adaptation of voice analysis has expanded from the otolaryngology area to psychiatric areas such as depression and neurological diseases such as Parkinson’s disease. In addition, research such as differential diagnosis by voice and measurement of therapeutic effect has started. Such developments are largely due to the development of computers, especially the spread of smartphones. In other words, voice collection and analysis became possible in everyday life. Pathophysiological analysis by voice is noninvasive and remote, without requiring special equipment. This means that this technology can be a bridge between health care and medical treatment. In addition, it is possible to give objective indicators to medical areas that had only subjective indicators. However, there are many remaining issues such as language dependency and verification of biases by sex, age and so on. At this symposium, we will focus on voice as a biomarker which has not been used so far, and widely discuss the method of the pathophysiological analysis by voices and the system construction using them.

Modeling of Modern Devices and Technologies with Computational Human Phantoms

Organizers: Sergey Makarov*, Marc Horner, and Gregory Noetscher (USA)

During this 2nd annual invited session “Modeling of Modern Devices and Technologies with Computational Human Phantoms at EMBS”, we plan on exchanging ideas related to the construction and usage of efficient human models for various therapeutic and diagnostic simulations and modeling purposes. Both voxel and CAD models will be considered. We intend to pay special attention to accuracy of various simulation results and methods, and how this accuracy can be controlled. Another important issue is the simulation speed. We are also considering organizing an informal broader follow-up discussion on the evening of the same day. The session schedule will include talks from leading researchers and medical doctors.

Body Sensor Networks – Molcules, Radio, and Machine Learning

Organizers: Ilangko Balasingham*, Daisuke Anzai, and Masaru Sugimachi (Norway)

Data from the World Health Organization (WHO) show that the global population suffering from chronic diseases is increasing at an alarming rate. It is forecasted that by 2020 nearly three-quarters of deaths in the world will be caused by chronic conditions like diabetes, neurodegenerative diseases, and ischemic heart disease (IHD). For the prevention and better management of chronic diseases the involvement of the patients themselves is crucial. This can be achieved with the real-time monitoring of various physiological signals. The use of telecommunications and micro-nano-bioelectronic technology can significantly contribute to this goal through the development of radio frequency (RF) and molecular wireless biomedical implants. For this sake, a variety of biomedical sensors and actuators have been equipped with advanced wireless RF or molecular telemetry links thereby making available a set of implantable wireless solutions for therapeutic and diagnostic purposes. For instance, in-body sensors like the wireless capsule endoscope (WCE) facilitate the diagnosis of disease in the small bowel, which is difficult to visualize with conventional endoscopic techniques. In light of these breakthroughs, researchers and engineers are continuously developing technologies to add novel and improved features to existing medical implants, on-body sensors, and off-body processing for automatic diagnosis and therapy. Emerging research fields like molecular communications, ultra wideband communications, and ultra-low power electronics are but a few of the technologies that will facilitate the further miniaturization of implantable and on-body wireless devices with enhanced capabilities like high data rate transmission. This Session aims to cover recent research activities that address some of the design challenges related to the development of novel wireless biomedical sensors and actuators, their localization and imaging and control inside the body, and clinical testing.

Wearable Devices for Cardiovascular Monitoring

Organizers: Ki Chon* and Insoo Kim (USA)

There has been an emergence of novel wearable devices for cardiovascular monitoring over the past several years. While event and Holter monitors can be considered some of the first wearable devices for arrhythmia detection, with the advent of smartwatches, smartphones, smart-patches and accelerometer-based wearables such as Fitbit, long-term and cost-effective arrhythmia monitoring is now potentially realizable.  Paroxysmal atrial fibrillation detection is of particular interest as it requires long-term monitoring. This invited session’s speakers will detail the latest development of various cost-effective and long-term monitoring devices for arrhythmia detection including atrial fibrillation.  In particular, the latest developments on smartwatches, a novel patch and armband devices for arrhythmia detection will be discussed by some of the invited speakers.  Wearable devices for continuous blood pressure monitoring is another topic in this invited session. Due to recent advances in optical and electrophysiology sensors and algorithms monitoring cardiovascular parameters from different locations on the body, these advances enable accurate measurement/estimation of beat-to-beat blood pressure while traditional oscillometric methods with an inflatable cuff are intolerable to most individuals who require constant monitoring. Recent achievements in wearable blood pressure sensors will be discussed by some of the invited speakers.

Biomedical Data beyond Linear Correlation: Higher Order Statistics and Non-Gaussianity, Non-linearity and Multifractality

Organizers: Yoshiharu Yamamoto* and Patrice Abry (Japan)

Biomedical signals are often characterized by complex and non-stationary temporal dynamics that can be better accounted for by appropriately modeling higher (or sometimes non-integer) order statistical. Modeling higher order statistics is essential to account for temporal dependences beyond the mere linear correlation, for departures from Gaussianity and description of the tails of the statistical distributions. Dependence beyond correlation and the corresponding departures from Gaussianity remain so far weakly explored, often both because estimation of higher order statistics has generally been considered difficult to perform from limited amounts of data and by lack of conceptual framework. This has however changed significantly in a recent past. First, with the recent advances in biomedical sensing technologies and the resulting rapid explosion of the sizes and number of component of the data collected in biomedical applications, an accurate estimation of multivariate higher order statistics is becoming more and more feasible. Second, the formal modeling of complex temporal dynamics has received recently considerable efforts grounded in stochastic process theory, from various formal angles, e.g., measures of complexities through entropy rates, non-Gaussianity indices and elaborated scale-free dynamics (such as multifractality). Such concepts are also currently extended to the potentially multivariate nature of biomedical signals. The proposed Invited-Session will present the most recent developments of these methodological tools (multifractality, Point Process modeling, non-Gaussianity indices, complexity indices), applied to several large biomedical datasets, very different in natures (such as cardiovascular regulation, heart rate variability, locomotion data, and macroscopic brain activity imaging data,…). The proposed communications given by experts of the domain recognized worldwide, will not only present the results achieved using such tools on large size data, but will also discuss their theoretical or practical inter-relationships, as well as issues in applicability, limitations and tentative physiological interpretations, permitting to envisage potential transfer to clinical applications.

Neural Engineering Tool and Imaging

Organizers: Tae Il Kim*, Jae-Byum Chang, and Myunghwan Choi (Korea, South)

We propose a new class of neuroimaging technologies which combines a biomedical engineering with other research fields like neuroscience, material science, and chemical engineering. This interdisciplinary theme will suggest unique approaches enable to study and investigate from cellular-scale to single molecule-scale imaging with optical, chemical methods. The invited session has 4 speakers. Each invited researchers professors will have 20 min talk with 10 min coffee break. The biomedical imaging and microscope/fluorescence image processing are important parts of bioimaging referring to the techniques and processes used to create images of the human body, anatomical areas, tissues, and so on, down to the molecular level, for clinical purposes, seeking to reveal, diagnose, or examine diseases, or medical science, including the study of normal anatomy and physiology. Image processing methods, such as label free optical imaging, imaging informatics, and single molecular scale imaging, feature recognition and classification represent an indispensable part of bioimaging, as well as related data analysis and statistical tools. We believe this session will provide new challenging in bioimaging field for advanced biomedical engineering and deal with diagnosis of neurodisease.

Recent Advances in Ultrasound Medical Imaging

Organizers: Yangmo Yoo, Hyung Ham Kim, Ravi Managuli*, Jin Ho Chang, and Changhan Yoon (USA)

The purpose of this session in IEEE EMBC 2017, “Recent advances in medical ultrasound imaging” is to provide a platform to discuss recent advances in ultrasound imaging, including Multimodality Fusion technologies, Automated 3D ultrasound breast scanners, Advances in Ultrasound transducer technology, and Photoacoustic imaging. This platform provide an opportunity for experienced and new researchers to learn about new technologies and also begin exploring both engineering and clinical research opportunities in this area.

Nano/micro Platform for Bioengineering

Organizers: Hansoo Park* (Korea, South)

Recently, nanotechnology/microtechnology has been studied in the field of bioengineering and biomedical engineering. This section will introduce a variety of researches related to nano/micro delivery systems and nano/micro platform for biomedical sciences.

Brain and Physiological Networks: Methods and Applications

Organizers: Luca Faes*, Lei Ding, and Laura Astolfi (Italy)

Signal processing methods for the analysis of connectivity in physiological systems have been continuously developed in the past several years, gaining more and more importance in a number of fields ranging from biomedical engineering to statistical physics, applied physiology and clinical medicine. Nowadays, these methods are being extended both to multi-modal applications, where multiple acquisition modalities such as EEG, MEG and fMRI are employed to record the brain activity, and to multi-system applications, where tools for network analysis and connectivity inference are exploited to disclose interactions between the brain and other physiological systems such as the cardiovascular and muscular systems. Following these new directions along which the field of brain connectivity is developing, this invited session aims to provide a broad view of how the concept of connectivity inference has become a powerful and flexible tool to address problems at different levels and link different physiological systems. Contributions from leading experts in the design of multivariate time series analysis techniques will address their recent developments through computational and modeling approaches employing information-theoretical tools, coupled delay differential equations, parametric models and signal-adaptive time-variant analyses. The wide potentiality of such approaches will be discussed through their application to brain signals (MEG, Leistriz; EEG, Ding), brain-heart interactions (Schiecke, Valenza) and physiological networks sustained by neuroautonomic or neuromotor control (Faes, Boonstra).

Single Protein Sensors and Actuators

Organizers: Zuhong LU*, Anthony Chen (China)

Proteins function as sensors and actuators, and their interactions with other biomolecules, including other proteins, DNA or RNA are crucial for the regulation of various cellular and pathological processes. One consequence of these interactions is induction of protein conformation changes. Accordingly, there has been a great interest in developing strategies to sensitively measure and model these changes with high spatial and temporal resolutions. To date, protein conformation changes have been studied using electrical, mechanical and optical-based approaches. In this symposium, we will discuss and evaluate the merits of these approaches, with an overall goal of developing a complementary strategy to measure protein conformation change with nanometer spatial resolution and microsecond temporal resolution. Specific topics include: the use of optical tweezer and atomic force microscopy, as well as conventional and sophisticated models to characterize allostery within a single protein; the use of single-molecule fluorescence resonance energy transfer (smFRET) to measure conformation changes at nanoscopic resolutions in solution and in living cells; development of a high-throughput approach for the parallel detection of conformation fluctuation features within bulk protein based on smFRET and TIRF (total internal reflection fluorescence); development of liquid electron microscopy-based technique to image single proteins in aqueous solution with resolutions comparable to cryo-electron microscopy (atomic resolution). Finally, potential applications of these techniques toward developing single protein electronic devices, such as nanopore for DNA/RNA sequencing, will also be discussed. We envision that these studies will facilitate our ability to decipher the relationship between protein conformational states and function, which will advocate for the development of nanodevices to improve human health.

Biomedical Applications of Terahertz Imaging and Spectroscopy

Organizers: Emma MacPherson* (China)

Terahertz light (10^12 Hz) is non-ionizing, and research to-date suggests that it is a safe technique to use for human imaging, either for screening or diagnostic purposes.  Terahertz light is very sensitive to intermolecular interactions such as hydrogen bonds and can therefore detect subtle changes in tissue properties as well as be used to probe molecular properties of proteins or pharmaceuticals. Terahertz instrumentation has improved significantly in recent years, paving the way for more applied research.