Bioimpedance in Biomedical Applications and Research: Concepts

Organizers: Pedro Bertemes-filho

The past years have witnessed an unprecedented growth in medical technologies and a new generation of diagnostic tools, characterized by mobility, virtualization, homecare and cost. The growing demand and need for low cost devices for human tissue characterization with supporting intelligence and technologies (for instance, non-invasive cancer investigations) have arisen unique and evolving opportunities for research in Electrical Bioimpedance (EBI) technique. EBI is based on measurements of an electrical impedance spectrum tissues and extraction of equivalent electrical parameters for diagnostic purposes and statistical analysis. EBI is considered a cheap, robust, non-ionizing and non-invasive technique, but requires some expertise for collecting data from patients. Measured data has to be reliable and should thus be collected at the properly determined part(s) of the body. The more accurate is the bioinstrumentation involved in the technique the more trustable will be the generated and measured signals and consequently the diagnosis. As an electrical properties extractor tool, this is also very important for obtaining the expected diagnosis from impedance data.  EBI method may also be combined with other clinical data like biopsy, cytology and PSA, for example. Misunderstood diagnosis can easily be obtained if impedance data are not precisely measured in a wide enough frequency bandwidth. The main objective of the symposium is to give the students and the research groups the opportunity to learn more about the Bioimpedance method as an important tool in biological material characterization and diagnosis. It also represents a unique opportunity to meet the researches working in the field, exchanging ideas, and learn about new developments and best practices (while working to advance the understanding of the knowledge base that we will collectively draw upon in the years ahead to meet future challenges).

Neural Prosthetic Devices Usable for Animal and Clinical Studies, in Asian Countries

Organizers: Yuki Hayashida*, Kyung Hwan Kim (Japan)

Contributions of electrical and information engineers collaborating medical doctors to develop neuro-prosthetic devices are vital for optimizing and/or enhancing the quality and safety of the prostheses. And indeed, many electronic devices that are expected to be useful for animal and/or clinical studies on the prostheses have been proposed in recent years. On the other hand, psycho-physical or behavioral studies on neuro-stimulation in human/non-human primates have revealed fundamental characteristics of the stimulus-evoked neural functions as the basis of neuro-prostheses. However, for instance, effects of multi-site pattern stimulation on sensory perceptions, or underlying mechanisms of closed-loop deep brain stimulation have been investigated to a limited extent. And in addition, response properties to those neuro-stimulation at neuronal level remained less understood even on experimental animals. This situation seems to be in contrast with the developments of the cochlear and retinal prostheses.  In this mini-symposium, we would like to focus on the research activities related to the above-mentioned issues in Asian countries.

Current Advances in Seismocardiography and Ballistocardiography

Organizers: Kouhyar Tavakolian*, Marco Di Rienzo (USA)

Every heartbeat vibrates human body and the environment around it that has mechanical coupling to the body. These vibrations can be recorded using sensors placed on the body or on the platforms upon which the body rests. What all these signals have in common is having the heartbeat as their main cause, however, depending on the placement of the sensor, or the type of the sensor, they can have different morphologies and different clinical applications. Over the past century, extensive research has been conducted on interpretation of these signals in terms of their relationship to cardiovascular dynamics and their possible use in diagnostic cardiology. Today, new microelectronics and signal processing technologies have provided unprecedented opportunities to reintroduce some of these relatively old techniques as useful cardiac diagnostic and monitoring tools and as such there is a new surge of research in this field. The goal of this mini-symposium is to present some of the new works presented in this field with a special focus on ballistocardiography and seismocardiography and relevant new areas.

Authentication using Biological Signals

Organizers: Kwang S. Park, JASON KIM* (Korea, South)

Biometric technology in mobile devices is frequently used in various areas which require a high level of reliability such as e-banking, e-payment, tele-medicine, and e-healthcare services. In particular, it is necessary to make efforts to develop countermeasures against presentation attacks that can pre-emptively cope with fake physiological biometrics for their purpose of ensuring mobile telebiometric data security. Therefore we need new secure and strong authentication methods using bio-signals against presentation attacks of physiological biometrics in mobile devices. In order to establish a safe mobile environment for the use of bio-signals, we will focus on the functional requirements, functional architecture and mechanisms for authentication using bio-signals. Concretely, methodology of merging bio-signals, implementing biology to machine (B2M) protocol, authentication algorithms for ECG and PPG, analysis of wearable devices for bio-signal authentication, and development of multi-modal bio-signal authentication platform will be describe in this symposium

Opportunities and Challenges for Wearable Medical Devices

Organizers: Sung-Min Park* (Korea, South)

Over the past few years, a variety of medical features and functionality have been integrated with mobile technologies. The integration of healthcare and mobile technologies can revolutionize the healthcare industry, allowing more personalized, effective, and cost-efficient health management. While mobile healthcare products are becoming more portable and ubiquitous, accuracy and clinical validation are still needed to allow mainstream adoption by the healthcare industry. This meeting brings leading researchers and developers together to discuss the opportunities and challenges posed by the mobile healthcare technologies. After a set of presentations, we will have an in-depth panel discussion on how these technologies can be adopted by the healthcare system in a practical way.

Tissue Electromagnetic Property Mapping using Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI) – 1 and 2

Organizers: Joonsung Lee*, Seung-Kyun Lee, Yi Wang, Jongho Lee (Korea, South)

Magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) provides a safe, non-invasive, and human-translatable technique to produce high resolution images of living tissue and organs. In traditional MRI, only the magnitude images are utilized for anatomical and functional studies of a human body. Recently, however, there has been a growing interest in utilizing both the magnitude and phase of MRI to obtain quantitative information on the tissue electromagnetic properties. These methods include MR-based electrical impedance tomography (MREIT), MR-based electrical properties tomography (MREPT), and quantitative susceptibility mapping (QSM). In the first two methods, MRI provides spatially resolved map of the magnetic fields in tissue produced by injected (in case of MREIT) or induced (in case of MREPT) currents, which are then converted to electrical tissue parameters (such as conductivity and permittivity) at low (MREIT) or radio-frequencies (MREPT) through inverse problem solution. In QSM, high-resolution phase maps of gradient-echo MRI allow calculation of tissue magnetic susceptibility which is the source of local MR frequency variations. Capitalizing on the non-invasive nature and local-field sensitivity of MRI, these methods have so far been shown to provide useful information on tissue composition, electromagnetic energy deposition, and disease diagnosis. In this symposium, several experts in the field of MR-based tissue electromagnetic property mapping are invited to introduce the methods to the general audience, and present on their latest technical developments and emerging applications.

Brain Signal Processing for Brain-Computer Interfaces (BCIs)

Organizers: Sung-Phil Kim* (Korea, South)

Brain-computer interfaces (BCIs) aims at creating an artificial information gateway between the brain and external effectors by directly harnessing brain signals. BCIs rely on signal processing methods to extract necessary information from brain signals that are often spatio-temporally dynamical and intrinsically non-stationary. A number of signal processing methods have been utilized for BCIs but many of them are mere applications of existing signal processing and machine learning techniques to BCIs. Yet, development of signal processing methods that are based on the understanding of the nature of brain signals is essential for a reliable and practical BCI. This mini-symposium aims to introduce recent research on developing methods for characterizing various types of brain signals used for BCIs. The brain signals to deal with in this symposium include electrocorticography, neuronal action potentials and neuronal ensemble activity from microelectrode arrays. A number of outstanding scholars working in the field of brain signal processing and BCIs will present their work on the understanding of brain signals by various analytical methods and its implication for BCIs. Active discussion and information sharing regarding how to advance signal processing for BCIs will follow after the presentation. This mini-symposium is expected to provide a great opportunity to learn novel means of analyzing and processing brain signals for BCIs.

Radiation Induced Acoustic Imaging

Organizers: Jung-Joon Min*, Changho Lee, Chulhong Kim (Korea, South)

The purpose of this mini-symposium in IEEE EMBC 2017, “Radiation Induced Acoustic Imaging” is to provide an opportunity for gathering experienced and new researchers and a platform to know-how sharing and collaboration in the field of radiation acoustic imaging technique.

Advanced Robotic Surgery based on Deep Tissue Imaging and Haptic Feedback Technology

Organizers: Chulhong Kim*, wankyun chung (Korea, South)

Minimally invasive surgery has recently increased its application range due to advantages such as minimization of body injury during operation, reduction of tissue damage, reduction of postoperative infection risk, and rapid recovery rate. However, there are limitations in manipulating the soft tissues in the state of limited transmission of sensory information in the surgical procedure, and it is impossible to observe the lesions inside the tissues with the miniature robot end effector and endoscope used in the conventional minimally invasive surgery method. This mini-symposium covers a new paradigm of minimally invasive robot surgery based on various medical robots leading technologies, engineering approach using 3D image technology, nano/micro processing technology, haptic technology and MEMS based sensor/processing technology. The development of haptic technology for the transmission of tactile sensation and the development of high-performance local projection imaging technology that enables real-time liver lesion diagnosis will overcome the limitation of conventional robot surgery. This mini-symposium will discuss the following two key technologies of next-generation minimally invasive surgical robots:

  1. Fundamental technology and information fusion master module for medical tactile transmission
  2. High-performance local projection image technology and miniaturization technology for diagnosis of intra-tissue lesions

Frontiers in Wavefront Shaping Techniques

Organizers: Puxiang Lai*, yongkeun park (China)

This mini-symposium in IEEE EMBC 2017, “Frontiers in Wavefront Shaping Techniques” aims at bringing together seasoned and new researchers in the field of wavefront shaping, and providing a platform to foster sharing and collaboration in this fast-growing research area. The program consists of 4 invited presentations and Q/A sessions.

Laser Translational Clinical Trial Symposium

Organizers: Jin-Chul Ahn*, Phil-Sang Chung (Korea, South)

The purpose of Laser Translational clinical Trial Symposium is to establish a translational research cluster in the field of cutting-edge biomedical optics. We invite several prestigious researchers majoring in medicine, engineering, and biology and discuss the effective collaboration for Translational Engineering for Healthcare Innovation & Commercialization. Intimately, through the Symposium, we are going to contribute to the advancement of the state-of-art optical diagnostic and therapeutic devices in Korea. More specifically, this symposium provides the latest photonics technologies, tools, and techniques with high potential to impact healthcare.

Bioengineering Advances in the Diagnosis and Treatment of Sleep Apnea Organizers: Michael Khoo*, Thomas Penzel (USA)

Obstructive sleep apnea (OSA) is the most common form of sleep-disordered breathing that occurs in more than 10% of U.S. adults, with those figures expected to grow with the worldwide obesity pandemic. OSA is associated with increased risk of developing a rapidly expanding list of medical comorbidities such as hypertension, cardiac arrhythmias, ischemic heart disease, stroke, diabetes, learning and attention deficits, and depression and mental illness. Central sleep apnea is less prevalent but commonly occurs in the form of Cheyne-Stokes respiration (CSR). The occurrence of CSR in patients with congestive heart failure is widely taken to represent a bad prognosis for this category of cardiovascular disease. In recent years, advances in technology have enabled the development of “smarter”, less costly, less intrusive and more portable methods for detection and diagnosis of these forms of sleep-disordered breathing. The technology and commercialization of devices for treating these disorders using positive airway pressure has also advanced. But although these methods successfully restore tidal ventilation, recent large-scale clinical trials indicate that the efficacy of these therapeutic modalities in improving cardiovascular function is not so clear. Questions arise whether diagnostic procedures to not adequately identify risk or whether therapy does not address the risk producing factors of these diseases in the best possible way. This series of 3 back-to-back minisymposia features top-ranked experts in the fields of cardiorespiratory and sleep research who will present the state-of-the-art developments in sleep apnea diagnostics and therapeutics, and discuss the current issues that are yet to be resolved.

Recent Progress in Biosignal-Based Human-Computer Interaction

Organizers: Chang-Hwan Im*, Han-Jeong Hwang (Korea, South)

Humans interact with computers (or machines) in many different ways. Until now, a variety of interfacing media, such as touch, voice, vision, and gesture, have been devised and used to implement human-computer interaction (HCI) systems. Recently, of particular interest have been the uses of biosignals, such as electroencephalography (EEG), electromyography (EMG), electrooculography (EOG), and electrocardiography (ECG), as potential interfacing media in HCI applications. This recent trend is not irrelevant to the advances in sensor and measurement technologies that allows for unobtrusive real-time measurement of biosignals. However, despite recent developments in biosignal-based HCI, its performance is still not reliable enough to be used for real world HCI applications. This mini-symposium will focus on the state-of-the-art technologies and challenges to be solved to facilitate further development of biosingal-based HCI. A total of five speakers will present their recent research results on EEG-based brain-computer interface, EMG-based prosthesis control, EMG-based facial expression decoding, and EEG-based recognition of human emotional experiences. Following each presentation, we will have open discussions about future prospects and directions for developing practical and reliable biosignal-based HCI systems.

Close Calls: Ethical Concerns in Healthcare Robotics

Organizers: Arturo Forner-Cordero*, Martha Lucia Zequera Diaz, james patton (Brazil)

There are ethical issues regarding the deployment of robots. An emerging area of robotics focuses on service robots to provide care, help, assistance, rehabilitation to the human. There are two ethical issues that are established in care robot design: safety and privacy. In exoskeletons, there is a strong physical and cognitive interaction with the user and it is necessary to define safety mechanisms during the design, at the mechanical, electrical and control levels. Privacy is another issue already considered: the robot gathers lots of information about the human user. This is commonly addressed in Institutional Review Boards with respect to data obtained from patients. Departing from the obvious ethical problems, it is possible to integrate ethics into the robot design methodology. There are other issues regarding the therapeutic applications. The recent upsurge in the use of lower extremity exoskeletons for mobility have made assertions that they are therapeutic.  However, there is little data that these devices, while moving the limbs, actually restore functional ability. The field may need to rethink its assertions and care to avoid the expectations that Hollywood gave to these machines. Furthermore, there are unanswered physiological questions that are foundational for viability of these devices, related to bladder, bowel, cardiovascular, and orthopedic confounds. These come from getting a person upright, sometimes after years of disability. We will present some of these early findings. From studies in laboratories at RIC and part of MARS center for rehabilitation robotics.  Finally, exoskeletons also implicitly promise something that is not possible in the real word – perfect alignment with the joints. Nearly all individuals unfamiliar with this field take for granted just how difficult it is to keep a system running parallel to the body. We will discuss the kinematics misalignment issues, and suggest some creative solutions like near-exoskeletons and redund

Pharmacometrics Approaches in Pharmaceutical Engineering

Organizers: Kyungsoo Park* (Korea, South)

Pharmacometrics is the science of interpreting and describing pharmacology in a quantitative manner, thereby developing and applying mathematical and statistical methods to characterize, understand, and predict a drug’s pharmacokinetic, pharmacodynamic, and biomarker–outcomes behavior. Through pharmacometrics one can quantify the uncertainty of information embedded in the data generated during clinical trials and patient care and rationalize knowledge-driven decision making for drug development and pharmacotherapy. It is the science of knowledge discovery, understanding of biomarkers/surrogate endpoints, and knowledge creation. When applied to drug development, pharmacometrics involves the estimation of pharmacokinetic, pharmacodynamics and disease progression models. These models can be applied to alternative study designs to aid in understanding the impact of varying dosing regimens, patient selection criteria, and different study endpoints. In the area of pharmacotherapy, pharmacometrics can be employed to customize patient drug therapy through therapeutic response monitoring and improved population dosing strategies This session addresses the importance of pharmacometrics with various real-data examples.

Contemporary Diagnostic Devices in Traditional Eastern Medicine: Overview of the Research Activities at KIOM

Organizers: Jaeuk U Kim* (Korea, South)

Diagnostic devices in traditional East Asian medicine (TEAM) are featured by noninvasive or non-contact measurement, which are expandable towards home healthcare, mobile healthcare, and digital healthcare. With the growing market requirements for wearable or non-contact medical devices, diagnostic devices in the TEAM are emerging fields of research and development. These include radial pulse tonometry, tongue imaging system, abdominal diagnostic system, constitution-specific diagnostic system with phenotype analysis, and biofield measurement technology. Recently, in ISO TC 249, there are activities on international standardization projects on electronic radial-pulse diagnostic device, tongue diagnostic device and abdominal diagnostic device. Some diagnostic devices are in the market and dozens of articles have been published in peer-reviewed journals every year for their clinical application and validity, or to improve measurement accuracy. The Korea Institute of Oriental Medicine (KIOM) is the only state-run research institute on traditional Korean medicine at Korea, and is one of the leading institutes for the research and development of TEAM medical devices. In this symposium, reflecting these research activities, we present recent research activities at KIOM on TEAM diagnostic devices with special focus on palpation, tongue and phenotype diagnoses, and bio-electricity research on TEAM perspective. The primary purpose of this symposium is to introduce noninvasive and non-contact features of the TEAM diagnoses and to share the state-of-the-art for the modernization and development of the diagnostic devices of TEAM with the EMBC members.

Rehabilitation Technologies for Neurological Disorders using Neuromodulations

Organizers: Ning Lan*, C. Minos Niu (China)

Development of neurorehabilitation technologies for sensorimotor dysfunctions is crucial for patients with neurological disorders, such patients with Parkinson’s disease (PD), cerebral palsy (PC), etc. This minisymposium addresses the challenges both in technology and clinical intervention for rehabilitation of sensorimotor functions in patients suffering from PD and brain injuries, using deep brain stimulation (DBS) and peripheral nerve stimulation. The speakers will share their insights from both clinical and engineering perspectives, and attempt to reach a consensus on which challenges are essential in post-DBS rehabilitation, and the promising solutions to tackle these challenges. Luming Li, Ph.D., will introduce an innovative paradigm of DBS using varying-frequency stimulation and discuss its implication for rehabilitation and device development. Ning Lan, Ph.D., will share the latest progress of stimulating peripheral nerves and its effectiveness in suppressing upper-limb tremor in PD, which suggests a promising new approach of non-invasive neurorehabilitation for tremor-dominant PD patients. Dianyou Li, M.D, will discuss the concerns for remedying axial symptoms during DBS surgery process, and the clinical observations using Chinese traditional exercise as rehabilitative intervention. Chuanxin M. Niu, Ph.D., will share the most recent knowledge on how vocal responses are affected by DBS location and programming, which may provide an objective measure for hearing deficit and its rehabilitation. Terence D. Sanger, M.D./Ph.D. will bring decades of experience with DBS programming for children with cerebral palsy (CP), and share his insights on how the post-DBS sensorimotor recovery in CP can be shared with PD rehabilitation.

Emerging Technologies for Cuffless Unobtrusive Blood Pressure Monitoring: Celebration of 200th Birth Anniversary of Carl Ludwig

Organizers: Carole C. Carey*, Xiao-Rong Ding

Being a major risk factor for cardiovascular disease, hypertension is one of the most common public health conditions that occurs in more than 40% adults worldwide. Accurate monitoring of blood pressure (BP) is critical for the evaluation of hypertension. Furthermore, BP variability, particularly during nighttime, is a strong predictor for cardiovascular events and mortality. Traditional BP monitoring systems are limited by the requirement of an inflating cuff, which is either occlusive, bulky, may cause discomfort to the users, or can only provide a snapshot of the dynamic BP. The cuffless BP measurement via noninvasive and unobtrusive approaches has emerged as a promising means to bridge the gap between the cuff-based intermittent BP measurement and the continuous but intrusive BP measuring methods. In recent decades, cuffless methods based on pulse transit time (or pulse wave velocity), and other principles have been proposed and are now attracting growing interest in emerging fields of wearable health technology. Though notable advances and continuing progress have been made in the development and initial clinical translation of cuffless BP technologies, technical challenges still exist in meeting the acceptable standards for clinical practice With recent advances in sensing technology and data processing, research efforts have been devoted to investigating new methods to enhance the measuring performance and accuracy The year 2016 has marked the 200th birth anniversary of Carl Ludwig – the inventor of kymograph that enabled continuous BP recording for the first time. In EMBC’17, we propose this mini-symposium to honor Ludwig by bringing experts in cuffless BP research present their latest findings with extended discussions on the emerging technologies that can potentially disrupt conventional techniques. This mini-symposium will highlight recent work aimed to improve cuffless BP measuring performance, and unobtrusive methods to provide cuffless monitoring.

Recent Advances on Image-Guided Devices and Therapies

Organizers: Lisa Xuemin Xu*, Brian Fowlkes

Currently, surgery, radiation, and chemotherapy are the most common cancer treatments; however, for many patients who already have metastatic tumors when diagnosed, surgical resection is no longer an effective solution. Moreover, neither radiation therapy nor chemotherapy seems to offer satisfactory alternatives because of their inability for specific targeting. Side effects are also a considerable concern because of possible damage to an individual’s immune system. In contrast, thermal energy is much less harmful to human, and considered “green” and low cost.

HIFU, radiofrequency ablation and cryosurgery are therapeutic options for patients with inoperable cancer or metastasis to the organs. These treatments could be more precisely controlled and personalized through imaging guidance such as computed tomography (CT), magnetic resonance imaging (MRI), ultrasound or other imaging modalities.

This Symposium, as part of the Program of EMBC’17, will discuss the leading-edge methodologies for image-guided ablation devices and therapies. Distinguished discussants will further compare their applications for the future of this research field, by remarking the important developments expected in the Biomedical Engineering discipline as well as in clinical applications.

Recent Progress in Biosignal-Based Human-Computer Interaction

Organizers: Chang-Hwan Im*, Han-Jeong Hwang

Humans interact with computers (or machines) in many different ways. Until now, a variety of interfacing media, such as touch, voice, vision, and gesture, have been devised and used to implement human-computer interaction (HCI) systems. Recently, of particular interest have been the uses of biosignals, such as electroencephalography (EEG), electromyography (EMG), electrooculography (EOG), and electrocardiography (ECG), as potential interfacing media in HCI applications. This recent trend is not irrelevant to the advances in sensor and measurement technologies that allows for unobtrusive real-time measurement of biosignals. However, despite recent developments in biosignal-based HCI, its performance is still not reliable enough to be used for real world HCI applications. This mini-symposium will focus on the state-of-the-art technologies and challenges to be solved to facilitate further development of biosingal-based HCI. A total of five speakers will present their recent research results on EEG-based brain-computer interface, EMG-based prosthesis control, EMG-based facial expression decoding, and EEG-based recognition of human emotional experiences. Following each presentation, we will have open discussions about future prospects and directions for developing practical and reliable biosignal-based HCI systems.

Recent Advances in Neural Stimulation for Cortical Neural Interfaces.

Organizers: Shelley Fried* (USA)

The ability to predictably and reliably stimulate the neocortex offers great promise for the treatment of a wide range of neurological disorders. While non-invasive applications such as TMS and tDCS offer hope for some treatments, their limited ability to selectively target small regions of cortex precludes their use in applications where precise, focal activation is required, e.g. for a visual prosthesis designed to produce high-spatial resolution, or, for the portion of a brain machine interface that provides feedback to very specific regions within somatosensory cortex. The use of arrays of micro-electrodes that penetrate into cortex offers enhanced control of neural activation but progress with these devices has been limited, in part due to the sheer number of engineering hurdles required to reliably deliver stimulation over prolonged periods of time. Further, even with advanced designs, it will still be challenging to create physiologically-useful patterns of neural activity. Our goal in this Session is to describe recent progress towards the goal of precise and reliable stimulation of cortex. The research presented will cover a diverse range of efforts from fundamental research studies up through clinical testing. Talks will focus on (1) the development and testing of a new, implantable visual prosthesis , (2) clinical stimulation of S1 so as provide somatosensory cortex as part of a brain-computer interface, (3) clinical responses to acute stimulation of visual cortex and how such responses are being used to guide ongoing developmental efforts, and (4) use of implantable micro-coils to magnetically stimulate neurons, a novel approach that allows for more precise control of activation and better consistency over time. The last talk will also present systematic analysis of the factors that underlie activation of cortical neurons to both electric and magnetic stimulation.