From Laboratory Test Rigs to Clinical Applications in Peripheral Neuropathies Diagnosis

It is useless to highlight the importance of the sense of the touch, because everybody knows that all the physical interactions with the environment generate touch sensations. In fact the first scientific study about it began in the middle of 19th century thanks to Weber who defined the JND (Just Noticeable Displacement). Later Blix, Donaldson and Goldschneider, and after them von Frey all conjectured a straightforward relationship between stimulus, receptor, afferent nerve fiber and subjective sensation, with regard to specificity. Thanks to these researcher pioneers several devices were designed and built for investigate the human report to the tactile stimulus.

List of Speakers (tentative)

Ferdinando Cannella, Istituto Italiano di Tecnologia, Genoa, Italy,
Presentation Title: The step change in peripheral neuropathies diagnosis with D.I.T.A.
Bio:  Ferdinando Cannella graduated with Master in mechanical engineering from the University Polytechnic of Marche (UnivPM), Marche, Italy, in 1998, received first Ph.D. degree in mechanical measurement applied to engineering from the University of Padua, Padua, Italy, in 2002, and a second Ph.D. degree in 2006 in mechanical engineering from UnivPM, but entirely developed at King’s College of London (KCL), London, U.K under supervision of Prof. Jian D. Dai. From 2001 he was a Tutor at the University Polytechnic of Marche and Visiting Researcher at KCL. Since 2008, he was working as a Postdoc and then as Team Leader of Advanced Industrial Automation Lab with the Advanced Robotics Department (under supervision of Prof. D. Caldwell), Italian Institute of Technology, Genoa, Italy, in reconfigurable mechanisms, haptic devices, human tactile sensitivity modelling, industrial grippers, packaging manipulators, virtual prototyping design modelling and measurement system development. Currently he is P.I. of IIT internal project D.I.T.A. for peripheral neuropathies diagnosis, task leader of FP7/2007-2013 project WEARHAP ) and team responsible of EuroC. Dr. Cannella is a member of the American Society of Mechanical Engineers (ASME), Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers (IEEE) and reviewer of several IEEE Transactions and other Journal of Mechanics.

Maria Laura D’Angelo, Istituto Italiano di Tecnologia, Genoa, Italy,
Presentation Title: ReMoChIll: Remote Monitoring Chronical Illness device applied to the Diabetic Foot
Bio:  Maria Laura D’Angelo received her M.S. degree in Electronic Engineering with biomedical specialization and her B.S in Biomedical Engineering, at Università Politecnica delle Marche, Ancona, Italy. The idea of her thesis work was the identification and implementation of new applications for the realization of contactless and low cost technologies. The objective of that work was the development of a measurement system for the detection of heart rate through the “Kinect for Windows”. After her Master Thesis, she spent 6 months at the University of Bristol: the project has been primarily focused at non-contact methods of assessing the structural health of large biological structures such as trees. The aim of the project was to assess the feasibility of using noncontact laser vibrometry to gather data on a tree’s dynamic response to various mechanical excitations.  Currently she is PhD student in the Bioengineering and Robotics program of the University of Genoa in the IIT department of ADVR. She works into the AIAL group (Advanced Industrial Automation Lab) and she is working on the development of different haptic devices in order to detect, in a very early stage, people affected by Peripheral Neuropathy. These devices are already approved by the Ethical Committee to be used in the clinics and currently are supporting the doctors during the “screening” and “pre-screening” phase.

Organizer I:      Ferdinando Cannella, PhD
Bio:  MSc in 1998, PhD in 2002 and PhD in 2006, he is Team Leader at Italian Institute of Technology (IIT), Italy, in reconfigurable mechanisms, haptic devices, human tactile sensitivity modelling, virtual prototyping design and measurement system development. He is the inventor of D.I.T.A. and task leader of project WEARHAP. He is IEEE and EMB member.

Organizer II:     Prof. Paolo Liberini, PhD
Bio:  MSc He works at Department of Neurology, Spedali Civili and Universita degli Studi di Brescia, Italy, with expertise in Cognitive Psychology, Clinical Psychology, Biological Psychology. With more than 100 publications (one of them on Nature Medicine about the Golgi’s apparatus), he deals with the central nervous system diseases and peripheral pathologies.

Organizer III:    Maria Laura D’Angelo, PhD Candidate
Bio:  MSc in Biomedical Engineering 2013. She PhD candidate since 2014 in the Bioengineering and Robotics program in the IIT.  She is working on the development of different haptic devices to detect Peripheral Neuropathy, at very early stage, in people affected by diabetes. Currently these device are tested in clinics as support in the “screening” and “pre-screening” phase.