Past Events

The use of numerical exposure evaluations performed with high-resolution anatomical models has become an essential part of the safety assessment of radiofrequency (RF) fields over the last two decades, in applications from wireless communication and power transfer to wearable and implanted medical devices. This lecture reviews those applications of human anatomical models, and discusses the two important trends going forward: the first, using a wide range of anatomical models to perform in silico clinical trials and define a representative envelope of potential outcomes for the population; the second, using morphed and posed models to create a ‘digital twin’ to perform precise assessments relevant for a specific person.

 

Tolga Goren is Head of Customized Research at the IT’IS Foundation, which was established in 1999 through the initiative and support of the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology (ETH) Zurich, the global wireless communications industry, and several governmental agencies, and is headquartered in Zurich, Switzerland. IT’IS performs fundamental research, performs R&D services for industrial partners, and participates in the development of international safety standards. Tolga’s team performs evaluations of RF safety including, among others, active implanted medical devices according to ISO 10974 and wireless devices according to IEC 62209-1528. He studied Materials Science and Applied Mathematics at Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute in New York, and completed his doctorate at ETH Zurich in 2014.

 

 

 

 


In this lecture I will present a Functional Electrical Stimulation Therapy for reaching and grasping, which does not belong to a typical “garden variety” neuroprostheses that one can commonly find discussed in the literature.  In the literature, the neuroprostheses for grasping are used to replace and substitute function, and patients are expected to depend on these devices their entire lives to reach and grasp objects.  This lecture will showcase a neuroprosthetic application, better known as Functional Electrical Stimulation Therapy, which is aimed at restoring voluntary arm and hand function after severe stroke and spinal cord injury, instead of making the users depend on technology to perform reaching and grasping.  In the lecture the results of two Phase II randomized control trial will be presented, which were pivotal for this technology to become a commercially viable product.

 

Milos R. Popovic is the Director of The KITE Research Institute at the Toronto Rehabilitation Institute – University Health Network, and a Professor (Tenured) in the Institute of Biomaterials and Biomedical Engineering at the University of Toronto.  Dr. Popovic is a Fellow of the Canadian Academy of Engineering and a Fellow of the American Institute of Medical and Biological Engineering.  He is the co-founder and director of (i) MyndTec; (ii) the Centre For Advancing Neurotechnological Innovation to Application (CRANIA) at the University Health Network and the University of Toronto; (iii) the CRANIA Neuromodulation Institute at the University of Toronto; and (iv) the Canadian Spinal Cord Injury Rehabilitation Association.  Dr. Popovic is also the founder of the Rehabilitation Engineering Laboratory at KITE.  Dr. Popovic held the Toronto Rehab Chair in Spinal Cord Injury Research appointment from 2007 until 2017.

Dr. Popovic received his Ph.D. degree in mechanical engineering from the University of Toronto, Canada in 1996, and the Dipl. Electrical Engineer degree from the University of Belgrade, Serbia in 1990.  His fields of expertise are functional electrical stimulation, neuroprostheses, neurorehabilitation, neuromodulation, brain machine interfaces, physiological control systems, assistive technology, modelling and control of linear and non-linear dynamic systems, robotics, and signal processing.

In 1997, together with Dr. Keller, he received the Swiss National Science Foundation Technology Transfer Award – 1st place.  In 2008, Dr. Popovic was awarded the Engineering Medal for Research and Development from the Professional Engineers of Ontario, and Ontario Society of Professional Engineers.  In 2012, company MyndTec Inc., which Dr. Popovic co-founded in 2008, won the 1st Prize and the Best Intellectual Property Award at the annual TiEQuest Business Venture Competition.  In 2013, he received the Morris (Mickey) Milner Award for outstanding contributions in the area of Assistive Technologies from the Health Technology Exchange.  Also, in 2013, together with Drs. Prodic, Lehn, and Huerta-Olivares, and Mr. Tarulli, Dr. Popovic received the University of Toronto Inventor of the Year Award.  In 2015, Dr. Popovic received the 2014 University Health Network’s Inventor of the Year Award.  In 2017, he won the Accessibility Innovation Showcase and Tech Pitch Competition Award at the Ontario Centers of Excellence Discovery 2017 Conference.  In 2018, Dr. Popovic received a Jonas Salk Lifetime Achievement Award for his lifetime contributions from the March of Dimes Canada.  In 2019, he was awarded the Engineering Medal for Entrepreneurship from the Professional Engineers of Ontario, and Ontario Society of Professional Engineers.

 


Atmospheric pollution is one of serious risk factors for human health. Especially the emission of solid aerosols, such as asbestos, carbon dust, heavy metals, etc., remains a huge problem for society. The size of particles can directly be linked to their potential for causing health problems. Particulate matter (PM10), which are particles smaller than 10 micrometers in diameter, pose the greatest problems, because they can get deep into the human body and deposit in the lungs or even infiltrate the bloodstream. To protect human health, governments have set strict limit values for particulate matter (i.e. the EU has set a limit of 40 µg/m3 of PM10 in the atmosphere). However, in order to prevent pollution it is important to monitor the amount of emitted particles directly at the source, which requires capable sensor systems.

This talk gave an overview how well radar technology may be suited for this task and showed its benefits compared to other methods. The physical relations of turbulent particle streams, electromagnetic scattering and the radar equation were discussed. Furthermore, insight was provided into the development process of the multistatic dual-frequent sensor system operating at 91.5 GHz and 150.3 GHz. Finally, measurement results obtained in various experiments covering different scenarios were presented.

 

Alwin Reinhardt (S’16) received the M.Sc. degree in electrical engineering and information technology from Kiel University, Germany, in 2013, where he is currently pursuing the Dr.-Ing. degree at the Chair of Microwave Engineering of Prof. Höft.

His thesis („A Millimeter Wave Radar Sensor for Monitoring Solid and Liquid Aerosol Streams“) is motivated by solving the problem of measuring industrial emissions (such as particulate matter) and thus preventing atmospheric pollution.

During his doctoral research Mr. Reinhardt has published over 10 peer-reviewed IEEE papers as main author. He was a recipient of the German National Academic Foundation Scholarship during his studies. At the IEEE International Microwave Symposium in Philadelphia 2018 he was awarded with the third place in the Best Student Paper Competition.

He was also selected as the winner of the Innovations Competition 2018 by the German state of Schleswig-Holstein and was an invited speaker at the world’s largest industrial fair, the Hannover Messe 2019.

Recently, he joined the research and development department of Rohde & Schwarz, Kiel, Germany, as a system architect.

 


This talk gave an overview of the development of several emerging technologies that capitalize on advances in wireless technologies to address clinically informed needs. From the high-frequency microwave range to the low-frequency kilohertz range, a contrast in the electrical properties exists between different biological tissues. These differences can be exploited in the development and application of minimally invasive electromagnetic-based medical technologies. Specifically, the design, fabrication, and the clinical testing pathway of prototypes addressing specific clinical needs, including breast cancer screening, brain bleed detection, bladder monitoring, and neutrophil monitoring during chemotherapy will be addressed.  This presentation concluded with a discussion on future, unexplored avenues of research for such electromagnetic-based technologies.

 

Dr. Adam Santorelli is an IRC Government of Ireland Postdoctoral Fellow in the Translational Medical Device Lab at the National University of Ireland, Galway. He studied at McGill University, Montreal, Canada, where he received his B. Eng, M. Eng, and Ph.D. in Electrical Engineering in 2010, 2012, and 2017, respectively. He has been with the Translational Medical Device Laboratory at National University of Ireland Galway since 2016, initially as a visiting researcher, and full-time as a postdoctoral researcher since 2017.

Dr. Santorelli’s current research is motivated by novel medical applications of electromagnetic and electrical engineering technologies. His work is focused on the development of compact and low-cost  medical devices with the primary goal of increasing the accessibility to technology for improved diagnosis and treatment of diseases. His current work projects are focused on the development of a novel sensor to characterize and monitor changes in white blood cell count during chemotherapy, the analysis and classification of EIT data for bladder and brain trauma monitoring, and the study of the impact of various physiological processes on the dielectric properties of blood.

Dr. Santorelli has published over 50 peer-reviewed journal papers and conference proceedings. He is an active member of the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers (IEEE), acting as a reviewer for several IEEE journals (TBME, TIM, TMTT, TMI, and IEEE Access) and is a part of the MyWAVE (European network for advancing Electromagnetic hyperthermic medical technologies) CA17115 COST Action.

 


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Medical devices are increasingly investigated in the academic sector with the same rigor present in a commercial setting, thus ensuring that any technology developed has a realistic chance of translating from “research bench to patient bedside” and making a positive impact on patient care.  Within the context of an aging population and an exponential growth in healthcare costs, electromagnetic (EM) therapeutic and diagnostic technologies provide an attractive solution, since they are low cost, non-ionizing, and largely non-invasive. The dielectric properties of healthy and diseased tissues are the foundation for such techniques. Despite the importance of these properties, reported values have been inconsistent, especially for key heterogeneous tissues. This inconsistency results in an unsatisfactory basis for the design and optimization of EM medical technologies, and unacceptable technical risk in the translation process. This talk discussed the state of the field, including confounders that impact the dielectric measurement of tissues, along with proposed methods for compensating for them. Needs-driven medical devices in development, including for microwave breast cancer detection, ablation of the adrenal gland to treat Conn’s syndrome, and bladder state monitoring, were also highlighted.

 

Dr. Emily Porter is an EU Marie-Curie Fellow and Adjunct Lecturer with the Translational Medical Device Laboratory at the National University of Ireland Galway (NUIG). She received her B.Eng., M.Eng., and Ph.D. degrees in electrical engineering from McGill University, Montreal, Canada, in 2009, 2010, and 2015 respectively. Since 2015, she has been with the Department of Electrical and Electronic Engineering at NUIG, where her current research interests include the measurement of dielectric properties of biological tissues and the development novel technologies for therapeutic and diagnostic applications of electromagnetic waves. Dr. Porter is the recipient of several prestigious national and international awards, including multiple URSI Young Scientist Awards, the IEEE Antennas and Propagation Society Doctoral Research Award, the Irish Research Council (IRC) “New Foundations” Grant, and the Royal Irish Academy (RIA) Charlemont Grant.