A primary motivation of our research is the monitoring of physical, physiological, and biochemical parameters - in any environment and without activity restriction and behaviour modification - through using miniaturised, wireless Body Sensor Networks (BSN). Key research issues that are currently being addressed include novel sensor designs, ultra-low power microprocessor and wireless platforms, energy scavenging, biocompatibility, system integration and miniaturisation, processing-on-node technologies combined with novel ASIC design, autonomic sensor networks and light-weight communication protocols. Our research is aimed at addressing the future needs of life-long health, wellbeing and healthcare, particularly those related to demographic changes associated with an ageing population and patients with chronic illnesses. This research theme is therefore closely aligned with the IGHI’s vision of providing safe, effective and accessible technologies for both developed and developing countries.
Some of our latest works were exhibited at the 2015 Royal Society Summer Science Exhibition.
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Journal articleChabloz N, Wenzel M, Perry H, et al., 2019,
Polyfunctionalised nanoparticles bearing robust gadolinium surface units for high relaxivity performance in MRI, Chemistry - A European Journal, Vol: 25, Pages: 10895-10906, ISSN: 0947-6539
The first example of an octadentate gadolinium unit based on DO3A (hydration number q = 1) with a dithiocarbamate tether has been designed and attached to the surface of gold nanoparticles (around 4.4 nm in diameter). In addition to the superior robustness of this attachment, the restricted rotation of the Gd complex on the nanoparticle surface leads to a dramatic increase in relaxivity (r1) from 4.0 mM‐1 s‐1 in unbound form to 34.3 mM‐1 s‐1 (at 10 MHz, 37 °C) and 22 ± 2 mM‐1s‐1 (at 63.87 MHz, 25 °C) when immobilised on the surface. The ‘one‐pot’ synthetic route provides a straightforward and versatile way of preparing a range of multifunctional gold nanoparticles. The incorporation of additional surface units improving biocompatibility (PEG and thioglucose units) and targeting (folic acid) lead to little detrimental effect on the high relaxivity observed for these non‐toxic multifunctional materials. In addition to the passive targeting attributed to gold nanoparticles, the inclusion of a unit capable of targeting the folate receptors overexpressed by cancer cells, such as HeLa cells, illustrates the potential of these assemblies.
Conference paperGuo Y, Sun M, Lo FPW, et al., 2019,
Personalized stent graft is designed to treat Abdominal Aortic Aneurysms (AAA). Due to the individual difference in arterial structures, stent graft has to be custom made for each AAA patient. Robotic platforms for autonomous personalized stent graft manufacturing have been proposed in recently which rely upon stereo vision systems for coordinating multiple robots for fabricating customized stent grafts. This paper proposes a novel hybrid vision system for real-time visual-sevoing for personalized stent-graft manufacturing. To coordinate the robotic arms, this system is based on projecting a dynamic stereo microscope coordinate system onto a static wide angle view stereo webcam coordinate system. The multiple stereo camera configuration enables accurate localization of the needle in 3D during the sewing process. The scale-invariant feature transform (SIFT) method and color filtering are implemented for stereo matching and feature identifications for object localization. To maintain the clear view of the sewing process, a visual-servoing system is developed for guiding the stereo microscopes for tracking the needle movements. The deep deterministic policy gradient (DDPG) reinforcement learning algorithm is developed for real-time intelligent robotic control. Experimental results have shown that the robotic arm can learn to reach the desired targets autonomously.
Journal articleModi HN, Singh H, Fiorentino F, et al., 2019,
Importance: Intraoperative stressors may compound cognitive load, prompting performance decline and threatening patient safety. However, not all surgeons cope equally well with stress, and the disparity between performance stability and decline under high cognitive demand may be characterized by differences in activation within brain areas associated with attention and concentration such as the prefrontal cortex (PFC). Objective: To compare PFC activation between surgeons demonstrating stable performance under temporal stress with those exhibiting stress-related performance decline. Design, Setting, and Participants: Cohort study conducted from July 2015 to September 2016 at the Imperial College Healthcare National Health Service Trust, England. One hundred two surgical residents (postgraduate year 1 and greater) were invited to participate, of which 33 agreed to partake. Exposures: Participants performed a laparoscopic suturing task under 2 conditions: self-paced (SP; without time-per-knot restrictions), and time pressure (TP; 2-minute per knot time restriction). Main Outcomes and Measures: A composite deterioration score was computed based on between-condition differences in task performance metrics (task progression score [arbitrary units], error score [millimeters], leak volume [milliliters], and knot tensile strength [newtons]). Based on the composite score, quartiles were computed reflecting performance stability (quartile 1 [Q1]) and decline (quartile 4 [Q4]). Changes in PFC oxygenated hemoglobin concentration (HbO2) measured at 24 different locations using functional near-infrared spectroscopy were compared between Q1 and Q4. Secondary outcomes included subjective workload (Surgical Task Load Index) and heart rate. Results: Of the 33 participants, the median age was 33 years, the range was 29 to 56 years, and 27 were men (82%). The Q1 residents demonstrated task-induced increases in HbO2 across the bilateral ventrolateral PFC (VLPFC) and right dorsolateral P
Conference paperZhang K, Chen C-M, Anastasova S, et al., 2019,
The prospect of roll-to-roll (R2R) processable Organic Thin Film Transistors (OTFTs) and circuits has attracted attention due to their mechanical flexibility and low cost of manufacture. This work will present a flexible electronics application for pH sensing with flexible and wearable signal processing circuits. A transimpedance amplifier was designed and fabricated on a polyethylene naphthalate (PEN) substrate prototype sheet that consists of 54 transistors. Different types and current ratios of current mirrors were initially created and then a suitable simple 1:3 current mirror (200nA) was selected to present the best performance of the proposed OTFT based transimpedance amplifier (TIA). Finally, this transimpedance amplifier was connected to a customized needle-based pH sensor that was induced as microfluidic collector for potential disease diagnosis and healthcare monitoring.
Conference paperRosa BG, Anastasova-Ivanova S, Lo B, et al., 2019,
Towards a fully automatic food intake recognition system using acoustic, image capturing and glucose measurements, IEEE 16th International Conference on Wearable and Implantable Body Sensor Networks (BSN), Publisher: IEEE, ISSN: 2376-8886
Food intake is a major healthcare issue in developed countries that has become an economic and social burden across all sectors of society. Bad food intake habits lead to increased risk for development of obesity in children, young people and adults, with the latter more prone to suffer from health diseases such as diabetes, shortening the life expectancy. Environmental, cultural and behavioural factors have been appointed to be responsible for altering the balance between energy intake and expenditure, resulting in excess body weight. Methods to counteract the food intake problem are vast and include self-reported food questionnaires, body-worn sensors that record the sound, pressure or movements in the mouth and GI tract or image-based approaches that recognize the different types of food being ingested. In this paper we present an ear-worn device to track food intake habits by recording the acoustic signal produced by the chewing movements as well as the glucose level amperiometrically. Combined with a small camera on a future version of the device, we hope to deliver a complete system to control dietary habits with caloric intake estimation during satiation and deficit during satiety periods, which can be adapted to the physiology of each user.
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