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 article
    Berthelot M, Lo B, Yang G-Z, Leff Det al., 2018,

    Pilot study: Free flap monitoring using a new tissue oxygen saturation (StO2) device

    , European Journal of Surgical Oncology, Vol: 44, Pages: 900-900, ISSN: 0748-7983
  • Journal article
    Kwasnicki RM, Cross GW, Geoghegan L, Zhang Z, Reilly P, Darzi A, Yang GZ, Emery Ret al., 2018,

    A lightweight sensing platform for monitoring sleep quality and posture: a simulated validation study


    BackgroundThe prevalence of self-reported shoulder pain in the UK has been estimated at 16%. This has been linked with significant sleep disturbance. It is possible that this relationship is bidirectional, with both symptoms capable of causing the other. Within the field of sleep monitoring, there is a requirement for a mobile and unobtrusive device capable of monitoring sleep posture and quality. This study investigates the feasibility of a wearable sleep system (WSS) in accurately detecting sleeping posture and physical activity.MethodsSixteen healthy subjects were recruited and fitted with three wearable inertial sensors on the trunk and forearms. Ten participants were entered into a ‘Posture’ protocol; assuming a series of common sleeping postures in a simulated bedroom. Five participants completed an ‘Activity’ protocol, in which a triphasic simulated sleep was performed including awake, sleep and REM phases. A combined sleep posture and activity protocol was then conducted as a ‘Proof of Concept’ model. Data were used to train a posture detection algorithm, and added to activity to predict sleep phase. Classification accuracy of the WSS was measured during the simulations.ResultsThe WSS was found to have an overall accuracy of 99.5% in detection of four major postures, and 92.5% in the detection of eight minor postures. Prediction of sleep phase using activity measurements was accurate in 97.3% of the simulations. The ability of the system to accurately detect both posture and activity enabled the design of a conceptual layout for a user-friendly tablet application.ConclusionsThe study presents a pervasive wearable sensor platform, which can accurately detect both sleeping posture and activity in non-specialised environments. The extent and accuracy of sleep metrics available advances the current state-of-the-art technology. This has potential diagnostic implications in musculoskeletal pathology and with the addition of aler

  • Journal article
    Thompson AJ, Power M, Yang G-Z, 2018,

    A micro-scale fiber-optic force sensor fabricated using direct laser writing and calibrated using machine learning

    , Optics Express, Vol: 26, Pages: 14186-14200, ISSN: 1094-4087

    Fiber-optic sensors have numerous existing and emerging applications spanning areas from industrial process monitoring to medical diagnosis. Two of the most common fiber sensors are based on the fabrication of Bragg gratings or Fabry-Perot etalons. While these techniques offer a large array of sensing targets, their utility can be limited by the difficulties involved in fabricating forward viewing probes (Bragg gratings) and in obtaining sufficient signal-to-noise ratios (Fabry-Perot systems). In this article we present a microscale fiber-optic force sensor produced using direct laser writing (DLW). The fabrication entails a single-step process that can be undertaken in a reliable and repeatable manner using a commercial DLW system. The sensor is made of a series of thin plates (i.e. Fabry-Perot etalons), which are supported by springs that compress under an applied force. At the proximal end of the fiber, the interferometric changes that are induced as the sensor is compressed are read out using reflectance spectroscopy, and the resulting spectral changes are calibrated with respect to applied force. This calibration is performed using either singular value decomposition (SVD) followed by linear regression or artificial neural networks. We describe the design and optimization of this device, with a particular focus on the data analysis required for calibration. Finally, we demonstrate proof-of-concept force sensing over the range 0-50 μN, with a measurement error of approximately 1.5 μN.

  • Book chapter
    Kassanos P, Anastasova S, Yang G-Z, 2018,

    Electrical and Physical Sensors for Biomedical Implants

    , Implantable Sensors and Systems: From Theory to Practice, Editors: Yang, Publisher: Springer, Pages: 99-195, ISBN: 978-3-319-69748-2

    In addition to the electrochemical sensors discussed in Chap. 2, a range of other sensing modalities are also important for biomedical and implantable applications. The frequency-dependent electrical properties of tissues are essential for assessing various physiological parameters. This, for example, can be quantified via electrical bioimpedance measurements, which can be combined and corroborated with electrochemical sensors. The human body is a dynamic system in constant motion; therefore, sensors for the measurement of physical properties such as strain and pressure are also important. Sensors for these applications rely on the measurement of resistance, capacitance, and sometimes inductance, and these will also be discussed in this chapter for completeness. Temperature is an important health marker for various applications, and consequently the current state of the art in temperature sensors is also discussed, in terms of both monolithic integration and discrete sensor solutions. Monitoring of the electrical response of the nervous system and the delivery of stimuli represent an important family of applications for neuroscience research and neuroprosthetic devices. These will be addressed in this chapter, along with various application scenarios. Other aspects to be discussed include sensor metrics, such as sensitivity, limit of detection, stability, linear range, selectivity, and specificity.

  • Book chapter
    Kassanos P, Ip H, 2018,

    Ultra-Low Power Application-Specific Integrated Circuits for Sensing

    , Implantable Sensors and Systems: From Theory to Practice, Editors: Yang, Publisher: Springer, Pages: 281-437, ISBN: 978-3-319-69748-2

    In the quest for ever-reducing system size and increased integration and functionality, application-specific integrated circuit (ASIC) technology plays a pivotal role in modern implants, where custom circuits designed at transistor and device levels are replacing off-the-shelf commercial chips and bulky benchtop systems. Recently, commercial system-on-chip (SoC) devices encompassing digital microcontrollers, radio, and analog–digital converters, as well as reconfigurable amplifier circuits, are widely available. Despite this, further development of ASIC-specific implantable systems is required, particularly in the area of multi-channel array sensor interfaces, ultra-low power data acquisition, and circuits that work with specialized micro-sensors for implants. ASICs designed to focus on a particular application have given designers the freedom to optimize power consumption for a set task, unlike general-purpose SoCs that have to cater for a wide range of applications and hence typically consume more power. In this chapter, we begin with a survey on the latest development of ASICs and related integrated systems from literature. This is followed by an overview of technological trends in integrated circuit/sensor fabrication and fusion. The rest of the chapter focuses on a number of engineering aspects related to ultra-low power ASIC circuits appropriate for implantable sensors and sensor front-ends, covering bioimpedance, neural and electrochemical sensor measurement circuits, as well as low-power analog-to-digital converter design and architectures.

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