Research Projects

DEM-II-MED
Full Title:
Implantable and ingestible medical devices (IIMDs): optimal-performance-oriented design and evaluation methodology (DEM-II-MED)
Partners: 
National Technical University of Athens (School of Electrical and Computer Engineering).
Biotelemetry permits the measurement of physiological signals at a distance. Its latest application is in implantable and ingestible medical devices (IIMDs). In this project, a Design-and-Evaluation closed-loop Methodology for biotelemetry-telemedicine-integrated systems of antenna-enabled IIMDs (DEMIIMD) is implemented. The DEMIIMD consists of five interconnected design-and-evaluation steps (1. data/power circuit, 2. IIMD-antenna, 3. biotelemetry link, 4. patient safety, 5. telemedicine link), and one overall evaluation step. Application-specific requirements must be taken into account at all steps to render the design suitable for the application at hand. Studies will be developed in six workpackages (WPs). The first five WPs will address research issues raised within the first five steps of the DEMIIMD, respectively. Emphasis will be on IIMD-antenna design, biotelemetry link modeling and performance, and safety. Extensive numerical and in-vitro/in-vivo studies will be performed. Electronics and biotelemetry-telemedicine-integration issues will also be addressed. The sixth WP will be devoted to numerical and in-vitro studies to validate the DEMIIMD within the framework of a novel system for wireless intracranial pressure (ICP) monitoring, as an alternative to the traditional wired approaches. Novelty lies in the proposal of the DEMIIMD as a standardized procedure which addresses interconnecting interdisciplinary challenges to design and test integrated systems for antenna-enabled IIMDs. Significant progress beyond the state of the art will be provided, with the highlights being: optimized design algorithms for miniature IIMD-antennas, reliable antenna testing, thermal/multi-source/in-vitro dosimetry for IIMDs, novel methods to assess tissue temperature rise, in- and out-of-body channel modeling, biotelemetry-telemedicine-integration, and a novel wireless approach to ICP monitoring.



MOSAIC
Full Title:
Models and simulation techniques for discovering diabetes influence factors (MOSAIC)
Partners: 
Medtronic Iberica S.A., University of Padova, Universidad Politecnica de Madrid, University of Pavia, Fondazione Salvatore Maugeri Clinica del Lavoro e della Riabilitazione, Asociacion Espanola Para el Desarrollo de la Epidemiologia Clinica, Lunds Universitet, Soluciones Tecnologias para la Salud y el Bienestar SA, Folkhalsan Research Center, National Technical University of Athens.
MOSAIC will address two very specific aspects linked to the prediction of risk of developing diabetes (type 2 and gestational) and complications associated to diabetes. These objectives respond to a widely recognized problem related to diabetes management and have the potential to have a major impact in  the way diabetes is currently diagnosed and followed in Europe. The MOSAIC consortium counts with the expertise of four modelling partners who have worked over 25 years in the development of models of the human metabolic response in diabetes that will be enhanced in the project with the incorporation of elements that provide information related to environmental and clinical factors that prove to be relevant for the objectives defined such as socio-economic aspects, geographic localization, cultural background, nutrition, etc. Multiple data bases cutting across geographic boundaries are available to the MOSAIC consortium as a  result of the activities of previous studies and projects of the members, such as (a) METABO 7FP EU project; (b) from the transversal study "Healthy Breakfast" enriched with Medtronic's CareLink© reports for continuous glucose monitoring systems; (c) two large longitudinal epidemiological studies over 10 years long (VIVA study, BOTNIA prospective study); (d) outpatient data treated by FSM, Health Department 'Valencia-La Fe', ASL Pavia program over more than 10 years and (e) other data bases generated in ongoing 7FP EU studies like ePREDICE. MOSAIC will integrate these models into an already existing platform for diabetes management and remote monitoring, NOMHAD Chronic, to facilitate the interpretation and visualization of the data and to enable a comprehensive understanding of the information by the health care professionals. At the same time this platform will be used during the validation phase of the project to acquire data during the prospective study to feed the models under test.



SIFEM
Full Title:
Semantic Infostructure interlinking an open source finite element tool and libraries with a model repository for the multi-scale modelling of the inner-ear (SIFEM)
Partners: 
National University of Ireland (Digital Enterprise Research Institute), ΕΠΙΣΕΥ , University of Southampton (Institute of Sound and Vibration Research), Linkopings Universitet, BioIRC d.o.o. Kragujevac, INTRASOFT International SA, University College London (Ear Institute), National & Kapodistrian University of Athens (1st Department of Otolaryngology - Head & Neck Surgery), The Methodist Hospital Research Institute, The Research Trust of Victoria University of Wellington.
The clinical evidence indicates that the number of people with all levels of hearing impairment and hearing loss is rising mainly due to a growing global population and longer life expectancies. Hearing loss caused by pathology in the cochlea or the cochlear nerve is classified as sensorineural hearing loss. The study of the normal function and pathology of the inner ear has unique difficulties as it is inaccessible during life and so, conventional techniques of pathologic studies such as biopsy and surgical excision are not feasible. SIFEM focuses on the development of a Semantic Infostructure interlinking an open source Finite Element Tool with existing data, models and new knowledge for the multi-scale modelling of the inner-ear with regard to the sensorineural hearing loss. The experts will have access to both the data (micro-CT images, histological data) and inner ear models, while the open-source developed tools and the SIFEM Conceptual Model will be contributed to the VPH toolkit enhancing their reusability. These SIFEM open source tools and services enhance and accelerate the delivery of validated and robust multi-scale models by focusing on: (i) Finite Element Models manipulation and development, (ii) cochlea reconstruction and (iii) 3D inner ear models visualization. The final outcome is the development of a functional, 3D, multi-scale and validated inner-ear model that includes details of the micromechanics, cochlea geometry, supporting structures, surrounding fluid environment and vibration patterns. In the open context that the project addresses, the results can be used to better identify the mechanisms that are responsible for the highly sensitive and dynamic properties of hearing loss. These result to the description of alterations that are connected to diverse cochlear disorders and assist the experts to better assess each patient's condition leading to more efficient treatment and rehabilitation planning and, in long-term, to personalized healthcare.



mBioRF
Full Title:
Multilevel assessment on biological effects of radioFrequency electromagnetic waves (mBioRF)
Partners: 
University of Patras (Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering), National Technical University of Athens (School of Electrical and Computer Engineering), University of Thessaly (Biology Unit, School of Humanities), University of Ioannina (Department of Pathology, Medical School), University Mental Health Research Institute, National University of Athens (1st Department of Psychiatry, Medical School)
Researh project mBioRF aims to produce beyond state of the art multilevel research data on Biological effects of RafioFrequency (RF) ElectroMagnetic (EM) waves. The research project is structured to be developed in three (3) main levels: i) Cellular level: A thorough, in depth study on biological effects of low level EM Fields (EMF) radiation is foreseen. mBioRF will explore the production of free radicals from cells and generation of an oxidative stress state. The study will be done in total peripheral blood lymphocytes isolated from human volunteers in an attempt to minimize any overstatements from the misdetection of any experimental effects due to the use of cell cultures etc. Furthermore, the study will take place under a realistic scenario during which isolated human blood lymphocytes will be exposed to a modulated signal of mobile phones (e.g. 3rd Generation-UMTS) under controlled conditions in order to well define the radiation. Numerical dosimetry study will enable the detailed characterization of the exposure conditions. ii) Tissue level: Emphasis will be placed on dosimetric outcomes for children and other groups (e.g. pregnant women), which are considered of potential sensitivity. The study will focus on the calculation of EM dosimetric quantities, in comparison with international reference levels, taking into consideration a) the inter-subject variability in the numerical description of anatomical human models, b) the use of updated, age-related dielectric properties that characterize biological tissues and have been introduced in recent literature and c) the accurate description of the EM source. Moreover, it will explore the need for more complex and combined design scenarios, such as the use of portable sensors or other antennas in the presence of mobile phones or uncontrolled environments of general EM radiation. Additionally, the temperature (and potential conductivity) variation will be measured non-invasively in experimental head models and healthy volunteer participants, based on microwave radiometry methods. The experimental data will be combined with the corresponding computed ones, along with EM absorbed power information. iii) Neurophysiological level: A human volunteers study aims to evaluate potential alternations in ElectroEncephaloGram (EEG) and Evoked Potentials (EP) recordings, due to 3G EM irradiation. EP will be recorded due to acoustic or/and optical stimuli. Advanced Digital Signal Processing (DSP) methods will be used in order to detect potential statistically significant differences. In order to study the potential neurophysiological effects, alternations in the product of temperature and conductivity of brain tissue will be also recorded in real time and will be combined with the available information concerning the EM power absorption.



Carotid Atherosclerosis
Full Title:
The carotid atheromatous plaque: a multidisciplinary approach for optimal management of symptomatic and asymptomatic patients (Carotid Atherosclerosis)
Partners: 
National Technical University of Athens (School of Electrical and Computer Engineering), National & Kapodistrian University of Athens, VIDAVO S.A., DIGIMED S.A., Ecole Centrale de Paris (Medical Imaging and Computer Vision Group "MAS VISION/GALEN").
The scope of the project is a multiscientific view of atherosclerosis in the carotid artery by investigating environmental causes and clinical manifestations of the disease. Specifically, the project attempts to (a) identify novel quantitative indicators for the diagnosis of atherosclerosis by associating biochemical, biomechanical and imaging parameters, (b) achieve a personalized management of the disease and (c) develop an integrated information system that can be used in clinical practice to improve health services.



Preparation of auctioning documents for a proposal that aims to list/record sources of non-ionizing radiation
Full Title:
Preparation of auctioning documents for a proposal that aims to list/record sources of non-ionizing radiation
Partners: 
National Technical University of Athens (School of Electrical and Computer Engineering).
The scope of the project is to conduct a study that aims to prepare the auctioning documents for a proposal which scope is to list/record sources of non-ionizing radiation. The proposal involves a) the recording of the main sources of non-ionizing radiation, including: i) high-voltage lines and substations, ii) radio and telecommunications stations, iii) wireless communications stations, iv) radar, as well as b) the installation of a database and its connection with the GIS (Geographic Information System).



Development of multi-scale computational methods based on time-stepping to study neuronal networks dynamics in motor disorders
Full Title:
Development of multi-scale computational methods based on time-stepping to study neuronal networks dynamics in motor disorders
Partners: 
School of electrical and computer engineering (N.T.U.A.), «Evangelismos» Hospital.
The project aims at the development of tools for a deeper understanding of the physiology of neurological functions and their divergence from normal functionality, and the use of these tools to control neurological disorders. In collaboration with the team of neurosurgeons of the Neurosurgery Clinic at the Hospital "Evangelismos", for the first time in Greece we collect and analyze data of intracranial recordings from patients who underwent surgery for electrode placement for "deep stimulation" of the nuclei of the brain. The project is divided into three components: (a) the development of mathematical models starting from the microscopic level, based on the physiology of neural cells to effectively approach the dynamic behavior of real cases, (b) the development of modern computational methods for the systematic analysis of models to identify the critical parameters, which determine changes in the behavior of the neural system with the appearance of malfunctions (eg. Alzheimer's Parkinson) and (c) the development of modern control methods for the regulation and control of emerging pathologies.



Emerging EMF Technologies and Health Risk Management
Full Title:
Emerging EMF Technologies and Health Risk Management
Partners: 
27 European countries.
The main objective of the project is to create a structure in which researchers in the field of EMF and health can share knowledge and information on: 1. How existing EMF technologies change either in their operating characteristics or in novel ways and applications in which they are used, 2. Identifying what entirely new EMF technologies are introduced and on what time-scale, 3. What novel emission and operating characteristics might result and what impact these would have on the device-specific and overall EMF exposure of people, 4. What possible health effects could consequently arise and the scientific evidence for health concerns if any, 5. How such concerns should be addressed through the use of evidence-based information, and 6. What tools are effective in communicating and managing such risks and perceived risks. And, effectively publish all such information in the public sector for the benefit of all stakeholders.



Implementation of Variance Reduction Techniques for Improvement in Computation Efficiency of GATE Monte Carlo Simulation Package on a Distributed Computing Platform- fastGATE
Full Title:
Scientific and Technological Cooperation between RTD Organizations in Greece and RTD Organizations in U.S.A, CANADA, AUSTRALIA, NEW ZEALAND, JAPAN, SOUTH KOREA, TAIWAN, MALAISIA and SINGAPORE, "Implementation of Variance Reduction Techniques for Improvement in Computation Efficiency of GATE Monte Carlo Simulation Package on a Distributed Computing Platform- fastGATE"
Partners: 
School of Electrical and Computer Engineering - National Technical University of Athens, Crump Institute for Molecular Imaging, David Geffen School of Medicine at UCLA., Hardware and Software Engineering Ltd.
GATE is a novel openSource toolkit for simulation of full-edged clinical PET and SPECT systems. It allows the user to model realistic nuclear medicine experiments with an easy to use, yet powerful, scripting language. GATE simulations are CPU-bound computations, in the sense that most of the work corresponds to numerical calculations related to particle transport. Thus, realistic imaging simulations, including transmission tomography, usually take weeks or months to complete in state-of-the-art single-CPU computers. However, it is also generally true that Monte Carlo simulations are excellent candidates for embarrassingly parallel solutions to the computational problem, because the amount of interprocess communication is small, and usually only at process start-up and termination. In addition, variance reduction techniques provide execution speed up since a number of physical processes such as photon splitting, electron history repetition etc can improve the efficiency of the simulated code. It is possible to further improve the efficiency by optimizing transport parameters such as electron energy cut-off, maximum electron energy step size, photon energy cut-off, a cut-off for kerma approximation and use of delta scattering technique, without loss of calculation accuracy. The aim of the proposed project is the implementation and application of variance reduction techniques (VRTs) in order to speedup the execution time of the GATE Monte Carlo simulation package on distributed computing platforms and the development of a cluster in BIOSIM.



NEUROMATH
Full Title:
Advanced Methods for the Estimation of Human Brain Activity and Connectivity (NEUROMATH)
Partners: 
Selected laboratories from the following COST countries: Austria, Belgium, Denmark, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Italy, Netherlands, Poland, Switzerland, Turkey, and United Kingdom.
The main objective of the Action is to increase the knowledge on the mathematical methods able to estimate the cortical activity and connectivity in the human brain from non invasive neuroelectric and hemodynamic measurements. Additional objectives include the developing of new techniques for the multimodal integration of neuroelectromagnetic and hemodynamic measurements, and their application in several contexts, from the study of human cortical activity during cognitive tasks to the field of the brain computer interface. The NEUROMATH Action aimed to develop an European network in the neuroscience field which, if possible, should become reference in Europe and contribute to the scientific development of the domain.



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