Recently, there has been a major move from traditional arrangements of health care methodologies towards systems which are much more reliant on technology. This includes diagnosis through body scanners; treatment by local heat generation; and health care system amalgamation via information and communication technology. The Centre for Bioengineering (former BiMEC), founded in January 2011 at London South Bank University (LSBU), targets to be a globally acknowledged interdisciplinary research centre of excellence, providing advanced research and training in a wide range of areas including: biomedical applications with an understanding for smart city considerations and machine learning methods, energy consumption reduction techniques using radar and wireless sensor networks, non-intrusive medical imaging and monitoring using ultra-wideband (UWB) and ultrasound technologies and skin bioengineering.
The Centre for BioEngineering is led by joint Heads by Prof. Mohammad Ghavami and Prof. Perry Xiao
- to be recognised inside and outside LSBU for excellence in bioengineering research and become well known as leaders nationally and internationally;
- coalesce colleagues working together and facilitating research collaborations;
- to facilitate the development of colleagues;
- to respond to the changing research landscape;
- to promote training and Innovation
- to enhance PhD cohort;
- to contribute to teaching/ Education- MSc, MRes; and
- to promote industrial engagement.
- assistive technology for the elderly and/or disabled using UWB devices
- digital signal processing for hearing aid development
- adaptive signal processing and prediction for chaotic real data
- breast, brain and skin cancer detection and therapy using UWB image processing
- Wi-Fi, Bluetooth and ZigBee wireless sensor networks for biomedical applications
- indoor radar – location sensing and tracking
- self-organising networks
- nanofibers, nanotubes and graphene used to assemble biological structures
- ultrasound technology in biomedical imaging
- micro-loud systems
- wireless technologies for vegetation health testing
- analysis of large deformations of long slender structures
- big data mining and processing for energy and healthcare areas
- skin biotechnology using optical and capacitive sensors
Dedicated 40GHz Anechoic Chamber and Associated test equipment
- A radio frequency (RF) anechoic chamber at LSBU is one of the finest in London. This can test devices radiation emission up to 40GHz alongside associated test equipment.
- There are also PCB production facilities for circuit design, probing stations for device characterisation and software enabling intensive circuit and antenna design, circuit simulations.
AquaFlux and Epsilon
AquaFlux™ evaporimeter and the Epsilon™ contact imaging system are the state of the art skin measurement technologies that were originally developed at London South Bank University and later converted into commercial instruments through the university spin-out company - Biox Systems Ltd (www.bioxsystems.com). AquaFlux™ and the Epsilon™ measure quantities such as TEWL, SSWL, hydration, perspiration, membrane integrity, wrinkles & skin topology (micro-relief).
The Epsilon™ is a contact imaging system that responds to capacitance. Its proprietary technology maps the sensor’s non-linear response onto a linear scale with a capacitance range from air to water. Its calibration ensures that every pixel in the image provides a reproducible measurement that can be interpreted in terms of hydration.
The AquaFlux is a TEWL measurement device with a unique patented technology that overcomes challenges of the closed measurement chamber through a condenser that continuously removes water vapour by converting it to ice. AquaFlux out-performs all its competitors in terms of accuracy, sensitivity, repeatability, reproducibility and versatility (supported by numerous studies available).
High Speed Ultrasound System
A next generation ultrasound imaging system is not available in the clinics yet. It is equivalent of a slow-motion camera that can capture more data than any commercially available ultrasound system. It can be used for medical and industrial applications. For example; high resolution imaging, cancer imaging, ultrasound treatment, bone imaging, pipeline inspection, flow measurements, defect detection in composite materials and several others.
UARP-II is a state-of-the-art ultrasound research imaging systems with 256 channels designed for fast acquisition times. It can acquire at a rate of 20,000 fps and has a data transfer rate of 64 GB/sec. Receiver front end has a capability of 80 MSPS with 12-Bit ADCs. Available with trigger inputs and output for synchronizing with other devices.
This equipment is the most advanced imaging system and itr is currently used following research projects; medical imaging super-resolution ultrasound, microvascular imaging, ultrasound elastography, blood flow measurements and ultrasound bone imaging.
Ultrasound Pressure Calibration
This is a specialised high precision ultrasound pressure calibration setup. It is equivalent of an underwater microphone. High-speed ultrasound system and the ultrasonic testing system are regularly calibrated using this setup. It can be used for medical and industrial applications. For example; measuring microbubble response, testing liquid composition, calibrating ultrasound imaging systems.
This calibration system consists of a needle hydrophone that can operate 1 – 25 MHz range. The sensor material is a 9 micron thick gold electroded Polyvinylidene fluoride (PVdF) film with a typical probe sensitivity of 55nV/Pa. It is mounted on a CNC system for scanning a full 3D ultrasound field.
This measurement setup is used to calibrate the medical ultrasound imaging systems for the super-resolution ultrasound, microvascular imaging and ultrasound bone imaging projects. Without this the performance of the imaging system might be compromised.
Modeling & Ultrasound Simulations
3D ultrasound wave simulations require high processing power and memory. We have the required software and the necessary processing capabilities to successfully run models. This simulation environment can be used for medical and industrial applications. For example; designing a high strength bolt (by simulating ultrasound waves in a heavy duty bolts used in bridge construction see left bottom figure) or designing new ultrasonic sensors (by estimating the ultrasound pressure and the ultrasonic field).
The simulation environment uses Matlab and specialised C scripts to simulate ultrasound wave propagation in hard and soft materials. It can perform linear and non-linear wave propagation simulations by running Field II, K-wave or Simsonic tools. It can be used to estimate harmonic generation through nonlinear propagation and shock waves. Microbubble oscillations under ultrasound excitation can be simulated.
This high-end simulation environment is used for the 3D super-resolution ultrasound, ultrasound bone imaging and needle pressure sensor for compartment syndrome projects.
To discover more regarding ultransound research please visit Dr Sevan Harput's SPE3D (/speed/) Ultrasound Research Lab.
LifeDesign Lab is led by Dr Hamed Rajabi, he is a Lecturer in the School of Engineering at LSBU. He has an interdisciplinary research background. He received his first PhD in Mechanical Engineering followed by a second one in Biology. Collaborations with researchers from various fields have enabled him to employ methods and techniques from different fields into his research and, thereby, answer questions that can be addressed only using multidisciplinary approaches.
Hamed is passionate about biological systems and their ‘technological’ complexities. He leads LifeDesign Lab, where he and his group aim to unravel these complexities, learn from them to develop nature-inspired concepts, and elaborate them into a technology readiness level that can be converted into marketable products, especially in the areas of structural reinforcement, lightweight construction, healthcare and robotics.
Hamed has contributed over 50 publications in international journals, one book chapter and two patents. He has won several national and international awards. He has supervised/co-supervised 38 postgraduate students. Hamed is currently providing service as a member of the Editorial Board of Frontiers in Mechanical Engineering and Journal of Bionic Engineering, and as a Standing Member of the Youth Committee of the International Society of Bionic Engineering.
Further information can be found on Dr Hamed Rajabi's LifeDesign Lab.
MammoWave Microwave Medical Imaging apparatus
In 2019, the Centre for Bioengineering acquired a newly developed device by the UBT Tech Srl, called MammoWave which allows illumination of the breast using electromagnetic fields to measure the correspondent scattered electromagnetic fields and to process the measured field through a dedicated algorithm, obtaining the image of the breast and highlighting tissues inhomogeneties.
Lasers and detectors
Er:YAG laser, Nd:YAG laser, OPO laser, He -Ne laser, Nitrogen laser, MCT detectors, laser energy monitor, optical tables/benches, HP Digital Oscilloscopes, Picoscopes, HR Proscopes, multimeters, signal generators, IBM x3400 servers, Fingerprint sensors.
- TimeDomain’s PulsON 400 (x3) PulsON 410 (x20) Impulse Radio Ultra Wideband IR-UWB ranging, communication and radar modules
- Vector Network Analyser (VNA), Vector Signal Analyser (VSA), Spectrum and Impedance Analyser
- Precise LCR components Analyser
- PCB Prototyping machine
Please click for more publications:
Ghavami, M., Ghavami, N., Tiberi, G., Sani, L. and Vispa, A. (2021). Empirical Assessment of Breast Lesion Detection Capability Through an Innovative Microwave Imaging Device. EuCAP 2021. Online 22 - 26 Mar 2021
Fanghour, S., Chen, D., Guo, K. and Xiao, P. (2020). Lip Reading Sentences Using Deep Learning with Only Visual Cues. IEEE Access.
Goel, S., Hawi, S., Goel, G., Thakur, V.K., Pearce, O., Hoskins, C., Hussain, T., Agrawal, A., Upadhyaya, H., Cross, G. and Barber, A. (2020). Resilient and Agile Engineering Solutions to Address Societal Challenges like Coronavirus Pandemic. Materials Today Chemistry.https://doi.org/10.1016/j.mtchem.2020.100300
Berthaume, M. A., Barnes, S., Athwal, K.K. and Willinger, L. (2020). Unique myological changes associated with ossified fabellae: a femorofabellar ligament and systematic review of the double-headed popliteus. PeerJ. 8, pp. e10028-e10028. https://doi.org/10.7717/peerj.10028
Hajderanj, L., Chen, D., Grisan, E. and Dudley-McEvoy, S (2020). Single- and Multi-Distribution Dimensionality Reduction Approaches for a Better Data Structure Capturing. IEEE Access.
Dougill, G., Starostin, E.L., Milne, A.O., van der Heijden, G.H.M., Goss, G.A. and Grant, R.A. (2020). Ecomorphology reveals Euler spiral of mammalian whiskers. Journal of morphology.https://doi.org/10.1002/jmor.21246
Squarcina, L., Villa, F.M., Nobile, M., Grisan, E. and Brambilla, P. (2021). Deep learning for the prediction of treatment response in depression. Journal of Affective Disorders. 281, pp. 618-622. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.jad.2020.11.104
Harput, S (2020). 3D Super Localized Flow with Locally and Acoustically Activated Nanodroplets and High Frame Rate Imaging Using a Matrix Array. IEEE IUS. ONLINE 07 - 11 Sep 2020
Dr Philip Howes
Howes, P. D., Chandrawati, R., & Stevens, M. M. (2014). Colloidal nanoparticles as advanced biological sensors. Science, 346(6205), 1247390. https://doi.org/10.1126/science.1247390
Lishman, B, Marchenko, A, Shortt, M and Sammonds, P (2019). Acoustic emissions as a measure of damage in ice. Port and Ocean Engineering under Arctic Conditions. Delft, The Netherlands
C. Lietz, C. F. Schaber, S. N. Gorb, H. Rajabi, “The damping and structural properties of dragonfly and damselfly wings during dynamic movement”, Communications Biology, 2021, 4:737.doi: https://doi.org/10.1038/s42003-021-02263-2
Viola, G, Chang, J, Maltby, T, Steckler, F, Jomaa, M, Sun, J, Edusei, J, Zhang, D, Vilches, A, Gao, S, Liu, X, Saeed, S, Zabalawi, H, Gale, J and Song, W (2020). Bioinspired Multiresonant Acoustic Devices Based on Electrospun Piezoelectric Polymeric Nanofibers. ACS applied materials & interfaces.https://doi.org/10.1021/acsami.0c09238
Over the past few years, the Centre for Bioengineering has been involved in joint research and training with several national and international institutions and industrial partners to carry out applied collaborative research in various areas of biomedical engineering, energy, wireless communications, imaging and information. These collaborative activities have led to over 1 million pounds of funding, research visits and joint publications.
Some examples of current partnerships
- Keio University, Japan: Joint PhD supervision, joint publication, research visits
- Eartex, UK: KTP Innovate UK grant (£100K)
Current active projects:
EPSRC grant: Modelling the MEchanics of Animal Whiskers (MMEAW)
Total grant: £460,715
MMEAW is a multidisciplinary project, lying at the interface between structural engineering, robotics and comparative animal physiology. It aims to extend our understanding and knowledge of how whiskers are adapted to their function and apply that understanding to applications in engineering.
| Reliable Technologies and Models for Verified Wireless Body-Centric Transmission and Localization (ROVER)|
H2020- MSCA-RISE (872752): £150K
The ROVER is seeking to develop novel solutions and procedures for international adaptation of complex non-invasive on-body and in-body wireless systems for healthcare devices. It enables a natural route from profound basic research to health-related applications facilitating the commercialization of wireless technology innovations for international markets. The ROVER is capable of contributing to all levels of the Research, Development and Innovation (RDI) process of new end-to-end approaches. The system architecture that the team envisions as the ultimate outcome of the four-year project is increasingly seamless, dependable, energy-efficient and secure. Our team is also capable to take into account all the features coming from 5G health vertical roadmap due to the existing research activities we have. The system architecture to be developed relies on pivotal expertise in multidisciplinary areas of engineering, physics, medicine, computer science and product development. The end to end ROVER architecture described implements non-ionizing diagnostics and monitoring augmented by secure data transfer at all levels with medicinal involvement does not currently exist. Individual as well as pivotal collaborative research and innovations are required to create user-required backward compatible systems beyond state-of-the-art.
| UWB Wearable Apparatus for Bone Fracture Imaging and Recovering Monitorin|
H2020-MSCA-IF (793449): £180K
UWB imaging has recently emerged as one of the most promising non-invasive imaging modalities of the last two decades. Its low cost, non-ionising characteristics justify the considerable interest of the scientific community. Extension of microwave imaging to bone fracture assessment is one goal of WEBOING proposal. In this contest, the design of UWB wearable apparatus for bone fracture imaging and recovering monitoring will allow to perform imaging without exposing patients to dangerous X-rays.The portable nature of the apparatus, will allows its use in site of accidents. In fact, simple microwave antennas coupled with a laptop-integrated Vector Network Analyser (VNA) are required, giving the methodology simplicity in manufacturing and a very a low cost; this aspect is even more significant if related to conventional techniques. Imaging of the bone fracture will be performed for the first time by appropriately reconstructing the electromagnetic field at UWB frequencies. Electromagnetic field reconstruction will be performed combining Modes concept and Huygens principle, which represents a new and unconventional procedure. Moreover, the same UWB antennas will also allow fracture recovering monitoring; in fact, by embedding the antennas in the plaster cast, it will be possible to perform bone imaging on periodic base without having to remove the plaster cast itself. Since the apparatus will use safe UWB rather that dangerous non-ionising radiation, examination can be repeated any time and in any condition.
Other key funder projects:
- Joint PhD studentship, LSBU and OrthoSports Ltd, UK, £60,000 (2020 - 2023).
- Joint PhD studentship, LSBU and Welland Medical Ltd, UK, £60,000 (2019 - 2022).
- Innovate UK Eartex, December 2017 £100K.
- KTP Innovate UK and Eartex 2 years, £100K.
- TSB grant: partners National Physical Laboratory, Marks and Spencer. UWB inspection of crop
quality; PI (Academic): 100K to LSBU (October 2017).
- EPSRC (EP/K002473/1) Energy Efficiency in Buildings programme: DANCER (Digital Agent
Networking for Customer Energy Reduction) received a budget of £911K for LSBU over 5 years
- EPSRC/TSB funded project, "Energy Management and Analysis Exploiting Existing Building
Management Systems Infrastructure and Data", EP/M506734/1 started in 2014. Total budget of £633K
(about £250K LSBU share).
- EPSRC grant with UCL (LSBU part £230K) to electrospin novel piezo detectors.
- Skin bioengineering projects: Continuous Mean Arterial Pressure (cMAP), measurements, epiTherm
Ltd, UK, Mobile skin measurement device, Biox Systems Ltd, UK, Digital spiky neuron network, Silicon
Thoughts, UK, Capacitive skin imaging, Biox Systems Ltd, UK.