The Centre for BioEngineering

Founded in January 2011 at London South Bank University (LSBU), targets to be a globally acknowledged interdisciplinary research centre of excellence.

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About us

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

Epsilon

Our aims:

  • 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.

Research themes

  • 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

Key facilities

chamber

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).

aquafluxepsilon


High Speed Ultrasound Systemhighspeedultra

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 Calibrationcalibration

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 Simulations3D ultrasound

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.


MammoWaveMammoWave 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.


lazerLasers 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.


Additional equipment
  • 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

Publications

Please click for more publications:
ghavamiProf. Mohammad Ghavami

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

Perry XiaoProf. Perry Xiao

Fanghour, S., Chen, D., Guo, K. and Xiao, P. (2020). Lip Reading Sentences Using Deep Learning with Only Visual Cues. IEEE Access.

asa barberProf. Asa Barber

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

M BerthaumeDr Michael A. Berthaume

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

Sandra dudleyProf. Sandra Dudley

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.

SauravDr Saurav Goel
GeoffDr Geoff Goss

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

EnricoMr Enrico Grisan

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

Sevan HarputDr Sevan Harput

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

Ben LishmanDr Ben Lishman

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

a VilchesDr Antonio Vilches

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 LSBU: £304,000

MMEAW

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 2020-2024

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 2018-2020

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
    (2012-2017).
  • 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.

Prof. Mohammad Ghavami

School/Division: Engineering / Electrical and Electronic Engineering
Job title: Head of BioEngineering Research Centre
Telephone: 020 7815 7196

Mohammad Ghavami is Professor of Telecommunications Engineering and the founder and leader of the BioEngineering Research Centre. His research interests include UWB, smart antenna systems and biomedical applications of wireless technology.


Prof. Perry Xiao

School/Division: Engineering / Electrical and Electronic Engineering
Job title: Head of BioEngineering Research Centre
Telephone: 020 7815 7569

Prof. Xiao's research focuses on the development of novel infrared and electronic sensing technologies for skin measurements and industrial Non-Destructive Testing. He is also a director and co-founder of Biox Systems Ltd, a university spin-out company, which designs and manufactures AquaFlux (trans-dermal water loss measurements) and Epsilon (capacitive imaging).


Prof. Asa Barber

School/Division: Engineering
Job title: Dean of Engineering
Telephone: 020 7815 7502

Professor Asa Barber is the Dean of Engineering. His interests are in materials engineering, particularly the mechanical behaviour of composite-like structures.


Dr Michael A. Berthaume

School/Division: Engineering / Mechanical Engineering and Design
Job title: Lecturer
Telephone: 020 7815 7564

Dr Berthaume is a lecturer in the Division of Mechanical Engineering and Design. He started his tenure at LSBU in the fall of 2019. Prior to LSBU, he was a research associate at Imperial College London, University of Durham, Max Planck Institute of Evolutionary Anthropology, and University of Hull. With degrees and research experience in both anthropology and engineering, his work has focused on the creation/establishment of the field of anthroengineering. He has hosted several symposia on the subject, and has established Berthaume Anthroengineering (BAE) labs at LSBU to develop the subject.


Dr Saurav Goel

School/Division: Engineering / Mechanical Engineering and Design
Job title: Associate Professor
Telephone: 020 7815 7581

Dr. Goel is an Associate Professor in the Division of Mechanical Engineering and Design in the School of Engineering at LSBU


Dr Enrico Grisan

School/Division: Engineering / Computer Science and Informatics
Job title: Senior Lecturer in Artificial Intelligence

Enrico Grisan is Senior Lecturer in Artificial Intelligence and Big Data at LSBU.


Dr Sevan Harput

School/Division: Engineering / Electrical and Electronic Engineering
Job title: Lecturer in RF Systems Signal Processing
Telephone: 020 7815 7555

Dr Sevan Harput is a Lecturer in the division of Electrical and Electronic Engineering.


Dr Ben Lishman

School/Division: Engineering
Job title: Interim Director of Education & Student Experience
Telephone: 020 7928 7532

Dr Ben Lishman is Interim Director of Education & Student Experience. He teaches solid mechanics, finite element analysis, and engineering principles. As a researcher, he is interested in the material properties and solid mechanics of ice, in the Arctic and elsewhere.


Prof. Sandra Dudley

School/Division: Engineering / Electrical and Electronic Engineering
Job title: Director of Research and Enterprise
Telephone: 020 7815 7124

Sandra specialises in the areas of radio and optical communication system design, assistive living and sensor systems and is a member of the School Academic Standards Committee.


Dr Antonio Vilches

School/Division: Engineering / Electrical and Electronic Engineering
Job title: Senior Lecturer
Telephone: 020 7815 7527

Dr Antonio Vilches is an electronics engineer with a device, circuits and systems background. His expertise is in device modelling, circuit design, autonomous systems, robotics, electronic materials and devices, and human computer interaction.