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Biomedical Engineering

Seminars and Events

Featured Seminar

“Electrochemical sensor miniaturisation for oxygen and metabolite monitoring in vivo”

Date: Jan 26 2017 - 14:00

Room: Room C300 Tait Building

Speaker: Prof Pankaj Vadgama - IRC Biomedical Materials- School of Engineering and Materials Science, Queen Mary University of London

Professor Vadgama is currently Director of the IRC in Biomedical Materials, Professor of Clinical Biochemistry, and Head of Service in the Department of Clinical Biochemistry, Barts and the Royal London NHS Trust. Prior to this he was Professor of Clinical Biochemistry, University of Manchester and Professor of Medical Biomaterials, Manchester Materials Science Centre.


Electrochemical sensors have seen applications across the biomedical and biotechnology sectors. They are solid state, facilitate direct, continuous readout and can be selectively positioned in the sample environment. The incorporation of enzymes has extended their repertoire as ‘biosensors’. Because of this they have received considerable attention as implantable devices for in vivo monitoring. This presentation will describe our own experiences of fabricating miniaturised, semi-implantable devices for subcutaneous tissue monitoring. The specific challenges of reagent free measurement, extended linear range to enable dilution free measurement and stabilisation in vivo in the face of tissue reactivity will be covered. Our own approach to resolving these issues will be presented. Core to the approach described will be respectively the use of local tissue hydration, diffusion control barrier membranes and recess electrode design. Short term in vivo sensor monitoring studies  will be presented for glucose, lactate and oxygen, along with an assessment of tissue to blood interrelationships, the likely causes of compartmental differences and a consideration given to the residual problem of confounding in vivo sensing artefacts. The importance of stable, well understood and safe oxidase enzymes for these and other metabolites will be highlighted. Alternative use of sweat monitoring during exercise, including of ions, will be described based, respectively, on textile and planar electrodes. The biomedical benefits of in vivo monitoring will be considered, including their potential for detecting rapid dynamic change and through this the unmasking of hidden information of diagnostic and prognostic value. For the future this strategy offers one route to individualised therapy for the patient subject to rapid, unpredictable, metabolic change.

Past Seminars

“Implantable Cardioverter Defibrillators Today”

Date:  Monday 5th December - 14.00

Room: Room C305 Tait Building

Speaker: Dr Stephen O’Connor Ph.D., Hon. FRCP –Global Bio Enterprises Limited, Milton Keynes, UK.

Stephen O’Connor graduated in Physics at King’s College London and continued with post-graduate studies, obtaining M.Sc. and Ph.D. qualifications, at St. Bartholomew’s Hospital, University of London. He is a Chartered Engineer and Chartered Physicist, as well as being a Fellow of the Institute of Physics and the Institute of Physics and Engineering in Medicine. He became an Honorary Fellow of the Royal College of Physicians, London in 2005, the highest honour that they can bestow on a non-medically qualified person. He has worked within biomedical engineering for 38 years and with implantable medical devices for 26 years. Areas of endeavour include instrumentation, physiological measurement and implantable devices. More specific areas of interest include pulmonary function and drug delivery systems, cardiovascular prostheses as well as implantable devices for use in cardiology and Neurology. He consults with a number of start-up companies in his areas of interest. He is a Visiting Professor at City, University of London.


Implantable Cardioverter Defibrillators (ICDs) have revolutionised out-of-hospital treatment and patient outcomes for life-threatening heart conditions. The seminar will commence with early life saving stimulation of the heart and steps that led the way to transvenous ICDs. A full description of the latest implantable defibrillator, subcutaneous implantable cardioverter defibrillator, S-ICD, will be presented including a new, improved implant technique.

“The bio-inspired artificial pancreas for treatment of diabetes”

Date: 8 June 2016 at 4:00 PM - 5:00 PM

Room: Northampton Suite A

Speaker: Dr Pantelis Georgiou – Imperial College London

Pantelis Georgiou currently holds the position of Senior Lecturer at Imperial College London within the Department of Electrical and Electronic Engineering. He is the head of the Bio-inspired Metabolic Technology Laboratory in the Centre for Bio-Inspired Technology; a multi-disciplinary group that invents, develops and demonstrates advanced micro-devices to meet global challenges in biomedical science and healthcare. His research includes ultra-low power micro-electronics, bio-inspired circuits and systems, lab-on-chip technology and application of micro-electronic technology to create novel medical devices. One of his key research focuses is on new technologies for treatment of Diabetes such as the artificial pancreas but also develops novel lab-on-chip technology with application in genomics and diagnostics in antimicrobial resistance (AMR), in addition to wearable technologies for rehabilitation of chronic conditions. Dr. Georgiou graduated with a 1st Class Honours MEng Degree in Electrical and Electronic Engineering in 2004 and Ph.D. degree in 2008 both from Imperial College London. He then joined the Institute of Biomedical Engineering as Research Associate until 2010, when he was appointed Head of the Bio-inspired Metabolic Technology Laboratory. In 2011, he joined the Department of Electrical and Electronic Engineering, where he currently holds an academic faculty position. He conducted pioneering work on the silicon beta cell and is now leading the project forward to the development of the first bio-inspired artificial pancreas for treatment of Type I diabetes. In addition to this, he made significant contributions to the development of integrated chemical-sensing systems in CMOS. He has pioneered the development of the Ion-sensitive Field effect Transistor, an integrated pH sensor which is currently being used in next generation DNA sequencing machines, demonstrating for the first time it’s use in low-power weak-inversion, and it’s capability in a multimodal sensing array for Lab-on-chip applications. Dr Georgiou is a senior member of the IEEE and IET and serves on the BioCAS and Sensory Systems technical committees of the IEEE CAS Society. He is also the CAS representative on the IEEE sensors council. In 2013 he was awarded the IET Mike Sergeant Achievement Medal for his outstanding contributions to engineering and development of the artificial pancreas.


Our body is capable of controlling the glucose released from the food we eat, though secretion of insulin, a hormone secreted from an organ called the pancreas. Type 1 diabetes is an auto-immune disease that affects the pancreas in our body by destroying the beta-cells, the cells which produce this hormone. This results in an extremely high concentration of a glucose, which when not regulated can lead to severe secondary complications such as blindness, heart disease and nerve damage and affect the quality of life of people suffering from diabetes. Type 1 diabetes currently affects 10% of the 285 million people suffering from diabetes and its incidence is increasing rapidly. In order for intensive management of diabetes there is a need for an artificial equivalent which is capable of sensing the glucose from the blood when we eat and releasing insulin in a continuous closed-loop fashion. In this talk I will present my development of the bio-inspired artificial pancreas, a closed-loop system that replicates the functionality of the biological pancreas to deliver real-time glucose control. At the heart of the device lies the silicon beta-cell, a microchip which replicates the behaviours of the beta-cells of the pancreas and when connected to a glucose sensor can calculate the amount of insulin you need to stay healthy and reduce all the aforementioned secondary complications. This device is currently being worn by people with diabetes and I will show results of our ongoing clinical validation in UK hospitals.

“Low Cost, Point of Decision Molecular Sensing”

Date: May 11, 2016 at 12:30 PM - 1:30 PM

Room: Northampton Suite A

Speaker: Dr Tony Cass – Imperial College London

After graduating with degrees in Chemistry from the Universities of York and Oxford Tony moved to Imperial College London where he is Professor of Chemical Biology in the Department of Chemistry and the Institute of Biomedical Engineering at Imperial College London. He is a Fellow of both the Royal Society of Chemistry and the Royal Society of Biology as well as a member of the Institute of Engineering and Technology and the American Chemical Society. Tony’s research has been recognised by a Royal Society Mullard Medal and a Royal Society of Chemistry Chemical Landmark Award, he is also co-founder of Bionano Consulting.


Making analytical measurements close to the point of decision has long been recognised as an important route to effective management, whether of human or animal health, process manufacture or environmental quality.
Making the sensors low cost and easy to use then enables them to be widely adopted and opens the opportunity to ‘crowd source’ analytical data in a way that is not feasible with laboratory based instruments. Prof. Cass will discuss three of his group’s current projects in continuous glucose sensing, in influenza detection and measurement of arsenic in drinking water that illustrate some of these ideas.

“Neural Interfaces & Microsystems: from State-of-the-Art to the Next Generation”

Date: 6 April 2016 4:00pm - 5:00pm

Room: C320

Speaker: Dr Timothy Constandinou – Imperial College London

Dr Timothy Constandinou is a Senior Lecturer and EPSRC Research Fellow at Imperial College London and also Deputy Director of the Centre for Bio-inspired Technology. Dr Constandinou received BEng and PhD degrees in Electronic Engineering from Imperial College London in 2001 and 2005, respectively. He leads the Next Generation Neural Interfaces research group at Imperial; a multidisciplinary team of approx. 15 full time researchers. The group utilizes integrated circuit and microsystem technologies to create advanced neural interfaces that enable new scientific and prosthetic applications. The ultimate goal is to develop devices that interface with neural pathways for restoring lost function in sensory, cognitive and motor impaired patients. He is currently associate editor of IEEE Trans. Biomedical Circuits & Systems (TBioCAS), is chair-elect of the IEEE Sensory Systems Technical Committee, and member of IEEE BioCAS Technical Committee. He is currently chair of the IET Awards & Prizes committee and also serves on the IET Knowledge Services Board.


We are now entering a tremendously exciting phase in our quest to understand the human brain. With large-scale programmes like the US BRAIN Initiative and the EU Human Brain Project, there is currently a huge appetite for new neurotechnologies and applications. We have already witnessed the impact made by devices such as cochlear implants and deep brain stimulators, with hundreds of thousands of individuals that have and are benefitting every day. Soon, similar assistive technology will emerge for the blind, those suffering from epilepsy, and many others. With the current capability in microtechnology, never before have there been so many opportunities to develop devices that effectively interface with the nervous system. Such devices are often referred to as neural interfaces or brain-machine interfaces and range from wearable surface-electrode systems to fully implantable devices. Neural prostheses use such interfaces to bypass dysfunctional pathways in the nervous system, by applying electronics to replace lost function. Research at the Next Generation Neural Interfaces Lab is aimed, ultimately at developing such devices to provide neural rehabilitation by exploiting the integration capability and scalability of modern semiconductor technology. This talk will review the "state-of-the-art" in the field through examples of our ongoing research, and will identify the key technological challenges. This will set a vision for the future towards next generation systems. The talk will specifically feature the following projects: CANDO – developing a new type of closed-loop optoelectronic pacemaker for focal epilepsy; SenseBack  – providing sensory feedback via a peripheral nerve Interface for hand prosthetics; iPROBE – developing highly scalable (1k+) channel neural recording with real-time spike processing; ENGINI – creating mm-sized, autonomous and distributed neural implants.

“Research in Biofluid Mechanics: some examples”

Date: 17 February 2016 13:00pm - 14:00pm

Room: AG04

Speaker: Professor Christoph Bruecker City, University of London

Professor Christoph Bruecker recently joined the Department of Mechanical Engineering and Aeronautics, City, University of London as BAE SYSTEMS Sir Richard Olver Chair in Aeronautical Engineering  in  August 2015. He received his  PhD degree in Fluid Mechanics from the Technical University of Aachen (RWTH), Germany. He has spent two years as a PostDoc at the von Karman Institute, Rhode-St-Genese, Belgium, studying biofluid mechanics. After habilitation he went as full Professor to the Technical University Freiberg, Germany, where he became the Director of the Institute of Mechanics and Fluid Dynamics. He left after ten years to join City, University of London and was then awarded as Honorary Professor at Freiberg. His research interests are flow control in external and internal flows, biological flows, unsteady vortex dynamics and development of sensors and laser measurement techniques.  He has supervised numerous national and international research projects.


The talk gives an overview of the research activities in the field of biofluid mechanics, which has been carried out over the last years and will continue at City within the framework of a new Bio Fluid Mechanical Lab. Flow studies in the circulatory system as well as in the human airways are reported with respect to their fundamental fluid mechanical behaviour and possible contributions to the medical devices industry.  In addition, bio-inspired design and sensory developments are discussed, as these concepts are more and more contributing to the field of applied aerodynamics.

RCBE Journal Club

In order to keep the ideas flowing and the conversation ongoing, the members of the centre get together every two weeks to discuss a peer-reviewed paper from any discipline, mostly related to the work done within the centre.

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City, University of London is an independent member institution of the University of London. Established by Royal Charter in 1836, the University of London consists of 18 independent member institutions with outstanding global reputations and several prestigious central academic bodies and activities.