Periodic Reporting for period 2 - WiBEC (Wireless In-Body Environment)
Reporting period: 2018-01-01 to 2019-12-31
• Cardiology: The semi-automatic management algorithms and the new capsule system with miniaturized ultra-low power implantable electronic devices containing radio communication interfaces are addressed to overcome problems associated with the current pacemakers containing leads/electrodes connected to the control unit that tend to damage the ventricle valves.
• Gastroenterology: The semi-automatic management algorithms and the magnet assisted robotic capsule are addressed to overcome performances of the current wireless capsule endoscopy by improving screening with a video quality closer to that of colonoscopy in terms of both spatial and temporal resolution with better lighting.
WiBEC produces young scientists addressing scientific, educational and training aspects to prevent congestive heart failure and gastrointestinal cancer. The new leadless and multi-nodal cardiac capsule system with ultra-low power consumption will be able to ense and transmit physiological signals in real-time to facilitate timely intervention and supply clinical information about the heart function. The new wireless and magnet assisted robotic capsule endoscopy system will enable early polyp detection that prevent cancer and early detection of colonic cancer that greatly increases the chance of curative resection.
Training: WiBEC provides a personalised training program including local training in a PhD programme and transferable skills (such as entrepreneurship, project management, medical device approval procedure (FDA/CE), proposal for new medical device standards, writing funding applications) with the long term aim to produce scientific leadership – foundation for ERC starting grants and/or industry leadership - Industry Fellow.
Scientific: Each ESR fellow aims to publish two journal papers and two conference papers
Industry: WiBEC aims to produce 2-3 patents on technologies for deep implantation and increased operational time with an exploitation plan.
Communication and Dissemination: WiBEC aims to produce a white paper on in-body communication standards, 4 popular science publications.
The Consortium Agreement was signed before the project start and was adopted immediately as the guiding principles to execute the project.
The Supervisory Board (SB) and Steering Committee (SC) were set up during the first month of the project.
The SC organized the SB meeting with a frequency of two physical meetings per year and the monthly project meeting.
The web portal, repository and distant learning tools were set up in the first 4 months of the project. The project is visible in the social media such as Twitter, LinkedIn, and YouTube.
All 16 Early Stage Researchers (ESRs) were recruited and collaborating with each other to conduct the training-through research activities.
Two application groups – cardio and gastro – were created and led by SOR and OVE, respectively. The groups had regular bi-monthly meetings where ESRs presented, discussed, and got feedback to their research work. This is in addition to ESRs regular meetings with their supervisors.
ESRs created a journal club where they presented papers and discussed topics among themselves.
7 training schools in technical skills and 3 in transferable skills were organized, together with 10 online seminars.
A total of 7 patent applications were filed.
34 research papers have already been published in the international conferences and journals. Several other submitted papers are under review.
7 special sessions/workshops were co-located with major conferences (BODYNETS 2016/2017/2018, EMBC 2016/2017, PIMRC 2018 and ISMICT 2019).
* Antennas and propagation: WiBEC will compensate for scattering and absorption phenomena that significantly affect the radio signals propagating through human tissues by studying the in-body to in-body communication method in multiple frequencies. Characterizing the wave propagation within the human body and from inside to outside the human body is essential for new biomedical implantable applications using the mid- and near-field characteristics.
* Energy efficient implant wireless communications: WiBEC will develop a novel scenario in which wireless implants are organized into clusters with a dedicated implanted master node. The master implant will control resources allocation and data rates to fulfil the sensing tasks while minimizing energy consumption. Moreover, wireless power transfer will be deployed.
* Data security: WiBEC will advance physical layer security of communicated biometrical data through limiting eavesdropping of physical signals received by the on-body units and the sensor data that carry information on the phenomenon of interest.
* In-body sensing devices: WiBEC will improve a battery-powered capsule for real-time blood detection in the upper gastro-intestinal tract to enable faster and more evidence-based indication for a control endoscopy. Furthermore, WiBEC will exploit this device for another application scenario by combining the capsule with OVE’s OTSC Clipping System.
* Wireless cardiac sensing network: WiBEC will miniaturize the leadless capsule implanted in the right ventricle that incorporates motion (3-axes accelerometer) and blood pressure sensors. This capsule will communicate wirelessly and be powered by a leadless pacemaker device.
* Wireless in-body localization and tracking: WiBEC will propose modifications to the state-of-the-art geometric location and tracking techniques for UWB-based in-body sensors by exploiting temporal and spatial resolution with diversity in multi-receiver configurations.
* Signal processing and image processing for diagnostics: In the gastro-intestinal application scenario, WiBEC will design and develop methods to overcome the problems associated with accurate positioning and orientation of the capsule camera at every moment, the narrow field-of-view of endoscopic cameras, and remove noise/obstructions to improve the image quality. In the cardiology application scenario, the accelerometer data together with blood pressure will be used for estimation of cardiac output.
* System integration and prototyping: WiBEC will enable in-body systems having both wireless power and data transmission that have not jointly been considered before.