Community Research and Development Information Service - CORDIS


WiBEC Report Summary

Project ID: 675353
Funded under: H2020-EU.1.3.1.

Periodic Reporting for period 1 - WiBEC (Wireless In-Body Environment)

Reporting period: 2016-01-01 to 2017-12-31

Summary of the context and overall objectives of the project

WiBEC addresses an ultra-low power, deeply implantable, high data rate communication technology for lifelong operation of medical devices. Two specific applications are selected to demonstrate advancements of the novel theories and prototypes developed.
• 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.

Work performed from the beginning of the project to the end of the period covered by the report and main results achieved so far

The present deliverable reports the activities that have been carried out in the WiBEC project during the months 1-24, i.e., from January 2016 to December 2017. Here are summarized the main accomplishments:

• The Supervisory Board (SB) and Steering Committee (SC) have been set up during the first month of the project.
• The SC organizes 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 have been 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 ESRs have been recruited and are collaborating with each other to conduct the training-through research activities.
• Two application groups – cardio and gastro were created. The groups have regular bi-monthly meetings where ESRs present, discuss, and get feedback to their research work. This is in addition to ESRs regular meetings with their supervisors.
• ESRs have created a journal club where they present papers and discuss topics among themselves.
• Four major training events have been organized such as Experimentation Week on Rhythm Management Devices, Training School on Antennas and Propagation Modelling for Body Environment Communications, Experimentation Week on Testing In-Body Devices, and Training School on Selected Topics in Electronics, Communications, and Sensing.
• Three online seminars on Mini Symposium on Heart Failure and Pacing, Nanoscale communication technologies, and How to Build a Successful Industrial Career have taken place.
• A total of 3 patent applications have been filed, where two of them have reached the PCT phase.
• Seven research papers have already been published in the international conferences and journals. Several other submitted papers are under review.
• Four special sessions/workshops were co-located with major conferences (BODYNETS 2016/2017 and EMBC 2016/2017).
• A total of 23 different communication and outreach actions, as well as 12 presences or presentations at events or networking activities have been recorded.

Progress beyond the state of the art and expected potential impact (including the socio-economic impact and the wider societal implications of the project so far)

WiBEC covers various topics for implant communications, from antennas and propagation to hardware integration and miniaturization. WiBEC advances the state-of-the-art in the following topics through the ESR scientific projects:

* 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.
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