EMB – Past Events

April 8, 2010

“EMBS Meeting at VA Patient Safety Center”

Dr Lloyd, the Director of Research Labs at the VA Patient Safety Research Center, discussed the biomechanics of falling and prevention of fall-related head injury. He covered some of the consequences of fall related injuries. Specifically, injuries to the head, and the propensity of the elderly or handicapped persons to suffer these types of injuries. For patients that are prone to falling, one of the key factors in preventing head related injuries during a fall is compliance in wearing a protective helmet. Unfortunately, due to many reasons, including fashion, some patients are reluctant to wear a helmet. As a result, Dr Lloyd and the team at the Patient Safety Research center has been investigating new, thinner, materials for use in more fashionable designs of protective head gear, with the end result being greater patient compliance and reduced risk of head injury after a fall. Dr Lloyd demonstrated some of the testing methodologies that he uses at the patient safety research center to gather data during the design and testing process of various impact dampening materials and the resulting helmet designs. Dr Lloyd concluded the discussion and demonstrations with a tour of some of the labs at the facility. The discussion and tour was well received by all who attended the event.

January 15, 2010

“Engineering the Brain Machine Interface”

Dr. Iyad Obeid– Assistant professor of Electrical and Computer Engineering and director of the Neural Instrumentation Lab at Temple University. Brain Machine Interfaces (BMIs) are technologies that use real-time signals from the brain and nervous system to control end effectors such as cursors, prosthetic limbs, or even actual de-innervated limbs. This talk provided a background of the BMI field including the main types of BMIs and the key technological challenges to making them functional and robust. Dr. Obeid presented an introduction to BMI and then mentioned the instrumentation, modeling and neural signal decoding and hardware requirements for processing. The seminar provided a glimpse of key challenges that are facing BMI to make this more viable as neural assistive medical devices. (25 attendees)

November 12, 2009

“Assistive Technologies: Current Art and Research”

Dr. Kathryn De Laurentis– Research Coordinator for the Center for Rehabilitation Engineering and Technology at USF, and managing partner at Fourier Designs. Dr De Laurentis began the presentation with an overview of Assistive Technology; describing the term, and some of the various applications that make use of this technology. This field of research and development deals with enabling people to perform tasks that they were formerly unable to accomplish or had a great difficulty accomplishing. Assistive technology includes mobility devices such as walkers and wheelchairs, as well as hardware, software, and peripherals that assist people with disabilities. However, this also includes devices that allow people without disabilities to perform tasks that are beyond human limits, such as exoskeletons that allow the lifting of heavy objects. Throughout the presentation, Dr. De Laurentis gave many other examples of assistive technologies, as well as demonstrating a prototype of a prosthetic wrist, which provides user motion in two directions. (19 attendees)

June 24, 2009

“Cochlear Implants- Yesterday, Today and Tomorrow”

Dr. Nancy J. Muscato– Audiologist, USF Communication Sciences and Disorders. Dr. Muscato discussed the physical structure of the ear and cochlear implants. The topic was very well received and there were many follow up questions and discussions. During the talk, Dr. Muscato also provided valuable insight into how patients with cochlear implants patients perceive some sounds and how these sounds differ from the acoustic sounds heard by persons without these implants. To experience what the world might sound like with a cochlear implant you can check out this site http://www.hei.org/research/aip/audiodemos.htm. Note that this site is not affiliated with IEEE or the FWCS chapter of EMBS and we assume no responsibility for the site’s content. (19 attendees)

April 16, 2009

“P300 Brain Computer Interface (BCI) – the brain as a finger”

Dr. Yael Arbel– Postdoctoral Fellow, Department of Psychology at USF discussed a brain computer interface (BCI) that allows users to communicate with the world without utilizing voluntary muscle activity (i.e., using only the electrical activity of the brain). BCI systems utilize what is known about electrical brain activity to detect the message that a user has chosen to communicate. These systems rely on the finding that the brain reacts differently to different stimuli, based on the level of attention given to the stimulus and the specific processing triggered by the stimulus. Described by Farewell and Donchin in 1988, the P300 based Speller is one such BCI system that relies on a brain response known as the P300, whose attributes have been studied for over four decades. The P300-based BCI emulates a keyboard, giving the user the ability to choose from a finite number of options—the keys on a keyboard—and allowing the patient to construct, letter by letter, words and sentences, thus establishing communication with the world outside. (18 attendees)

October 15, 2008

“Evaluating the role of spectral and envelope characteristics in the intelligibility advantage of clear speech”

Dr. Jean Krause– Assistant Professor, Communication Sciences and Disorders, USF

August 28, 2008

“Hearing Aid Technology – State of the Art”

Dr. Robert Zelski and Ms. Lynette Dornton , of USF Communication Sciences and Disorders, provided an excellent overview about everything you wanted to know about hearing and hearing aid technology. They introduced the audience to the physiology of hearing, hearing loss, and measurements. After that, they gave a grand tour of past and present hearing aid technology, using hands on displays of the many different hearing aids available. They also discussed hearing aid fitting and verification. They ended with a discussion on debunking myths about hearing loss and aids. (15 attendees)

April 17, 2008

“Communication between the Heart and Other Organs”

Dr. John Dietz, Professor of Molecular Pharmacology & Physiology, School of Biomedical Sciences, USF College of Medicine. This seminar discussed how the heart communicates with other organs, such as the kidneys and gastrointestinal system through a variety of neuro and endocrine reflexes. One important neuro-endocrine reflex is facilitated by pressure sensors in the heart and great vessels which modulate a hormone secreted by the brain. In addition, hormones made by the heart itself can have dramatic effects on the kidneys and other organs. (18 attendees)

February 26, 2008

“Phantoms for Evaluation of Interactions between Antennas and the Human Body”

Dr. Koichi Ito, IEEE Distinguished Lecturer and Professor, Chiba University, Japan The influence of the human body on the performance of the antenna and an influence of EM waves on the human body were discussed. Various types of numerical phantoms or human models, used for theoretical analysis and computational simulation, were introduced.  Canonical phantoms used for EM dosimetry inside the human head and experimental phantoms, such as the “electric-field method” with a liquid phantom and the “thermographic method” with a semi-hard or solid phantom, were introduced and compared. Finally, this presentation introduced some examples of “new” solid phantoms, including a UWB phantom and a torso phantom which are used for the study on body-centric wireless communications. This was a MTT/AP/ED and MEBS Joint Chapter Event. (13 attendees)

February 22, 2008

“Polymer Actuators for the Micro-Scale”

Professor Elisabeth Smela, Department of Mechanical Engineering, University of Maryland. Microelectromechanical systems (MEMS) need actuators for gripping, micromanipulation, and locomotion (microrobotics). This seminar discussed Professor Elisabeth Smela’s work with conjugated polymer actuators for biomedical applications, miniaturization of dielectric elastomer actuators for “dry” applications in air, and the associated system integration issues. This was an IEEE EMBS and NSF IGERT SKINS Program Cosponsored event. (35 attendees)

October 17, 2007

“Understanding Biomedical Technology Patent Strategies”

Dr. Bruce Friedman, from GE Healthcare, reviewed the subtle and often missunderstood patent process for the dynamic landscape of biomedical technologies. He explained how Biomedical technology ideas flow into a patent, as well as some of the common patent pitfalls by using interesting patent examples. (19 attendees)

April 19, 2007

“Ongoing Biomedical Research Projects at USF Department of Ophthalmology”

Dr. David Richards, from USF Department of Ophthalmology, presented topics in digital imaging of the retinal nerve fiber layer for detection of glaucoma, probabilistic modeling of optic nerve damage in glaucoma, mini-tonometer tip for intraocular pressure measurement by applanation of the cornea, and multi-spectral digital holography of the retina and cornea. (23 attendees)