Keynote Lectures

Sergio Cerutti, Polytechnic University of Milan, Italy
          Title: Multivariate and Multisource Processing of Cardiovascular Variability Signals

Ana Fred, Instituto de Telecomunicações / IST, Portugal
          Title: Pervasive ECG - Emotion and Identity at your Fingertips

Salvador Pané i Vidal, Swiss Federal Institute of Technology (ETH), Switzerland
          Title: Biomedical Micro- and Nanorobots - Fabrication and Applications

Multivariate and Multisource Processing of Cardiovascular Variability Signals

Sergio Cerutti 
Polytechnic University of Milan 

Brief Bio 

Sergio Cerutti is Professor in Biomedical Engineering (BME) at the Department of Electronics, Information and Bioengineering, Politecnico di Milano, Italy.  In the period 2000-2006 he has been the Chairman of the Department of Bioengineering, and in the period 2010-2012 the Chairman of BME Programs. His research interests are mainly in  biomedical signal processing, neurosciences and cardiovascular modelling. In his research activity he has put emphasis on the integration of information at different modalities, at different sources and at different scales in various physiological systems. Since 1983 he has taught a course at graduate and doc levels on Biomedical Signal Processing and Modelling at Engineering Faculties (Milano and Roma)  as well as at Specialisation Schools of Medical Faculties. He has been Elected Member of IEEE-EMBS AdCom (Region 8) in the periods 1993-1996 and 2011-2013. He is actually Fellow Member of IEEE, EAMBES, AIMBE and Associate Editor of IEEE Transaction on Biomedical Engineering. He is a member of the Steering Committee of the IEEE-EMBS Summer School on Biomedical Signal Processing. He has been Visiting Professor at Harvard-MIT Division Health Science and Technology, Boston, USA for an overall period of one year as well as for a period of four months at IST - Department of Physics, Lisbon, Portugal. He is the Author of more than 500 international scientific contributions (more than 250 on indexed scientific journals). In 2009 he received the IEEE-EMBS Academic Career Achievement  Award.


Advanced techniques of signal processing are important tools for detecting new information relative to the physiological systems underneath, in a non-conventional way. By combining different signals and different signal sources allows to obtain parameters which cannot be derived by a traditional single-lead or single-channel signal processing. Biological systems are generally complex and the opportunity of obtaining a broader information spanning over different systems and modalities can be precious for fulfilling a kind of holistic diagnostic and therapeutic visions.

Particular emphasis will be dedicated to cardiovascular and autonomic parameters which can be detected from different signals and modalities in sleep studies, in some examples of atrial fibrillation (AF), as well as in the fusion of Heart Rate Variability signal (HRV) and fMRI images, in order to find a precise anatomical/functional correlate between autonomic markers and central nervous activity.


Pervasive ECG - Emotion and Identity at your Fingertips

Ana Fred 
Instituto de Telecomunicações / IST 

Brief Bio 
Ana Fred received the M.S. and Ph.D. degrees in Electrical and Computer Engineering, in 1989 and1994, respectively, both from Instituto Superior Técnico (IST), Technical University of Lisbon, Portugal. She is a Faculty Member of IST since 1986, where she has been a professor with the Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering, and more recently with the Department of Biomedical Engineering. She is a researcher at the Pattern and Image Analysis Group of the Instituto de Telecomunicações. Her main research areas are on pattern recognition, both structural and statistical approaches, with application to data mining, learning systems, behavioral biometrics, and biomedical applications. She has done pioneering work on clustering, namely on cluster ensemble approaches. Recent work on biosensors hardware (including BITalino – and ECG-based biometrics (Vitalidi project) have been object of several nacional and internacional awards, as well as wide dissemination on international media, constituting a success story of knowledge transfer from research to market. She has published over 160 papers in international refereed conferences, peer reviewed journals, and book chapters.


Electrocardiographic signals are typically analyzed for diagnostic purposes.  However, the rhythm and morphology of these signals convey information revealing two additional views over this physiological data: emotional status and identity.  For instance, the relation between heart rate variability and stress has been established. Recent studies show that, not only the rhythm, but also the morphology of the ECG changes associated with several emotional states. Even though there is intra-subject variability, that account for such emotional changes along the time, still each individual presents distinct morphological features that enable his recognition, being the ECG explored as a biometric modality for human authentication and identification. With the advent of low cost systems that enable the acquisition of ECG by simply touching dry electrodes or conductive textiles, we are entering an era where ECG data can be pervasively acquired, by embedding such systems in everyday usage devices, such as the keyboard of a computer, a smartphone, the steering wheel of a car, or the control of a Playstation. This talk presents state-of-the art developments on pervasive monitoring, processing and classification of ECG, under this three-fold scenario of identity, emotion and health assessment, ultimately connected under a cloud-computing environment.


Biomedical Micro- and Nanorobots - Fabrication and Applications

Salvador Pané i Vidal 
Swiss Federal Institute of Technology (ETH) 

Brief Bio 
Dr. Salvador Pané i Vidal (Barcelona, 1980) is currently a Senior Research Scientist at the Institute of Robotics and Intelligent Systems (IRIS) at ETH Zürich.  He received a B.S. (2003), M.S (2004) and a PhD in Chemistry (2008) from the Universitat de Barcelona (UB) in the field of the electrodeposition of magnetic composites and magnetorresistive alloys.  He became a postdoctoral researcher at IRIS in August 2008 and Senior Research Scientist in 2012.  He has authored or co-authored 50 articles in international peer-reviewed journals and books for education in science.  Dr. Pané is currently working on bridging chemistry and electrochemistry with robotics at small scales.  In the field of micro- and nanororobotics, his major focus has been the miniaturization of magnetic materials and conductive polymers and hydrogels for targeted drug delivery.  He is the head of the IRIS electrochemistry laboratory at ETH, which he established in 2010.  At present, he teaches a course on nanorobotics and supervises eight on-going PhD theses. Dr. Pané is the coordinator for the MANAQA project (Magnetic Nanoactuators for Quantitative Analysis), which is funded by the EU commission under the Seventh Framework Programme (FP7/2007-2013) under Information and Communication Technologies (ICT). Dr. Pané was awarded the highly competitive Starting Grantfrom the European Research Council (ERC). The grant provides 1.5 million euros over five years to investigate composite nanomaterials with magnetoelectric properties for chemical and biomedical applications.


Over the past decade researchers have been developing micro- and nanorobots for use as biomedical platforms with applications such as chemical sensing and drug delivery. Understanding and controlling the physical and chemical interactions at the micro- and nanoscale is crucial for the realization of small biomedical robots. One of the main aspects investigated has been the fabrication and optimization of the motility component of these small agents, and one of the most promising approaches is to use electromagnetic systems to wirelessly control and actuate magnetic micro and nano structures.  A goal of the research at the Multi-Scale Robotics Lab consists of creating untethered magnetically controlled micro and nanorobots to make current medical procedures safer and less invasive, and to create entirely new procedures that were never before possible. To increase their performance and to provide additional biofunctionalities (biocompatibility, drug delivery, sensing), other materials must be incorporated. In this work, we will present several magnetic micro- and nanoagents that have been produced in our laboratory with a focus on ophthalmologic and cardiologic applications.