On Wednesday the 11.03.2020 the three-day workshop “Innovative Processing of Bioelectrical and Biomagnetical Signals” started at Kiel University. This workshop is a collaboration of the two expert committees “Biosignals” and “Magnetic Methods in Medicine” of the German Society for Biomedical Engineering in the VDE. Researchers working at the interface between medicine and technology were able to present their research during poster sessions and short scientific talks. The subjects included cardiological examinations, possible applications for biomagnetism, methods to analyse movement as well as neurological biosignals. Despite the broad field of discussions, a lively scientific exchange was achieved.
The dean of Kiel University’s Faculty of Medicine, Prof. Dr. Ulrich Stephani, praised the work of the researchers, stating that no progress of medical diagnosis would be possible without technological research. This was also underlined by four keynotes given by Prof. Dr. Eckhard Quandt (Kiel Univer-sity), PD Dr. Helmut Laufs (University Medical Center Schleswig-Holstein), Prof. Dr. Wilhelm Schulte-Mattler (University Medical Center Regensburg) und PD Dr. Philipp Hüllemann (University Medical Center Schleswig-Holstein, MediClin Klinikum Soltau). They provided insight in sensor systems, signal processing and diagnostic procedures within different medical contexts.
In the course of the workshop six junior scientists were honoured by the Young Investigator Award for excellent talks or posters. The best talk was given by Michael Kircher (KIT) about “Nonlinear and Piecewise Fitting of Indicator-Enhanced EIT-Signals: Comparison of Methods“. The talk about “Colour Spaces and Facial Regions for a Camera-Based Heart Rate Estimation” by Hannes Ernst (TU Dresden) was voted second best. Patricia Piepjohn (Kiel University) was awarded the third place for her talk concerning “Real-Time Classification of Tremor Patients’ Movement Patterns”. The price for the best poster was awarded to Nicolas Pilia (KIT) for his contribution about “Reconstruction of Potassium Concentrations with the ECG on Imbalanced Datasets“. The poster on the subject of “Active Shielding of Optically Pumped Magnetometer by Means of Helmholtz Coils” by Christin Bald (Kiel University) was honoured with the second place. Richard Hohmuth’ poster (TU Dresden) concerning “Applicability of Spectroscopy in Multispectral Photoplethysmography” was voted third best. The award winners will be supported in publishing their contributions to the workshop in the journal “Biomedical Engineering/ Biomedizinische Technik”.
Owing to the precautionary measures which were taken due to the corona virus, several participants could not be part of the workshop. The organisers of the event, Prof. Dr. Gerhard Schmidt (Kiel University), Prof. Dr. Andreas Bahr (Kiel University) and Eric Elzenheimer (Kiel University) concluded that they are glad to have held the workshop in spite of the corona virus and they hope that the participants could draw on the exchange with colleagues they have had during those three days for a while.
Cara Broß, IPN - Leibniz Institute for Science and Mathematics Education, Kiel, Germany
Kiel research team develops energy-efficient sensors for extremely low frequencies.
Electrical signals measurements such as the ECG (electrocardiogram) can show how the human brain or heart works. Next to electrical signals magnetic signals also reveal something about the activity of these organs. They could be measured with little effort and without skin contact. But the especially weak signals require highly sensitive sensors. Scientists from the Collaboraive research Center 1261 "Magnetoelectric Sensors" at Kiel University have now developed a new concept for cantilever sensors, with the future aim of measuring these low frequencies of heart and brain activity. The extremely small, energy-efficient sensors are particularly well-suited for medical applications or mobile microelectronics. This is made possible by the use of electrets. Such material is permanently electrically charged, and is also used in microphones for hearing aids or mobile phones. The research team presented its sensor concept in a special edition of the renowned journal Nano Energy.
Full CAU press release: https://www.uni-kiel.de/en/university/details/news/280-sensoren/
From 19-21 August 2019, the first summer school of the CRC took place at the Wissenschaftszentrum Kiel und the Faculty of Engineering. About 30 doctoral candidates and external speakers from Kiel, Germany as far as Moscow attended the interdisciplinary event with the title “Magnetic sensing and applications in medicine and industry – state of the art and new prospects”. It contributed to establish new contacts as well as enhance existing collaborations that, for example, started at some of the research stays of many CRC-members.
Invited speakers from science and industry presented their work on the development and the application of sensors. The discussed topics included sensor concepts, fabrication, characterization, modeling, benchmarking, Sensor array building and design, measurement electronics, signal processing, Forward/inverse problems and sensor fusion and medical diagnostics. The participants presented their work as a poster or in a short talk. At the second day, the participants could attend one of three soft skills courses on time management, intercultural competence or presentation techniques. An interactive talk on Public Outreach enabled them to present their own research project in a comprehensible way for non-scientists.
On the third day, the participants could visit several laboratories like Kiel Nanolab or the magnetically shielded room as facilities of the Departments of Materials Science and Electrical Engineering. The Lab Visits at the Faculty of Engineering should provide practical insights into methods and instruments used in Kiel. At the end of the conference Professor Eckhard Quandt, spokesperson of the CRC, awarded a prize for the best poster to Renato Huber from the Leibniz Institute for Solid State and Materials Research Dresden.
After the successful conferences in 2013, 2015 and 2017 the 4th European Symposium on Intelligent Materials will bring together experts in the field of intelligent materials to present and discuss recent developments and detect future trends. A focus of the conference is the interdisciplinary exchange between scientists from materials science, physics, chemistry and biology. Therefore, the European Symposium on Intelligent Materials 2019 is an excellent forum for discussions with international key researchers. It has the aim to stimulate new collaborations for developing novel intelligent material systems and characterizing their functionality, from molecular mechanisms to applications.
The CRC 1261 ist again closely cooperating with the conference and contributions related to the CRC's research spectrum are included in the programme
With a joint fellowship programme the American Ceramic Society, the Pennsylvania State University (Penn State) and the Kiel University (CAU) want to support the international exchange of doctoral researchers. The programme „International Research Experience for Students“ is funded by the American National Science Foundation (NSF) with 500,000 dollars. It enables young scientists from the USA to complete a six-month research stay in Kiel. From the winter semester 2019/20 onwards, they will be able to attend lectures at the Faculty of Engineering and get actively involved in its research work. The subject of the three-year programme is based around three of Kiel University's major research networks, which are working at the interface between engineering and medicine on sensors for biomagnetic fields (Collaborative Research Centre (CRC) 1261 "Magnetoelectric Sensors: From Composite Materials to Biomagnetic Diganostics"), on new materials to treat brain disorders (Research Training Group 2154 "Materials for Brain") and on the implementation of the information processing in nervous systems into hardware electronics.(Research Group 2093 "Memristive devices for neuronal systems").
The aim of the programme IRES is to support first-rate young researchers at the CAU and American universities in their career development: Programme participants, known as PACK fellows (Penn State – American Ceramic Society – University of Kiel), will have the opportunity of a training in an international setting and building long-term networks. The programme focuses on their exchange with scientist of the CAU and Penn State in the fields of magnetoelectric composite materials, biomagnetic sensors, imaging procedures to display brain activities, biomaterials, medical signal processing and neuromorphic components. The American Ceramic Society is administering the programme.
"Bringing young committed researchers together at international level and establishing networks for them is an important component of our support for young researchers," stressed CRC spokesperson Professor Eckhard Quandt. "This cooperation also demonstrates Kiel University's research strength and international visibility in the emerging field of biomagnetic field sensing. Through this project, we hope to establish the foundations for further German-American research partnerships."
Full CAU press release: https://www.uni-kiel.de/en/details/news/pack0/
The CRC1261’s graduate student program “Integrated Research Training Group” IRTG promotes young scientists to present their research at international conferences. To do so, project A6 member and electron microscopist Niklas Wolff was granted the opportunity to visit the 19th International Microscopy Congress IMC19 held in Sydney from 9-14th September. Niklas presented his research on the micro- and the atomic structure of multilayer systems which are investigated for potential application as high-temperature stable magnetostrictive phase for biomagnetic sensors.
In the future, highly-sensitive sensors could be able to detect magnetic signals from the body in order to draw conclusions on heart or brain functions. In contrast with established electrical measurement techniques, they would achieve contactless measurement, i.e. without direct skin contact. At present, such measurements are still associated with considerable expense and effort. This is because the sensors must be cooled dramatically, or shielded against other magnetic fields. Now, researchers at Kiel University built an important basis for biomagnetic diagnostics. In the Collaborative Research Center (CRC) 1261 "Magnetoelectric Sensors: From Composite Materials to Biomagnetic Diagnostics", they are researching the development of magnetic field sensors, which in the long-term - with better spatial resolution - could be easily put to use in medical practice. The interdisciplinary research team developed a magnetic field sensor system that not only includes the detection of a magnetic signal, but also its processing. The researchers presented their results in the journal Scientific Reports.
Full press release can be found at: http://www.uni-kiel.de/pressemeldungen
Our new phase noise analyzer FSWP from Rohde & Schwarz has just arrived. With this measurement device the phase noise (and also the amplitude noise) of both one-port and two-port devices under test (DUT) can be measured. One-port measurements are particularly necessary for the noise characterization of the oscillators used for the excitation of our sensors. However, the main feature of this device is the additional radio frequency (RF) source for so-called additive phase noise measurements, e.g. two-port measurements. Thus, we are now able to comprehensively analyze our new surface acoustic wave (SAW) magnetic field sensors [Kit 2018] regarding their noise behaviour. Last but not least the FSWP greatly supports the development of low-noise sensor electronics.
[Kit 2018] A. Kittmann, P. Durdaut, S. Zabel, J. Reermann, J. Schmalz, B. Spetzler, D. Meyners, N. X. Sun, J. McCord, M. Gerken, G. Schmidt, M. Höft, R. Knöchel, F. Faupel, and E. Quandt: Wide Band Low Noise Love Wave Magnetic Field Sensor System; Scientific Reports, vol. 8, no. 278, January 2018; http://dx.doi.org/10.1038/s41598-017-18441-4