Welcome to the seminar series on the topic of Biomedical Engineering!

This seminar series is brought to you by the Division of Biomedical Engineering, Dept. Materials Science and Engineering and MedTech Science & Innovation Centre, with the aim of bringing together people at UU and beyond with an interest in biomedical engineering and to share news on the research that is going on across the university in this area.

The seminars will run during lunch time on the second Thursday of every month during term time and all are welcome to attend, in physical or digital format. A lunch sandwich will be served for those that attend in person. You can find more information about the individual seminars below.

Upcoming Seminar: 2 February 2023

Speaker: Dr. Sérgio Pequito, Department of Information Technology, Uppsala University

Title: Closed-loop electrical neurostimulation to mitigate abnormal neural behavior

Abstract: Electrical neurostimulation is an increasingly adopted therapeutic methodology for neurological conditions such as epilepsy and chronic pain. Nowadays, the devices automatically and dynamically deploy prespecified stimulation stimuli that were decided upon (offline) during a period of manual (and empirical) calibration. The stimulation stimuli are deployed upon the detection of abnormal neural activity due to, for example, seizures and chronic pain.

It is important to notice that the potential information contained in the measurements acquired is considerably underutilized, given that this type of stimulation strategy only entails an event-triggered relationship. Therefore, we must consider an online feedback (i.e., closed-loop) strategy. More precisely, the stimulation stimuli should be crafted based on the state of the neurophysiological system estimated from the data collected.

In this talk, we introduce a (mathematical) model-based approach for (real-time) closed-loop electrical neurostimulation, in which the evolution of the system is captured by a fractional-order system (FOS). More precisely, we propose a model predictive control (MPC) approach with an underlying FOS predictive model, due to the ability of fractional-order dynamics to more accurately capture the long-term dependence present in biological systems, compared to the standard linear time-invariant models. Furthermore, MPC offers, by design, an additional layer of robustness to compensate for system-model mismatch, which the more traditional strategies lack.

To establish the potential of our framework, we focus on epileptic seizure and chronic pain mitigation. Specifically, we consider in-silico settings and provide evidence of the effectiveness of our method on seizures and pain due to neuromas simulated by commonly adopted models in the neuroscience and medical community present in the literature. Our study thus paves the way for the development and implementation of robust real-time closed-loop electrical neurostimulation, which can then be used for the construction of more effective devices for both epileptic seizure and chronic pain mitigation.

Bio: Dr. Sérgio Pequito is an associate professor in automatic control in the Department of Information Technology, at Uppsala University. Pequito's research consists of understanding the global qualitative behavior of large-scale systems from their structural or parametric descriptions and provides a rigorous framework for the design, analysis, optimization, and control of large-scale systems. Currently, his interests span to neuroscience and biomedicine, where dynamical systems and control theoretic tools can be leveraged to develop new analysis tools for brain dynamics toward effective personalized medicine and improve brain-computer and brain-machine-brain interfaces. Pequito was awarded the best student paper finalist in the 48th IEEE Conference on Decision and Control (2009) and the 2016 O. Hugo Schuck Award in the Theory Category by the American Automatic Control Council.

Previous Seminar: 8 December 2022

Speaker: Adj. Prof. Philip Procter Department of Materials Science and Engineering, UU.

Title: From Screwing to gluing – Our Odyssey to find a viable musculoskeletal tissue glue.

Abstract: I will present the story of how, as a young product manager in an orthopaedic company making metal implants for the repair of broken bones, I begin the search for the dream orthopaedic biomaterial – a bone glue. How, after many years of patiently searching through adhesive candidates I eventually undertake research at UU that is successful and leads to the founding of Biomimetic Innovations - a company that is developing the worlds first bone adhesive. Nobody achieves something like this on their own and I will illustrate how serendipity as well as many talented people and in particular Sweden have all helped me find something that has eluded researchers for over 100 years. I have invited a UU colleague, Gry Hulsart Billström to help me illustrate this. I will conclude with a practical demonstration with OsStic our bone glue.

Bio: I am industry-based and a self-employed medical device consultant in France.  My main activity is translating biomaterials from the laboratory to clinical use to meet unmet clinical needs. I have co-founded two SME’s GPBio Ltd, (Ireland 2013) for developing adhesive biomaterials and Biomimetic Innovations Ltd, (Ireland 2020) which is currently commercialising OsSticR, a patented, adhesive platform technology with two multinational implant companies. I direct research into Biomimetic injectable biomaterials, Tissue adhesives and Bone graft substitutes, primarily at UU as Adj Prof, and also at EPFL in Lausanne, Switzerland. I am a Chartered Engineer (FIMechE, UK) and Chartered Scientist (FIPEM, UK) with a Diploma in Management and Marketing IMI Dublin (Ireland), a PhD in Biomedical Engineering, Strathclyde University, (Scotland) and a BTech. Mechanical Engineering, Brunel University London, (UK).

Previous Seminar: 10 November 2022

Speaker: Assoc. Prof. Karin Fromell, Dept. Immunology, Genetics and Pathology, UU.

Title: Innate immune response to biomaterials

Abstract:  Important for all types of biomaterial implants is their biocompatibility, which can be defined as “The ability of a material to perform with an appropriate host response in a specific application”. Many of the materials are far from ideal, which leads to unwanted adverse reactions triggered by the body's defense systems. The innate immune system is the first line of defense against microorganisms and foreign substances in the human body and extremely important for our survival. However, also biomaterials intended fulfill a function in the body, will be recognized as foreign by the innate immune system, which may lead to both thrombosis and inflammation. By understanding the mechanisms behind these adverse reactions, the possibilities of preventing them, or at least controlling them, increase. In this seminar I will present the models we have developed to be able to study the biocompatibility of different biomaterial in contact with blood and how to monitor activation and interaction between different components of innate immunity.

Bio: Karin Fromell is Associate Professor/Docent at the Department of Immunology, Genetics and Pathology at Uppsala university. Her area of expertize is the mechanisms behind activation of the cascade systems in blood and their cross-talk i.e. thromboinflammation, with focus on the effect of surface properties on key initiator proteins in the coagulation and complement systems. She has a PhD in Physical and Analytical Chemistry with a specialization in Surface Biotechnology followed by five years as Protein assay specialist at Modpro AB, which is a small biopharmaceutical company designing molecules for recognition of proteins.

Previous Seminar: 13 October 2022

Speaker: Ingela Lanekoff (Department of Chemistry, Uppsala University)

Title: Increasing chemical insights of biological systems though analytical technique development

Abstract: Chemical processes govern the function of biological system, from individual cell, cellular regions in tissue, and organs. By developing new analytical techniques and methods, the chemistry of functional and dysfunctional biological systems can be mapped to realize the underlying reasons for disease. Here, I will provide insights into the chemistry of tissue and cells and discuss our findings on the chemistry of biological function and dysfunction using our analytical techniques.

Bio: Ingela Lanekoff is a Professor in Analytical Chemistry and her research is focused on technique and method developments for mass spectrometric analysis of small molecules, such as metabolites and lipids, in tissue and cells. In particular, her lab is performs chemical imaging of thin tissue sections using nano-DESI, spatial metabolomics with surface sampling capillary electrophoresis, and rapid metabolomics of cell samples with down to individual cells. These new techniques and analytical developments enable in depth chemical analysis of both low abundant bioactive molecule and isomeric metabolites to learn about the role of small molecules in biological systems.

Previous Seminar: 2 June 2022

Speaker: Petra Dittrich, ETH Zurich

Title: Droplet microfluidics as artificial cells

Bio: Petra is a Professor of bioanalytics in the Department of Biosystems Science and Engineering at ETHZ, Switzerland. Her research group develops miniaturized devices (so-​called lab-​on-chip technology or microfluidics) for applications in the life sciences using an interdisciplinary approach  combining chemical, physical, biological and engineering aspects of microfluidics-​based technology.

Learn more about Prof. Dittrich and the Bioanalytics Group on their homepage here.

Previous Seminar: 5 May 2022

Speaker: Professor Lorena Betancor, Department of Biotechnology, Faculty of Engineering, Universidad ORT Uruguay

Title: Biomimetic nanohybrids as nanoactuators for Enzyme Prodrug Therapy

Abstract: Nanohybrids harness the intrinsic characteristics of each individual material in a composite  that exhibits improved and new additional properties as a result of a synergetic effect of its structural builders. In this context, the synthesis of bio-nanohybrids based on biosilicification processes taking place in nature represents an extraordinary suitable approach compatible with enzyme immobilization due to its mild and fast synthetic approach (room temperature, neutral pH, free of organic solvents).

In this seminar I will we present a recently developed nanohybrid (nH) combining biomimetic silica (BioSi), magnetic nanoparticles (MNPs) and horseradish peroxidase enzyme (HRP), acting as core elements. The purpose of this nanocomposite is to combine the ability of MNPs to absorb energy in the presence of an external alternating magnetic field (AMF) and release it in the form of heat to locally reach the optimal HRP temperature via remote control. Triggering and modulation of the HRP activity may be used in Directed Enzyme Prodrug Therapy (DEPT) where a non-active prodrug is converted into a biologically active therapeutic molecule by enzyme activation. Details on the integration of each component of the nH will be discussed as well as its characterization and in vitro application in the remote enzyme activation.

Bio: Lorena Betancor is currently a Professor at the Department of Biotechnology at Universidad ORT Uruguay (Montevideo, Uruguay). Originally a Biochemist from Universidad de la República (Uruguay), she is a PhD from Universidad Autónoma de Madrid and has 4-year post-doc experience working first for the Oak Ridge Institute of Science and Education at the School of Civil and Environmental Engineer (Georgia Tech, Atlanta) and as a fellow of the Ministry of Science (Spain) at the Department of Biochemistry of the University of Cambridge (Cambridge, UK). She was also a research assistant at this University and a Ramón y Cajal fellow at Instituto Madrileño de Estudios Avanzados (Madrid, Spain) before returning to Uruguay. Her background lies in biocatalysis and enzyme immobilization with a particular focus in nanobiotechnology. She is the head of the Protein Technology group at ORT and is now focused on the use of biocatalysts immobilization for the development of environmentally friendly biocatalytic processes, biotechnological valorization of industrial byproducts, and biomedical applications.

Previous Seminar: 7 April 2022

Speaker: Assoc. Prof. Orcun Göksel, Department of Information Technology/MTSI, UU

Title: Deep Learning in Computer-assisted Diagnosis, Therapy, and Imaging

Abstract: This talk is aimed to serve as an overview of research interests in our group. With specific focus on combining imaging, image analysis, and learning systems, the talk will demonstrate several research topics and our recent developments therein; covering rather the breadth than the depth.  Several of our works revolve around ultrasound imaging, which is a safe, cost-effective, portable, and real-time imaging modality.  Its uses will be presented, for example, for elastography for characterizing shear-modulus and for speed-of-sound relating to bulk-modulus.  Several clinical applications, such as on biomechanical and imaging simulations for training and therapy, will also be exemplified.  An overarching theme throughout the talk will be our cutting-edge deep-learning solutions on the various research questions involved.

Bio: Orcun Goksel is associate professor at the Department of Information Technology at Uppsala University. He leads the research group Computer-assisted Applications in Medicine, as part of Uppsala Medtech Science and Innovation Centre and the Centre for Image Analysis. He received bachelor degrees in computer science and electrical engineering. Following a PhD degree from University of British Columbia, in Vancouver, Canada, he held a Swiss National Science Foundation Professorship at ETH Zurich, Switzerland, before joining Uppsala University. His research interests include machine learning, computer vision, ultrasound imaging in biomedical applications, biomechanical tissue characterization, image reconstruction, image-guided therapy, and patient-specific modelling and simulation. By devising novel imaging and image analysis techniques and developing them for clinical translation, his research efforts push the boundaries of diagnostic and surgical procedures as well as minimally-invasive interventions.

Assoc. Prof. Orcun Göksel

Organising Committee

Natalia Ferraz

I lead the NanoBiomaterials group at the Division of Nanotechnology and Functional Materials. Research activities in the NanoBiomaterials group are related with the development of nanostructured materials for biomedical applications. We focus on the use of application-oriented biocompatibility studies to evaluate the impact of nanomaterial design/modification/functionalization on the bioactivity of the material and the response of biological systems.

Read more about our ongoing research projects here: https://materialvetenskap.uu.se/nanotechnology-and-functional-materials/research-areas/nanobiomaterials/

Morteza Ararmesh

Morteza Aramesh received his PhD in (bio)physics from the University of Melbourne, Australia, where he studied functionalization of nanomaterials for biomedical applications, such as single-DNA sensors. He was a Marie-Curie postdoctoral fellow at ETH Zurich (Switzerland), where he was working on biosensors development for single-cell profiling. He held a Group Leader and Lecturer position at ETH Zurich, where he and his team studied mechanobiological cues to engineer cellular functions in immune cells for immunotherapy applications. He is currently holding a tenure-track Assistant Professorship at the Biomedical Engineering division of the Uppsala University, working on 3D biomaterials development for engineering cellular response in immune cells.

Last modified: 2023-01-23