There are 10
partners involved in the EMBalance project; 4 of which are clinical academic institutions and 6 are technical partners.
UCL - University College London
University College London -UCL is ranked 21st in the world (and 3rd in Europe) in the 2012 Academic Ranking of World Universities, 4th in the world (and 2nd in Europe) in the 2012 QS World University Rankings and 17th in the world (and 5th in Europe) in the 2012-13 Times Higher Education World University Rankings. For the period 1999 to 2009 UCL was the 13th most-cited university in the world (and the mostcited in Europe). There are 26 Nobel Prize winners and three Fields Medalists amongst UCL’s alumni and current and former staff. UCL is part of three of the 11 biomedical research centres established by the NHS in England and is a founding member of UCL Partners, the largest academic health science centre in Europe. The UCL Ear Institute opened in 2005, as a result of a major Wellcome Trust grant to fund the building and equipping of the Centre for Auditovestibular Research. It is one of the world’s leading research centres studying all aspects of hearing and balance: its staff, research environment and infrastructure are world class. In the 2008 RAE 70% of all academic staff of the Ear Institute’s unit of assessment were rated 4* or 3*. It contains a range of state-of-the-art facilities for high-quality research, the range and scope of which provides for considerable development in research capacity in future years.
Research at the Ear Institute covers virtually all aspects of modern auditory and vestibular research; projects extend from basic investigations in biophysics, cell biology and genetics, through to electrophysiology and computational neuroscience and cochlear implantation surgery and outcomes. Links with UCL Partners Hospitals are such that patient access and recruitment is allied to research projects and facilitated by clinician-academics.
UCL Partners - UCLP is one of five accredited academic health science systems in the UK with the key mission to translate cutting edge research and innovation into measurable health gain for patients and populations – in London, across the UK, and globally. To achieve this, integrated, value-for-money, outcome-driven solutions to the most pressing health care challenges are being developed, that include faster drug discovery and development; innovative technologies; new approaches to clinician education and professional development; and models of care that drive both quality and value. These solutions are patient-led, organising care around patients’ needs and preferences; Population-focused, taking a systemwide view to drive improved health outcomes at speed and scale; Cross-boundary, spanning primary, secondary and tertiary care, and connecting different phases of academic research. Solutions are developed in partnership with patient groups, universities, NHS Trusts, community care organisations, commissioners, government and industry, in order to embed these solutions in the partners’ everyday working. Academia is harnessed across biomedicine, the humanities and other disciplines, to solve the broader health problems of populations and dialogue is facilitated between academics, clinicians and
populations to ensure that research is focused on impact.
ICCS - Institute of Communications and Computer Systems
ICCS (www.iccs.gr) is a research organisation associated with the School of Electrical and Computer Engineering (SECE) of the National Technical University of Athens (NTUA). ICCS has been established in 1989 by the Ministry of Education in order to carry out research and development activity in the fields of all
diverse aspects of telecommunication systems and techniques, computer systems and their applications, electric power systems, software and hardware engineering, control systems, biomedical engineering, communication networks and distributed systems. The active research personnel of ICCS presently consists
of 60 members of staff of SECE/NTUA, 15 additional research scientists and more than 500 research associates whereas it includes about 40 laboratories and research units.
In this project ICCS participates with the Biomedical Engineering Laboratory (BEL, www.biomed.ntua.gr), the main activities of which cover a wide range of Basic and Applied Research in specialised Biomedical Engineering fields, focusing on the development of applicable end-products. The core R&D activity of the
lab is in the areas of Medical Informatics, Telemedicine, Medical Image Processing, Bio-signal Processing, Home Care Systems and Services and e-Health Applications in general. Moreover, BEL has significant experience in R&D research projects, by participating in more than 100 National and European projects in the 22 years of its scientific activity, and owns
UKLFR - The University of Freiburg Medical Center
The University of Freiburg (UKLFR) Medical Center has a long and rich history. Some of the most famous doctors in the world have worked here, five of which were Nobel Prize winners for achievements in medical science. The medical faculty of the medical center can be traced back to 1457, thus making it one of the oldest and most distinguished faculties in Germany. The Freiburg University Medical Center is part of the Albert Ludwigs University Freiburg, which has been recognized in 2007 as one of five outstanding centers of academic excellence in Germany. The University Medical Center Freiburg offers ready access to world-class medical treatment. It focuses on novel diagnostic procedures and treatments and applies the latest findings in clinical and biomedical research.
The Department of Neurology is located in the Neurozentrum of the Medical Faculty. About 2,900 people undergo treatment in the Department of Neurology on an in-patient basis, and another 10,000 on an outpatient basis every year. The patients are people who have suffered from a dysfunction of the motor apparatus, stroke, epilepsy, multiple sclerosis, polyneuropathy, dementia, headaches, Parkinson’s disease, and other movement disorders, as well as patients with rare neuropathological diseases. One of our clinic’s fields of expertise is neurophysiology which researches the electronic signals of the brain and nerves and the use of modern brain imaging (MRI and PET) to assess restorative capabilities of the brain for neurorehabilitation. Many test protocols were developed and standardized in Freiburg. A key research topic in the sensorimotor field is human posture control, its modelling, and re-embodiment’ into biped robots for ‘hardware in the loop’ simulations of normal balance functions as well as impairments in neurological patients.
The posture control research has a long tradition in the department. It disposes of a laboratory with a custom-made 6-D motion platform, pulling devices (contact force stimuli), visual motion stimuli, and kinematic and kinetic measurement devices. The control of the experiments, data acquisition and data analyses are performed with custom-made software. Furthermore, the laboratory comprises two custommade
posture control robots (PostuRob I, 1 DoF, ankle joints; PostuRob II, 2 DoF, ankle and hip joints). The laboratory including the motion platform and the robots were developed and build by the Neurocenter’s electronic and mechanical workshops. The postural control laboratory has developed over the last decade a model of human balancing control and implemented it into the robot for direct comparison with healthy humans and patients in the posture control laboratory.
UoA - National & Kapodistria University of Athens
The National and Kapodistrian University of Athens was founded in 1837. It is the largest public institution of higher education in Greece, and among the largest universities in Europe. It is a legal entity of public law with 32 Faculties and 111 Postgraduate programmes of all disciplines, 158 Laboratories, 69 Clinics (included
in 4 University Hospitals), 6 Central Libraries. The 1st University Department of Otolaryngology (AORL) was established in 1939 at the Hippokrateio Hospital in Athens, and is the largest Otolaryngology Department in the country. It provides clinical services for all major subspecialties including Otology & Neurotologic surgery, Audiology, Head & Neck Oncology, Lateral Skull Base Surgery, Rhinology and Laryngology. It is also one of the Cochlear Implant Centres in Athens.
In particular, the Audio-Vestibular Laboratory is one of the most prestigious in the country and is focused in the assessment of hearing and balance using the latest technology in audiological and vestibular research, including electrophysiological testing of hearing, otoacoustic emissions for assessment of the cochlear
function and vestibular evoked myogenic potentials for the assessment of the balance organ.
The AORL department has one of the most competitive postgraduate surgical training programs, with 15 surgical Residents. It is responsible for the undergraduate training program of Medical and Dental Students of the National & Kapodistrian University of Athens (https://eclass.uoa.gr/courses/MED332/). The AORL department is actively involved in clinical and basic science research and has published over 130 scientific
papers in international peer-reviewed journals over the last 5 years.
UA - University of Antwerp
Research group headed by Prof dr Floris Wuyts, imbedded in the department of Ear, Nose, Throat (ENT) of the University Hospital of Antwerp, a tertiary referral center. While Wuyts is a physicist, he makes the link between basic sciences and the clinical sciences of the ENT department. Wuyts and his team has developed the past decades new methods for the exploration of the vestibular system in all its different aspects in patients with vertigo that visit the ENT department. Approximately 800 vertigo patients per year are investigated with different methods to optimize diagnostic methods and evaluate therapy. The ENT department is led by Prof Paul Van de Heyning, who has a long standing experience with vertigo patients and vertigo related surgery. Since 2004 different space projects have been done at AUREA. Initially with NASA, and since 2007 with ESA. For the NASA project, we tested the effect of different medications against space motion sickness on the vestibular system, whereas for the ESA experiment SPIN, which is still ongoing, cosmonauts are evaluated in Star City near Moscow, before their space flight as well as several times
in the week immediately after their space flight. Wuyts is Principal Investigator of an international group of scientists that studies the vestibular and cardiovascular function in these cosmonauts that have stayed for 6 months in the International Space Station (ISS). In a next ESA project he and his team will further investigate the effect of microgravity on the brain of cosmonauts, by using the most novel methods of MRI
TUD - Delft University of Technology
Delft University of Technology (Dutch: Technische Universiteit Delft) is the largest and oldest Dutch university of technology, founded in 1842. With eight faculties it hosts over 17,000 students (bachelor and master) and more than 2,500 scientists. The department of Biomechanical Engineering (BMECHE) is hosted in the Faculty of Mechanical, Maritime and Materials Engineering. The BMECHE department has around 31 research staff members (tenured and non-tenured), 60 PhD students and is supported by 11 supporting staff members. Research of BMechE is concentrated in four sections: 1) Medical Instruments, headed by prof Dankelman; 2) Biomaterials Technology, headed by dr Duszczyk; 3) Vision based Robotics, headed by Prof Jonker; 4) BioMechatronics & BioRobotics, headed by Prof van der Helm. Each section has several research lines, amongst other the research line Neuromuscular Control within the section BioMechatronics & BioRobotics. Yearly BMechE research is published in around 80-100 papers in international peerreviewed journals'. And possibly for the education part 'Yearly around around 60-80 students finish their MSc thesis project within BMechE. The BMechE dept. is involved in the MSc Biomedical Engineering, together with the faculties of Applied Sciences and Electrical Engineering, and in the MSc Mechanical Engineering with a track in Biomechanical Design, with the specialisations Bio-Robotics, Biocompatible design and Intelligent Machine Systems. BMechE initiated and is heading NeuroSIPE (System Identification
and Parameter Estimation of Neurophysiological Systems), a national program between universities, academic medical centres and industry to develop novel diagnostic tools for neurological disorders and funded by the Dutch government (5.25 M€). BMechE initiated and is heading IMDI-NeuroControl, a national initiative on neurorehabilitation bringing together academia and industry in the field of neurorehabilitative devices. Through medical delta there are close collaborations with the Leiden University Medical Center (LUMC) and the Erasmus Medical Center (ErasmusMC) Rotterdam.
CITY - The City University
City University was founded in 1894 and is currently host to more than 20000 students and 2000 staff from more than 150 countries. Within it, the School of Informatics hosts a key activity of research in Computing where the majority of academic staff has been recognised as being of international excellence in the national research assessments of 2001 and 2007. City University participates in EMBalance through two collaborating research groups of the School of Informatics, namely the Software Engineering Group (SE@CITY) and the Centre for Human Computer Interaction Design (HCID), that actively pursue two broad research activities in the School: research in software systems engineering and security, and research in human-centred systems.
Founded in 2000, the SE@CITY group has long standing expertise in software engineering focusing on issues related to the engineering and verification of complex and highly distributed software systems involving heterogeneous components and deployment environments. The group has also extensive research and experience in the development of technologies for web based systems engineering and integration and is internationally renowned for its contributions in the fields of service oriented computing, service based systems engineering and the verification of critical dependability, safety and security properties of such systems.
The Centre for HCI Design (CHCID) was founded in 1991 as a university-recognised centre of research excellence for researching, designing and evaluating complex computer-based systems supporting human activities and interactions in a variety of domains including healthcare, learning, social networks and online communities. The research on system accessibility and usability evaluation is aimed at diverse types of
users, including the elderly and disabled. It is also concerned with the use of technology for providing computer-enabled therapies in healthcare (e.g., provision of computer based gesture therapy for aphasia) and assisting humans in healthcare decision-making and clinical workflows (e.g., screening/diagnostic decisions, clinical handovers).
City’s participation in EMBalance will be led by Professor George Spanoudakis, who will also serve as the Quality Manager of the project.
UTWEN - University of Twente
The University of Twente (UTWEN) is an entrepreneurial research university. It was founded in 1961 and offers education and research in areas ranging from public policy studies and applied physics to biomedical technology. The Institute for Technical Medicine and Biomedical Technology (MIRA) is leading in biomedical technology research in areas ranging from biomechatronics and neural engineering to tissue engineering and was established in order to increase research efforts regarding the integration of technology in medicine. It was recently ranked worldwide as the fifth best institute in bioengineering (Quantitative Ranking of Engineering Disciplines (QRED), https://sti.epfl.ch/page-73094.html). The BALANCE project will be executed at the Biomechanical Engineering Laboratory, in mechanical engineering with a focus on biomedical research. The group has links to both the department for Engineering Technology and MIRA.
UTWEN has strong collaborations with rehab centers, research institutes and biomedical companies all over the world, including the Roessingh Rehabilitation Centre and RoessinghR&D in Enschede (NL), St Maartenskliniek (NL), MOOG Robotics (NL), TUDelft (NL), EPFL (CH), and Northwestern University (USA). Within Biomechanical Engineering, Prof. Dr. Herman van der Kooij is in charge of the development of rehabilitation/assistive robotics and investigating (pathological) control of balance and gait. He leads a group of six faculty members, eleven doctoral candidates, and many other graduate and undergraduate students.
ENG - Engineering Ingegneria Informatica S.P.A.
Engineering Group is Italy’s largest systems integration group and a leader in the provision of complete IT services and consultancy. Engineering Group has about 6500 employees and 35 branch offices, throughout Italy, Ireland and Belgium, and (outside the EU) in Brazil and Latin America. It has a global production capacity in 30 different countries, mainly related to projects in the industrial and telecommunications sectors. The Engineering Group operates through five business units Finance, Public Administration and Healthcare, Industry and Services, Utilities and Telco, Training Services, which are supported by 250 highly specialized transversal skills centres, and by its Central Office for Research and Innovation, with the double objective of promoting the role of software research at international level as well as bringing the innovation to the business units productive cycles.
Engineering was one of the first Italian companies to adopt the Quality standard ISO 9001 in the early 1990s. Since 1996 the company has adopted NATO standard AQAP 2110/160 certification. Recently the production units have been certified CMMI® level 3. The Engineering Group enhances its competences and services in the area of managed operations at the Pont Saint Martin Service Centre (PSM), which is a concrete example of European-level technological excellence for outsourcing services, provided to more than 100 Italian and international customers.
Engineering is also a founding member of the open source consortium, OW2.
BioIRC - BioIRC D.O.O. Kragujevac
Bioengineering Research and Development Center (BioIRC) is an SME for bioengineering, scientific computing and software development founded in 2008 and located at Kragujevac in Serbia. The basis of centre is former group from Center for Scientific Research of Serbian Academy of Science and Art from University of Kragujevac which is independent research institution now.
Among the scientific projects is a dominant project between BioIRC and Harvard University in the field of modelling in physiology and medical imaging. The BioIRC is capable, with its hardware, software and researchers, to participate in activities within the project. The BioIRC already has a large number of papers published or currently in press in the field of methods of computer modelling, which spans from traditional finite element method to modern discrete particle modelling and multi-scale modelling in engineering and bioengineering.
There are a number of international projects with University of Vienna, University of Tubingen, PolyU University in Hong Kong, University of Munich, University of Heidelberg, related to biomedical engineering modelling and image processing. A number of scientific publications were published related to finite element modelling, discrete particle methods, molecular dynamics.
Page last modified on 30 jan 14 18:53
Funded by the European Union.