Category Archives: Past Events

SPAD Applications

Andrada Alexandra Muntean

Towards High-Performance SPAD based detectors for Positron Emission Tomography

Significant effort has been devoted to the development of SPAD-based detectors for positron emission tomography (PET), due to their compactness, suitable spectral range, fast response, and insensitivity to magnetic fields. New PET detectors built using SPAD arrays are capable of detecting photons over a large sensitive area with excellent time resolution. Apart from the photodetectors themselves, the electronics plays a major role, as timing, energy and spatial resolution must be quantified accurately and in a short amount of time. Thus, the detection system in PET is complex, and its functionality and performance must be taken into consideration during the design phase from top-level specifications.


Andrada Alexandra Muntean received her Bachelor’s Degree in Applied Electronics from Politehnica University of Timișoara, Romania, in 2015, and her Master’s Degree in Microelectronics from Delft University of Technology, Netherlands, in 2017. She is presently working towards her PhD in Microelectronics at the Advanced Quantum Architecture Laboratory (AQUA) at the École Polytechnique Fédérale de Lausanne (EPFL) in Switzerland. In 2016, Andrada also undertook an internship at NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Pasadena, California, where she developed and characterised a far-ultraviolet spectrometer used for space applications.

The primary focus of her current PhD research is to develop SPAD-based CMOS image sensors and circuitry for biomedical applications; in particular for time-of-flight Positron Emission Tomography.

Dr Claudio Bruschini

SPAD-based detectors and imagers for biophotonics and other sensing applications 

Single-photon avalanche diode (SPAD) arrays are solid-state detectors that offer imaging capabilities at the level of individual photons, with unparalleled photon counting and time-resolved performance. This fascinating technology has progressed at a very fast pace in the past 15 years, since its inception in standard CMOS technology in 2003. A host of architectures have been investigated and a range of biophotonics applications explored, including FLIM, FLIM-FRET, SPIM-FCS, super-resolution microscopy, time-resolved Raman spectroscopy, NIROT and PET. We will review some representative sensors and their corresponding applications. Finally, we will provide an outlook on the future of this fascinating technology.


Dr Claudio Bruschini received his Master’s Degree in High Energy Physics from the University of Genova, and his PhD in Applied Sciences from the Vrije Universiteit Brussel. Dr Bruschini started his professional career in particle physics with the INFN, Italy, working in collaboration with CERN. Soon after, he moved to the EPFL, Switzerland, where he completed substantial work developing landmine detection technologies and humanitarian demining related projects.

He participated in diverse projects in partnership with the EPFL Laboratory in Intelligent Systems, the Lausanne University Hospital, and the EPFL Integrated Circuits Laboratory. He is currently part of the EPFL AQUA group (Advanced Quantum Architectures), holding significant expertise in photonic and electronic quantum devices, single-photon detectors, and biomedical physics.

Dr Giulia Acconcia

Getting fast in single photon measurements: new challenges and ideas with Single Photon Avalanche Diodes

Single Photon Avalanche Diodes (SPADs) are photodetectors that can not only detect single photons, but they can also mark their times of arrival with picosecond precision. These peculiar features opened the way to the successful exploitation of SPADs in a wide variety of applications, like fluorescence lifetime imaging, Earth atmosphere profiling, quantum key distribution and many others. Nowadays, achieving high speed with SPADs is still an open challenge. In this webinar, I will discuss new architectures, ideas, and developed electronics and systems to overcome long-held speed limitations both in photon counting and photon timing.


Dr Giulia Acconcia received her Bachelor’s Degree in Computer Science and Engineering and her Master’s Degree in Electronics Engineering from Politecnico di Milano in 2011 and 2013, respectively. She holds a PhD in Information Technology and is currently a Junior Researcher in the Dipartimento di Elettronica, Informazione e Bioingegneria at Politecnico di Milano.

Her main research interests concern the design and development of integrated circuits required to extract timing information with extremely high performance from Single Photon Avalanche Diodes and to achieve high speed with these sensors in both counting and timing applications. She is involved in many aspects of SPAD-based systems, including modelling, front end design, module development and applications.

Dr Sara Pellegrini

Industrialised SPADs in Deep-submicron CMOS technology and their applications

SPAD devices have only recently been successfully integrated into a fully industrial CMOS process. I will present STMicroelectronics’ SPADs integrated into a 40nm CMOS technology node. This highly advanced node allows for high level integration of the SPAD readout circuit and a time-of-flight system just next to the sensitive array.

Thanks to this technology a miniature direct time-of-flight system was developed capable of multi-zone parallel ranging at long distance, which enables a plurality of applications such as auto-focus assist, LiDAR, gesture recognition and many others.


Dr Sara Pellegrini received her Master’s Degree from the Politecnico di Milano, Italy, in 1999, and her PhD in Physics from Heriot-Watt University, UK, in 2006. After garnering experience in SPAD design and characterisation during her PhD, she joined STMicroelectronics in Edinburgh. Here, she worked her way up from a position as a CMOS Camera Characterisation Engineer in 2006, to SPAD Technology Manager in 2014. From her ample experience in the electrical and optical characterisation of CMOS sensors and the development of SPAD technology, Dr Pellegrini secured a principal role as an Advanced Photonics Pixel Architect in 2017. Her current position within STMicroelectronics to date, Dr Pellegrini is primarily engaged in the research and development of leading-edge photonic pixels.

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Space Industry

Craig Fleming, Head of Business Development, R3 IoT Limited

With COP26 fast approaching, sustainability has never featured higher up on the board’s agenda – but how can you improve sustainability, if you are only dealing with the tip of the iceberg?

R3-IoT’s Craig Fleming will discuss why new IoT technologies alone will not provide industry with the insight to activate sustainable change, and why space communications technology is the missing jigsaw piece to meet net zero targets.

Jesús Lucero Ezquerro, Analyst, Orbital EOS (Earth Observation Solutions)

After having worked 12 years in aerial remote sensing for the Spanish Maritime Safety & Rescue Agency (SASEMAR), Orbital EOS embraces new technologies in order to fly higher. Using Space Technologies + AI to foster a privileged vision of maritime data with both optical and SAR sensors, being pioneers in the first one. A network of Earth Observation radar and optical satellites promotes a constant, proactive and cost-efficient monitoring of assets, even at remote locations. Synergy among different constellations offers unprecedented capabilities in terms of coverage and frequency of monitoring.

Paula McGregor, Ecometrica

Ecometrica specialises in downstream satellite data applications to embed and operationalise environmental and risk based insights in new markets. Paula will introduce Ecometrica’s Earth Observation work with a focus on 2 key projects; Forests 2020, and the Scottish Earth Observation Service (SEOS). With a focus on environmental monitoring, each of these programmes utilise satellite assets for good, helping to protect and monitor the natural environment. Topics covered will include use of satellite derived data for supply chain monitoring (specifically in West Africa) and user requirements for satellite applications in Scotland.

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European Meeting in Optical Sensors (EuMOS) 2021

Prof Andy Harvey, University of Glasgow

Prof Andy Harvey is a Professor of Optics and Chair in Experimental Physics at the University of Glasgow. He researches new imaging and optical measurement techniques at wavelengths from the visible, through the infrared to microwave frequencies. He works with end users to exploit this research in fields ranging through remote sensing, surveillance and consumer imaging through to biomedicine and, in particular, ophthalmic imaging. He is also Director of the EPSRC Centre for Doctoral Training in Intelligent sensing and Measurement.

Dr Cristian Manzoni, Istituto di Fotonica e Nanotecnologie – Consoglio Nazionale delle Ricerche

Dr Cristian Manzoni graduated in 2002 in Electronic Engineering from Politecnico di Milano, where in the same year he enrolled in his PhD in the School of Physics. His research focuses on the parametric generation, characterisation, and applications of ultra-short laser light pulses. He also works with time-resolved optical spectroscopy measurements, with particular attention on nanoscale systems such as quantum-dots and carbon nanotubes.

Ms Yamuna Dilip Pal, University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign

Yamuna received her BS degree in Electrical engineering from IIT Roorkee and MS degree in Electrical engineering from Caltech. She is currently pursuing her doctorate degree in Electrical Engineering under Prof. Rohit Bhargava at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. Prior to this, she worked with Finisar, and Swedish Institute of Space Physics as an Analog Design Engineer. Her previous research focused on developing instrumentation for space applications. She is currently researching and developing fast infrared spectroscopic imaging systems with extended analytical dimensions that enable polarized and vibrational circular dichroism imaging.

Mr Gianmaria Calisesi, Politecnico di Milano

Gianmaria Calisesi is a third year PhD student at Politecnico di Milano. He is mainly interested in optical microscopy techniques applied to photosensitive samples. He has spent the last several months developing a technique called compressed sensing – selected volume illumination microscopy (CS-SVIM), which takes advantage of volumetric light modulation and compressed sensing to reduce the total light dose required to fully reconstruct a 3D sample. From August 2019 to December 2019, he was an affiliate at the Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory, investigating compressed measurement routines of nanowires and transition metal dichalcogenide (TMD) obtained with SEM.

Dr Abhishek Upadhyay, University of Strathclyde

Dr Abhishek Upadhyay has been working on tuneable diode laser spectroscopy (TDLS) for the measurement of gas parameters since he gained his PhD in 2010. As an expert in the field, he has collaborated with Rolls-Royce, Shell, and the Universities of Manchester, Southampton, and Strathclyde, leading the developing of gas sensing technologies under the EPSRC-funded project Fibre Laser Imaging for gas Turbine Exhaust Species (FLITES). Currently he is working on the commercialisation of FLITES outcomes, and on photoacoustic measurement for early diagnosis of atherosclerosis and other cardiovascular diseases.

Dr Rogério Nogueira, Universidade de Aveiro

Dr Rogério Nogueira is Senior Researcher at the Aveiro Instituto de Telecomunicações. His work focuses on the study and development of fibre Bragg gratings for energy efficient communications and optical biosensors. This work has led to a broad portfolio of patents and the spin-out compant WATGRID, which offers new solutions for liquid monitoring. He has also holds leadership positions in several optics societies, and co-founded the Portuguese Optical Society in 2010.

Dr Angelo Sampaolo, Politecnico di Bari

Dr Angelo Sampaolo is an assistant professor at Politecnico di Bari and an associate researcher at the Institute of Laser Spectroscopy of Shanxi University in Taiyuan. His research activity has included the study of the thermal properties of heterostructured devices via Raman spectroscopy. Most recently, his research has focused on the development of innovative techniques in trace gas sensing, based on quartz-enhanced photoacoustic spectroscopy and covering the full spectral range from near-infrared to terahertz.

Dr Jano van Hemert, Optos

Dr Jano van Hemert directs the research at Optos, where his team develops novel technology for retinal imaging in eye healthcare. He actively promotes the partnership of business and universities for innovation, and is an active member on boards including the Scottish Funding Council’s Research and Knowledge Exchange Committee. Jano received an MSc in 1998 and a PhD in 2002, both from Leiden University in The Netherlands, and arrived in Scotland in 2004. In 2009 he was awarded membership of the inaugural Scottish Crucible and in 2011 was awarded membership of the inaugural Young Academy of Scotland.

Dr Fátima Domingues, Universidade de Aveiro

M. Fátima Domingues received the M.Sc. degree in Applied Physics in 2008 and in 2014 she finished her PhD in Physics Engineering, both at the University of Aveiro, Portugal. In 2015 M. Fátima Domingues started a Research Fellow position at the Instituto de Telecomunicações – Aveiro; and the Consejo Superior de Investigaciones Científicas (CSIC)-Madrid, Spain. At present, M. Fátima Domingues is a Researcher at Instituto de Telecomunicações – Aveiro, and her current research interests embrace new solutions of optical fibre based sensors and its application in robotic exoskeletons and e-Health scenarios, with a focus in physical rehabilitation architectures.  Dr. Domingues authored and co-authored more than +100 publications and has an active participation in Portuguese National and European R&D projects.

Ms Caterina Amendola, Politecnico di Milano

Caterina Amendola is a PhD student in the Department of Physics at Politecnico di Milano. She works on the development and clinical application of diffuse optics (DO) techniques for tissue hemodynamic monitoring of preterm and term neonates, in collaboration with Mangiagalli Hospital in Milan. From September 2017 to March 2018, she worked on biomedical imaging and X-ray phase contrast techniques at the European Synchrotron Radiation Facility (ESRF). She is currently working on the development of a hybrid DO device which combines time domain near-infrared spectroscopy (TD-NIRS) and diffuse correlation spectroscopy (DCS) for monitoring tissue haemoglobin concentration and blood flow.

Dr Calum Williams, University of Cambridge

Dr Calum Williams completed his doctoral research in 2017 in plasmatic nanostructures for enhanced optical devices, after four years of study as part of the Centre for Doctoral Training in Photonic Systems Development at the University of Cambridge. Calum is now a Junior Research Fellow at Wolfson College, funded by the Cancer Research UK Pioneer Award, where he works to unify optical imaging modalities using nanophotonics. He also has research collaborations with the University of Bath and NASA, involving the development of novel nanostructured optical devices for a range of applications.

This event has been fully funded by the EPSRC Centre for Doctoral Training in Intelligent Sensing and Measurement ( and arranged in collaboration with OSA Polimi, SCOPE, FISUA, EPS Young Minds, OSA and IEEE.

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Advances in particle detection

Tuesday 23rd February 2021, 1500-1700 (UK Time)

Dr Christoph Englert (Profile)
Particle Physics in the Higgs Era

Our understanding of the weak force has been spectacularly verified with the discovery of the Higgs boson in 2012. Where does particle physics go from here? I will review the major shortcomings of the Standard Model of Particle Physics and discuss how they motivate new precision investigations of the electroweak interactions at present and future colliders. These theoretical developments are joined by a rapid adoption and the development of machine learning techniques in the context of particle phenomenology, which will enable the most robust constraints on the presence of new interactions beyond the Standard Model or facilitate their discovery.

Prof Monica D’Onofrio (Profile)
Searching for SUSY and other new physics models at the LHC

So far, knowledge of how fundamental particles behave is encapsulated in the Standard Model (SM) of particle physics. However, the theory lacks answers to many questions, including what is the invisible (dark) matter that, according to cosmological measurements, forms five times as much of the universe as the matter we see. Supersymmetry (SUSY) is still one of the most compelling theories beyond the SM which could give answers to some of these questions, in particular providing a solution to the dark matter mystery. In this talk, I shall give you a brief overview of how LHC experimentalists are searching for new physics and some of the results and milestones reached so far.

Prof Daniela Bortoletto (Profile)
The long road to finding the Higgs boson. A journey in the hunt, the discovery, and the study of the particle that gives mass to the Universe

The Higgs mechanism was postulated in the 1960s, starting a quest to validate the theory experimentally. The search culminated with the discovery at CERN of the long-sought Higgs boson in 2012, almost 50 years after it was first conceived. The discovery was a triumph for both experimental and theoretical particle physics. I will take you through this journey and discuss why this search was so challenging. I will highlight why building a discovery machine, the LHC, and critical advancements in detector technologies were vital for producing and capturing this particle’s decays. I will give you a glimpse into the next steps required to unlock the mysteries of the Higgs boson.

Prof Craig Buttar (Profile)
A Gigapixel detector for the ATLAS experiment

The physics of the very small requires large state of the art detectors capable of measuring the properties of the particles produced in the collisions so that the event can be reconstructed and compared to current physical models. In this talk, I will describe the pixel detector system that is being developed for operation in the ATLAS experiment at the high-luminosity LHC. The development of sensors and their readout will be described and the system level challenges will be discussed.

Properties and applications of 2D materials

Tuesday 26th January 2021, 1500-1700 (UK Time)

Prof Pablo Jarillo-Herrero (Profile)
The magic of moiré quantum matter

The understanding of strongly-correlated quantum matter has challenged physicists for decades. Such difficulties have stimulated new research paradigms, such as ultra-cold atom lattices for simulating quantum materials. In this talk I will present a new platform to investigate strongly correlated physics, namely moiré quantum matter. In particular, I will show that when two graphene sheets are twisted by an angle close to the theoretically predicted ‘magic angle’, the resulting flat band structure near the Dirac point gives rise to a strongly-correlated electronic system. These flat bands systems exhibit a plethora of quantum phases, such as correlated insulators, superconductivity, magnetism, Chern insulators, and more. Furthermore, it is possible to extend the moiré quantum matter paradigm to systems beyond magic angle graphene, and I will present an outlook of some exciting directions in this emerging field.

Prof Cinzia Casiraghi (Profile)
Water-based, defects-free and biocompatible 2D inks: from printed electronics to biomedical applications 

Solution processing of 2D materials allows to use simple and low-cost techniques such as inkjet printing for fabrication of heterostructures of arbitrary complexity. In this work I will show a general formulation engineering approach to achieve highly concentrated, and inkjet printable water-based 2D crystal formulations, which also provide optimal film formation for multi-stack fabrication. Examples of all-inkjet printed devices, such as large area arrays of photosensors on plastic, programmable logic memory devices, strain sensors on paper, capacitors and transistors will be discussed. The inks biocompatibility also allows their use in biomedical applications. 

Dr Cecilia Mattevi (Profile)

We investigate the precise synthesis of 2D materials and their assembly into three-dimensional functional devices for energy storage and energy conversion systems. The precise synthesis enables critical level of control through the crystal structure and doping, so that we can go beyond chemical composition of 2D materials. In this talk I will present our recent work in these directions.

Prof Paolo Samorì (Profile)
Chemical and physical sensing with 2D materials 

Two dimensional materials display exceptional physical and chemical properties which can be further enriched via controlled interfacing with (supra)molecular assemblies. Molecules, which can be designed and synthesized with properties at will, are able to impart them novel functions to 2D materials such as the capacity to respond to multiple external stimuli, with the ultimate goal of generating multifunctional hybrid systems for applications in (opto)electronics, sensing and energy.  

In my lecture, I will review our recent findings on the functionalization of 2D materials to engineer hybrid assemblies that can operate as selective chemical sensors for small molecules and ions [2,3]. I will also describe the fabrication of highly sensitive pressure and strain sensors for health monitoring.

Optical Sensing

Prof Robert Hadfield
Frontiers in photon counting: Infrared single photon detection with superconducting nanowires

The ability to detect light quanta (single photons) underpins a host of emerging scientific and technological applications. At infrared wavelengths, detectors based on superconducting materials offer significant performance advantages over conventional photon counters such as photomultipliers and semiconductor avalanche photodiodes. I will discuss state-of-the-art and new developments in superconducting photon-counting detectors based on superconducting nanowires and highlight the application areas including quantum communications.

Dr Adam Polak
Infrared spectroscopy as a tool for optical sensing

Optical sensing is an extremely powerful approach for detection and identification of various objects and substances of interest. One of the techniques enabling this process is optical spectroscopy. In this webinar, a very light introduction of this concept will be given and the importance of the mid-infrared region will be briefly outlined. To demonstrate its potency, several industrial applications of various spectroscopy embodiments developed in Fraunhofer Centre for Applied Photonics will also be presented.

Michele Lacerenza
Compact time-domain near infrared spectroscopy (TD-NIRS) oximeter for non-invasive brain and muscle monitoring

The bulkiness and complexity of brain oximeters have strongly limited the spread of wearable, non-invasive, neuroimaging techniques such as time-domain near infrared spectroscopy (TD-NIRS). A new compact optical device has been developed to overcome these limitations, making TD-NIRS more accessible to non-experts and adaptable to any measurement condition, paving the way for muscle and brain oximetry in healthcare and sport environments.

Dr James Bain
Optical sensing technologies at M Squared

M Squared are a photonics technology company serving a broad range of scientific and industrial application sectors. The company is involved in many underpinning technologies, systems and application developments. They collaborate widely with several industrial and academic partners in the area of optical sensing. Key sectors include stand-off sensing, gas imaging, satellite calibration tools, distilled spirit analysis and advanced microscopy.

Sensing life in the Universe

Prof Charles Cockell
Sensing for Microbiology beyond Earth

Microbes will support a human future beyond Earth. however, to carry out experiments in space to study microbial responses to extreme space environments, we need to measure a variety of parameters. I will discuss our recent BioRock experiment at the International Space Station, our BioAsteroid experiment flying this November, our proposed lunar payload, and how these can inform ideas on sensing technologies required for future microbiology in space

Prof Sara Seager
Exoplanets: TESS and Beyond

Many exoplanets transit their host stars, travelling in front of their stars as seen from Earth. Transiting planets are “goldmines” for astronomers, because their sizes, masses and atmospheres can be routinely measured. The MIT-led NASA mission TESS is furthering the field of transiting exoplanets by finding thousands of planet candidates orbiting nearby stars. Transiting planet studies and other futuristic, pioneering, planet-finding techniques under development, will fuel the search for life on other worlds.

Yuchen Shang
Sensing in Astrobiology: Habitability in Microenvironments

In dynamic environments, such as freeze/thaw cycles of brines or salt water, conditions relating to habitability can change drastically in the micron scale. This is important in astrobiology, as microbes are organisms of interest at this scale. In order to understand these scales, and see habitability “through a microbe’s eyes”, novel sensing methods must be considered. This talk will discuss habitability in the solar system, how to sense it, and work on probing into sensing at micron-scale.

Prarthana Desai
Searching for life in the Universe – Is looking for water enough?

Humidity alone is not enough to indicate habitability of an extra-terrestrial environment. Water activity is more closely related to the microbial, chemical and physical properties of substrates than the total moisture content, thereby acting as a direct indicator for habitability. I will go through the journey of developing a novel water-activity device, adapter for dynamic changes in field-tests, discussing the challenges faced and lessons learnt throughout this journey.

Is Science Dead?

Dr Laura Helmuth
The Need for Clear, Trustworthy, Updated Science Communication During the Pandemic

Misinformation about COVID-19 is literally killing people. Science reporters are struggling to cover the quickly moving story of the pandemic and new science about the immune response, public health measures, how the virus spreads, and vaccine developments. They’re also competing for people’s attention against conspiracy theories, xenophobia, and fear. Here’s what science journalists have learned in this year and how everyone can help amplify sense over nonsense.

Prof Stephen Allan Burns
Ethics and bias in peer review

The pressures for scientists to publish large numbers of papers in high impact journals, has led to growing concerns about the reliability and accuracy of the scientific literature. At OSA we have a subcommittee of the Board of Editors which deals with ethical issues related to our published papers. In this presentation we will discuss the types of misconduct encountered, as well as how these are dealt with by the journals.

Dr Elisabeth Bik
The Dark Side of Science: Misconduct in Biomedical Research

Science builds upon science. Even after peer-review and publication, science papers could still contain images or other data of concern. If not addressed post-publication, papers containing incorrect or even falsified data could lead to wasted time and money spent by other researchers trying to reproduce those results. Elisabeth Bik is an image forensics detective who left her paid job in industry to search for and report duplicated and manipulated images in biomedical articles. She has done a systematic scan of 20,000 papers in 40 journals and found that about 4% of these contained inappropriately duplicated images. In her talk she will present her work and show several types of inappropriately duplicated images.

Wearable Technologies

Dr Morteza Amjadi
Soft Wearable Sensors for Biomedical Applications

Wearable and skin-interfacing medical devices are being actively pursued for their ability to seamlessly integrate with the human body, record physiological signals over a long period, and conveniently deliver therapeutic agents. In this webinar, I will present our latest research activities on the development of wearable and stretchable sensors, our recent progress on the design of bioinspired skin-adhesive structures, and I will highlight challenges associated with the design of integrated and multifunctional wearable medical devices.

Prof John A. Rogers
Soft Electronic and Microfluidic Systems for the Human Body

Over the last decade, a convergence of new concepts has led to the emergence of diverse, novel classes of ‘biocompatible’ electronic and microfluidic systems with skin-like physical properties.  This talk describes the key ideas and presents some of the most recent device examples, including wireless, battery-free electronic ‘tattoos’, with applications in continuous monitoring of vital signs in neonatal and paediatric intensive care, and microfluidic platforms that can capture, manipulate and perform biomarker analysis on microliter volumes of sweat.​

Dr Kianoush Nazarpour
The ups and downs of machine learning for prosthetic control

With the increasing popularity of AI, machine learning is considered the most likely candidate to enable the control of next-generation multi-articulated prosthetic hands. After describing how prosthetic hands work, I will ask why it has been challenging to translate machine learning-based prosthetic control beyond the laboratory. I will offer a parallel human-learning prosthetic-control paradigm that offers much more flexibility than existing machine learning algorithms. With supporting early results, I discuss why the development of human-in-loop machine learning for prosthetic control is possible and timely.

Roy Hotrabvanon
Co-founder and CEO of PlayerData

As the CEO of start-up company PlayerData, Mr Hotrabhvanon leads his team in the production of affordable, sports-oriented, wearable technology. Created in 2017, PlayerData has seen great success in a short time-span. The product, which is designed to track and assess the performance of athletes, won PlayerData a Scottish EDGE Wild Card prize in 2017. Mr Hotrabhvanon is currently a Royal Society of Edinburgh Enterprise Fellow. He has also received several awards for his entrepreneurship, including a Made in Scotland Young Innovator of the Year award in 2018.

Future of ISM (2020)

Dr Boajun Wang, University of Edinburgh

Cell-based biosensors have great potential to detect various toxic and pathogenic contaminants in aqueous environments. Here, we investigated a modular, cascaded signal amplifying methodology to address this issue. We first tuned intracellular receptor densities of the sensory module to increase sensitivity, and then engineered ultrasensitive activator-based multi-layered transcriptional amplifiers to sequentially amplify the transduced sensor signal and boost output expression level. We demonstrated these strategies by engineering ultrasensitive bacterial cell-based sensors for arsenic and mercury. We next developed an encapsulated microbial sensor cell array for low-cost, portable and precise field monitoring, where the analyte concentration can be readily visualized via displaying an easy-to-interpret volume bar-like pattern.

Dr Julien Reboud, University of Glasgow

Acoustic sensing is a cornerstone for many real-world applications, from validating the fatigue of complex off-shore structures to checking on pregnancies. At high ultrasonic frequencies, these sensors have also been used to detect molecular biomarkers at very high sensitivities for example to identify viruses and other pathogens, with the added advantage of not requiring any labelling chemistries. However, performance in real, complex biological sensors is often hindered by the presence of other molecules or components (such as blood cells) that need to be removed using complex processing techniques in well-resourced laboratories. In this talk, we will explore how acoustic excitation can be used to perform these sample preparation steps on integrated, low-cost, battery-operated systems, at the point-of-care by harnessing fluidic actuation using acoustics.

Dr Helen Bridle, Heriot Watt University

Dr Bridle is leading a NERC-DST funded project to develop sensors for monitoring of antimicrobial resistance (AMR) in the water environment. Existing efforts for monitoring on AMR in aquatic environments are limited, not only in India but across the globe, owing to lack of robust, economic, and easy to deploy detection tools. This has resulted in incomplete understanding of AMR and targeted case studies, with a focus on the proliferation of AMR upon exposure to heavy metals, antimicrobials and additives such as triclosan, are desperately needed. Our project has developed a range of sensors for heavy metals and antimicrobials, with work in progress on an electrochemical based system to detect AMR genes.

Dr Damion Corrigan, University of Strathclyde

COVID-19 and antimicrobial resistance (AMR) present two hugely significant global healthcare challenges. An important aspect of meeting these challenges is diagnostic testing. This talk will describe two new biosensor technologies, first, a rapid antibiotic susceptibility test (AST) which can rapidly determine the best antibiotic with which to treat a bacterial infection and second a simple biosensor capable of detecting the SARS-CoV-2 virus (causative agent of COVID-19) from complex samples. Both biosensors have been designed and validated with high volume production and ease of use in mind, with the aim that both can transition from academic projects to implementable systems and manufactured at scale in order to meet the complex diagnostic challenges posed by AMR and COVID-19.

Dr Samadhan Patil, University of York

Sensors with higher transduction efficiency and with the appropriate transduction mechanism are desirable for the bio-medical applications such as rapid diagnostics and therapeutics monitoring. The capabilities of these sensors with features such as the ease of use, requirement of less peripheral instrumentation and adaptability to plug and play determine their translation in the point-of-care diagnostic devices. In this talk; I will take you through my work on the development and use of CMOS based photodiodes, Micro-electro mechanical sensors (MEMS) and spintronic devices (spin valve and tunnel junctions) for the biomedical applications such as for the detection of the biomarkers infectious and non-infectious diseases.  Work on the integration of MEMS with the spintronic devices (such as spin-valves or tunnel junctions) for the detection of an ultra-low magnetic field (~pico-Tesla) will also be presented. Sensors with higher transduction efficiency and with the appropriate transduction mechanism are desirable for the bio-medical applications such as rapid diagnostics and therapeutics monitoring. The capabilities of these sensors with features such as the ease of use, requirement of less peripheral instrumentation and adaptability to plug and play determine their translation in the point-of-care diagnostic devices. In this talk; I will take you through my work on the development and use of CMOS based photodiodes, Micro-electro mechanical sensors (MEMS) and spintronic devices (spin valve and tunnel junctions) for the biomedical applications such as for the detection of the biomarkers infectious and non-infectious diseases.  Work on the integration of MEMS with the spintronic devices (such as spin-valves or tunnel junctions) for the detection of an ultra-low magnetic field (~pico-Tesla) will also be presented.

Prof James McLaughlin, Ulster University

This talk will focus on reviewing our capacity and expertise in the area of Healthcare Sensor Systems at NIBEC in the area of clinical and home-based monitoring. In particular, the talk will demonstrate and detail the importance of operating characteristics such as high sensitivity and high specificity sensor specifications when integrated into wearable and mobile patient monitoring, rapid point of care diagnostics and the need to design integrated robust systems with low-false positives/negatives. The talk will also highlight areas where we are using nanotechnology such as CNT/graphene electrodes, nano-colloid gold in lateral flow systems for sensing and nano Si for efficient drug delivery. In particular we will refer to novel microfluidic and integrated smart needle solutions that when combined with integrated IOT based optical readers connected to cloud platforms present a complete diagnostic solution for self-monitoring via derived AI based algorithms.

Dr Fani Deligianni, University of Glasgow

Current progress in artificial intelligence (AI) paves the way towards intelligent systems that enable automation with unprecedent precision in tasks such as computer vision and action planning. Adapting these models in critical applications both in industry and healthcare is still under debate due to the lack of model transparency and methods to reliably quantify how much we can trust them in unforeseen circumstances. There is also a risk that with increased automation, humans become just observers and they are not actively engaged in the loop. In this talk, Deligianni will highlight current challenges and opportunities in human-machine collaborative frameworks and present paradigms on how AI technology along with wearable/ambient sensing can improve decision making processes.

Mr Sherin Mathew, AI Tech North, Microsoft

A session to make AI Simple and accessible to all. An executive thinking and thought-provoking session on how to get started with AI. Demystifying the AI myths and addressing the key capabilities, sharing the secret ingredients in defining a successful AI strategy for yourself or for your business. In this session, Sherin shares a simple framework that allows you to define and deliver a successful AI strategy by simplifying the complex AI value chain in 7 simple steps.

Prof Amos Storkey, University of Edinburgh

In the deployment of modern small sensor systems, there is often a need do sophisticated analysis of the data. Traditionally, in these settings, data is ported to the cloud for analysis. However there are many settings where this is problematic – bandwidth may be limited, or latency too high, and on-device decisions might need to be made. Ideally we would like to be able to do analysis on device if we so choose. In this talk I will discuss a number of approaches for tackling the issue of improving the efficiency and robustness of deep learning methods for the deployment in edge devices.

Ms Ana Jiménez Pastor, QUIBIM

Today a radiologist reports dozens of medical images daily using his high knowledge and experience. But what about all that information that is hidden behind the pixels of a radiological image? Using advanced mathematical modeling techniques and artificial intelligence we can extract from the images large amounts of data that give radiologists added value to the images themselves and, for example, we can go from saying that a patient suffers from moderate brain atrophy to saying that he or she has suffered a loss of 5% of brain volume, adding to the radiologist’s qualitative report, specific quantitative values of the patient and moving forward on the road to personalized precision medicine.

This event has been fully funded by the Scottish Universities Physics Alliance ( and the the EPSRC Centre for Doctoral Training in Intelligent Sensing and Measurement ( In collaboration with: Machine Learning in Science, University of Edinburgh IEEE, AI Tech North and EPSRC.

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