SUPer-REsolution non-invasive Muscle measurements with miniaturised magnetIc SEnsors
EPSRC Open Fellowship (October 2023 - November 2028)
The assessment of muscle activity has become an essential indicator in medical diagnosis, motor rehabilitation, health monitoring, and neuroprosthetic/robotic control. Recent technological advances allow diseases that affect muscles and peripheral nerves to be recorded and diagnosed remotely and continuously. Motivated by exploring the electrophysiological behaviour of the uterus before childbirth, magnetomyography (MMG) was used for health monitoring during pregnancy. In addition, MMG can be used to rehabilitate, for example, traumatic nerve injuries, spinal cord lesions, and entrapment syndrome.
SUPREMISE is an ambitious, speculative, interdisciplinary, and creative fellowship programme of research that has the potential to address unmet clinical, leading to radically new technologies for muscle movement recording, creating a paradigm shift in neuromuscular patients and beyond e.g. human-machine interfacing for extended reality, gaming, and consumer electronics. The discoveries, research and new knowledge created within this fellowship will lead to a world-leading research group that will position the UK at the forefront of this emergent field. SUPREMISE will create the first wearable spintronic sensor for measuring MMG signals in the clinical setting. The overview of this EPSRC Open Fellowship illustrated in below Figure:
SUPREMISE will involve radical innovations in magnetic sensors, microelectronics, wearable devices, muscle neuroscience, and signal processing. A principal aim is to make a transformative impact on the lives of patients affected by neuromuscular diseases by developing novel sensing diagnosis wearables based on spintronics that record and measure muscle activity. A paradigm-shifting engineering technology will be proposed by interfacing cutting-edge theoretical, computational, and experimental physics with advanced biomedical modelling and testing. While muscle activity which is linked to neuromuscular diseases, has captured the attention of the healthcare community, the magnetic recording approach to diagnosis has not been systematically applied through a robust and reliable tool. SUPREMISE will standardize the efficient utilization of the MMG sensor to detect such muscle activity for clinical deployment.
Miniaturizing magnetic sensing systems offer the prospect of replacing bulky laboratory instruments with easy-to-use wearable clinical platforms. It would decrease the cost (< £5), size, and noise floor by several orders of magnitude. Here, we propose a novel solution using nanofabricated spintronic TMR-based sensors integrated with the ASIC readout interface. This new wearable system with a small footprint, excellent sensitivity, ultralow noise, and excellent spatial resolution can detect low pico-Tesla (pT) magnetic fields generated by the muscle.
Professor Hadi Heidari (EPSRC Fellow)
Prof Kia Nazarpour (Co-I)
- Delsys Europe
- International Iberian Nanotechnology Lab
- Medical Device Manufacturing Centre
- Ostschweizer Children's Hospital
- University Hospital Tübingen