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University of Brescia

Country: Italy

University of Brescia

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62 Projects, page 1 of 13
  • Funder: EC Project Code: 101045605
    Overall Budget: 1,999,550 EURFunder Contribution: 1,999,530 EUR

    Neurorehabilitation technologies aim to promote functional neural plasticity in patients suffering from neuromuscular disabilities. Non-invasive systems for the magnetic or electrical stimulation of the neural pathways are particularly promising for interfacing directly with the nervous system of the patients and restoring coordinated movements. Despise these potentials, current neurorehabilitation systems have still significant limitations since they usually employ stimulation protocols based on specific assumptions on cortical and spinal connectivity. An efficient way to overcome this problem will be to estimate neural adaptations during the rehabilitation procedure and optimize its parameters directly. The project INcEPTION aims to develop innovative methods to estimate patterns of neural connectivity from the decomposition of high-density surface EMG signals and induce reorganization of the connectivity of motoneuron populations innervating the main arm and shoulder muscles using magnetic and electrical stimulation of cortical and sensory pathways. The revolutionary concept of the project will be to “implant” a signature of motoneuron correlation to promote changes in neural connectivity and, therefore, functional recovery of movements in chronic stroke individuals and breast cancer survivors. The approach will provide the possibility to better understand the mechanisms of neuroplasticity in the central nervous system and define efficient stimulation protocols to re-establish natural connectivity in the motoneuron pools of patient individuals. By combining multi-disciplinary contributions from the fields of neurorehabilitation, computational neuroscience, biomedical signal processing, and neurophysiology, the project INcEPTION aims to produce substantial progress toward a better understanding of the adaptation mechanisms involved in the connectivity of spinal motor neurons and its use in the next generation of neurorehabilitation systems.

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  • Funder: EC Project Code: 236953
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  • Funder: EC Project Code: 837912
    Overall Budget: 183,473 EURFunder Contribution: 183,473 EUR

    This proposal addresses the automatic control of anaesthesia and the objective of developing an efficient and robust solution to increase patient safety and reduce post-operative complications. Automatic anaesthesia control is seen as one of the most important ways of achieving this goal. The control system should be able to provide significant benefits such as reducing the anaesthesiologist’s workload, limiting the influence of the human factor and minimizing the amount of drugs used. In this context, patient safety will be improved thus tackling both a severe public health problem and the significant economic burden on limited health resources. This project will use a novel event-based model predictive control approach for the anaesthesia process, addressing the key questions of efficient drug use, robustness regarding inter/intra-patient variability as well as considering its implementation and evaluation on real patients. The proposed approach has many advantages that can be useful in clinical practice such as adapting the actuation rate to the state of the patient, thanks to its predictive capabilities and event-based approach. The main objective is to develop new control approaches and optimize their performance in order to meet clinical requirements. Through the presented research, it will be possible to push the theoretical developments to the next stage, making them valuable milestones in the extensive implementation of automatic control techniques in the anaesthesia process. Moreover, an automatic control system can limit the influence of the human factor and provide a more unified solution for the anaesthesia process based on novel approaches. Activities developed under this proposal provide a unique opportunity to improve the quality of life of EU citizens and to reinforce the EU position as a central player in the global context through the high quality innovative multidisciplinary research.

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  • Funder: EC Project Code: 702491
    Overall Budget: 168,277 EURFunder Contribution: 168,277 EUR

    The lack of objective and robust measurements of motor recovery is a general problem in stroke rehabilitation. After the ischemic event, the motor impairment is assessed using clinical scales that provide only a general overview of the patient’s conditions, without detailed information on the activation of the individual muscles and the pathological co-contractions. In recent years, the hypothesis that the coordination of multiple muscles is wired at the neural level in a synergistic way has received strong experimental evidence. Therefore, the possibility to better understand the recruitment of multiple muscles and use this information for the assessment of motor recovery is extremely relevant for stroke rehabilitation. The project NeuralCon aims to investigate the neural mechanisms behind the control of multiple muscles of the lower limb in healthy individuals and its degeneration in acute stroke patients. The project will address the characterization of the neural coupling between muscles using innovative signal processing approaches applied to the high-density surface electromiographic signals during voluntary contractions. From the electromiographic signals, we will extract information regarding the coupling between multiple motor neurons in different motor pools. The final aim will be the development of a new generation of biomarkers based on the concurrent neural activation of several muscles in the lower limb of acute stroke individuals. The project will combine expertise in several fields: neuroscience of human movement, clinical neurophysiology, stochastic signal processing and computational neuroscience. The NeuralCon project will produce substantial progress toward a better understanding of the neural pathways involved in the coordination of voluntary movements and its modifications in cerebrovascular diseases.

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  • Funder: EC Project Code: 740355
    Overall Budget: 2,084,180 EURFunder Contribution: 2,084,180 EUR

    The STEMS project is about exploiting the new concept that has been recently introduced by the PI and his co-workers, namely the self-control of the spatial coherence of optical beams in multimode nonlinear optical fibers. This concept will enable a breakthrough technology, capable of delivering high-energy optical pulses with high-average powers and much higher beam quality from fiber lasers than what is possible today. High-power fiber lasers are largely limited by transverse mode instabilities, and the loss of spatial coherence in delivery fibers. Optical fibers provide the backbone of today’s internet communication networks, and enable compact, low cost light sources for a variety of industrial and biomedical applications. In most of these applications, single-mode fibers are used. Replacing single-mode fibers with multimode fibers leads to a dramatic growth of transmission capacity, and a substantial increase of average power and pulse energy from fiber lasers. However, because of spatial dispersion and resulting mode interference, multimode fibers suffer from an inherent randomization of the spatial transverse beam profile, leading to a loss of spatial coherence. My approach is to exploit the intensity dependent refractive index, or Kerr nonlinearity, of glass fibers to recover the spatial coherence of a multimode wave, and compensate for temporal modal dispersion. First, I propose to develop methods to control fiber nonlinearity, to compensate for temporal and spatial dispersion, thus preventing information spreading in the temporal domain, and coherence loss in the spatial domain. Second, by adding rare-earth dopants to multimode fibers, I will demonstrate self-control of modal dispersion and beam quality in active multimode fibers. Third, via the spatio-temporal control of beam propagation, I will introduce a new fast saturable absorber mechanism for the mode-locking of high-power fiber lasers, analogous to Kerr-lens mode-locking with bulk crystals.

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