- Telemetric Unit
- Sensor System
- Motion Analysis
- Academic Cooperation
“Aerosols are everywhere, there is gas to breathe.” We are surrounded by aerosols. Particles dissolved in gases. Solid particles like dust and soot, as well as liquid ones, like spraying droplets and sneezing output are intruding our airways with every breath we take. It is an inevitable task to know more about particles in the surrounding air and working spaces. Aerosol production and measurement techniques allow the simulation and control of particles in a laboratory setup. Combining these technologies with an active lung simulator like the i-Lung provides uncountable options of simulation and measurement.
It is the task of the project AlveoPic to refine simulation possibilities and anatomical and physiological parameters of the i-Lung. The project team will work on solutions to make aerosol deposition measurements even more precise and meaningful.
The mCM “mobile Circulatory Module” is the centre piece of the project AlveoPic. Its hardware contains a combined system for laboratory and transport use, allowing flexible transport requirements. A self-designed and developed roller pump will move the liquid through the lung, nourishing the tissue and hopefully increasing the quality of simulating parameters. The mCM is designed to include the nutrition components as well as the lung tissue itself. It will be plugged to the i-Lung simulator when the lung is mounted into it, in order to realistically simulate an actively breathing lung. The thermically isolated mCM transport container allows the regulation of different environmental factors and provides the user with a simple user interface as well as a wireless connection to the telemetric unit.
The human lung is a highly complex and well-structured organ. In order to simulate the human lung as realistically as possible regarding anatomy and physiology of the tissue, the project AlveoPic includes porcine lungs in the lung simulator i-Lung. These lungs will be taken from the routine slaughtering process and are therefore not part of an animal model. In order to provide physiologically realistic conditions during breathing simulation, the lung has to be nourished. For this purpose the project team develops a mobile nutrition system, allowing the transport of the lung from the explantation site to the laboratory.
In order to control and to manage the delicate task of nourishing a “living” organ like the lung, a set of most different sensors is used within the control unit of the Mobile Circulatory Module. Beside the immediate use of the gained sensor data to take automated actions with the system itself there is the need to forward these sensor data as status information to a user. This user is intended to monitor the overall Mobile Circulatory Module’s condition using a tablet-PC exchanging data based on international standardized communication protocols for health-telemonitoring wirelessly. Beside the monitoring capabilities the user gains remote control functionalities, like setting a new desired nutrition fluid flow. Moreover the tablet-PC assists the user creating XML based reports for each transplant transport and provides interfaces to communicate those reports to remote server infrastructures.
No organ telemetry system would work without sensors. In order to observe the state of the lung within the closed mCM a set of multiple sensors is included into the system. Parameters like temperature, flow and pressure are measured constantly and send to the wireless telemetric unit. The use of these sensors is highly influenced by biomedical application conditions. Sterilizability, robust setup and transportability are just some of the main requirements these sensors have to fulfil. The sensor system and its setup have to be modular and flexible, as new sensors and new requirements have to be enabled and included easily. As the mCM also includes the fluid reservoir the entire sensor system has to be designed in a water tight way.
Simulation is the safest way to test something. Unfortunately simulation is never as realistic as the original. Simulating a breathing human lung leads to a high effort, either in computational power or in the complexity of the design. One of the most reliable possibilities to simulate a human lung is to use a mechanical lung simulator. The i-Lung offers the possibility to simulate a human lung either using a Latex bag or using a porcine lung. The latter provides an internal structure which is very similar to the human lung. The i-Lung model allows the simulation of physiological breathing as well as the simulation of the 5 most important pathological breathing patterns. Using the i-Lung in the project AlveoPic increases its importance as possible alternative to animal models, as the used porcine lungs are taken from a routine slaughtering process.
How to make the movement of the lung visible without having an X-ray vision? With the help of motion analysis and the i-Lung with its see-through perspex chamber the movement of the lung during breathing can be investigated. Markers are attached to the lung whose trajectories will be captured by infrared cameras. Thus a model of the lung movement can be simulated on PC and compared to lung movement data from magnetic resonance in order to prove comparability between the active lung simulator i-Lung and real living human lungs. If this comparability is given, the i-Lung would be a real alternative to animal testing.
As a part of the project AlveoPic a measurement setup with suitable marker positions on the lung tissue as well as own active infrared markers will be developed. It will be a challenge to overcome problems with marker placement due to the individual shape of the porcine lungs. The project team will search for the best method to overcome these problems and ensure the comparability.
Scientific Publications of the Project
Dissemination of project results and the project state are an important and constant task of the project AlveoPic. The team publishes its results on conferences and peer reviewed journals. The results will be disseminated during networking events within the scientific society. In this section you find our latest publications, papers, presentations or posters.
- eHealth 2014
Lenz, Gregor; Frohner, Matthias; Sauermann, Stefan; Forjan, Mathias: LUMOR: An App for Standardized Control and Monitoring of a Porcine Lung and its Nutrient Cycle
The outcome of the EU-funded project ElBik has been the lung simulator 'iLung', which imitates an actively breathing human lung with a porcine lung. In order to keep the explanted lung in a nearly physiological state during transportation from the slaughterhouse to the ventilation laboratory the tissue needs to be nourished and temperature controlled. The Project AlveoPic designs a mobile transport vehicle implementing an ISO/IEEE 11073-20601 compliant communication interface for the exchange of the physical parameters, alert messages and setpoint-values. An appropriate 11073 domain information model is designed and limitations of the defined services and attributes are identified. For monitoring purposes the Android App LUMOR is implemented providing a user with an easy-to-handle GUI. It was found, that alert capabilities and remote set features are not well supported in ISO/IEEE 11073-20601 at the moment and possible workarounds are discussed.
- BMT 2013
Peschke, Siegfried; Ongaro, Marco; Unterlerchner, Lena; David, Veronika; Forjan, Mathias: FEASIBILITY CHECK OF OPTO-ELECTRONIC VOLUMETRIC MEASUREMENTS UTILIZING THE i-LUNG MODEL
Nowadays lung simulators are often used for different simulation purposes, diagnostics or therapy. In this contribution the i-Lung version 1.0 is used to simulate the movements of a breathing lung that will be measured through a VICON infrared motion analysis system. Using six cameras detecting 17 markers on the surface of the mounted lung equivalent a feasibility check of the setup is provided. The existing system faces several influences like reflection of IR-emitters and the limit of the number of attachable markers. To overcome these challenges the development of an active IR based measuring setup is planned, thus leading to a decrease of movement artefacts and an optimized capture of the volume displacement. A further hurdle will be the development of a suitable attachment procedure which does not influence living tissue, as a suitable lung equivalent of the i-Lung is a porcine lung.
- PDeS 2013
Frohner, Matthias; Windisch, Michael; Sauermann, Stefan; Sekora, Jiři; Forjan, Mathias: Organ Telemonitoring in Ex-vivo Nutrition Circulation of Porcine Lungs Using Interoperability Standards
This paper discusses existing communication standards in the field of medicine and their applicability for a telemonitoring system for a mobile circulatory module. This module hosts an explanted porcine lung during transportation from the explantation site to a laboratory environment. The telemonitoring modules must enable to assess the wellbeing of the lung and the survival of the tissue as expressed in basic parameters that are measured in the circulation and nutrition module like liquid pressure, liquid flow and temperature. The parameter readings need to be displayed for monitoring purposes on a tablet-PC. Thresholds for parameters shall be set remotely and exceedance of these thresholds shall trigger the transfer of alarm messages to the tablet-PC. The goal of this work is to evaluate existing interoperability standards according to these requirements in order to select a set of standards that will then be used for implementation of the system. Standards that have identified and examined are ISO/IEEE 11073-20601, HL7 Version 2.x and ANT+. It was found that existing standards support large parts of the requirements. However detailed gap analysis will be necessary as the implementation continues.
For further information about our scientific progress and our papers please don't hesitate to contact us.
Exchange of Diploma and Bachelor Thesis Topics for Interregional Academic Cooperation
We would like to offer our students a profound and wide-ranging education. Therefore, the partner universities are cooperating especially in the fields of Bachelor and Master Thesis topics. Below you will find some topics, provided by the universities of both countries together or in cooperation.
Topics for Master´s thesis:
“Design and Implementation of a Printed Circuit Board for ex vivo Lung Transportation Hardware – mCM (mobile Circulatory Module)”
Design and test implementation of a PCB for sensor connection, data acquisition and standardised wireless transmission via Bluetooth. Sensors to be included are temperature, flow, pressure and reservoir filling sensors. Tasks of the electronics include data acquisition and transmission as well as pump motor control via pressure and flow values.
“Implementation and Testing of a Standardised Data Transmission Protocol for Organ Specific Data Combined with the mCM (mobile Circulatory System)”
Implementation of a standardised data transmission protocol and interface for wireless transmission of medical data. The data has to be processed and stored, allowing data transmission using given medical informatics standards, CDA generation and postprocessing like statistical analysis and evaluation.
“LUMOR: an App for Standardized Control and Monitoring of a Porcine Lung”
A mobile circulatory module (MCM) is developed, that ensures and monitors the flow of nutrient fluid through a porcine lung. Via a Bluetooth connection between the MCM and an Android-tablet, a modified ISO/IEEE 11073 standard is used as protocol. In this way, physiological parameters, alarms and setpoint values can be transmitted and displayed on the tablet's GUI.
Topics for Bachelor´s thesis:
“Development of an Android based mobile interface for controlling a LabView based mechanical lung simulator”
Implementation of an interface for wireless control of a National Instruments LabView based control unit. The user interface should be mobile using an Android device as platform and should allow the observation and active change of breathing parameters of a mechanical lung simulator. Interfaces on both ends and the setup of a wireless connection as well as the design of a usable GUI have to be designed and implemented.