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openCARPopenCARP released

openCARP is an open cardiac electrophysiology simulator for in-silico experiments. Its source code is public and the software is freely available for academic purposes. openCARP is easy to use and offers single cell as well as multiscale simulations from ion channel to organ level. Additionally, openCARP includes a wide variety of functions for pre- and post-processing of data as well as visualization. The python-based CARPutils framework enables the user to develop and share simulation pipelines, i.e. automating in-silico experiments including all modeling/simulation steps.
openCARP is a joint effort of the Medical University of Graz (Gernot Plank), LIRYC Bordeaux (Ed Vigmond), U Freiburg (Gunnar Seemann) and KIT (Axel Loewe).

Konferenz 2020-02-04SPIE Photonics West

Two members of the IBT attended, presented two talks and shared their results on novel segmentation methods and a 3D microscale test target at the SPIE Photonics West Conference in San Francisco on the 01st February to 06th February. The useful feedback will be incorporated in further research and contact to possible new collaborates was set.

News 2020-01-30What makes the heart beat?

The sinus node is the natural pacemaker of the heart initiating each heart beat. Its pacemaking function results from the interplay of to cooperating systems: the so-called membrane clock and the calcium clock. The precise role of these two mechanisms is incompletely understood. Together with a group of experimental researchers from Szeged (Hungrary), the Cardiac Modeling group could now further elucidate the role of the calcium clock. A novel pharmacological agent allows to specifically block the sodim-calcium exchanger. IBT researcher could reproduce and further investigate this effect mechanistically in a computational model. By combining experiment and computer simulation, the crucial role of the sodium-calcium exchanger and the interplay with the membrane clock could be consolidated. The study explains how the natural pacemaker of the heart becomes robust and reliable through the interplay of the two systems calcium clock and membrane clock.

dotnetpro 2020Heart Simulator 1.0

The issue 1/2020 of the "dotnetpro“ journal features an article about the research of the cardiac modeling group. dotnetpro delivers expert knowledge for software developers, who use Microsoft technologies to write programs for Microsoft and non-Microsoft platforms. The idea behind the article is to provide a broader view for the dotnetpro readers, who mostly are software developers. The article introduces and describes the implementation of the multiscale simulation approach (from ion channels via cells and tissue up to the organ) for electrophysiology, which is developed and used at IBT. 

TRM_2020Towards the Digital Twin

Axel Loewe from IBT was invited to present at the 10th "TRM Forum on the Computer Simulation of Cardiac Function“. The meeting brings together leading experts on computational modeling, experimental assessment, and clinical research in the field of cardiac arrhythmias. We contributed to this year’s theme „Towards the Digital Twin“ by presenting work that allows to build a biomechanical twin of an individual patient. In addition, the session "Atrial modeling & experimental data" was chaired by the IBT researcher.

IMG_2019-11-08 DFG_News.jpgDFG roundtable discussion on „Sustainability of Research Software in Germany“

On November 7 and 8, 40 members of the German research software community met at the Robert Koch institute in Berlin to work on a position paper on „Sustainability of Research Software in Germany“. On invitation of the DFG, the topics motivation for and selection of research software, funding, best practices, policies, and infrastructure were discussed. The respective demands, challenges, ideas for solutions were formulated and phrases as central recommendations for decision makers. After internal revision, the document will be made available to the public for discussion as part of the process for position papers of the German Society for Research Software Engineering (deRSE).

Atrial Signals 2019Atrial Signals 2019 in Bordeaux

Six delegates of IBT attended the workshop Atrial Signals in Bordeaux on 14th and 15th October accompanied by their local clinical partners from Städtisches Klinikum Karlsruhe. Four years ago, the format of the workshop was called into being by Olaf Dössel and Claus Schmitt in Karlsruhe. It brings together physicians and engineers and creates a platform for the vivid exchange of needs, possibilities, and novelties in the context of working with signals from the human atria. Olaf Dössel contributed to the scientific program with two invited talks. Furthermore, IBT was represented with five posters. Laura Unger presented her work as one out of three finalists of the poster competition to the plenum.

The next workshop Atrial Signals will take place in Karlsruhe in 2021.

Labtour O-Phase 2019Labtour O-Phase 2019

On October 8th, approximately 15 freshmen seized the opportunity of getting to know IBT during the institute tour in their orientation week. Presentations on three topics of current interest in biomedical research gave them an outlook to possible fields of application of their studies in electrical engineering and information technology starting this October. The event concluded with live demonstrations of different medical devices.

CinC_2019Steffen Schuler wins the YIA at CinC 2019

The Computing in Cardiology conference 2019 was hosted in Singapore from 8th to 11th September. Five doctoral students and Olaf Dössel as a member of the board of directors represented IBT. Amongst others, cardiac modelling and signal processing as well as the inverse problem of electrocardiography were discussed.
Steffen Schuler convinced the committee of the Rosanna Degani Young Investigator Award with his paper and oral presentation on the delay-based regularization for ECG imaging of transmembrane voltages and won the renowned competition.

VDE_DGBMT 2019How do physicians and digital technology collaborate in 2035?

The VDE "Praxisnetz Digitale Technologien“ and the "Deutsche Gesellschaft für Biomedizinische Technik" (DGBMT) published a future scenario under participation of IBT experts:

„In the year 2035, digital technology and in particular artificial intelligence have overcome most regulatory obstacles. They expanded into virtually all areas of the public health sector and markedly changed the working environment of physicians. Similar to earlier developments in other professions like pilots, physicians experience a symbiotic collaboration with technology in their daily routine...“

More (in German)
BMT 2019IBT successful at BMT 2019 in Frankfurt

Twelve members of IBT were attending BMT 2019, the joint annual conference of the German, Austrian and Swiss Society for Biomedical Engineering, and presented results of their research work to the community. Claudia Nagel was awarded the 1st prize in the student competition for presenting results of her Master's thesis. Rosa Daschner was awarded the 5th prize for presenting the results of her Bachelor's thesis.

Rätsel HerzMystery of sudden cardiac death of dialysis patients solved?

Dialysis patients have an unexplained high risk to suffer sudden cardiac death: up to 100x higher than patients with normal kidney function. A simulation study of IBT suggests a potential reason: the natural pacemaker of the heart, the sinus node, reacts very sensitive to changes of the calcium concentration in the blood. In collaboration with researchers in Bologna (Italy), Szeged (Hungary), Monza (Italy), and New York City (USA), we could show that the heart beat slows down upon a decrease of the calcium concentration. In extreme cases, the heart beat stops. As calcium and other ion concentrations (such as potassium) undergo massive fluctuations in dialysis patients, this could be a relevant reason for the extreme risk of sudden cardiac death in these patients.

WanddickeRobust method to determine atrial wall thickness

In collaboration with researchers from Auckland (New Zealand), Ohio (USA), London (Canada), and Freiburg (Germany), IBT researchers have published a novel algorithm to reliably determine the wall thickness of the two atria of the heart. Based on medical imaging data, two coupled partial differential equations are solved. From the solution, the atrial wall thickness can be extracted for every point on the surface of the atria. The efficient new method is more accurate and robust than previous approaches and can in future be used to guide ablation therapy for atrial fibrillation and flutter.

Press Release 2019/123Heart from the computer supports physicians
iHeart 2019RISM Congress 2019

The RISM Congress, iHeart - Modeling the Cardiac Function, in Varese Italy, 22-24 Juli 2019, was visited by a member of the IBT Computational Cardiac Modeling group. There the work "A Method for Pressure-Volume-Based Parameter Identification for a Passive Constitutive Model of Myocardium“ was presented in a posterblitz-session.

gacm8th GACM Colloquium on Computational Mechanics

Ende August fand in Kassel ein dreitägiges Kolloquium der GACM zum Thema „Mechanik“ statt. Auch die Arbeitsgruppe Herzmodellierung war im Rahmen des Minisymposiums „Numerical methods in biomechanics“ vertreten. Der Vortrag mit dem Titel „Estimating Cardiac Active Tension from Wall Motion – The Inverse Problem of Cardiac Mechanics“ vermittelte einen Einblick in den aktuellen Stand der Forschung hinsichtlich der Entwicklung eines Verfahrens zur nichtinvasiven Bestimmung der Kraftentwicklung im menschlichen Herzen.

News BJAMeasurement of relative lung perfusion with electrical impedance and positron emission tomography

Electrical impedance tomography (EIT) with indicator dilution may be clinically useful to measure relative lung perfusion at bedside in ICUs. To investigate the performance of this technique, researchers from the IBT, Dräger and from the University Hospital in Dresden compared the EIT measure to PET. The satisfactory agreement of PET and EIT may potentially allow the usage of EIT perfusion measurements at bedside. The study was published in the „British Journal of Anaesthesia“.

Abbasi_ANew research assistant at IBT

We welcome Mr. Anees Qumar Abbasi as a research assistant at the Institute of Biomedical Engineering, started at August 1st, 2019.
  As member of the Optics group, his research will focus on developing a marker-free video-based human gait analysis system, under real-world conditions. The idea is to provide a system, which can automatically assess human gait parameters based on self-made smartphone videos. The system should be capable of detecting the relevant gait phases and calculating the crucial gait parameters out of it.  Advanced Machine Learning/Deep Learning methods will be used in order to extract the relevant gait features from the video. These features will be used for better classification of diseased and normal subjects as well as for early diagnosis of any gait related problem and monitoring of patient’s progress.
  Mr. Abbasi has completed his Bachelor’s and Master’s degree in Computer Science at University of Azad Jammu and Kashmir Muzaffarabad, Pakistan.  His research topics were focused on the human gait analysis and time series processing. He has been awarded scholarship for his PhD from DAAD and Higher Education Commission of Pakistan.


Guo_LNew research assistant at IBT

We would like to welcome Miss Lu Guo as a research assistant at the Institute of Biomedical Engineeing starting from August 2019. Her research will focus on the artificial depth perception in surgical visualization. For real-time 3D modelling of the surgical situs, instant and precise acquisition of spatially dense depth information is required. The aim is to develop new methods for depth estimation based on depth cues known from human depth perception.
  Miss Guo completed her bachelor’s degree in Mechanical Engineering at Tongji University and Master’s degree in Mechanical Engineering at Karlsruhe Institute of Technology.Her research topics were focused on the computer vision in the field of autonomous driving. 

Aton_ANew research assistant at IBT

The Institute of Biomedical Engineering welcomes Mr. Alexander Anton as a new researcher. He joined the team in September 2019 and his research focus will be on the intraoperative visualization of nerve fibers of the human brain. Due to its birefringent properties, the orientation of nerve fibers can be detected optically using polarized light. The goal of this research is to develop an appropriate polarization-sensitive image capturing and processing system for intraoperative optical fiber tracking. Such a system would be a great advance for neurosurgery and could bring further benefits in the field of intraoperative diagnostics.
  Mr. Anton completed his master studies in medical technology at the University of Stuttgart. His research interests were in the field of optical methods and systems for medical technology as well as in biomechanics and bionics.

Nagel_CNew research assistant at IBT

We would like to welcome Ms. Claudia Nagel as a research assistant at the Institute of Biomedical Engineering starting September 1st, 2019. As a member of the Computational Cardiac Modeling group, her research will focus on simulating 12 lead ECG signals of subjects that are either healthy or suffer from a cardiac disease, such as e.g. myocardial infarction or atrial flutter. Based on these data, she aims at developing a machine learning algorithm to classify cardiac dieases given a patient's surface ECG.
  Claudia Nagel completed her studies of Electrical Engineering and Information Technology at KIT. Her Master thesis focused on processing intracardiac electrograms for the estimation of the conduction velocity in a clinical setting.

2019-08-22An energetic model for the prediction of cerebral temperature decrease in the therapy of stroke patients using therapeutic hypothermia

Hypothermia is often used as an additional therapy to reduce the neurological damage caused by an ischemic stroke. Acandis in Pforzheim, Germany, has developed a new blood cooling catheter for targeted and rapid temperature reduction in the ischemic brain regions while simultaneously avoiding systemic side effects. In order to estimate the achievable temperature range, the cooling time required and the associated decrease in body core temperature when using this new catheter, researchers from the Institute of Biomedical Engineering have developed an energetic numerical temperature model. With this model, the researchers were able to show that under ischemic conditions, the catheter enables a decrease in cerebral brain tissue temperature of approx. 2°C after 30 minutes of cooling. In addition, the simulated effects of blood cooling on the rest of the systemic body were very small.

EMBC 2019International Engineering in Medicine and Biology Conference

Fifteen participants represented the Institute of Biomedical Engineering from July 23rd to 27th 2019 at the 41st International Engineering in Medicine and Biology Conference in Berlin. Eight posters, five oral presentations and numerous session chairmanships showed Karlsruhe to be a strong competence in the field at the conference edition in Germany. Program chair Olaf Dössel gave the meeting a special character. The broad spectrum of discussed topics amongst scientists from all around the world impressed and motivated the delegation of IBT.

ICIAM 2019International Conference on Industrial and Applied Mathematics

This conference on applied mathematics with more than 4000 participants takes place every four years, most recently in July in Valencia, Spain. The Computational Cardiac Modeling group was invited to present their work during the minisymposium "Mathematical and Numerical Modeling of the Human Heart“. 
The contribution "The Inverse Problem of Cardiac Mechanics Estimation of Cardiac Active Stress from Endocardial Motion Tracking“ describes first steps towards a novel method to estimate active force generation in the human heart non-invasively.

International Conference on Computational and Mathematical Biomedical EngineeringInternational Conference on Computational and Mathematical Biomedical Engineering

The conference took place in June in Sendai City, Japan. The Cardiac Modeling Group of IBT presented their work "The Inverse Problem of Cardiac Mechanics Estimation of Cardiac Active Stress from Endocardial Motion Tracking“ as an invited talk in the minisymposium „Mathematical and Numerical Modeling of the Heart Function“.

RSE_2019First German Conference on Research Software Engineering

From June 4-6, the first German Conference on Research Software Engineering took place on Telegraphenberg in Potsdam. The IBT-coordinated SuLMaSS project presented a poster and was signifanctly involved in the organization of the workshop "Challenges for the sustainable development, provision, and maintenance of research software in Germany". Many of the projects that were funded in the scope of the DFG call "Sustainable Research Software" were present and discussed lively during three hours in a "World Café". The results of the workshop will serve as the basis for a whitepaper that will be developed during a DFG round table in autumn. If you are interested in contributing, please get in touch with Axel Loewe.

WellenphänomeneCollaborative Research Centre „Wave phenomena“ extended

The grant committee of the Deutsche Forschungsgemeinschaft (DFG) decided to extend the funding for the collaborative research centre 1173 „wave phenomena: analysis and numerics“ for 4 more years. Together with our mathematics partners, we work on project B7 "Dynamics of electro-cardiac depolarization waves“. An new aspect to be tackled during the second funding period starting in July will be the coupling of the heart’s natural pacemaker, the sinus node, with the surrounding cardiac tissue.

MY-ATRIAFirst MY-ATRIA newsletter

The first newsletter of MY-ATRIA consortium, “Introducing MY-ATRIA”, has been issued. This is a presentation of the project, the beneficiaries, partners, and the PhDs involved in it.  It also describes the introductory event held in Milan in October 2018, and some interesting facts about Marie Curie.
Soon there will be the second newsletter about the winter school held in Lund in January 2019. For the moment, it is possible to enjoy a video about it.

DGK 2019 MannheimAnnual DGK congress in Mannheim

The PhD students Laura Unger and Mark Nothstein from the IBT participated in the annual congress of the German Society for Cardiology (DGK) in Mannheim together with Prof. Olaf Dössel. The pronounced clinical focus of the congress presented a perfect opportunity to gain insight into the open questions and problems of clinicians. While Laura Unger attended several project meetings as part of the congress Mark Nothstein represented the association project (KIT, Universitäts-Herzzentrum Freiburg / Bad Krozingen, Städtisches Klinikum Karlsruhe) with a poster presentation giving him the chance to discuss his approach towards quantifying pathological substrate with the clinical experts in the field. His contribution was selected to be published as an interview on the online platform “esanum”.

Workshop Herzmodellierung 2019Workshop on cardiac modeling

Coupling relevant physiological aspects of cardiac modeling in the right way – that was the subject of a three-day workshop. About 50 scientists from various teams from different European countries met from April 15th to April 17th in Bad Herrenalb. The workshop was partly organized by the IBT. Among others, invited speakers gave insight to the current state and the developments of their research. Besides, there of course was enough room for discussions and exchange.

Gordon Research Seminar 2019Gordon Research Conference 2019

Three members of the IBT (Luca Azzolin, Axel Loewe, Giorgio Luongo) participated in the Gordon Research Seminar and Conference on Cardiac Arrhythmia Mechanisms in Lucca (Barga), Italy. They contributed with poster each and discussed their research with other leading experts in various fields connected with heart rhythm disorders: from computational modellers to electrophysiologists and experimentalists. It was a unique opportunity to listen to cutting-edge talks given by outstanding scientists reporting unpublished discoveries. Our member Luca Azzolin had the honour of winning one of the Deutsche Herzstiftung travel grants for his abstract and Axel Loewe co-chaired the Gordon Research Seminar together with Mathilde Rivaud from the Amsterdam Medical Center.

Girls’ Day 2019 am IBTGirls’ Day 2019 at the IBT

On the 27th of April 2019, the Girls’ Day took place and the IBT was pleased to introduce the world of Medical Technologie to the visiting girls. 20 girls signed up for our workshop on „Technology in the Hospital - visualizing heart and lung activities“. Content was the Electrical Impedance Tomography, Photoplethysmography and the Electrocardiography. The short introduction into the methods and the following experiments created a diverse and exciting time for the girls and the presenters. The active participation and the experiments made it a great and funny event. We’d like to thank the organizers, supporters, participants and we are looking forward to the next Girls’ Day 2020!

SPIEIBT presents at SPIE Photonic West 2019

At the international conference SPIE Photonic West in San Francisco, CA, USA Andreas Wachter presents his currents results. The paper "Development of a real-time virtual reality environment for visualization of fully digital microscope datasets” was presented during the poster session.

Biophysical Society MeetingIBT presents at Biophysical Society Meeting

Recent IBT research was presented at the 63rd Annual Meeting of the Biophysical Society in Baltimore, MD, USA. Die work "Sinus Bradycardia Due to Electrolyte Changes as a Potential Pathomechanism of Sudden Cardiac Death in Hemodialysis Patients“ was featured with an Early Career Scientist Travel Award and well received in the poster session.

IBT represented at Honorable Reception of the President

Axel Loewe was credited during the Honorable Reception of the KIT president for his success in the Gips-Schüle junior scientist award. Around 80 invited guests experienced a 3 hour program together with a gala dinner in the casino of KIT campus north. Besides the presentation of the KIT doctoral prizes, those KIT members who won important prizes and grants were honored.

News 2018
IMG_IBT_News 2019-01-14.pngEstimating the personal risk for atrial flutter

Researchers at IBT in collaboration with clinicians from Städtisches Klinikum Karlsruhe have developed a method to estimate an individual’s risk to suffer from atrial flutter using computational models. The novel method has lately been published in the journal „Frontiers in Physiology“ and allows to identify all pathways along which atrial flutter can be sustained in a personalized model of the patient. In this way, the effect of therapeutic interventions like catheter ablation or drugs can be assessed in advance.

Pollnow PromotionPhD graduation Stefan Pollnow

Stefan Pollnow defended his PhD thesis „Characterizing Cardiac Electrophysiology during Radiofrequency Ablation - An Integrative Ex vivo, In silico, and In vivo Approach“ on December 13 and passed the exam with distinction. We congratulate warmly!

EKG 2018-11-28Influence of left atrial size on the ECG

How does left atrial size affect the electrocardiogram (ECG)? If a robust recognition of left atrial enlargement would be possible using only the ECG, physicians would be provided with a cheap means to identify an important predictor for atrial fibrillation. In an effort to answer this question, scientists of the IBT have designed and performed a study to virtually enlarge the left atrium and simulate the corresponding ECG. Results of this study show how different types and degrees of left atrial enlargement influence the ECG and how they could potentially be detected in clinical practice. A particularly interesting results is that the frequently used clinical marker „PTF-V1“ is rather an indicator for a thicker atrial wall than for an enlarged atrium.

karlsruhe.r2b-studentIBT presents at r2b-student techpitch

Convincing the audience in 180 seconds – scientists and founders presented their ideas and concepts during the r2b-student techpitch on Nov, 15. Afterwards, interested students could get in touch with the researchers to discuss about potential thesis projects.

DGBMT 2018IBT strongly represented at the Conference of the Society of Biomedical Engineering 2018 in Aachen

The annual conference of the Society of Biomedical Engineering (DGBMT) 2018 took place in Aachen.
Among a lot of scientific contributions, the IBT was represented with 16 contributions and was one of the strongest groups at the annual conference. Furthermore, Armin Müller and Tamara Wirth won the 7th and 8th prize in the student competition of the DGBMT.

IBT News 2018-10-08Campus Report podcast features IBT

A step towards personalized medicine and more effective treatments that’s what computer simulation of atrial fibrillation promise. The Computational Cardiac Modeling group at the Institute of Biomedical Engineering of KIT works towards a mathematical formulation of the heart’s function and its realistic representation in computational models. The head of the group, Dr. Axel Loewe, reports about the work in this week’s Campus Report podcast.

Preis PatientensicherheitPatient Safety Award

IBT scientists Axel Loewe and Olaf Dössel won the Patient Safety Award (2nd place) together with clinical collaborators from University Heart Center Freiburg-Bad Krozingen. The honored study introduces two novel ECG-based approaches for real-time assessment of success of catheter ablation to terminate perimitral flutter. Perimitral flutter is an atrial arrhythmia, which occurs frequently subsequent to ablation for atrial fibrillation. The methods were thoroughly evaluated using medical engineering simulations and put to test in a clinical study comprising a validation cohort. In the future, the methods can be implemented in clinical mapping devices. The suggested measures to assess success of ablation have great potential to significantly increase patient safety through shorter invasive procedures as well as higher success rates and therefore a smaller number of redo procedures.

Nairn_DNew research assistant at IBT

We welcome Miss Deborah Nairn as a research assistant starting October 2018. Her research will focus on identifying low voltage areas to guide atrial fibrillation therapy. This consists of identifying the relationship between bipolar voltage during sinus rhythm and ongoing AF. She aims to develop a robust method to pinpoint diseased tissue based on bipolar voltage taking into consideration different confounding factors.  
Miss Nairn completed her bachelor’s degree in Mathematics at the University of Aberdeen and Master’s degree in Data Science for Decision Making at Maastricht University. Her research topics focused on comparing state of the art ECG T-wave detection algorithms and building a signal-based dynamic model to detect ischemia and describe the progression over time.

CinC_PosterSuccessful participation in Computing in Cardiology (CinC) conference

Members of IBT presented 3 scientific contributions at the CinC conference in Maastricht, Netherlands. The contribution "Electro-Mechanical Delay in the Human Heart: A Study on a Simple Geometry" was honored with a price for the poster presentation. Furthermore, members of IBT were involved in the organisation of the conference being session chairs and organizers of the hackathon for inverse problem at this conference.

Vorhofflimmerablation im ComputermodellHolistic evaluation of atrial fibrillation ablation using computational models

Therapy of atrial fibrillation often entails catheter ablation, which however does not show satisfactory success in many patients. IBT researchers in collaboration with the University of Bologna developed a method, which allows to assess novel ablation strategies thoroughly using computational models. In particular the holistic consideration of the entire cycle from simulation of atrial fibrillation episodes, the resulting extracellular potentials, the mechanical deformation of the catheter, signal acquisition, clinical signal processing, and eventually ablation in the model is unique. In a first application, it could be shown that ablation of so-called rotors is not always constructive.

IMG_news_2018-08-30_SchulerNew spatio-temporal method for ECG imaging

Every spread of electrical excitation in the heart creates a characteristic spatio-temporal pattern of potentials on the surface of the body.
At IBT, a new method for ECG imaging has now been developed, which utilizes this spatio-temporal relationship by representing measured body surface potentials as superposition of basic potential patterns, for which the corresponding excitation pattern is known. The novel method has been published in the journal „Frontiers in Physiology“.
It could be shown that the origin of simulated atrial extrasystoles can be reconstructed more robustly and more accurately from noisy measurement data than with a commonly used reference method.

Axel LoeweAxel Loewe awarded third place of the Gips-Schüle young talent award 2018

Atrial fibrillation is one of the most common cardiac arrhythmias in humans and responsible for 25 percent of all strokes. Drug therapy or surgery on the heart are often ineffective in the long term.
In his dissertation, Axel Loewe from the Institute of Biomedical Engineering of KIT examines atrial fibrillation using computer models. He has succeeded in integrating individual measurement data from patients, for example the genome of the cardiovascular system, into mathematical models. The model-based approaches contribute to a broader understanding of the disease. This will allow more efficient, personalized therapies to be developed.
With his research Loewe now took third place in the Gips Schüle Foundation's Gips-Schüle Award 2018.

KIT News
Luca AzzolinNew research assistant at IBT

We would like to welcome Mr. Luca Azzolin as a research assistant at the Institute of Biomedical Engineering, started at July 1st, 2018. Within the framework of the MY-ATRIA Innovative Training Network (ITN), funded by the European Commission’s Horizon 2020 Marie Sklodowska-Curie programme, Mr. Azzolin is working in the cardiac modeling group at IBT at the development of an integrated and personalized computational model of the atria for an efficient ablation therapy for atrial fibrillation. The final expected result will be a tool helping the cardiologist to predict the ablation outcome.

Mr. Azzolin completed his Bachelor’s and Master’s degree in Computational Science and Engineering (Mathematical Engineering) at Politecnico di Milano. His research topics were focused on the electromechanical modelling and computer simulation of the human ventricles.

SánchezNew research assistant at IBT

We would like to welcome Mr. Jorge Sánchez as a research assistant starting July 2018. As a member of the computational cardiac modeling group, Jorge Sánchez‘s research will focus on the development of an open source modeling framework for the electrophysiology of the heart. We aim to provide a sustainable research software of high quality and a focus on user-friendliness. This will provide an optimal solution for a large proportion of those who can potentially benefit from cardiac computer modeling methods.

Luongo New research assistant at IBT

We would like to welcome Mr. Giorgio Luongo as a research assistant at the Institute of Biomedical Engineering as of July 1st, 2018. Inside the framework of the MY-ATRIA Innovative Training Network (ITN), funded by the European Commission’s Horizon 2020 Marie Sklodowska-Curie programme, Mr. Luongo is working with the biosignals group at IBT to understand the relationship between various patterns of depolarization in the atria during Sinus Rhythm, Atrial Flutter, Atrial Fibrillation, and the corresponding 12-lead ECG as well as BSPM. Additionally, to understand which of the atrial depolarization patterns can be reliably detected, identified, or localized.

Mr. Luongo completed his Bachelor’s and Master’s degree in Clinical Engineering and Biomedical Engineering at the University of Rome “La Sapienza”. His research topics were focused on the implementation of a regularized classifier based on evoked potentials EEG signals and on the implementation of an asynchronous control for Brain Computer Interface systems.

ICSIBT at the Interdisciplinary Cerebrovascular Symposium (ICS)

In 2018, the international conference celebrated its 15th birthday in Magdeburg, Germany. Following the conference series motto “Bringing together international PhD and MD experts”, Yannick Lutz presented his work concerning the development of a numerical model of brain and systemic temperature during local hypothermia for ischemic stroke treatment. The usage of a novel cooling catheter enables the possibility for fast local inducement of therapeutic hypothermia while reducing systemic side effects.

Workshops zum Thema MedizintechnikInteractive presentation within the workshop on medical technologies of the university group EESTEC

Within the international workshop on medical technologies of the EESTEC university group, the IBT gave an interactive presentation on “Technology in hospitals”. Many interested students from various European countries could gain insights into multiple medical measurement principles of vital signs as well as test them themselves. The measurements comprised clinically essential measurements such as the electrocardiogram and newer technologies such as lung monitoring using Electrical Impedance tomography (EIT).

Best student paper award für Michael KircherBest student paper award for Michael Kircher

Michael Kircher was awarded the “Best student paper award” of the 19th International Conference on Biomedical Applications of Electrical Impedance Tomography sponsored by the Institute of Physics (IOP) society. The Conference took place in Edinburgh from June 11th to June 13th.

Neue FiltermethodeNovel filtering method for processing optical mapping data

IBT researchers published a novel method for the analysis of cardiac optical mapping data in the journal of “Computers in Biology and Medicine”. An adaptive spatio-temporal Gaussian filter is presented to process fluorescence-optical mapping data according to the signal characteristics of recorded optical action potentials. The developed filter approach outperformed standard filtering methods from literature at low SNRs. Therefore, experimenters are able to effectively analyze optical mapping data with the help of this new filter approach.

News 2018-05-09Novel Method for Real Time Assessment of Treatment Efficacy

IBT researchers published a novel method for the immediate assessment of successful treatment together with physicians from the University Heart Centre Freiburg · Bad Krozingen in the journal "JACC Clinical Electrophysiology". The ECG-based method is used to evaluate the completeness of an anterior mitral line during ablation for atrial flutter in the left atrium. Thanks to this new method, the duration of the invasive procedure might shorten markedly and the success rate might increase in future. The clinical study was complemented and fortified by computer simulations performed at IBT.

2018-05-03Excursion to the cardiac catheterization lab

Last Thursday, research assistants of IBT and IANM visited the cardiac catheterization lab at the Städtische Klinikum Karlsruhe. Dr. Armin Luik and Prof. Dr. Claus Schmitt provided some useful insight into the electrophysiological unit and drew our attention to current scientific questions, which are of major importance to our joint projects.

Zeiss & KITZEISS and KIT Robotics Innovation Competition

Health care technology and application are focus areas of the Zeiss-KIT joint Robotics Innovation Competition.

Technologies (Health Care)
• Tracking and referencing
• Smart instruments as control module
• Real-time control with sensor feedback
• Reinforcement Learning
Application (Health Care)
• Microsurgery, e.g. Resection of tumorous tissue
• Ophtalmology, e.g. Interventions on the retina
• Surgery process, e.g. Recognition of persons, role and situations

ZEISS and KIT Robotics Innovation Competition
Werner Nahm im InterviewInterview with Werner Nahm

Interview with Werner Nahm on optical technologies in medicine (medizin&technik 2/2018)

EAMBES FellowOlaf Dössel appointed Fellow of the EAMBES

Prof. Dr. Olaf Dössel was appointed Fellow of the European Alliance for Medical and Biological Engineering and Science.
In the document it says: „In recognition of distinguished leadership and important contributions to research and advocacy of Medical and Biological Engineering and Science“.
The document was given on the occation of a meeting on 13rd of March 2017 in London.

EAMBES Fellows
IMG KIT-Ehrenabend_2018-02-21KIT Doctoral Award for Gustavo Lenis

Gustavo Lenis is one of the recipients of the 10th KIT Doctoral Award. With this award, KIT honors outstanding doctoral candidates and emphasizes the high status of junior scientists. His doctorate reflects the wide range of research opportunities at KIT and should be a role model for others.

Reentry MapAutomatic identification of atrial tachycardia mechanisms

Atrial tachycardia still poses a major challenge in catheter ablation. Researchers at IBT have developed a method to automatically analyze intracardiac signals leveraging spatio-temporal relationships. Using this method, reentry mechanisms and critical sites in the atria can be automatically identified. Such automatic interpretation of intracardiac mapping data could help to improve the treatment strategy in complex cases of atrial tachycardia. The study was published in the scientific journal "IEEE Transactions on Biomedical Engineering".

Mark NothsteinNew research assistant at IBT

We would like to welcome Mr. Mark Nothstein as a research assistant starting January 1st, 2018. Mr. Mark Nothstein‘s research focuses on the characterization of the electrophysiological substrate in patients with atrial fibrillation. The existing classification system used in clinics today is based solely on a patient’s symptoms. Recent studies suggest, however, the symptoms do not correlate with the patient’s actual burden of atrial fibrillation. Since the success rates of interventional or medical therapy are dependent on the individual disease progression stage, a classification is required which better correlates with the severity of electrophysiological changes to improve the currently unsatisfactory success rates of atrial fibrillation treatment.

H+EReview article about modeling ischemia

In the special issue "Advances in cardiac cellular electrophysiology – relevance for clinical translation" of the journal "Herzschrittmachertherapie und Elektrophysiologie", a review article about "Cardiac ischemia—insights from computational models" by authors from IBT and the University Heart Center Freiburg/Bad Krozingen will be published. In this article the basics of multiscale computational modeling of cardiac electrophysiology from the molecular ion channel to the whole body scale are described. By modeling cardiac ischemia, it is illustrated how in silico experiments can contribute to our understanding of how the pathophysiolo- gical mechanisms translate into changes observed in diagnostic tools such as the electrocardiogram (ECG). 

IBT news
FrontiersCommentary in Frontiers in Physiology

IBT researchers have published a commentary on an article recently published in the journal "Frontiers in Physiology". Axel Loewe and Olaf Dössel highlight the achievement of Shim et al., who used computational models to guide cateheter ablation for atrial fibrillation. On the other hand, the commentary points out potential for further optimization of computer-guided personalized therapy. Exploitation of computational models for a better treatment of atrial fibrillation is one of the research focusses at IBT.

Ekaterina KovachevaNew research assistant at IBT

We would like to welcome Ms. Ekaterina Kovacheva as a research assistant at the Institute of Biomedical Engineering as of November 1st, 2017. As a member of the Computatonal Cardiac Modelling group, Ekaterina Kovacheva is working on the further development and merging of available cardiac models. So far the models for the electrophysiological excitation propagation, elastomechanical contraction, fluid dynamics and the circulatory system are developed separataly. The aim of this project is to implement the mutual interaction - as it is in the real-life heart.

News 2017-12-07Novel method for determination of cardiac conduction velocity

Researcher from IBT together with electrophysiologists at Klinikum Karlsruhe have published an paper introducing a novel method to determine the conduction velocity within the heart. The approach is based on triangulation and provides a means to compute the conduction velocity of  cardiac depolarization waves based in intracardiac catheter measurements. Both computer simulations and clinical measurements werd used to validate the novel method.

TRMIBT present at TRM Forum

Axel Loewe from IBT was invited to present at the 9th "TRM Forum on the Computer Simulation of Cardiac Function“. The meeting brings together leading experts on computational modeling, experimental assessment, and clinical research in the field of cardiac arrhythmias. We contributed to this year’s theme „From Model to Clinical Outcome“ by presenting work using computational models to validate diagnostic and therapeutic concepts, in particular novel mapping catheters with integrated mini electrodes and ECG features to estimate anatomical properties of the left atrium.

Baden TV Nov 2017IBT on TV

Together with our collaborators Prof. Schmitt and Dr. Luik from Städtisches Klinikum Karlsruhe, Prof. Dössel discusses cardiac arrhythmias in the show "Klinik Talk". The show is broadcasted on the channel BadenTV and is available online (in German).

Laura UngerNew research assistant at IBT

We would like to welcome Ms. Laura Anna Unger as a research assistant at the Institute of Biomedical Engineering as of October 1st, 2017. As a member of the biosignals group, Laura Unger is working on the analysis of intraatrial signals in close cooperation with electrophysiologists in clinical practice. The projects focus on novel methods in the diagnosis and therapy of atrial tachycardia such as atrial fibrillation and atrial flutter.

Laura Unger completed her Bachelor’s and Master’s degree in Electrical Engineering and Information Technology at KIT. She has already built up a background in modeling and processing of intraatrial signals during her final theses and her work as a student research assistant at IBT.

Atrial_Signals_2017Atrial Signals 2017 in Valencia

Three members of IBT, Olaf Dössel, Tobias Oesterlein, and Laura Unger, attended this year’s workshop Atrial Signals in Valencia from October 5th through 7th. We were happy to witness the successful continuation of the workshop after IBT and the Städtisches Klinikum had created and hosted the first Atrial Signals conference in Karlsruhe in 2015. The philosophy of bringing together engineers and physicians once again triggered fruitful panel discussions after each series of talks. As co-founders of the event, both Olaf Dössel and Tobias Oesterlein had the honor of being invited speakers amongst other well-known personalities.

CinC 2017Successful participation in Computing in Cardiology (CinC) conference

Members of IBT presented 8 scientific contributions at the CinC conference in Rennes, France. Two contributions were awarded prizes: The work "ECG as a tool to estimate potassium and calcium concentrations in the extracellular space“ entered the semi-final of the Young Investigators Award. The work "An Interactive Virtual Reality Environment for the Analysis of Clinical Atrial Arrhythmias and Ablation Planning" was honoured with a poster award. Furthermore, members of IBT were involved in the organisation of the conference being session chairs and organisators of the hackathon for inverse problem at this conference.

Potyagaylo newsKlee-Award 2017 of DGBMT goes to Dr.-Ing. Danila Potyagaylo

Danila Potyagaylo introduces new algorithms for the localization of ventricular extrasystoles in his dissertation "Non-invasive Electrocardiographical Imaging of Ventricular Activities", which he has developed at the Institute for Biomedical Technology at the Karlsruhe Institute of Technology (KIT).

Gerach_TWe welcome Mr. Tobias Gerach


We welcome Mr. Tobias Gerach as a new member at the Institute of Biomedical Engineering. Inside the framework of the Collaborative Research Centre 1173: Wave phenomena, Mr. Gerach is working with the cardiac modeling group at IBT on the dynamics of electro-cardiac depolarization waves.

Mr. Gerach received his bachelor and master degrees in geophysics from the Karlsruher Institute of Technology. His research topics at the Geophysical Institute were focused on the simulation of seismic wave fields and the full waveform inversion of seismic waves in maritime environments.

DGBMT 2017IBT strongly represented at the joint annual conference of the Society of Biomedical Engineering and of the Society of Medical Physics

The annual conference of the Society of Biomedical Engineering (DGBMT) 2017 took place in Dresden together with the Society of Medical Physics (DGMP).
Among 700 scientific contributions, the IBT was represented with 19 contributions and was one of the strongest groups at the annual conference. Furthermore, Areg Noshadi, Michael Stritt and Christian Marzi won the 1st, 2nd and 7th prize in the student competition of the DGBMT.

Presentation of an in-vitro study at EMBC 2017 in Jeju Island

Hyperthermia during radiofrequency ablation causes reversible and irreversible changes of the electrophysiological properties of cardiac tissue. In a recent published study, we investigated changes of conduction velocity in rat myocardium under hyperthermic conditions from macroscopic to microscopic scale by using simultaneous optical mapping and a miniaturized electrode array. The findings of this study may be used to develop further computational models of acute ablation lesions.

KIT Doktorandenpreis 2017KIT Doctoral Award

Axel Loewe wins KIT Doctoral Award
KIT acknowledges outstanding doctoral researchers with the KIT Doctoral Award. One of the three prizes for the academic year 2015/16 was awarded to Axel Loewe  who is with the Institute of Biomedical Engineering for his PhD thesis  „Modeling human atrial patho-electrophysiology from ion channels to ECG: substrates, pharmacology, vulnerability, and P-waves“. The prize was awarded at the President’s honorable ceremony and presented by Vice President Kraft.

Review article "Computerized modeling of the human heart“ published


The next issue of the journal "Zeitschrift für Medizinische Physik“ features a review article on „Computerized modeling of the human heart“ by Olaf Dössel and Axel Loewe from IBT. The „Forum“ paper summarizes the state-of-the-art regarding modeling of cardiac electrophysiology, elasto-mechanics, fluid dynamics, and the circulatory system. Both the potential and challenges of this complementary research approach are discussed.

A computational study about the additional benefit of an ablation catheter with integrated mini electrodes

Radiofrequency ablation has become a first-line approach for curative therapy of many cardiac arrhythmias. In a recent published study, the additional diagnostic benefit of an ablation catheter with integrated mini electrodes was investigated. The computational study showed that catheters with mini electrodes bring about additional benefit to differentiate ablated tissue from nonablated tissue in parallel position with high spatial resolution.

Girls’ Day 2017Girls’ Day 2017 at the IBT

27th of April 2017. The Girls’ Day took place and the IBT is pleased to introduce the world of Medical Technologie to the visiting girls. 19 girls signed in for our workshop on „Technology in the Hospital - visualizing heart and lung activities“. Content was the electric-impedancetomography, photoplethysmography and the electrocardiography. The short introduction into the methods and the fellowing experiments resulted in a phenomenal feedback. The active participation in our build-in questions and experiments made it a great and funny event. We’d like to thank the organizers, supporters, participants and we are looking forward to the next Girls’ Day 2018!

News_2017-04-24IBT presents at ECAS in Rome

Phase mapping may provide important information about cardiac excitation dynamics during atrial fibrillation. Both computation and realistic visualisation of this novel parameter were addressed in two presentations by Tobias Oesterlein on the ECAS conference in Rome. By combined assessment of electrogram data and its spatial position, the presented methods allow an improved visualisation of cardiac excitation. This was a valuable addition to talks by the groups of Sanjiv Narayan and Vadim Fedorov, who established the link between electrogram information, optical mapping and resulting depolarisation patterns.

Influence of filtering on the ST segment in the ECG

The so-called ST segment in the ECG plays an important role with the diagnosis of myocardial infarction. In a recent published study, the influence of different filtering methods on the ST segment in the ECG was analyzed. Realistic, simulated ECGs with a region of infarction und known noise were used for evaluation. It became apparent, that methods can influence the ST segment in such a manner that the diagnostic information can be falsified.

Valuable Information Regarding the Interpretation of the Atrial ECG Published

IBT scientists in collaboration with cardiologists from Lund, Sweden identified mechanisms contributing to the ECG of the atria (P-wave). Results regarding the limited contribution of the left atrium and the influence of the site of earliest activation were published in the renowned journal "Europace“ of the European Society of Cardiology (ESC).

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KatheterPaper about the Mapping using Basket Catheters published

Basket-type catheters allow to acquired simultaneous electrograms from many distributed atrial positions. Correct interpretation of the mapping data, however, is complicated by the deformation of the catheter. We quantitatively analyzed both in-silico and clinical data from panoramic basket catheter mapping in our open-access publication „Basket-Type Catheters: Diagnostic Pitfalls caused by Deformation and Limited Coverage“. Results emphasize that knowledge about the electrode positions during mapping is required for correct interpretation of panoramic mapping data.

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News 2016-10-06IBT strongly represented at the annual meeting of the German Society for Biomedical Engineering

With 19 participants and 17 scientific contributions, the IBT was one of the strongest groups at the annual meeting of the German Society for Biomedical Engineering (DGBMT). This year’s meeting was held together with the Austrian and Swiss societies in Basel, CH (D-A-CH). Furthermore, Robin Andlauer and Joachim Greiner did win the first and second prize in the student competition.

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Prof. Dössel gives keynote lecture at IHU-LIRYC

Prof. Olaf Dössel gives a keynote lecture "Simulated and measured atrial electrograms - what can we learn from a critical comparison?“ at the International Scientifc Workshop of the IHU-Liryc in Bordeaux. L’institut de rhytmologie et modélisation cardiaque is devoted to the study of cardiac electrical disorders and headed by Prof. Michel Haissaguerre.

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IBT contributions win prizes in Vancouver

IBT’s studies presented at the „Computing in Cardiology“ conference in Vancouver were well received and awarded several prizes. Axel Loewe won the Rosanna Degani Young Investigator Award (YIA) with the paper "Left Atrial Hypertrophy Increases P-Wave Terminal Force Through Amplitude but not Duration“. Moreover, IBT contributions were awarded 2 poster prizes, one YIA semi final participation, and 2 Mortara Fellowships.
 [More] [Conference website]

IBT presents at Cardiac Physiome Workshop in Seoul, Korea

Results of research conducted at IBT were presented at the workshop of the Cardiac Physiome Society in Seoul, Korea by Axel Loewe. The contribution "P-wave terminal force is affected by site of earliest right atrial activation“ was selected to be presented during one of the 22 oral scientific presentations. [More]

News 2016-04-14IBT awarded teaching prize

The teaching prize of the faculty of electrical engineering and information technology was awarded to Gustavo Lenis (IBT) at the annual ceremony of the KIT for the creation of the video exercises for the class “Lineare Elektrische Netze”. [More]