News 2022
ImageHow important is the reverse mode of the sodium-calcium exchanger?

Together with a team from the University of Szeged, IBT researchers have studied the reverse mode of the sodium-calcium exchanger for the function of the sinus node, the natural pacemaker of the heart. By combining biological experiments and computer simulations, evidence for a crucial role could be demonstrated.

ImageBook "Innovative Treatment Strategies for Clinical Electrophysiology"

With contributions of IBT as coeditor and authors of two chapters on machine learning in cardiac electrophysiology and cardiac digital twin modeling, the book was published in the series Lecture Notes in Bioengineering of the Springer publishing house.

LogoOxford Symposium on the Future of Therapy Discovery and Development

Together with the National Centre for the Replacement, Refinement and Reduction of Animals in Research, the University of Oxford held a symposium on Dec 5 and 6. IBT and its clinical collaborators from Freiburg University presented their work and views on the synergy between computational modeling and machine learning and its clinical translation.

ImageClaudia Nagel, PhD

Claudia Nagel successfully defended her PhD thesis „Multiscale Cohort Modeling of Atrial Electrophysiology - Risk Stratification for Atrial Fibrillation through Machine Learning on Electrocardiograms“ on November 17th, 2022. Our heartfelt congratulations!

PhD thesis
ImageWhat makes our heart beat?

IBT researchers present the first functional 3D computer model of the human sinus node in the renowned Biophysical Journal. 
The structure of this natural pacemaker is crucial for successfully exciting the surrounding heart tissue.

ImageIBT at BMT2022

From September 28 to September 30 the IBT took part at BMT2022 ("Joint Annual Conference of the Austrian, German and Swiss Societies for Biomedical Engineering") in Innsbruck. 3 students and 4 PhDs were responsible for 5 presentations and 2 posters in total. Jule Bender won second place in the student's competition for her paper "A Large-Scale Virtual Patient Cohort to Study ECG Features of Interatrial Conduction Block". Congratulations!
Additionally, two former PhDs were awarded retrospectively for their PhD theses. Congratulations to Giorgio Luongo for getting third place in the Klee Award as well as to Ady Naber for winning the first place award for patient security.

Image„Modeling the Cardiac Function“ Conferece

The „Modeling the Cardiac Function“ conference hosted by the iHeart project took place in Cetraro from 30.9 to 2.10. An IBT member was there and presented our studies on the influence of boundary conditions on fluid dynamics simulations.

ImageCinC 2022

The 49th edition of Computing in Cardiology (CinC) took place in Tampere, Finland from 04-07 Sep, 2022. 5 current PhD students from the IBT as well as Albert Dasí who is visiting our lab presented their recent work. Carmen Martínez was recognized as a semi-finalist for the Young Investigators Award and former postdoc Jorge Sánchez took home the Poster Award for the work he did while still at the IBT. Congratulations, Carmen and Jorge!

BildComparison of propagation models and forward calculation methods in atrial electrophysiology

IBT members and collaborators from the Medical University of Graz investigated if and to what extent simplified methods and models can yield physiologically accurate results in electrophysiological atrial simulations regarding activation times and electrocardiograms (ECG) while reducing computational cost markedly at the same time. These analyses form the basis for extensive ECG-based simulation studies to e.g., generate large-scale datasets for machine learning approaches.

BildWhich strategy for ablating atrial fibrillation works best?

IBT researchers, together with the University Hospital of Freiburg, have systematically compared different therapeutic approaches in a cohort of 29 digital twins of atrial fibrillation patients. They were able to show that precise identification of tissue changes is crucial. Personalized computer models can help to achieve the optimal therapeutic success with the smallest possible intervention.

BildEMBC 22

44th International Engineering in Medicine and Biology Conference (EMBC) was held in Glasgow, Scotland,  from 11-15 July 2022.
Four representatives from the Institute of Biomedical Engineering (IBT) participated in EMBC 22, with 3 full paper and one absract presentations.

BildComputational and Mathematical Biomedical Engineering Conference

This year’s Computational and Mathematical Biomedical Engineering Conference (CMBE22) was hosted by the Politecnico di Milano (Italy) from June 27th to 29th. Jochen Brenneisen presented the latest studies on the Immersed Boundary Method to simulate fluid dynamics in the heart.

It was a great conference with highly interesting presentations and fruitful discussions. Conference proceedings will follow soon on

BildIBT research featured in "AI in Healthcare Highlights & Milestones" report 3/22

The machine learning method to predict atrial fibrillation therapy success noninvasively from the ECG is one of the first approaches trained exclusively on data from computational models and benchmarked on real world clinical data.
[report] [paper]

BildKlee Prize for Giorgio Luongo

The German Society for Biomedical Engineering (DGBMT) annually awards the Klee Prize to scientists for practical developments in the field of medical technology. Giorgio Luongo was awarded 3rd place for his dissertation "Non-Invasive Atrial Arrhythmia Diagnosis Using the 12-Lead ECG: Machine Learning Leveraging in-silico and Clinical Signals" at IBT.
[DGMBT news] [thesis]

BildProf. Olaf Dössel was honored for his outstanding scientific achievements in the faculty council

The wish and application of the division and faculty management to appoint the recently retired Prof. Dössel as a Distinguished Senior Fellow was positively approved by the KIT. Prof. Dössel is involved, among other things, in 3 academies of science and in international professional societies as well as an expert in his field of medical technology.
Prof. Dössel and Prof. Ivers-Tiffée are highly regarded in science nationally and internationally and contribute significantly to the visibility of KIT.
Congratulations on these two special awards!

Portrait Joshua SteyerNew research assistant at IBT

As of June 2022, the IBT welcomes Joshua Steyer as a new research assistant within the „Computational Cardiac Modelling“ group. In the scope of the MICROCARD research project, he will investigate the effect of microscopic tissue structure on clinical electrograms using HPC simulations for an improved assessment of the vulnerability to arrhythmias and tailored ablation strategies. He studied physics and numerically analyzed spatiotemporally chaotic excitation dynamics of the heart during his Master’s thesis at the MPI for Dynamics and Self-Organization.

BildIs electromechanical tissue coupling a determinant for altered left ventricular rotation patterns?

In cooperation with physicians from the St. Anne’s University Hospital, Brno, researchers at IBT showed that a dyssynchronous activation of the left ventricle is insufficient to result in a breakdown of the typical torsional contraction pattern in patients diagnosed with heart failure.

BildGraduation Tobias Gerach

Tobias Gerach successfully defended his dissertation „ Personalized Electromechanical Modeling of the Human Heart - Challenges and Opportunities in Pathophysiological Scenarios “ on May 19th 2022 and passed the doctoral exam with distinction. Sincere congratulations to our new PhD from the team’s whole heart!

LogoTribute for Prof. Em. Olaf Dössel

Olaf Dössel was appointed Fellow of the International Union for Physical and Engineering Sciences in Medicine (IUPESM) in recognition of his outstanding contribution to the international development of physical and engineering sciences in medicine.
The IUPESM is the worldwide umbrella organization of all scientific societies for biomedical engineering and medical physics.

Logo DGKDGK Annual Meeting

The 88th Annual Meeting of the German Society of Cardiology, which was held for the first time since 2019 in the presence of the Congress Center Rosengarten in Mannheim, was very well attended. 
More than 7,100 audience members watched the sessions of the 88th Annual Meeting, the majority of them - more than 5,300 people - on site in Mannheim. The IBT was represented with several posters and an invited talk on "Computational Cardiac Modeling - Synergies with Machine Learning" (Axel Loewe).

BildDeborah Nairn, PhD

Deborah Nairn successfully defended her PhD thesis „Multi-Modality Correspondence to Enhance Arrhythmogenic Atrial Substrate Identification - Guiding Persistent Atrial Fibrillation Ablation Therapy“ on April 14th, 2022.
Our heartfelt congratulations!

BildSymposium and farewell party for Prof. Dr. Olaf Dössel

After more than 25 years at the Faculty of Electrical Engineering and Information Technology, Prof. Dr. Olaf Dössel with a symposium on medical technology and with various subsequent celebrations in retirement. Specialist presentations by current and former representatives of the Institute for Biomedical Engineering (IBT) and the Städtisches Klinikum were followed by greetings from the KIT, Division III, professional associations, companions as well as the faculty and student council. At the celebration that followed, the IBT said goodbye to its head of institute with various musical personal contributions and with the traditional, self-made "doctoral hat".
Many thanks to Olaf Dössel and all the best for your retirement!

Logo EHRAEHRA Congress 2022

Carmen Martinez, scientist in the IBT, presented her research results in the EHRA Congress 2022 poster sessions under the title: “Impact of contact force on local impedance measurements in different atrial locations“. The conference took place in Copenhage between the 3rd and the 5th of April. The scientific program of this year was focused on “Getting back to the rhythm!”, referring also to the recovering of on-site conferences after the pandemic.

BildDevelopment environment for sustainable research software

How can the maintenance effort for research software be reduced by clever concepts and automation? The article published in the journal "Bausteine Forschungsdatenmanagement" presents ideas and solutions using the example of openCARP.

BildPhD Laura Unger

Laura Unger successfully defended her PhD thesis „Multimodal Characterization of the Atrial Substrate – Risks and Rewards of Electrogram and Impedance Mapping“ on February 22nd, 2022 and passed the doctoral examination with distinction. Our heartfelt congratulations!

PhD thesis
BildAtrial Fibrillation: Technology for Diagnosis, Monitoring, and Treatment

A recent research topic published in the renowned Frontiers in Physiology journal highlights the latest progress in technology for atrial fibrillation diagnosis, monitoring and treatment.
The collection of 38 articles was co-edited by IBT researcher Axel Loewe and features 3 studies in which IBT was involved.

BildWhich atrial fibrillation patients are at increased risk for heart failure?

Together with physicians at Freiburg University Hospital, IBT researchers present a method to non-invasively identify those atrial fibrillation patients at increased risk of heart failure. The method is based on machine learning on the electrocardiogram.

BildWhat ECG can tell us about the events on a molecular scale

Our research is featured in the latest episode of Renal Research Institute's "Frontiers in Kidney Medicine and Biology" in an interview with Axel Loewe. Watch the video, listen to the podcast, or read the transcript.

BildSoftware Carpentry Workshop at KIT

On April 11th and 12th 2022, the Institute of Biomedical Engineering is hosting a workshop which aims at teaching foundational coding to researchers, open to registration for all KIT members.

BildNew research assistant at IBT

The Institute of Biomedical Engineering welcomes Mr. Jonathan Krauß as a new research assistant. Since January 2022, he has been working in the "Computational Cardiac Modeling“ research group on electro-mechanically coupled human heart simulations. For this purpose, efficient and robust coupling schemes will be developed and evaluated. 
Jonathan Krauß completed his studies in mechanical engineering at KIT. His research topics were focused on continuum mechanics and medical robotics.

BildLet's to talk about research software

In the days of Otto Hahn and Lise Meitner, scientific life was characterized solely by laboratory experiments, observations of nature and theoretical considerations, scientific essays and discourses. What has changed in the last 100 years? Nowadays, there is hardly a field in which research can be carried out without software.

BildHybrid machine learning to localize atrial flutter substrates using the surface 12-lead ECG

IBT former researcher Giorgio Luongo, PhD presented a hybrid machine learning-based classification of 12-lead ECG to discriminate between patients with three different kind of atrial flutter (cavotricuspidal-isthmus-dependent vs. peri-mitral vs. other left atrium atrial flutters). This novel algorithm may aid to identify non-invasively the best ablation procedure to terminate the arrhythmia prior to the invasive procedure in the EP labs. This work is the result of a successful collaboration between 5 engineering and clinical groups (Università degli Studi di Milano, University of Leicester, ABC Federal University, Städtisches Klinikum Karlsruhe and IBT). The paper is published in EP Europace journal and is freely available.

BildBlood flow shows minor effects on the deformation of the healthy heart

Researchers of the IBT and the ISTM (Institute of Fluid Mechanics, KIT) have implemented a sequential coupling approach and found that the influence of the blood flow only slightly changes the deformation of the heart wall.

Atrial Signals LogoProgress - first technical, then clinical

The international "Atrial Signals" congress took place for the fourth time in September 2021 under the patronage of the Karlsruhe Municipal Hospital (Prof. Dr. med. Claus Schmitt) and the Karlsruhe Institute of Technology (Prof. Dr. rer. nat. Olaf Dössel ) including synergy effects.

BildECG Imaging improved

The solution of the inverse problem for ECG imaging (ECGI) is prone to detection of artifacts. A team around IBT researcher Steffen Schuler presented a method to avoid line-of-block artifacts to improve ECGI as a noninvasive diagnostic tool.