Thursday, May 14, 2015

Advancing the State-of-the-Art in Medical and Cyber-Physical Systems

TerraSwarm PIs Vijay Kumar and Rahul Mangharam will be participating in two NSF projects being awarded $8.75 million over five years to advance the state-of-the-art in medical applications and cyber-physical systems (CPS).  

UPenn professor Vijay Kumar will lead the bioCPS Project which aims to combine microrobots with synthetic cells to perform functions that may one day lead to tissue and organ regeneration. He will join computer scientists, roboticists and biologists from Boston University and the MIT to develop a system that combines the capabilities of nano­scale robots with specially designed synthetic organisms. Together, they believe this hybrid "bio­CPS" will be capable of performing previously impossible functions, from microscopic assembly to cell sensing within the body. Researchers so far have not been able to control and coordinate the behavior of synthetic cells in isolation, but the introduction of microrobots that can be externally controlled may change that.
The Cyberheart Project is a a virtual, patient-­specific human heart model that can be used to improve and accelerate medical-device testing.  This effort is being led by UPenn associate professor Rahul Mangharam.  He will join researchers from six universities and centers to develop far more realistic cardiac models than currently exist. Such models are essential to improving the software that governs implantable devices, such as pacemakers, defibrillators and cardiac rhythm therapy devices. The team’s "Cyberheart" can be used to test and validate medical devices faster and at a far lower cost than existing methods. The models also can be used to design optimal procedures on a patient­specific heart with fewer risks to the patient.

To read more about these projects, go to the NSF Press Release "Exploring a new frontier of cyber-physical systems: The human body" or the University Pennsylvania news release "Penn Researchers Join Two NSF Projects on Medical Cyber-Physical Systems".