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9th IEEE BioCAS Advancing Healthcare Technology Conference

By Mohamad Sawan

The 9th IEEE BioCAS Advancing Healthcare Technology Conference was held in the Inntel Hotel, located at the river Meuse in the city centre of Rotterdam, the Netherlands from October 31th to November 2nd, 2013.

Nowadays, BioCAS illustrates a new wave of circuits and systems inspired by biology and healthcare, life sciences, physical sciences and engineering with application to medical problems. This BioCAS brought a strong collaboration between the CAS society and biotechnologies by facilitating interdisciplinary collaborations among scientists, engineers and medical researchers and practitioners to solve complex problems and innovating in rapidly growing area of research. The multidisciplinary approach of BioCAS 2013 enabled the CAS community to benefit from live demonstrations, tutorials, special and regular sessions, all covering a wide range of topics: biofeedback and electrical stimulation, bioinspired circuits and systems, biomedical imaging technologies and image processing, BioMEMs, biomedical instrumentations, biosensors, bioactuators, bio-signal processing, body area networks/body sensor networks, electronics for brain science and brain machine interfaces, implantable electronics, innovative circuits and systems for medical applications, lab-on-chip, medical information systems and wireless and energy harvesting /scavenging technology in medicine.

Figure 1

BioCAS 2013 was one of the most successful editions, three keynotes of world renowned experts were given: 1) Dr. Rudy Lauwereins, Vice President at IMEC, Belgium, explained how the combination of advanced process technology, heterogeneous integration, design methodology and application knowledge enables important breakthroughs in health care, diagnostics, monitoring and therapeutic cure. 2) Dr. Dirk de Ridder, Neurological Foundation professor of Neurosurgery at the University of Otago in New Zealand and Founder of the Brain Research center for Advanced, Innovative and Interdisciplinary Neuromodulation, addressed how engineers, basic and clinical neuroscientists and neurosurgeons should collaborate to develop the next generation of 3rd millennium neuromodulation devices. 3) Dr. John Parker of NICTA, the University of New South Wales and Saluda Medical Pty, all three in Australia, described how closed loop control of amplitude provides significant improvements in spinal cord stimulation to relieve pain.

The first day, the conference included four tutorials: 1) Dr. Shuenn-Yuh Lee presented Low Power Wireless ECG Acquisition and Cardiac Stimulation SOCs for Body Sensor Networks. 2) Drs. Trac D. Tran, Ralph Etienne-Cummings, Yuanming Suo, Jie Zhang, and Sang Chin presented how can compressed sensing help realize very-large scale embedded microelectrode arrays (VLSE-MEA). 3) Drs. Rahul Samant, Vivian Mushahwar, Ralph Etienne-Cummings, and Kevin Mazurek offered a tutorial about smart neural prostheses: design, development, and current state of neural prosthetic devices. 4) Dr. Ruud Vullers presented smart systems for healthcare and wellness.

Figure 2

Authors submitted 163 regular contributions (169 including those presented in special and demo sessions). These contributions are originated from 31 countries; 40% from Europe, 40% from Asia/Pacific and 20% from US and Canada. 93 high-quality papers were accepted and included in the final program, which was organized in 11 lecture and 2 poster sessions. In addition to the regular program, a special session on Implantable electronics for neural recording and stimulation was presented. BioCAS uses to pay particular attention on organizing great quality tutorials and posters, the later provided opportunity for lively discussions and productive exchange of ideas. The entire review process was carried out using ePapers, a professional on-line, web-based review system, involving 277 reviewers who have completed 600 reviews giving on average 3.6 reviews for each paper.

The final program provided ample opportunity for scientific discussions and time for site seeing and social interactions. Breaks, receptions, banquet, lunch times brought the scientific community closer. The standing rooms of the conference were a testament to the incredible quality of this year BioCAS. Detailed program and pictures of the conference, courtesy of the IEEE BioCAS local committee, are available at the IEEE BioCAS website (

The leadership of Dr. Wouter Serdijn, and Dr. Firat Yazicioglu, General co-chairs, as well as Dr. Gianluca Setti, and Tor Sverre (Bassen) Lande, Technical program co-chairs, guaranteed the success of the conference organization. These experienced colleagues were supported by several graduate students and the event was sponsored and supported by the IEEE, the IEEE Circuits and Systems Society (CASS), the IEEE Electronics in Medicine and Biology Society (EMBS), Delft University of Technology, IMEC Belgium, Advanced Bionics, the Biomedical Electronics Foundation and SystematIC.

Figure 3

The banquet of the conference took place on board of a modern and luxurious ship, where attendees enjoyed a unique dining experience and stunning scenery of the many architectural highlight of Rotterdam while the ship cruises around the city and Europe’s largest port. In addition to an unforgettable Dinner, the committee delivered one of society best paper awards to one of the Authors who Selected BioCAS to receive his award.

The next BioCAS conference is sponsored by the École Polytechnique Fédéral de Lausanne (EPFL) and will be held on the shores of Lake Geneva, Lausanne, Switzerland on 22 to 24 October 2014.


Mohamad SawanMohamad Sawan received the Ph.D. degree in Electrical Engineering from Sherbrooke University, Canada. He joined Polytechnique Montréal in 1991, where he is currently a Professor of microelectronics and biomedical engineering. His interests are the mixed-signal circuits and Microsystems. Read more

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February 2014 Contributors

Mohamad SawanMohamad Sawan received the Ph.D. degree in Electrical Engineering from Sherbrooke University, Canada. He joined Polytechnique Montréal in 1991, where he is currently a Professor of microelectronics and biomedical engineering. His interests are the mixed-signal circuits and Microsystems. Read more

Camilla Baj-RossiCamilla Baj-Rossi is currently pursuing the Ph.D. degree at the Laboratory of Integrated Systems, EPFL. Her current research interests include the development of a point-of-care biosensor based on multi-walled carbon-nanotubes and cytochrome P450 to detect drugs in biological fluids. Read more

Giovanni De MicheliGiovanni De Micheli received the Ph.D. degree in electrical engineering and computer science from the University of California, Berkeley, CA, USA. He is a Professor and the Director of the Institute of Electrical Engineering and the Integrated Systems Center, École Polytechnique Fédérale de Lausanne, Lausanne, Switzerland. He is the Program Leader of the Program. His current research interests include emerging technologies, networks on chips and 3-D integration, and heterogeneous platform design, including electrical components and biosensors, as well as data processing of biomedical information. Read more

Sandro CarraraSandro Carrara is a Scientist and Lecturer with École Polytechnique Fédérale de Lausanne, Lausanne, Switzerland. He is a former Professor of optical and electrical biosensors at the Department of Electrical Engineering and Biophysics, University of Genoa, Genoa, Italy, and Former Professor of nanobiotechnology at the University of Bologna, Bologna, Italy. His current research interests include electrical phenomena of nano bio structured films and complementary metal-oxide-semiconductor design of biochips based on proteins and DNA. Read more

Guochen (Benjamin) PengGuochen (Benjamin) Peng is currently working toward the Ph.D. degree in Electrical and Computer Engineering at the University of Rochester. His research interests include VLSI mixed signal design, biomedical sensor electronic devices and signal processing, and precision measurements. Read more

Mark F BockoMark F Bocko received the Ph.D. degree in physics from the University of Rochester, Rochester, NY. Currently, he is Full Professor of the Department of the Electrical and Computer Engineering Department, University of Rochester. His research interests span a number of areas, including sensors and integrated sensor systems, audio and music signal processing, precision measurements, superconducting electronics quantum noise, and quantum computing. Read more