Dr Siming Zuo
- Affiliate (School of Engineering)
Dr. Siming Zuo is a Postdoctoral Research Associate within the Microelectronics Lab (meLAB) group at the James Watt School of Engineering, University of Glasgow, UK, working on fundamental research to develop magnetic sensors and microelectronics for biomedical applications. He received his double B.Eng. degrees in Electrical & Electronics Engineering from the University of Electronic Science and Technology of China (UESTC), Chengdu, China, and the University of Glasgow, Glasgow, UK in July 2017, and the Ph.D. degree in Electronics & Electrical Engineering from the University of Glasgow in May 2021. He was employed as a Research Technician from February to May 2021 under Wellcome Trust Translational Partnership. In October 2018, he was awarded an international fellowship for joining the Collaborative Research Centre 1261 at Kiel University, Germany.
He has authored and co-authored over 30 peer-reviewed publications in top-tier journals and conference proceedings, including articles in Advanced Materials Technologies (IF: 7.8), IEEE Electron Device Letters (IF: 4.1), IEEE Trans. on Biomedical Circuits & Systems (IF: 3.8), RSC Advances (IF: 3.36) and Review of Scientific Instruments (IF: 1.6), and acts as a reviewer for several journals and conferences. In addition, he has contributed an IET book chapter as the first author on innovative prosthetic control solutions using magnetic sensors. He also received several awards, including the Best Paper Award from IEEE PrimeAsia’18 and IEEE Circuits and Systems Society (CASS) Student Travel Grants to attend ISCAS’19, UKCAS’19 and ISCAS’20 conferences.
He is also a Co-Founder and Director of Engineer at Neuranics Limited. Neuranics is a knowledge-enterprise that has gathered an exciting team with the balanced skills and expertise from academia and industry needed to achieve the business aims. In partnership with a top and multinational company, they aim to develop a next-generation wearable myomagnetic device for human-computer interactions in the area of muscle and nerve diseases and neurotechnology fields, such as rehabilitation and AR/VR gaming. At Neuranics we are pioneering sensor-enabled digital health platform powered by our advanced neurotechnology to close the loop in care for most virtual reality, augmented reality, and exergames.
My research interests are broadly ranging from theoretical, simulation, design, fabrication and experimental work in fundamental physics to applications of wearable and implantable electronics. My work focuses on spintronic-based sensing interfaces circuits, allowing them to be manufactured as integrated Analog Front-End including various circuits building blocks e.g. analogue-to-digital converters and DC-DC converters for low-power and high-speed electronics systems. I am designing analog and mixed signal systems for diverse biomedical and healthcare applications.
- Theoretical, Computational and Experimental Physics
- Wearable Bioelectronic and Implantable Device Design
- CMOS-Spintronics and Miniaturised Magnetic Sensors
- Nanotechnology with Biomedical Circuits and Systems
Magnetic-based medical systems are using widely for sensing and imaging applications ranging from magnetic biosensors to magnetic resonance imaging and nuclear magnetic resonance. Magnetomyography (MMG) is an efficient and robust method for human-machine interface applications to control the prosthetic and robotics hands through record small magnetic fields produced by the electrical activity of skeletal muscles. Within the last few decades, extensive effort has been invested to identify, characterize and quantify the magnetomyogram signals. However, it is still far from a miniaturized, sensitive, inexpensive and low-power MMG sensor. In our article 2000185 at Advanced Materials Technologies, we propose a new concept for miniaturized MMG to analysis of muscle function through the inquiry of the generated magnetic signal. The high sensitivity of multilayered spintronic sensors based on tunnelling magnetoresistive (TMR) sensors, in range of pico-Tesla, makes them particularly a promising technology for miniaturized wearable and implantable applications.
Lab-on-a-Chip Malaria Diagnostics
We chose to create an innovative device that addresses one of today’s deadliest diseases. Malaria is a life-threatening condition that continues to afflict millions of people worldwide. Traditional methods of diagnosing malaria can prove to be time consuming, complex and require a great level of expertise. These characteristics are often a key limitation in malaria-affected regions that lack medical resources. Through this project, we were able to contribute to the growing efforts of creating a simple, affordable and portable diagnostic device. A distinctive feature of malaria-infected red blood cells is the presence of the malaria pigment called hemozoin. Hemozoin is a paramagnetic substance that has a magnetic moment only in the presence of an applied magnetic field. Our device consists of a Tunnelling Magneto-resistive (TMR) sensor, magnetic Halbach array, analogue front-end circuit for filtering, ADC and PC interface to display the sensor output. Our device can effectively detect a paramagnetic sample and display a clean output on the LabVIEW (a graphical programming tool) interface which can then be read by the end-user to diagnose malaria-infected patients. ur team worked effectively and drew on their diverse strengths to realise this project. Our research, preparation, and consistent efforts allowed us to explore and implement new ideas.
Human Brain-Machine Interface
Hybrid Enhanced Regenerative Medicine Systems (HERMES) consortium is joining their efforts to establish a new paradigm in regenerative medicine, aiming at overcoming the biological uncertainty inherent to it. This paradigm is named enhanced regenerative medicine and it is rooted in the establishment of biohybrid neuronics (neural electronics), that is the symbiotic integration of bioengineered brain tissue, neuromorphic microelectronics and artificial intelligence. Therefore, HERMES pursues the long-term vision of healing disabling brain disorders by means of brain tissue transplants, a reality that is only possible to date for other organs of the human body. At University of Glasgow, we are developing miniaturized biocompatible devices and microelectronics on neural interfaces from fundamental physics to wide applications of wearable and implantable electronics. Besides, we are working on the next generation highly sensitive devices & flexible microelectronics, including theoretical analysis, computational modelling and simulation, design, and fabrication.
Sonomyography (SMG) refers to the measurement of muscle activity with an ultrasonic transducer. It is a candidate modality for applications in diagnosis of muscle conditions, rehabilitation engineering and prosthesis control as an alternative to electromyography. In this project, we propose a mechanically-flexible piezoelectric SMG sensor. Through simulating different components of the transducer, using COMSOL Multiphysics software, we analyze various electromechanical parameters, such as von Mises stress and charge accumulation. Our findings on modelling of a single-element device, comprised of a PZT-5H layer of thickness 66µm, with a polymer substrate (E = 2.5 GPa), demonstrate optimal flexibility and charge accumulation for sonomyography. The addition of Polyimide and PMMA as an acoustic matching layer and an acoustic lens, respectively, allowed for adequate energy transfer to the medium, whilst still maintaining good mechanical properties. In addition, preliminary ultrasound transmission simulations (200 kHz-30 MHz) showed the importance of the aspect ratio of the device and how there is a need for further studies on it. The development of such a technology could be of great use within the healthcare sector, not only due to its ability to provide highly accurate and varied real-time muscle data, but also because of the range of applications that could benefit from its use.
The surface mechanomyogram (MMG) (detectable at the muscle surface as MMG by accelerometers, piezoelectric contact sensors or other transducers) is the summation of the activity of single motor units (MUs). Each MU contribution is related to the pressure waves generated by the active muscle fibres. The MMG has been extensively applied in clinical and experimental practice to examine muscle characteristics including muscle function (MF), prosthesis and/or switch control, signal processing, physiological exercise, and medical rehabilitation. Despite several existing MMG studies of MF, there has not yet been a review of these. This study aimed to determine the current status on the use of MMG in measuring the conditions of MFs. Electromyography (EMG) is a standard technology for monitoring muscle activity in laboratory environments. An alternative muscle monitoring technique, MMG differs from EMG in that it measures the low-frequency (2 - 200 Hz) mechanical response of the lateral oscillation of muscle fiber during contraction. The research suggests that the frontalis muscle is a suitable site for controlling the MMG-driven switch. The high accuracies combined with the minimal requisite effort and training show that MMG is a promising binary control signal. Further investigation of the potential benefits of MMG-control for the target population is warranted.
Smart Wearable Sensing Devices
The conventional wearable devices approach to date has been to encode the arriving signals, e.g. time of flight of the photons using high precision counters for each single-photon avalanche diode (SPAD) cell and to transfer this data off-chip for processing. This approach typically involves as a first step some form of averaging over a large number of frames which effectively removes the possibility of on-chip processing. Thus, this transfer process also creates an information bottleneck which is currently one of the major limiting factors in the speed of operation of sensors. Besides, the use of conventional CPU & GPU for processing this temporal data makes processing data computationally intensive using conventional signal processing techniques and results in significant power & hardware requirements. In addition, to diagnose and manage high blood pressure, it is important to measure blood pressure routinely.
This project will engineer a low-power wearable device consists of electrocardiography (ECG) and photoplethysmography (PPG) sensors with on-chip neuromorphic sensing processor. Given the potential of the ECG + PPG system with machine learning, the main concerns are the power, accuracy and computing efficiency. Such novel multi-sensory architecture and high learning ability usually require more power in the wearable computing unit. Traditional solutions mostly pursued the trade-off between power duration and computing capability. In this project, we proposed a neuromorphic processor for the fusion of PPG and ECG, and cognitively processing both signals. Based on our existing experience on sensor, microelectronic design and neuromorphic processor, this project aims to remove energy-hungry digital components and use fully analogue neuromorphic building blocks instead. The expected processor will significantly reduce the power and large volumes of noisy and largely redundant spatiotemporal data as well as increase speed of biomedical wearable devices.
Micro-NMR CMOS Integrated Platform
This project presents a micro-nuclear magnetic resonance (NMR) system compatible with multi-type biological/chemical lab-on-a-chip assays. Unified in a handheld scale (dimension: 14 x 6 x 11 cm³, weight: 1.4 kg), the system is capable to detect < 100 pM of Enterococcus faecalis derived DNA from a 2.5 μL sample. The key components are a portable magnet (0.46 T, 1.25 kg) for nucleus magnetization, a system PCB for I/O interface, an FPGA for system control, a current driver for trimming the magnetic (B) field, and a silicon chip fabricated in 0.18 μm CMOS. The latter, integrated with a current-mode vertical Hall sensor and a low-noise readout circuit, facilitates closed-loop B-field stabilization (from 2 mT → 0.15 mT), which otherwise fluctuates with temperature or sample displacement. Together with a dynamic-B-field transceiver with a planar coil for micro-NMR assay and thermal control, the system demonstrates: 1) selective biological target pinpointing; 2) protein state analysis; and 3) solvent-polymer dynamics, which is suitable for healthcare, food and colloidal applications. Compared to a commercial NMR-assay product (Bruker mq-20), this platform greatly reduces the sample consumption (120x), hardware volume (175x), and weight (96x).
|2021-23: European Commission’s Horizon 2020, HERMES: Hybrid Enhanced Regenerative Medicine Systems|
|2021-25: EPSRC Industrial CASE (HiSilicon Technologies Ltd), Analog Neuromorphic Processing for Biosensors|
|2021-22: Wellcome Trust Translational Partnership, MAGnetic based sensor for MAlaria diagnosTIC (MAGMATIC)|
|2020-21: EPSRC IAA (EP/R511705/1), MAGNOSTIC: Novel non-Invasive Magnetic-based Malaria Diagnostic Sensor|
|2017-21: Industrial Studentship (3.5-Year), Miniaturising Magnetic-based Medical Systems for Magnetomyography|
Future PhD Project
With the rapid progress of micro- and nanotechnology, non-invasive assessment of biomagnetism has been a reliable and robust approach, and its applications have been extended from clinical diagnoses to human-computer-interaction. This PhD project aims to develop a new scientific and engineering paradigm to measure Magnetomyography (MMG) signals generated in the skeletal muscle of humans by electrical activities. Nowadays, Spintronic sensors based on a magnetoresistive effect revolutionise the way magnetic recording owing to their full compatibility with traditional silicon technology. These sensors can be integrated with the readout circuitry onto a standard CMOS process in sub-mm diameter substrates to eventually realize the on-chip signal conditioning, including amplification, filtering, noise and drift cancellation.
To develop such miniaturized, low cost and room temperature system, the objectives of this PhD project are 1) Creation of a numerical MMG compact model; 2) Design, integration and characterisation of a spintronic sensing system; 3) Validation of the developed and fabricated system in rodents.
The candidate will develop magnetic systems (magnetic device and circuit interface) under the guidance of Dr Hadi Heidari (School of Engineering) as a primary supervisor at the Microelectronics Lab (meLAB) and become part of collaboration the University of Edinburgh (Dr Kia Nazarpour) and Imperial College London (Prof Dario Farina).
It would be beneficial for the candidate to have knowledge and enthusiasm in magnetic devices, electronics design and chip measurement with experience of conducting independent research, excellent oral and written communication skills.
Current Job Employment
We seek candidates to join the Neuranics Engineering Team with experience in the area of integrated circuits and systems for biomedical and sensing applications, ideally with knowledge of analog, digital or mixed-signal integrated circuit design, including the practical aspects of such circuits, such as chip layout and measurement. Candidates with expertise in ultra-low power hardware realization of signal processing / machine learning / control algorithms for use in smart sensors, including biomedical implants, will also be considered.
We have up to three internship positions for people currently enrolled in the PhD programmes within the UK. Positions come with a salary and the expectation is that you will freeze your PhD for the duration of the internship (3-6 months). Opportunities exist for full-time employment after completing the PhD. Reach out to us if interested and experienced in any subset of the below skills.
Skills: Electronics, PCB Design & Testing, Neurotechnology, Myography, Extended Reality, Programming, User Interface Design
- Ghahremani Arekhloo, Negin
“Development of tailored validation methods for implantable devices”
Past PhD Students
Negin Ghahramani (2021–): Magnetomyography Clinic Applications
Huxi Wang (2020–): Wearable and implantable wireless EMG sensors
Yuchen Li (2020–): Spintronics-based Lab-on-a-Chip Malaria Detection
Past MEng & MSc Students
Maria Cerezo Sanchez (2020–21): Wearable & Implantable Sonomyography
Jon Bertram (2018–19): Spintronics Nano-device & Brain-inspired Computing
Jingbo Zong (2018–19): Spintronics-based Sensor Simulation and Modelling
Past BEng Students
2019-2020 CASS Student Design Competition Finalists
Tayyabah Sardar, Chen Ding, Zehao Zhang, and Yinhao Wang
Changhao Ge, Chunyang Wu, Yan Zibo, Yutong Tang, Qianyi Chen, Yaxin Xue, Fangze Xu, Zijian Wang, Yin Xiangyu
Supervision: Past Projects
I have frequently shown initiative and leadership abilities by going beyond the remit of my current role in developing magnetic sensing technologies during my PhD. I am working on another project related to developing handheld and rapid diagnostic devices for malaria parasites detection in collaboration with Ugandan company ThinkIT Ltd and Institute of Biodiversity Animal Health and Comparative Medicine at the University of Glasgow. This project aims to implement a handheld and cost-effective smart magnetic platform to detect malaria, that every year kills around 430,000 people and infects more than 200 million globally, according to Médecins Sans Frontières. This is a revolutionary step toward the development of a miniaturized device for magnetic-based malaria diagnostic in several minutes, resulting in improved diagnosis, especially in malaria-affected regions that lack medical resources.
I have led a team project with four undergraduates on “Magnetic-assisted Malaria Parasite Detection”, winning first place in the IEEE Circuit and Systems Society Student Design Competition as a representative of IEEE Region 8 (Europe, Middle East and Africa) to attend ISCAS’20 conference. My promising work was recognized as I was awarded the coveted University of Glasgow EPSRC Impact Acceleration Account (IAA) grant of £16,600 and Wellcome Trust Translational Partnership with the Matibabu Ltd in Uganda. I was employed as a Research Technician from February to May 2021 to establish the detection threshold for the handheld magnetic platform, refine and improve the diagnostic capabilities of the electronic components with laboratory-grown human malaria parasites.
Professional activities & recognition
Prizes, awards & distinctions
- Aug. 2021: Received 10th UK Doctoral Researcher Awards 2021, Engineering Science
- May 2021: Received Global Talent Endorsement by UK Research & Innovation (UKRI)
- Oct. 2020: Awarded an IET Commendation Certificate on the Healthcare Technologies
- May 2020: Featured on the May Issue Frontispiece, Advanced Materials Technologies
- Apr. 2020: Wined the First Place of CASS Student Design Competition, IEEE Region 8
- Dec. 2019: Awarded £300 Student Travel Grant from EPSRC eFutures in UKCAS 2019
- May 2019: Awarded $1000 Student Travel Grant from IEEE CASS in IEEE ISCAS 2019
- Nov. 2018: Featured on the November Issue Cover Page, IEEE Electron Device Letters
- Oct. 2018: Best Oral Presentation of IoT Circuits and Systems in IEEE PrimeAsia 2018
- Aug. 2018: Received SFB 1261 International Fellowship, German Research Foundation
- July 2017: Received Industrial PhD Studentship within meLAB at University of Glasgow
- 2018 - 2019: SFB 1261 International Fellowship (Kiel University, Germany)
Selected international presentations
- Nov. 2021: Newton Fund Researcher Links Workshop (Glasgow, Scotland, UK)
- Nov. 2020: 27th IEEE International Conference on Electronics Circuits and Systems (Virtual)
- Oct. 2020: IEEE International Symposium on Circuits and Systems (Sevilla, Spain)
- Oct. 2020: 7th Annual Sensors in Medicine Conference (Virtual Space & London, UK)
- Aug. 2020: IEEE International Symposium on Integrated Circuits and Systems (Paris, France)
- July 2020: 42nd Engineering in Medicine and Biology Conference (Montréal, Québec, Canada)
- Dec. 2019: IEEE UK Circuits and Systems Workshop (Chelsea Old Town Hall, London, UK)
- July 2019: 15th Conference on Ph.D Research in Microelectronics and Electronics (EPFL, Lausanne, Switzerland)
- May 2019: IEEE International Symposium on Circuits and Systems (Sapporo, Hokkaido, Japan)
- Oct. 2018: IEEE Asia Pacific Conference on Postgraduate Research in Microelectronics and Electronics (Chengdu, China)
- Oct. 2018: Spintronics meets Neuromorphics Workshop (Mainz, Germany)
- July 2018: 40th Annual International Conference of the IEEE Engineering in Medicine and Biology Society (Honolulu, HI, USA)
- Member of Institution of Engineering and Technology (IET)
- Member of Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers (IEEE)
- Member of IET Healthcare Technologies Student & Early Career Awards
- Member of IEEE Engineering in Medicine and Biology Society (IEEE EMBS)
- Member of IEEE Circuits and Systems Society (IEEE CASS) & Young Professionals
- Session Chair, 7th IEEE New Generation of Circuits and Systems Conference (NGCAS 2023), Scotland, Edinburgh, UK
- Tutorial Chair, 27th IEEE International Conference on Electronics Circuits and Systems (ICECS 2020), Glasgow, Scotland, UK
Reviewer Services (20+ Papers)
- IEEE Sensors Journal & MDPI Sensors
- Scientific Reports & Frontier in Neuroscience
- Philosophical Transactions of the Royal Society A
- IEEE Transactions on Biomedical Circuits and Systems
- IEEE Transactions on Circuits and Systems I - Regular Papers
- IEEE Transactions on Circuits and Systems II - Express Briefs
- IEEE Journal of Electromag. RF & Microwaves in Medicine & Biology
- IEEE Biomedical Circuits and Systems Conference
- IEEE International Symposium on Circuits and Systems
- IEEE International Symposium on Integrated Circuits and Systems
- IEEE International Conference on. Electronics Circuits and Systems
- IEEE Sensors Conference & UK-China Emerging Technologies (UCET)
- International Conf. of the IEEE Engineering in Med. & Biology Society
- Miniaturized and Ultrasensitive Magnetic Sensors in Medical Microsystems, Advanced Photoelectric Sensor Integration and Bioimaging, Newton Fund Researcher Links Workshop, Glasgow, UK, November 2021.
- Neuranics: Wearable Myomagnetic System for Neural Interfacing Electronics, 10th Doctoral Researcher Awards Ceremony (The 2nd Place in Engineering Sciences), UK, September 2021.
- Thin-Film Spintronics for Medical and Industrial Applications, MSc Lecture in Advanced Thin Film Technologies: Thin Film Devices and Applications Module, University of the West of Scotland, UK, March 2021.
- Integrated Pico-Tesla Resolution Magnetic Sensors for Miniaturised MagnetoMyoGraphy, Centre for Medical and Industrial Ultrasonics (C-MIU), University of Glasgow, UK, March 2021.
- Publishing with Quality, James Watt School of Engineering, University of Glasgow, UK, February 2021.
- Spintronic Devices for Biomedical Biosensing and Non-Volatile In-Memory Computing, Laboratory for Foundations of Computer Science, HiSilicon Technologies Co Ltd, Edinburgh, UK, September 2020.
- Thin-Film Magnetic Sensors for Miniaturised Magnetomyography, Glasgow College UESTC Research Summer School 2020, University of Glasgow, UK, June 2020.
- Finite-Element Method Modelling and Simulation Through COMSOL Multiphysics, Glasgow College UESTC Research Summer School 2020, University of Glasgow, UK, June 2020.
- Microelectronics for Neurotechnology Devices, HiSilicon Technologies Co Ltd and Huawei Co Ltd Visit, James Watt School of Engineering, University of Glasgow, April 2019.
- Miniaturising Magnetic Sensing Systems with Spintronics, Integrated Systems and Photonics Group, Christian-Albrecht University of Kiel, Germany, October 2018.
- CMOS Magnetic Sensors for Magnetomyography, Intelligent Sensing Laboratory, Newcastle University, May 2018.
- Magnetic Biosensor for Detecting Paramagnetic Particles of Malaria Hemozoi, IEEE International Symposium on Circuits and Systems (ISCAS), Virtual, October 2020.
- Miniaturised FeCoSiB/AlN Based Magnetoelectric Sensor for MagnetoMyoGraphy, IEEE International Symposium on Integrated Circuits and Systems (ISICAS), Virtual, August 2020.
- Integrated Pico-Tesla Resolution Magnetoresistive Sensors for Miniaturised Magnetomyography, 42nd Engineering in Medicine and Biology Conference (EMBC 2020), Virtual, July 2020.
- Modelling of Implantable Photovoltaic Cells Based on Human Skin Types, 15th Conference on Ph.D Research in Microelectronics and Electronics (PRIME), EPFL, Lausanne, Switzerland, July 2019.
- On Chip Counting and Localisation of Magnetite Pollution Nanoparticles, 15th Conference on Ph.D Research in Microelectronics and Electronics (PRIME), EPFL, Lausanne, Switzerland, July 2019.
- A CMOS Analog Front-End for Tunnelling Magnetoresistive Spintronic Sensing Systems, IEEE International Symposium on Circuits and Systems (ISCAS), Sapporo, Hokkaido, Japan, May 2019.
- Smart Multi-Sensory Ball for Water Quality Monitoring, IEEE Asia Pacific Conference on Postgraduate Research in Microelectronics and Electronics (PrimeAsia), Chengdu, China, October 2018.
- Design and Implementation of Portable Sensory System for Air Pollution Monitoring, IEEE Asia Pacific Conference on Postgraduate Research in Microelectronics and Electronics (PrimeAsia), Chengdu, China, October 2018
- High-Precision Biomagnetic Measurement System Based on Tunnel Magneto-Resistive Effect, 27th IEEE International Conference on Electronics Circuits and Systems (ICECS), Virtual, November 2020.
- Tunnelling Magnetoresistance Sensor for Point-of-Care and Rapid Label-free Malaria Diagnosis, 7th Annual Sensors in Medicine, Virtual, October, 2020.
- Integrated Pico-Tesla Resolution Magnetic Sensors for Miniaturised Magnetomyography, IEEE UK Circuits and Systems (UKCAS) Workshop, Chelsea Old Town Hall, King's Road, Chelsea, London, UK, December 2019.
- Developing Integrated Magnetic Sensors for Miniaturised Magnetomyography, Electronics and Nanoscale Engineering Away Day, James Watt School of Engineering, University of Glasgow, The Lighthouse, Glasgow, UK, May 2019.
- Modelling of Spintronic Nanodevices for Neuromorphic Sensing Chips, Spintronics meets Neuromorphics Workshop, Mainz, Germany, October 2018.
- CMOS Magnetic Sensors for Wearable Magnetomyography, 40th Annual International Conference of the IEEE Engineering in Medicine and Biology Society (EMBC), Honolulu, HI, USA, July 2018.
Outreach & Public Engagement
I frequently propose research activity, knowledge exchange, impact and outreach programs towards engaging our research with the public to increase awareness of the impact of our research work. I am passionate about being an ambassador and advocate for engineering research at the public engagement events for broader audiences: European Researchers’ Night (2019-21); STEMFest (2019-20); School of Engineering Open Day (2017-19); IEEE & IET Workshops (2017-21).