Prof Kia Nazarpour & Neuranics

(L-R) Co-founders - Kia Nazarpour, Hadi Heidari and Noel McKenna of Neuranics (by Stewart Attwood)

Prof Kia Nazarpour, a co-investigator in the Bionics+ Network, is a co-founder and the Chief Strategy officer (CSO) of the bio-magnetic sensor technology company Neuranics, a joint spinout from the Universities of Glasgow and Edinburgh. The company has recently secured £1.9m investment in a pre-seed funding round. More information about the company and the sensor technology they develop can be found from the company website here.

The company’s magnetocardiography (MCG) sensors are easier to use than traditional electrocardiography (ECG) sensors. In a human-machine interface application the magnetomyography (MMG) sensing system can estimate single finger movements by detecting the magnetic activity of the forearm muscles. These sensors improve the latency issues when used to control a robotic hand, or interact with virtual objects in the metaverse.

Showcase Event Report – June 2024

Bionics+ Showcase & Early Career Researcher Networking

17th & 18th June 2024

University of Warwick, Coventry, CV4 7AL, UK

On the 16th and 16th June 2024 we were pleased to welcome Bionics+ partners to the University of Warwick for a showcase event followed by a skill-building / networking day for Early career researchers.

We had keynote presentations from both Dr Nick Gompertz, Founder and CEO of EarSwitch ( who spoke about the development of his product and company, and by Dr Mahmaz Arvaneh, University of Sheffield a researcher in BCI and Stroke Rehabilitation regarding the outcomes of a trial of real-world BCI that she undertook (link to bio here).

We also had excellent plenary sessions given by Prof Chad Bouton, Feinstein Institutes of Medical Research at Northwell Health NY who spoke about Implantable BCI and again emphasised the real-world aspect of creating and maintaining a BCI system that is fit for purpose away from the lab. Another presentation was an update on Devices for Dignity given by Prof Kia Nazarpour ( as well as a fascinating update on his own work in making wearables/ implants fit for purpose with a younger population.

We then had updates on both of our Bionics+ funded feasibility studies: first it was Project SPASMS (Sensorization to Premeditate and Attenuate Symptoms in the Management of Spasticity): Wearable system for Remote and longitudinal monitoring of spasticity by Dr Amit N. Pujari from the University of Hertfordshire and then an update on Multimodal Intelligent Systems for Improving Diagnosis and Treatment of Depression, by Dr Joshua Giles from the University of Sheffield.

Of course this was all accompanied by networking galore over teas, coffees, loads of biscuits and cakes and the odd spot of lunch too!

On the second day we had sessions specific to Early Career Researchers which gave our attendees the opportunity to network, present on their work through posters as well as participate in two workshops. The 1st workshop was on Co-creation – the why, who and how, by our very own Dr Lynda Webb from the University of Edinburgh – an opportunity to find out the importance of co-creation in our line of work – with opportunities brainstorm ideas and role-play scenarios. The second workshop was on Outreach & Bionics+ and was delivered by Prof Christopher James from the University of Warwick – in this workshop STEM Outreach more generally was discussed as well as outlining our work within Bionics+ to promote STEM outreach. This workshop ended with an opportunity for. the ECRs present to apply for Outreach funding for projects of interest – hopefully we will be able to say more on this sometime soon.

I would like to express my thanks to the team including Ms Maria Dolores Feijoo-Reñones, our Network Manager, as well the rest of the executive group who attended and participated in the talks and workshops (Dr Lynda Webb, Prof Kia Nazarpour & Prof Helen Dawes). I also would like to thank all our presenters and our partners who attended and strengthened our Bionics+ Network.

Bionics+ Showcase & Networking Events

Bionics+ Showcase & Early Career Researcher Networking

17th & 18th June 2024

Scarman House, University of Warwick, Coventry, CV4 7AL, UK

(Find how to get to Scarman House and the University of Warwick by clicking here – you can book accommodation here too).

Welcome to our events this June 2024 – we have a mix of Keynote presentations, updates on funding initiatives and skill-learning workshops on offer – as well as lots of networking opportunities with colleagues across the network interested in Bionics research.

For Early Career Researchers we also provide you with the opportunity to bring a poster of choice advertising your work as a conversation starter with colleagues + we will provide the opportunity to apply for a small pot of money for specific projects – more revealed on the day!

There will also be teas and coffees galore – as well as biscuits! oh and a free lunch too!

Below are just some of the highlights of both days – please do REGISTER to attend , it is FREE but we need to know who is coming so we can prepare accordingly.

DAY 1 – Showcase Events

Dr Nick Gompertz

Keynote presentation by Dr Nick Gompertz, Founder and CEO of EarSwitch (

Plenary Talks on implantable BCI by Prof Chad Bouton, Feinstein Institutes of Medical Research at Northwell Health NY & an update on Devices for Dignity by Hayley Morris (

Prof Chad Bouton

We will have updates on the three Bionics+ funded Feasibility studies in various application areas + information on our next round of similar funding (more about our funding schemes can be found here).

DAY 2 – Early Career Researcher Networking

Dr Mahmaz Arvaneh

Keynote presentation by Dr Mahmaz Arvaneh, University of Sheffield a researcher in BCI and Stroke Rehabilitation (link to bio here)

We will have a hands-on Co-creation workshop by Dr Lynda Webb from the University of Edinburgh, one of our own partners in the Bionics+ network and someone who has a lot of experience in co-creation (link to bio here)

Dr Lynda Webb

We will also have a workshop on the Bionics+ plans on outreach as well as the opportunity for ECRs to get involved and be awarded a small pot of money to be used in Bionics+ related outreach or similar activities. More will be revealed on the day.

ECRs are encouraged to bring with then a poster of their choosing (up to A0 in size) showcasing their recent work – this will allow them to communicate their work during the breaks, lunch, etc. with the idea of creating potential links between ECRs and other more established people in the field.

ECRs are also encouraged to attend both days.

REMINDER: Calling all Early-Career Researchers!

After our recent Early-Career Researcher (ECR) workshop we are still keen to continue our support for ECRs in the Bionics area so, if you class yourself as an ECR – perhaps you are a student or a recent post-doc, or a recently appointed academic – or if there is someone in your department that works in the Bionics field and they meet this criteria then we would like to hear from you (and them!). We are keen to provide opportunities for ECRs in our field.

We are looking at concentrating on three main areas of activities that we believe will be of interest to ECRs, namely:

  1. Networking opportunities between ECRs to help in discussing ‘best-practices’.
  2. Networking opportunities for ECRs and leaders from various areas in Bionics research.
  3. Opportunities to take part in ‘soft-skills’ development and similar activities.

If you are interested then please let us know what you are interested in so that we can prepare for our next workshop.

REMINDER: Hot-topic Proposals

This year we will be running a series of “hot-topic” seminars and workshops: these are short events that will take place around the UK (as well as online) and are aimed at turning the focus onto subject areas within the Bionics+ remit as decided by YOU the partners. If you have ideas of areas that are worthy of discussion, and/ or up-and-coming areas of interest or bottle-necks for research in the field, then we would like to hear from you. If you have any ideas for a hot topic subject then please do get in touch with Maria, our network manager, and send us a few paragraphs on why you think the topic is worthy of discussion. We will then look at all suggestions received and try to work on commonalities and arrange for a series of workshops on the subjects of interest.

If you would like to volunteer space to hold such a workshop (half a day or a full day at most) then also please do get in touch – we would like to hear from you.

The aim of these events is simple: to bring to the fore topics of discussion that need dealing with and can be tackled by the network – get your thinking caps on and get in touch – the sooner the better – Thanks!

We have already arranged on hot-topic event this year – we will report on that separately – but we are keen to hear from our partners to see how we can address points for discussion NOW!

Bionics+ Down-Under

Bionics+ was promoted at the IEEE Engineering in Medicine and Biology Conference (EMBC2023) in Sydney, Australia in July 2023

Bionics+ was promoted at the IEEE International Engineering in Medicine and Biology Conference in Sydney, Australia earlier this year. With the conference attracting a large number of biomedical engineers from all subject interest areas and from a diverse set of world-wide locations it was an opportunity to make the network known to potential overseas partners for our members. A good number of network partners signed up over the 3 days of the conference, and whilst overseas partners cannot directly apply for funding destined for UK researchers, these researchers could take advantage of new and exciting partnerships with members from across the globe.

“Bionics” is readily becoming a theme unto itself at international events and it is important that we are at the forefront of defining the constituent parts of this pan-disciplinary field.

If any partner has any suggestion regarding any other relevant events that might be useful for Bionics+ to attend, then please do contact us and let us know.

Update on Sandpit 2022 funded projects

In 2022 we announced the first major funding outlay for our network where we ran a day long funding sandpit (see link below this article) that was followed up by online discussions and resulted in 6 submissions for funding. After deliberations we decided to fund 3 feasibility studies, these are listed below. These studies are now nearing completion and we look forward to sharing the outcomes with the wider partners at some point soon. If you have any specific questions regarding the studies themselves then feel free to contact your fellow partners who are undertaking the feasibility studies.

  1. Sensorization to Premeditate and Attenuate Symptoms in the Management of Spasticity (SPASMS)
    • PI: Dr A Pujari (Univ of Hertfordshire)
    • Partners: Univ of Manchester, Univ of Lancashire, Univ of Leeds, Univ of Kent, Uni of B’ham
    • Research Aim: Can we develop a Proof of Concept (PoC) wearable sensor system to guide the bespoke remote management of individuals with a clinical diagnosis of spasticity?
  2. Closed Loop Platform for Endocrine System Management
    • PI: Dr G Cummins (University of B’ham)
    • Partners: Univ of B’ham, University of Kent, Univ of Warwick.
    • Research Aim: The research question for this project is whether interstitial sensing of cortisol and other biomarkers can be cost-effectively performed and fed into a multifactorial mathematical model of the endocrine system to create a closed-loop system that can accurately mimic the natural rhythms and feedback mechanisms of cortisol when used in conjunction with pulsatile drug delivery systems, such as an infusion pump
  3. Multimodal Intelligent Neural Decoder for Accessible and empowering mental healthcare (MindD4AccelCare)
    • PI: Dr M Arvaneh (Univ of Sheffield)
    • Partners: Imperial Coll., Univ of Reading, Univ of Bath, Univ of Sheffield.
    • Research Aim: Through a user-centred approach, this project investigates the feasibility of using consumer-grade devices to inform clinical decision making in diagnosing and monitoring MDD. For this purpose, we will use artificial intelligence algorithms to learn from the brain and heart data, collected from wearable consumer-level sensors, while the users with and without MDD symptoms perform gamified cognitive tests.

Meet the team: Prof Christopher James

Prof C James

Christopher is a biomedical engineer and is the PI of the EPSRC Bionics+ Network and is a Professor of Biomedical Engineering at the University of Warwick and Director of the Biomedical Engineering Institute

BMEI, University of Warwick

Christopher was born in Malta, received the B.Elec.Eng. (Hons) degree in from the University of Malta (1992) and a Ph.D from the University of Canterbury, New Zealand (1997). He was a postdoctoral research fellow at the EEG department of the Montreal Neurological Institute, of McGill University, Montreal, Canada (1997-1998), and a postdoctoral research fellow (1998-2001), and then Lecturer (2001-2003) with the Neural Computing Research Group of Aston University, Birmingham, UK. From 2004-2010 he was a Reader in Biomedical Signal Processing at the University of Southampton, UK. In 2010 he was offered a personal chair in Healthcare Technology at the University of Warwick, UK and was founding Director of the Institute of Digital Healthcare. He now has a chair in Biomedical Engineering and Directs the Biomedical Engineering Institute at the School of Engineering, University of Warwick, he runs the Brain and Behaviour Lab at the University of Warwick.

He is a biomedical engineer whose current research activity centres on the development of biomedical signal and pattern processing techniques for use as diagnostic or prognostic tools in the treatment of disorders of the human body. Primarily his work has concentrated on the development of processing techniques applied to the analysis of the electromagnetic (EM) activity of the human brain, particularly in a functional neuroimaging context. He also works in the field of behaviour analysis and has had recent funding success for behaviour analysis of C. elegans in video miscroscopy, as well as monitoring the well-being of psychiatric patients in their home environment, independent living in the elderly and monitoring Ambient Assisted Living using Personalised Ambient Monitoring techniques.

He is founding editor-in-chief of the IET Healthcare Technology Letters journal, and is also founder and CEO of his start-up company EMbody Biosignals Ltd. ( concentrating on a nematode behavior monitoring station called TrakBox, for the Life-Sciences/Biomedical community. He is also founding director and acting CEO of Augmented Insights Ltd. (, a spinout company from the University of Warwick creating pattern recognition algorithms to extract behavior information from health data.

Bionics Plus Sandpit 2022

We are excited to announce our first Sandpit for the Bionics+ network. This will be our first opportunity to really push the boundaries of our work, a chance to create real cross-disciplinary collaborations that will explore and develop novel ideas.

The future of Bionics is exciting, challenging, and boundless, and our Bionics+ network is ideally placed to lead the World in its ideas, thinking, research, and solutions, and so we invite you to apply for a place on this forthcoming Sandpit to come and invent the future.

Attending the sandpit will provide you with the opportunity to perhaps meet new people in this field and try something new or different – sandpits allow for the creation of different and exciting projects.

The remit of the Bionics+ Network is across multiple application areas and cross-cutting capabilities – bear these in mind when attending the sandpit, we really do wish to push the boundaries.

This Sandpit will consist of a 2 hour online session, followed by a full day face-to-face event. Participants must attend both sessions, and will be expected to also make time to develop their final project proposal after the event, in advance of a final proposal presentation.

Key dates are:

  • Online orientation session (2 hrs) – Afternoon of Thursday 19th May
  • Face-to-face sandpit – all day on campus (University of Warwick, Coventry), Monday 23rd May
  • Final proposal presentations – Monday 6th June

Places at this exciting event are limited. Successful applicants will come with an open mind to meet new colleagues, create new ideas, and make new collaborations.

Please save the date and apply ASAP if you would like to be a part of this – click below to apply. (Note that you will be responsible for funding your own travel to the face-to-face meeting in Coventry.)

Apply here

Meet the team: The Bioengineering Inaugural Lecture of Professor Rylie Green

Professor Rylie Green delivers her inaugural lecture detailing her career in polymer bioelectronics. 

Evolution of a cyborg: Bionic eyes, ears, spines and brains.
The cyborg – part human and part machine – is a science fiction construct that has been realised across recent decades, with increasing numbers of devices being used to improve the quality of life for millions of people globally.

Prof Rylie Green, imperial college london

Date for your diary:

Wednesday 18th May, 17:30 BST.

If you would like to attend, just follow the link below:

Bioengineering Inaugural Lecture: Professor Rylie Green (