Representative Publications & Projects

    Representative Publications

    J1. P. Demosthenous, C. Pitris and J. Georgiou, “Infrared fluorescence-based Cancer Screening Capsule for the Small Intestine”, IEEE Transactions on Biomedical Circuits and Systems, 2015, DOI:10.1109/TBCAS.2015.2449277

    Infrared fluorescence endoscopy (IRFE), in conjunction with an infrared fluorescent-labelling contrast agent, is a well known technique used for efficient early-stage cancer detection. In this paper we present a cost-effective (<$500) screening capsule prototype, which is able to detect infrared (IR) fluorescence emitted by indocyanine green (ICG) fluorophore dye. Rather than image, the capsule works as a high-sensitivity fluorometer that records fluorescence levels throughout the small intestine. The presented mixed-signal system has a small size, consumes very little power ( ≈6.3 mA) and does not require an external belt and hardware for data collection. By determining fluorescence levels in the intestine, rather than collecting images, we avoid the need for labour intensive video analysis. The whole system is contained within a compact ingestible capsule, that is sized so as to come into close contact with the intestine walls during peristalsis. Ex-vivo experiments, on ICG-impregnated swine intestine, have shown that the prototype system is able to detect low concentrations of ICG in the nanomolar and micromolar region, which is required to detect early cancer in the small intestine.

    J2. M. Angelidou, C. Pitris. “Investigation of shell aggregate gold nanostructures” Int. J. Nanotechnol., 8:507-522, 2011.

     The unique optical properties of noble metal nanostructures have led to an increased interest into their potential uses for various biological applications. For many medical investigations, it would be beneficial to use near infrared (NIR) excitation as well as small gold nanospheres, which can easily reach the cytoplasm and cell nucleus. To fulfil both requirements simultaneously, this paper proposes a novel nanostructure, the "shell aggregate", which consists of small nanospheres aggregate around a core such as an intracellular organelle. The extinction efficiency of such monolayer and bilayer shell aggregates is thoroughly investigated with appropriate simulations. The extinction spectra appear to depend heavily on the distance between the small nanospheres. The monolayer shell aggregate could be a good candidate for use in various biological, intracellular, applications since it provides a reasonably tunable plasmon resonance wavelength while the small size of its components can be exploited for intracellular distribution.

    J3. Iezekiel, S., Burla, M., Klamkin, J., Marpaung, D. and Capmany, J., 2015. “RF engineering meets optoelectronics: progress in integrated microwave photonics.” IEEE Microwave Magazine, 16(8), pp.28-45.

     Integrated microwave photonics (IMWP) is concerned with applying integrated photonics technology to microwave photonic systems. It is one of the most active and exciting areas of current research and development in microwave photonics (MWP), building upon the impressive foundations of integrated photonics in various systems involving material platforms such as indium phosphide and silicon nitride. The aim of this article is to explain to the wider microwave engineering community the significance of the new field of IMWP and to describe how it may potentially be applied to improve the performance and capabilities of microwave and millimeter-wave systems. Just as the microwave monolithic integrated circuit (MMIC) has revolutionized active microwave circuits, IMWP is poised to open up new applications for microwave engineering that take advantage of the unique functionalities offered by photonics, especially with regard to its large bandwidth.

    J4. Iezekiel, S. ed., 2009. “Microwave photonics: devices and applications (Vol. 3).” John Wiley & Sons.

    Microwave photonics is an important interdisciplinary field that, amongst a host of other benefits, enables engineers to implement new functions in microwave systems.  With contributions from leading experts, Microwave Photonics: Devices and Applications explores this rapidly developing discipline. It bridges a gap between microwave and photonic engineering, providing an accessible interpretation of the current available research material and a detailed introduction to various aspects of the area. Opening with an overview to the subject, this book covers direct modulation, photonic oscillators for THz signal generation, and terahertz sources. It takes a unique application- focused approach and describes: analogue fibre-optic links; fibre radio technology; microwave photonic signal processing; measurement of microwave photonic components, and; biomedical applications.

    J5. Rezaeieh, S.A., Antoniades, M.A., Abbosh, A.M., “Bandwidth and directivity enhancement of loop antenna by nonperiodic distribution of mu-negative metamaterial unit cells,” IEEE Transactions on Antennas and Propagation, vol. 64, no. 8, pp. 3319-3329, Aug. 2016.

    Metamaterial-loaded antenna designs have been shown to demonstrate significantly reduced sizes, as well as increased bandwidths. In this work, a wideband and unidirectional loop antenna loaded with mu-negative (MNG) metamaterial unit cells is presented for use in a radar-based microwave imaging system for heart failure detection in the UHF frequency range of 0.5 – 1 GHz. It is shown that by non-periodic positioning of MNG unit cells on the loop structure, the amplitude of the surface current can be modified in a desired section of the loop, and hence high-gain radiation is achieved in a single direction. The proposed structure is at least 50% smaller in area than recent antenna designs of conventional loops, MNG loaded loops, and loop–dipole composite antennas. It also achieves a wide fractional bandwidth of 52% from 0.64 to 1.1 GHz, which is 50% wider than recent MNG metamaterial unit cell loaded loops, with a measured peak front-to-back-ratio and gain of 13 dB and 4.8 dBi, respectively.

    Representative Projects

    P1. Integrated Precision Medicine Technologies Research Centre of Excellence. Horizon 2020 TEAMING Phase 1. Sept. 2017-Aug. 2018. € 400.000. Principal Investigators: C. Pitris / C. Pattichis

     Most medical interventions are effective in only a small percentage of the patients. The multifactorial nature of disease and patient differences in presentation, genetics and exposures have been implicated as the causes. Precision medicine aims to maximize the effectiveness of medicine by tailoring the diagnosis and treatment to match individual patients. This proposal will establish an Integrated Precision Medicine Technologies Research Centre of Excellence, a multidisciplinary centre which will be a leader in the development of new technologies to further enable and accelerate the progress and application of precision medicine. The Centre will include all the essential fields: (i) modelling & simulations, (ii) intelligent systems & bioinformatics, (iii) imaging & biosignal analysis, (iv) digital & eHealth, (v) embedded systems & electronics and (vi) sensing technologies (including nano), with support from (vii) biosciences and (viii) clinical validation. Initially, the clinical emphasis will be on tools and methods for relevant multifactorial diseases: cancer, neurodegenerative disorders and traumatic brain injury. The proposal is a collaboration between leading Cypriot and European institutions. The host, the University of Cyprus, is the country’s leading academic institution, with local partners including major medical centres as well as support from the Ministry of Health and other private organizations. The advanced partners are the Fraunhofer Institute for Biomedical Technology (BMT), Germany, and the Centre for Biomedical Research - Bioengineering, Biomaterials & Nanomedicine (CIBER-BBN), Spain. The experience of the partners, combined with the synergies created by this project, provide a great opportunity to establish a sustainable Centre which will (i) conduct vital and timely research, (ii) promote innovation, (iii) provide education and training to a new breed of scientists, (iv) improve the local research capacity and (v) spearhead economic growth.

    P2. Multipotent Theranostic Metal-Based Scaffold for Molecular Targeting of Colorectal Cancer. Research Promotion Foundation of Cyprus. June. 2012- May. 2014. € 178.803. Project Coordinator: C. Pitris

    This project brings together expertise in medical optics and optoelectronics, magnetics, coordinate Lanthanide chemistry, bio-organic synthesis and molecular oncology, aiming at introducing a break-through solution for the overall management of colorectal cancer and potentially other malignancies expressing the epidermal growth factor family of receptors (EGFR). The solutions is based on prototype metal-based functionalized compounds engaging cutting-edge synthetic and complexation approaches. Initially, a panel  of kinetically stable prototype lanthanides complexes with potent (a) optical (e.g near infrared spectroscopic) and (b) magnetic /relaxation properties will be designed and synthesized as building blocks for heterometallic arrays and subsequently the lanthanide complexes will be functionalized to a series of biologically active bimodal theranostic agents with anti-EGFR recognizing and inhibiting properties.  Functionalization of the probes with the recognizing and therapeutic ligands (i.e. anilinoquinazolines) will increase the molecular size, thus optimizing proton relaxivity and magnetic efficacy. Diagnostic specificity will be assessed by ERB-B1 recognition and internalization of the compounds on (a) cell monolayers and (b) 3-dimensional tissue phantoms of cell lines differentially expressing ERB-B1 under inverted NIR microscope. Highly sensitive and efficacious compounds will be considered for further development as theranostic agents for early detection and therapy of CRC in subsequent pre-clinical models with the application of multimodal Molecular Imaging. This approach enables the quantitative imaging of defined cancer biomarkers in a non-invasive manner, aiding in lesion detection, patient stratification, new drug development and validation, dose optimization and treatment monitoring.

    P3. FIWNI5G: Fiber - Wireless Integrated Networks for 5thGeneration delivery A Marie Sktodowska-Curie Innovative Training Network. Horizon 2020. Dec. 2015 – Nov. 2018. € 350.000. Participating Investigator: S. Iezekiel.

    The main theme of FIWIN5G is the expansion, in terms of both carrier frequency and bandwidth, of optically supported wireless links. As detailed below, such systems have very recently surpassed 100Gbit/s for the first time. This opens up new opportunities for short-haul wireless links to compete with core optical fibre speeds. As the core moves towards 400Gbit/s, we proposed to develop the next generation of systems and components that will support such data-rates wirelessly by using integrated photonic technologies. To develop a sub-THz radio-over-fiber link demonstrator based on a combination of optical heterodyning and UTC-PD photomixers. Optical mm-wave transmitter technologies based on comb generator techniques with the use of integrated optical ring-resonators for selection of the correct wavelengths will be developed and evaluated. The potential for future onchip integration of the modulator structure with ring resonator filters will be investigated as a means to potential cost reductions.

    P4. Next Generation Hybrid Optical-Wireless Communications Laboratory. Research Promotion Foundation of Cyprus. Apr. 2009-Mar. 2013. € 2.250.000. Principal Investigator: S. Iezekiel.

    The aim is to build the first national test-bed for hybrid radio-over-fiber networks employing wireless and optical wavelength division multiplexing (WDM) technology. We plan to construct the test-bed using state-of-the-art photonic and millimeter-wave (mm-wave) components and test equipment. This represents a substantial upgrade of existing laboratory infrastructure, to enable the University of Cyprus to participate effectively in this strategically important field of research. Current access technologies represent a significant bottleneck in bandwidth and quality of service (QoS) between a high-speed residential/enterprise network and the core backbone network. The cost of deploying true broadband access networks with existing technologies remains prohibitive, making it difficult to support end-to-end QoS for applications that cannot tolerate variable or excessive delay or data loss such as voice, video, and multimedia. Passive optical networks (PON) are viewed as an attractive solution to the last mile problem. PONs can provide reliable yet integrated data, voice, and video services to end-users at bandwidths far exceeding current technologies. By using passive components and eliminating regenerators and active equipment normally used in fiber networks, PONs reduce installation and maintenance costs. In this work we will experiment with WDM-based PONs and will define and validate efficient and cost-effective architectures that can support various Quality of Service (QoS) applications. The application of radio-over-fiber (RoF) for broadband radio access systems has also attracted much attention lately because it can meet the broadband access services for mobile communications, wireless LANs, and fixed wireless access services. Of particular interest is the band around 60 GHz which, by virtue of high absorption, allows the formation of picocells with radii of the order of 100 m. These allow greater frequency reuse in addition to bandwidths of several GHz.

    P5. Portable microwave imaging technology using super-oscillatory radar for heart failure detection. Australian Research Council – Discovery Project DP150103614. Jan. 2015-Dec. 2017. $363,600 AUD. Principal Investigators: A. Abbosh, M. Antoniades, G. Eleftheriades.

    The aim of this project is the design and development of a portable microwave imaging system to investigate the viability of microwave techniques for early heart failure detection. It will employ conformal antenna arrays integrated with compact reconfigurable radar to obtain super-resolution images that enable the early detection of heart failure. Because of its low-cost, non-ionizing and non-invasive properties, it can be used frequently for real-time monitoring, thus providing a significant advantage over conventional imaging equipment and hence paving the way for its broader applications. Moreover, portability of the technology will enable its use for self monitoring leading to a significant reduction in health care costs.

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