Politecnico di Milano (PdM)

The Politecnico di Milano  (http://www.polimi.it/) Technical University was established in 1863 and is now ranked as one of the most important European universities in Engineering, Architecture and Industrial Design, and in many disciplines is regarded as a leading research institution worldwide. The number of students enrolled in all campuses is approximately 42,000, which makes the Politecnico di Milano the largest institution in Italy for Engineering.


The Dipartimento di Elettronica, Informazione e Bioingegneria (DEIB) (http://www.deib.polimi.it  ) aims at being a world-class scientific institution committed to forefront research, education, and technology transfer in the following six Research Areas: Systems and Control, Electrical engineering, Electronics, Computer Science and Engineering, Telecommunications and Bioengineering. The Bioengineering Area applies Engineering methodologies and technologies to research on biological systems and health sciences. Methods, devices, and systems are developed with a multidisciplinary approach, which starts from the molecular and the cellular level and goes all the way up to complex living organism, with the purposes of improving diagnosis and therapy as well as health and daily life structures and services. The research activities of the Bioengineering Area are divided into four main lines, which reflect the different aspects of Biological and Health Technologies: “Biomimetics and micro-nano technologies”; “Technologies for functional evaluation and rehabilitation”; “Technologies for therapy”; “Physiological modeling, diagnostics, health systems and e-health”

Among the different laboratories at the TBM Lab (Biomedical Technology Lab) (http://www.tbmlab.polimi.it), the Lares (Laboratorio di Analisi della Respirazione) (http://www.tbmlab.polimi.it/lab.php?lid=2&lab=3) has the mission to create new knowledge and innovation in respiratory medicine through the development of new methods, models and technologies for the analysis, functional evaluation and treatment.

Current areas of research at Lares include: -development of innovative methods for optoelectronic analysis of thoraco-abdominal kinematics and volumes during respiration (Opto-Electronic Plethysmography, OEP) and technological transfer of OEP into clinical use. OEP systems are today used in several hospitals and research centers in Italy, Brazil, Canada, Germany, Greece, Poland, Slovenia, Sweden, Switzerland, UK, USA;

- Development of Double Body Plethysmography for measuring blood shifts from and to the trunk; at LaRes there is the only plethysmographic system able to measure lung volumes and blood shifts for long periods and during exercise;

- Modelling of respiratory mechanics: functional models of the actions of respiratory muscles; rib cage mechanics; cardiopulmonary interactions during exercise;

- Creating a deeper understanding of thephysiology and pathophysiology of the respiratory system in different conditions, including exercise; effects of expiratory flow limitation; effects of mechanical ventilation and anesthesia on thoraco-abdominal motion; electrical stimulation of respiratory muscles; respiratory kinematics in pulmonary and neuromuscular diseases.

- Development of software and hardware systems particularly concerning cardio-pulmonary measurements (volume, flow, pressure, gas concentration and motion);

- Development of new devices for cardio-pulmonary resuscitation (CPR). At LaRes we are investigating the possibility to use the 'abdominal circulatory pump' as a mean for CPR.
- Functional Imaging of the respiratory system: regional analysis of lung density and ventilation by CT and MRI,  evaluation of diaphragm motion, thickness and area of apposition by ultrasounds,  alveolar mechanics by in-vivo microscopy


Andrea Aliverti is associate Professor at the Politecnico of Milano University (Department of Electronics, Information and Bioengineering) where he teaches Sensors and Instrumentation Technologies and Bioengineering of the Respiratory System.

He is head of Lares (Respiratory Analysis Lab) at the Biomedical Technology Laboratory (TBM-Lab) and has been technical coordinator of the European Project "CARED" (Computer Assisted Rehabilitation for Respiratory Diseases). His research interests include:

- Bioengineering of the Respiratory System.
- Respiratory mechanics (modeling of human respiratory muscle action and rib cage mechanics, the study of exercise in health and disease, effects of mechanical ventilation, cardio-respiratory interactions);
- Biomedical instrumentation (opto-electronic plethysmography and respiratory kinematic analysis, forced oscillation technique, measurements of oxygen consumption); 
- Image processing (ultrasonography and computed tomography analysis of diaphragm, airways and lung, alveolar microscopy).

Dr. Aliverti is author or co-author of more than 100 full papers on peer review journals, 2 books, 9 book chapters and 10 patents and Chair of the European Respiratory Society scientific group “Clinical Physiology and Exercise”.