Project B9 - Magnetoelectric Sensors for Movement Detection and Analysis

Neurological diseases associated with pathological movements (NDPMs) such as Parkinson’s disease, stroke, and multiple sclerosis affect millions of people worldwide. The evaluation of these diseases is typically performed by medical professionals in a clinic or doctor’s practice using qualitative or, at best, semi-quantitative approaches.

Two quantitative movement assessment techniques have already found their way into clinical research and, at least with pilot systems, into clinical management: complex stationary lab assessments and inertial measurement units (IMUs). Complex stationary lab assessments are extremely accurate and allow detailed, timesynchronized, comprehensive analyses of movement patterns. Disadvantages are high cost and relatively inflexible and time-consuming assessments. In contrast, IMUs, most often based on acceleration assessment with accelerometry and angular measurement with gyroscopes, have the advantage of flexible application. Disadvantages are data synchronization difficulties and time-related signal drift. Moreover, these techniques do not provide a comprehensive picture of body movements, neither in a global coordinate system nor in relation to a specific part of the body, e.g. the lower back.

We propose here an entirely novel movement detection strategy based on magnetoelectric (ME) sensors (combined with IMUs) that has the potential to combine almost all advantages of the movement detection techniques currently in use (e.g. flexible use, relatively cheap, unobtrusive, exact, and objective), while overcoming most of the respective disadvantages (e.g. not bound to a specific environment). This system will substantially add to our general understanding of physiological and pathological human movement under supervised and unsupervised conditions. It will eventually add to the quality of treatment evaluation of NDPMs (significant reduction of drift, improved localization performance).


Involved Researchers

Person Role
Prof. Dr. Walter Maetzler
Project lead
Prof. Dr.-Ing. Gerhard Schmidt
Electrical Engineering
Digital Signal Processing
Project lead
M.Sc. Johannes Hoffmann
Electrical Engineering
Digital Signal Processing and System Theory
Doctoral researcher
Dr. Clint Hansen


Role within the Collaborative Research Centre

Close cooperation is planned with the following partners:

B1, Z2 B9 will benefit from B1 and Z2 adapting system frontends and small sensor arrays to the requirements of B9. In turn, we will communicate test results back to B1/Z2 to facilitate the development of suitable measurement systems after transfer of mature sub-systems to Z2.
B2, B10 The project will use the same real-time framework as projects B2 and B10. Thus, all extensions made in either one of the projects will benefit the other and immediately speed up development.
B10, T1 All study participant management and data acquisition procedures will be shared with project B10 and T1.
T1 (Transfer project – Individualized Deep Brain Stimulation) T1 and B9 will recruit PD patients jointly and evaluate at least 2 patients together.
Z1 (MEMS Magnetoelectric Sensor Fabrication) This project is closely interlinked with the ME-sensor projects, especially those that operate in resonance. Such sensors are mainly produced in Z1.


Project-related Publications

E. Engelhardt, E. Elzenheimer, J. Hoffmann, C. Meledeth, N. Frey, G. Schmidt: Non-Invasive Electroanatomical Mapping: A State-Space Approach for Myocardial Current Density Estimation, Bioengineering, 10(12), 1432, 2023. 
J. Hoffmann, C. Bald, T. Schmidt, M. Boueke, E. Engelhardt, K. Krüger, E. Elzenheimer, C. Hansen, W. Maetzler, G. Schmidt: Designing and Validating Magnetic Motion Sensing Approaches with a Real-time Simulation Pipeline, Current Directions in Biomedical Engineering, vol. 9, no. 1, 455-458, 2023. 
M. Boueke, J. Hoffmann, T. Schmidt, C. Bald, R. Bergholz, G. Schmidt: Model-based Tracking of Magnetic Sensor Gloves in Real Time, Current Directions in Biomedical Engineering, vol. 9, no. 1, 85-88, 2023. 
H. Wolframm, J. Hoffmann, R. Burgardt, E. Elzenheimer, G. Schmidt, M. Höft: PCB Coil Enables In Situ Calibration of Magnetoelectric Sensor Systems, Current Directions in Biomedical Engineering, vol. 9, no. 1, 567-570, 2023. 
J. Hoffmann, S. Roldan-Vasco, K. Krüger, F. Niekiel, C. Hansen, W. Maetzler, J. Orozco-Arroyave, G. Schmidt: Pilot Study: Magnetic Motion Analysis for Swallowing Detection Using MEMS Cantilever Actuators, MDPI Sensors, vol. 23, no. 7, 3594, 2023. 
J. Arbustini, J. Muñoz, H. Wang, E. Elzenheimer, J. Hoffmann, L. Thormählen, P. Hayes, F. Niekiel, H. Heidari, M. Höft, E. Quandt, G. Schmidt, A. Bahr: MEMS Magnetic Field Source for Frequency Conversion Approaches for ME Sensors, BMT2022 , Joint Annual Conference of the Austrian, German and Swiss Societies for Biomedical Engineering, 2022. 
J. Hoffmann, C. Hansen, W. Maetzler, G. Schmidt: A Concept for 6D Motion Sensing with Magnetoelectric Sensors, Current Directions in Biomedical Engineering, vol. 8, no. 2, 451-454, 2022. 
E. Elzenheimer, C. Bald, E. Engelhardt, J. Hoffmann, P. Hayes, J. Arbustini, A. Bahr, E. Quandt, M. Höft, G. Schmidt: Quantitative Evaluation for Magnetoelectric Sensor Systems in Biomagnetic Diagnostics, MDPI Sensors, vol. 22, no. 3, 1018, 2022.
J. Hoffmann, E. Elzenheimer, C. Bald, C. Hansen, W. Maetzler, G. Schmidt: Active Magnetoelectric Motion Sensing: Examining Performance Metrics with an Experimental Setup, MDPI Sensors, vol. 21, no. 23, 8000, 2021. 
J. Hoffmann, E. Elzenheimer, C. Bald, C. Hansen, W. Maetzler, G. Schmidt: Magnetoelektrische Sensoren zur Bewegungsdetektion und -analyse, Biosignale Workshop, Kiel, Germany, 2020.