Clinical Ageing Research Unit

Staff Profiles

Dr Silvia Del Din

Research Associate (Biomedical Engineer)

Background

Background

I received my Bachelor's Degree in Information Engineering in 2006 from the University of Padova (Italy) under the Supervision of Prof. Claudio Cobelli and my Master's Degree (cum laude) in Bioengineering in 2008 from the University of Padova ("Biomechanical analysis of swimmers through markerless motion capture." Supervisor: Ch.mo Prof. Claudio Cobelli, Co-advisor: Dr. Elena Ceseracciu).

In 2012 I completed my PhD in Bioengineering (Area of the Information Engineering PhD School) at the Department of Information Engineering of the University of Padova, under the supervision of Prof. Chiara Dalla Man ("Innovative Techniques for Biomechanical Evaluation of Stroke Survivors: Combined fMRI-Gait Analysis Assessment and Fugl-Meyer Clinical Scores Estimation Through Wearable Sensors.").

From February 2012 until August 2012 I have been a Post Doctoral Fellow at the Department of Information Engineering of the University of Padova.

Since September 2012 I have been working as a Research Associate at the Institute of Neuroscience of Newcastle University in the Brain and Movement (BAM) Research Group led by Prof. Lynn Rochester. 

Education and Training

2009-2011
PhD at the PhD School of Information Engineering (XIV Cycle, Bioengineering area), Department of Information Engineering, University of Padova (Italy) Title of the Thesis: "Innovative Techniques for Biomechanical Evaluation of Stroke Survivors:
Combined fMRI-Gait Analysis Assessment and Fugl-Meyer Clinical Scores Estimation Through Wearable Sensors."
Head: Prof. Matteo Bertocco, Supervisor: Prof. Chiara Dalla Man

2008
Master's Degree in Bioengineering - Laurea Specialistica in Bioingegneria, University of Padova (Italy)

2008
Professional Practice Exam for Engineers - Qualified Engineer (Esame di Stato per la Professione di Ingegnere), University of Padova (Itay)

2006
Bachelor's Degree in Information Engineering - Laurea Triennale in Ingegneria dell'Informazione, University of Padova (Italy)

Experience abroad
October 2010- September 2011:
Harvard Medical School, Department of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation, Motion analysis Laboratory of Spaulding Rehabilitation Hospital, Boston (MA) USA.
I have been part of the Motion Analysis Laboratory team at Spaulding Rehabilitation Hospital in Boston in order to carry on my PhD research, under the supervision of Prof. Paolo Bonato. I have been involved in a rehabilitation project of stroke patients, based on the use of wearable sensors: the goal is to use accelerometers for gathering quantitative measures of movement quality, providing accurate assessments to guide the rehabilitation process. Models based on features extracted from wearable sensor data should be useful to accurately predict some clinical scores.

Funding & Awards:

2017

  • Newcastle University Business Voucher - Project in collaboration with CasCom Ltd - VetSens (£4,000)
  • Stroke Association - Co-PI: "Development and clinical trial feasibility evaluation of auditory rhythmical cueing to improve gait and physical activity in community dwelling stroke survivors (ACTIVATE)" (£207,511).
  • Faculty of Medical Sciences (FMS) Research Travel Fund (£200).
  • Winner of the Guarantors of Brain Travel Grant (£1,000).
  • Winner of the Institution of Engineering and Technology (IET) Travel Award (£500).

2016

2015

  • Newcastle University Institute for Ageing (NUIA) Responsive Mode - Co-PI: "A feasibility study of instrumented fall detection within the ICICLE-Gait cohort"  (£5,000).
  • Faculty of Medical Sciences (FMS) Research Travel Fund (£200).
  • Winner of the Guarantors of Brain Travel Grant (£700).
  • Winner of the Institution of Engineering and Technology (IET) Travel Award (£500).

2012 

  • Winner of the “Prof. Sergio Gambi Award 2012- Second Edition” (5,000 Euros) for PhD thesis related to an original research, preferably on a disability related topic, with possible theoretical and technological applications, with the PhD Thesis: "Innovative Techniques for Biomechanical Evaluation of Stroke Survivors: Combined fMRI-Gait Analysis Assessment and Fugl-Meyer Clinical Scores Estimation Through Wearable Sensors." Head: Ch.mo Prof. Matteo Bertocco, Supervisor: Prof. Chiara Dalla Man.

Prof. Sergio Gambi Award 2012   

2010

Winner of the BTS Bioengineering/SIMFER Award for the best scientific contribution on the evaluated functional analysis of the movement applied to the rehabilitation through robotic instruments.  (17th PRM Congress – 38° Congresso Nazionale: European Rehabilitation: Quality, Evidence, Efficacy and Effectiveness, Lido di Venezia 2010), with the study:   E. Carraro, Z. Sawacha, S. Del Din, F. Spolaor, A. Guiotto, A. R. Gravina, R. Guglielmin, C. Cobelli, S. Masiero. (2010) Abnormal activation of knee and ankle flexors-extensors is related to altered gait in ankylosing spondylitis? European Journal of Physical and Rehabilitation Medicine, 46, Suppl. 1, n° 2: 105.    

Memberships:
Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers (IEEE)
Institution of Engineering and Technology (MIET)
International Society of Posture and Gait Research (ISPGR)

 

ResearchGate Profile

 

Research

 Research Interests:

My research interests relate to biomechanics of human movement, NeuroEngineering, signal processing, and wearable technology, in particular:

  1. Biomechanical analysis: gait and postural control analysis.
  2. NeuroEngineering: imaging, analysis of fMRI data. 
  3. EMG signal processing.
  4. Postural control/Centre of Pressure signal processing: evaluation of time-domain parameters (ellipses, sway area, sway path, velocity), frequency domain parameters, stochastic analysis.
  5. Body worn sensors: use of accelerometer-based data for clinical scores estimation, for evaluation of gait and postural control outcomes.
  6. Markerless motion capture: biomechanical analysis of swimmers’ stroke through markerless underwater motion capture.

I am currently working as a Research Associate in the Brain and Movement (BAM) Research Group led by Prof. Lynn Rochester at the Institute of Neuroscience of Newcastle University.

My current project is quantifying gait and postural control by using accelerometer-based wearable technology both in controlled (i.e. the laboratory) and free-living environments. 

I have been involved in the V-TIME project as well. The project ended in 2015; findings of the study have been published in The Lancet.

 Peer Reviews:

I have reviewed scientific papers for the following peer-reviewed Journals:

  1. Gait & Posture
  2. IEEE Journal of Biomedical and Health Informatics
  3. Journal of NeuroEngineering and Rehabilitation
  4. Medical & Biological Engineering & Computing
  5. Medical Engineering & Physics
  6. Movement Disorders
  7. Neural Regeneration Research
  8. Part H Journal of Engineering in Medicine
  9. Physiological Measurement
  10. Sensors
  11. Applied Sciences
  12. PLOS ONE
  13. Digital Health

I have been a reviewer for the Medical Research Council (MRC) and for the Singapore National Research Foundation (NRF).


Teaching

Teaching 

Teaching classes:

  1. Biological Signal Processing (Elaborazione di segnali biologici) 2008/2009 (Prof. Maria Gianna Toffolo)
  2. Biological Signal Processing (Elaborazione di segnali biologici) 2009/2010 (Prof. Maria Gianna Toffolo)
  3. Bioengineering of Rehabilitation and Movement (Bioingegneria del movimento e riabilitazione) 2009/2010 (Prof. Chiara Dalla Man)
  4. Bioengineering of Movement (Bioingegneria del Movimento) for resident physicians in Orthopaedic and Traumatology 2011/2012 (Prof. Claudio Cobelli)
Supervision

Supervisor for: UG students (Medical School), MSc students (School of Electrical and Electronic Engineering - SEEE), PhD students (EPSRC CDT and European Union Horizon 2020 Innovative Training Network (ITN) KEEP CONTROL - Marie Skłodowska-Curie program).

Publications