Measure, Model & Manage Bioresponses

Department of Biosystems
Faculty of Bioscience Engineering

The research group Measure, Model & Manage Bioresponses (M3-BIORES) has more than 25 years of experience in the field of integration of biological responses in the monitoring and control of animal and human applications. With a staff of about 25 enthusiastic people the group’s main focus is to measure and model in real-time the responses of living organisms to their varying individual micro-environment as a basis for developing monitoring and controlling technology to improve their well-being, health and/or performances. The main research pillars are: 1) precision livestock farming, 2) human health engineering and 3) bio-environment control. In the framework of the UNA4CAREER programme we are looking for postdocs who want to join the team in the field of human health engineering. A key infrastructure in this research pillar at M3-BIORES consists of three climate controlled rooms available (so called “Body & Mind rooms”). The climate controlled chambers are designed and built to investigate dynamic mental and physiological responses of humans under controlled indoor climate conditions and this for a variety of applications. These rooms (built in 2018) allow performing experiments under varying physical environmental conditions (air temperature ranging between -5C to 37C and relative humidity ranging between 40% and 80%). Equipment is available to measure locomotor activity, heart rate, skin temperature, heat flux and metabolic activity (via indirect calorimetry).

The research activities at M3-BIORES are driven by the main hypothesis that “modern engineering technologies for monitoring and/or controlling systems can be applied to complex human health systems” (assuming the availability of real-time process variables and a process model). More specifically, M3-BIORES aims at developing methods that allow: 1.modelling of human health processes using dynamic data-based modelling approaches that can be interpreted in biological/physical terms (so called “data-based mechanistic (DBM) models”); 2. model-based monitoring of the health status of individuals using DBM models; 3. model-based controlling of human health processes using adaptive and personalized control targets taking into account human mental and/or physiological responses. Key in this approach is the coupling of biological knowledge/information from the energy balance of living systems with engineering approaches and the vision to develop new human health solutions ‘from biology to technology’. So, collaborating with partners from biology, physiology, immunology, psychology, medicine, sports science, etc. is crucial. The considered human health applications cover different scales, ranging from cellular level up to ecosystem level. In many of the studied applications wearables are used in combination with real-time algorithms as a basis for developing mobile health technology (mHealth).