Bio-IT Group

The objective of Bio-IT (information technology) research area is to better integrate ICT (information and communication technologies) and biotechnology/biomedicine domains. Target outcomes include filling the gaps across both domains and generating novel approaches to achieve better and concrete synergies and integration of these research areas.
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Contact information

Research group leader

  • Professor
    Juha Röning
  • Seppo Vainio

Research group description

Bio-IT aims to provide concrete new openings for the purpose of reacting to fundamentals and novelties to better integrate these research disciplines. The research methodology starts from the observation that Intelligent Systems are both artificial (e.g. machines, robots) and natural (e.g. complex biological organ system, organogenesis). Applications include novel biosensors, bioinformatics and bio-tech hybrid systems.

To realise the above goals, BISG has set up an initiative under the umbrella of Infotech Oulu in the form of a collaboration with Prof. Seppo Vainio.

In this framework, BISG collaborates with VTT, the Department of Micro- and Nanotechnology at Technical University of Denmark, and ETH Zurich, Switzerland.

Spearhead projects

Multidisciplinary, internationally reviewed, strategic research projects organized under the Focus Institute Infotech Oulu:

Research highlights

With the new strategic openings in Infotech Oulu, the group strives to initiate new projects which will integrate the biological sciences with the high throughput data analysis and processing capabilities.

Towards a Holistic Self-awareness in Humans and AI

Self-awareness is involved in a number of cognitive functions of the human brain and correspondingly its disturbances are part of a number of disease of various statistical relevance. Self-awareness may also improve the efficiency in robotic systems by a more conscious execution of tasks (Celentano and Röning 2016a). Interaction among concurrent cognitive entities further expands the model in Celentano (2014).

For multi-robot systems, various cognitive and social inputs can be used for self/nonself discrimination, including the observation of the self, of the environment and of neighbour entities, as well as the exploitation of social interaction among agents. For example, even if the final outcome (e.g., relative positions of more robots) may look similar, it is important to discriminate what I am doing from what the others are doing. (Celentano and Röning 2016a) Sharing knowledge among agents further improves awareness (Celentano and Röning 2016a, 2016b).

In line with BISG strategy, cognitive functions in humans and in artificial entities are in this research collaboratively studied side by side to allow exploiting the results in both domains bridging neuroscience and artificial intelligence.

Biomimetic glucose sensor

In a joint effort with VTT Espoo, we are developing a novel biomimetic glucose sensor which will measure the metabolic glucose level with an internal reference. This sensor doesn't require daily invasive measurements, and thus will be a new line of biocompatible, personalized medical sensing device.

Exosomes as genetic transfer materials

Exosomes are nanovescicles generated by the cell in response to environmental stimulus, and carry genetic material which can reveal the health status of a cell. We are screening for exosomes secreted in response to a kidney injury or disease, and also as a cell derived reprogramming material for genetic engineering purposes.

Genome and the electromagnetic spectrum

Our aim is to set the ground for new openings to identify novel cell-background radiation interactions mechanisms. Specifically, we will address the subtle roles of electrical and magnetic fields interacting with the cell genome, which has been poorly understood so far. This will be accomplished with genome wide biosensor screening tests performed by automated handling robots.