Gianluca Lazzi, PhD

Provost Professor of Ophthalmology, Electrical Engineering, Clinical Entrepreneurship and Biomedical Engineering

Fred H. Cole Professorship in Engineering

Director, Institute for Technology and Medical Systems (ITEMS)

Director for Bioengineering Mentorship

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Overview

Over the past 25 years, Gianluca Lazzi, PhD, has focused his research on biomedical electromagnetics, with particular interest to the application to wireless and biomedical devices. In the early stages of his career, he focused on understanding the interaction between electromagnetic fields and biological tissue, with particular interest in the potential hazards to the human body due to devices radiating or inducing electromagnetic fields in tissue. Lazzi’s research contributed to define the computational methods that could be reliably used to assess the Specific Absorption Rate of power, or SAR, induced by wireless devices in the human body: this work directly impacted the acceptance of computational methods to demonstrate that wireless devices previously fulfilled IEEE safety standards prior to being marketed.

The computational and experimental methods that Lazzi and his team developed progressively shifted to be used for medical device applications, and in particular an artificial retina to restore partial vision to the blind and hippocampal prosthesis. Lazzi has also been recognized for multiscale computational methods to calculate the electromagnetic distribution in neural tissue for optimization of neurostimulators, human body models for the safety assessment of wireless biomedical devices, implantable microantennas for high-data rate wireless biomedical devices, novel coils for wireless telemetry systems, methods for the minimization of the temperature increase in the human body due to implantable devices, and methods to optimize electrode shape and size for neurosimulators. For nearly 20 years, Lazzi and his team have been part of a team dedicated to the development a retinal prosthesis to restore partial vision to the blind, in collaboration with the company Second Sight Medical Products, Inc. He also been part of an NSF supported Engineering Research Center (ERC) on Biomimetic Devices led by the University of Southern California. Lazzi’s contributions in the field of implantable devices have been recognized with the election as AIMBE Fellow for “contributions to bioelectromagnetics and design of bioelectrical implantable devices,” election as a IEEE Fellow for “contributions to Bioelectromagnetics and implantable devices,” the IEEE Wheeler Best paper Award for a manuscript on the invention of microwave microantennas for implantable devices, and a R&D100 Award in 2009 for one of the 100 most significant inventions of 2009 (artificial retina). His team recently presented research on neuroprosthetics and multiscale modeling at the IEEE Grand Challenges in Life Science Symposium at the National Academies: parts of this inspired a position paper on the future grand challenges in life science published in IEEE Trans. on Biomedical Engineering, jointly prepared by all the presenters.

Awards

  • AIMBE: Fellow, “Contributions to Bioelectromagnetics and Design of Bioelectrical Implantable Devices”, 2015
  • North Carolina State University: ALCOA Foundation Distinguished Engineering Research Achievement Award, 2009
  • R&D Magazine: R&D 100 Award and Editor’s Choice Award, 2009
  • IEEE GLOBECOM: Best Paper Award, 2008
  • IEEE: Fellow, “Contributions to Bioelectromagnetics and Implantable Devices”, 2008
  • IEEE Trans.: IEEE H.A. Wheeler Award for best paper published, 2006
  • IEEE Trans.: IEEE H.A. Wheeler Award for the best paper published, 2005
  • North Carolina State University: Featured Achiever, College of Engineering, 2003
  • North Carolina State University: Outstanding Teacher Award, 2003
  • North Carolina State University: Alumni Outstanding Teacher Award, 2003
  • North Carolina State University: ALCOA Foundation Engineering Research Achievement Award, 2003
  • The Whitaker Foundation Biomedical Engineering Grant: Young Investigator Award, 2001
  • National Science Foundation: Career Award, 2001
  • Bioelectromagnetics Society: Curtis Carl Johnson Memorial Award, 1996
  • International Union of Radio Science: Young Investigator Award, 1996

Publications

  • Machine learning enables non-Gaussian investigation of changes to peripheral nerves related to electrical stimulation Sci Rep. 2024 Feb 02; 14(1):2795. . View in PubMed
  • Author Correction: An extraocular electrical stimulation approach to slow down the progression of retinal degeneration in an animal model Sci Rep. 2023 Oct 23; 13(1):18120. . View in PubMed
  • Electrical Stimulation Induced Current Distribution in Peripheral Nerves Varies Significantly with the Extent of Nerve Damage: A Computational Study Utilizing Convolutional Neural Network and Realistic Nerve Models Int J Neural Syst. 2023 Apr; 33(4):2350022. . View in PubMed
  • An extraocular electrical stimulation approach to slow down the progression of retinal degeneration in an animal model Sci Rep. 2023 09 23; 13(1):15924. . View in PubMed
  • Impact of Retinal Degeneration on Response of ON and OFF Cone Bipolar Cells to Electrical Stimulation IEEE Trans Neural Syst Rehabil Eng. 2023; 31:2424-2437. . View in PubMed
  • Computational optimization of delivery parameters to guide the development of targeted Nasal spray Sci Rep. 2023 03 12; 13(1):4099. . View in PubMed
  • Asymmetric charge balanced waveforms direct retinal ganglion cell axon growth Sci Rep. 2023 08 14; 13(1):13233. . View in PubMed
  • The Influence of Electrode Properties on Induced Voltage Gradient Along the Rat Optic Nerve IEEE J Electromagn RF Microw Med Biol. 2022 Sep; 6(3):321-330. . View in PubMed
  • Electrical Stimulation Induced Current Distribution in Peripheral Nerves Varies Significantly with the Extent of Nerve Damage: A Computational Study Utilizing Convolutional Neural Network and Realistic Nerve Models Int Work Conf Interp Nat Artif Comput. 2022 May-Jun; 13258:526-535. . View in PubMed
  • Selective Activation of Retinal Ganglion Cell Subtypes Through Targeted Electrical Stimulation Parameters IEEE Trans Neural Syst Rehabil Eng. 2022; 30:350-359. . View in PubMed
  • Publisher Correction: Color and cellular selectivity of retinal ganglion cell subtypes through frequency modulation of electrical stimulation Sci Rep. 2021 Jun 14; 11(1):12855. . View in PubMed
  • On the Design of an Efficient Inductive Wireless Power Transfer for Passive Neurostimulation Systems Annu Int Conf IEEE Eng Med Biol Soc. 2021 11; 2021:7497-7501. . View in PubMed
  • Electrode Spacing and Current Distribution in Electrical Stimulation of Peripheral Nerve: A Computational Modeling Study using Realistic Nerve Models Annu Int Conf IEEE Eng Med Biol Soc. 2021 11; 2021:4416-4419. . View in PubMed
  • Modeling ON Cone Bipolar Cells for Electrical Stimulation Annu Int Conf IEEE Eng Med Biol Soc. 2021 11; 2021:6547-6550. . View in PubMed
  • A Computational Model Simulates Light-Evoked Responses in the Retinal Cone Pathway Annu Int Conf IEEE Eng Med Biol Soc. 2021 11; 2021:4482-4486. . View in PubMed
  • Model-based comparison of current flow in rod bipolar cells of healthy and early-stage degenerated retina Exp Eye Res. 2021 06; 207:108554. . View in PubMed
  • Color and cellular selectivity of retinal ganglion cell subtypes through frequency modulation of electrical stimulation Sci Rep. 2021 03 04; 11(1):5177. . View in PubMed
  • Mechanisms underlying activation of retinal bipolar cells through targeted electrical stimulation: a computational study J Neural Eng. 2021 12 15; 18(6). . View in PubMed
  • Stimulus waveform design for decreasing charge and increasing stimulation selectivity in retinal prostheses Healthc Technol Lett. 2020 Jun; 7(3):66-71. . View in PubMed
  • Simulation-Based Optimization of Figure-of-Eight Coil Designs and Orientations for Magnetic Stimulation of Peripheral Nerve IEEE Trans Neural Syst Rehabil Eng. 2020 12; 28(12):2901-2913. . View in PubMed
  • Targeted Stimulation of Retinal Ganglion Cells in Epiretinal Prostheses: A Multiscale Computational Study IEEE Trans Neural Syst Rehabil Eng. 2020 11; 28(11):2548-2556. . View in PubMed
  • Responsiveness of Retinal Ganglion Cells Through Frequency Modulation of Electrical Stimulation: A Computational Modeling Study Annu Int Conf IEEE Eng Med Biol Soc. 2020 07; 2020:3393-3398. . View in PubMed
  • Admittance Method for Estimating Local Field Potentials Generated in a Multi-Scale Neuron Model of the Hippocampus Front Comput Neurosci. 2020; 14:72. . View in PubMed
  • ROOTS: An Algorithm to Generate Biologically Realistic Cortical Axons and an Application to Electroceutical Modeling Front Comput Neurosci. 2020; 14:13. . View in PubMed
  • Selective stimulation of rat sciatic nerve using an array of mm-size magnetic coils: a simulation study Healthc Technol Lett. 2019 Jun; 6(3):70-75. . View in PubMed
  • Reduced Heat Generation During Magnetic Stimulation of Rat Sciatic Nerve Using Current Waveform Truncation IEEE Trans Neural Syst Rehabil Eng. 2019 05; 27(5):937-946. . View in PubMed
  • The Promise of Mobile Technologies for the Health Care System in the Developing World: A Systematic Review IEEE Rev Biomed Eng. 2019; 12:100-122. . View in PubMed
  • Model-Based Analysis of Electrode Placement and Pulse Amplitude for Hippocampal Stimulation IEEE Trans Biomed Eng. 2018 10; 65(10):2278-2289. . View in PubMed
  • Increasing Electrical Stimulation Efficacy in Degenerated Retina: Stimulus Waveform Design in a Multiscale Computational Model IEEE Trans Neural Syst Rehabil Eng. 2018 06; 26(6):1111-1120. . View in PubMed
  • A large-scale detailed neuronal model of electrical stimulation of the dentate gyrus and perforant path as a platform for electrode design and optimization Annu Int Conf IEEE Eng Med Biol Soc. 2016 Aug; 2016:2794-2797. . View in PubMed
  • Virtual electrode design for increasing spatial resolution in retinal prosthesis Healthc Technol Lett. 2016 Jun; 3(2):93-7. . View in PubMed
  • In Vivo Magnetic Stimulation of Rat Sciatic Nerve With Centimeter- and Millimeter-Scale Solenoid Coils IEEE Trans Neural Syst Rehabil Eng. 2016 11; 24(11):1138-1147. . View in PubMed
  • On the computation of a retina resistivity profile for applications in multi-scale modeling of electrical stimulation and absorption Phys Med Biol. 2016 06 21; 61(12):4491-505. . View in PubMed
  • A µm-Scale Computational Model of Magnetic Neural Stimulation in Multifascicular Peripheral Nerves IEEE Trans Biomed Eng. 2015 Dec; 62(12):2837-49. . View in PubMed
  • A 3-D admittance-level computational model of a rat hippocampus for improving prosthetic design Annu Int Conf IEEE Eng Med Biol Soc. 2015; 2015:2295-8. . View in PubMed
  • Ferrite core non-linearity in coils for magnetic neurostimulation Healthc Technol Lett. 2014 Oct; 1(4):87-91. . View in PubMed
  • A µm-resolution heterogeneous tissue model for the magnetic stimulation of multifascicular sciatic nerve Annu Int Conf IEEE Eng Med Biol Soc. 2014; 2014:5679-82. . View in PubMed
  • A multi-scale computational model for the study of retinal prosthetic stimulation Annu Int Conf IEEE Eng Med Biol Soc. 2014; 2014:6100-3. . View in PubMed
  • Magnetic stimulation of mammalian peripheral nerves in vivo: an alternative to functional electrical stimulation Annu Int Conf IEEE Eng Med Biol Soc. 2014; 2014:2573-6. . View in PubMed
  • Multi-coil approach to reduce electromagnetic energy absorption for wirelessly powered implants Healthc Technol Lett. 2014 Jan; 1(1):21-5. . View in PubMed
  • Grand challenges in interfacing engineering with life sciences and medicine IEEE Trans Biomed Eng. 2013 Mar; 60(3):589-98. . View in PubMed
  • On the design of efficient multi-coil telemetry system for biomedical implants IEEE Trans Biomed Circuits Syst. 2013 Feb; 7(1):11-23. . View in PubMed
  • Preservation of retinotopic map in retinal degeneration Exp Eye Res. 2012 May; 98:88-96. . View in PubMed
  • Modeling and percept of transcorneal electrical stimulation in humans IEEE Trans Biomed Eng. 2011 Jul; 58(7):1932-9. . View in PubMed
  • Modeling cellular lysis in skeletal muscle due to electric shock IEEE Trans Biomed Eng. 2011 May; 58(5):1286-93. . View in PubMed
  • Spatial characterization of electric potentials generated by pulsed microelectrode arrays Annu Int Conf IEEE Eng Med Biol Soc. 2010; 2010:6243-6. . View in PubMed
  • On the thermal elevation of a 60-electrode epiretinal prosthesis for the blind IEEE Trans Biomed Circuits Syst. 2008 Dec; 2(4):289-300. . View in PubMed
  • Thermal effects of bioimplants IEEE Eng Med Biol Mag. 2005 Sep-Oct; 24(5):75-81. . View in PubMed
  • Thermal elevation in the human eye and head due to the operation of a retinal prosthesis IEEE Trans Biomed Eng. 2004 Aug; 51(8):1469-77. . View in PubMed
  • Two-dimensional SPICE-linked multiresolution impedance method for low-frequency electromagnetic interactions IEEE Trans Biomed Eng. 2003 Jul; 50(7):881-9. . View in PubMed
  • Retinal prosthesis for the blind Surv Ophthalmol. 2002 Jul-Aug; 47(4):335-56. . View in PubMed
  • Currents induced in anatomic models of the human for uniform and nonuniform power frequency magnetic fields Bioelectromagnetics. 2001 Feb; 22(2):112-21. . View in PubMed
  • Comparison of numerical and experimental methods for determination of SAR and radiation patterns of handheld wireless telephones Bioelectromagnetics. 1999; Suppl 4:93-101. . View in PubMed