Brown University School of Engineering

Engineering Seminar: Biomedical Engineering

Thursday, March 5, 2020

9:00am - 10:00am

School of Engineering

Engineering Research Center, 125

Claude Clément, Founding CTO (emeritus) WYSS Center for Bio and Neuro Engineering Geneva, will present a talk: “Status and Challenges of Implantable Medical Electronics.”

Abstract: The lecture will cover the engineering challenges related to the encapsulation, connectionand wireless communication specific to implanted active devices for long term use in thehuman body. Fundamentals of hermetic encapsulation will be described as well as new trends in near-hermetic protection of electronic circuits. Specificities of “above the neck” implants will be reviewed in the view of novel neurological indications. Special focus will be put on materials for long term implants, manufacturing processes and limitations induced by human tissues and location of the implant. The described medical devices will be approached as global systems, from tissue interfaces (electrodes) to external units for communication and power transfer, the implanted electronics being the main element of the system.
Some commercially available devices, current development and anticipated future configurations will be illustrated and discussed, based on real life experience in the field. The importance of patient acceptance, user needs and risk analysis will be pointed out in order to give the audience a perception of present and future challenges.Interactions, discussions and questions from students are solicited.

Bio: Claude Clément, born in 1955, is from the French speaking part of Switzerland. He has first worked in R&D for the watch industry (Swatch Group), head of the transducers and actuators development group. He entered the world of medical technologies by heading the diversification activities of Swatch in the field of wearable programmable drug delivery pumps. Afterwards, he spent 27 years in the field of active implantable medical devices, as Dir of Manufacturing Engineering at Intermedics (now Boston Scientific), as Plant Manager of the Swiss operations at Medtronic and later as a consultant for major companies, mainly in the field of pacemakers and for various highly innovative start-ups. Starting 1996, he put in place and ramped-up the highly automated factory of Medtronic in the Lake Geneva area. Until 2014, he was CEO of MyoPowers, a start-up company developing an electromechanical implant to treat severe incontinence. Beginning of 2015, he joined the Wyss Center for Bio- and Neuro-Engineering, as CTO, putting in place and growing advanced projects for long term implantable Brain Computer Interfaces for movement restoration of paralyzed people and interaction with brain circuits. Claude left the Wyss Center in the beginning of 2020 and is currently a freelance consultant in the field of active implantable devices. He is or was founder, chairman or board member of several start-ups and small businesses. Claude is Chairman of the BioAlps Association, a diversified life science cluster in Western Switzerland. He holds a Master’s (1979) in Electrical Engineering from the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology (EPFL) in Lausanne, and an MBA (1990) from HEC at the University of Lausanne (Switzerland). He holds several patents as inventor or co-inventor and is the author of a book on Brain Computer Interface technologies (Springer, 2019).