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Circuits and Electronic Instrumentation

Title: Research and Development in Instrumentation.

Team: Prof. Eduardo Parente Ribeiro, Prof. Marlio do Couto Bonfim, Profª. Giselle Lopes Ferrari Ronque e Prof. André Mariano.
Abstract: This project aims to research and develop an instrumentation system for monitoring signals with application in industry, environment and in the medical field. Several types of sensors can be used to transduce the signals of interest. Electronic conditioning and subsequent analog-to-digital conversion is applied for digital signal processing. This project includes the study of all stages of the development of these instrumentation systems.

Title: Development of instrumentation and communication for monitoring water bodies.

Team: Prof. Eduardo Parente Ribeiro.
Abstract: This project aims to research and develop electronic devices for monitoring physical and chemical variables in rivers, lakes or the sea. The devices must electronically condition the signals coming from sensors and digitize them for transmission by radio systems to the receiving station on land. It is planned to study and improve protocols of wireless sensor networks to carry out data communication. The transmission of several types of signals from the measured variables is foreseen, in addition to the image and video of the monitored location. Study and development of techniques to reduce the energy consumption of devices will also be carried out to increase the period of operation with battery and the supply of energy from sources such as sun, wind, waves or other alternative forms.

Title: Study of Magnetic Nanoparticles Applied in Cancer Treatment.

Team: Prof. Marlio Bonfim.
Abstract: According to the World Health Organization, cancer is the second leading cause of death worldwide, being responsible for an estimated 9.6 million deaths in 2018. The consolidated and currently used treatments against cancer have strong side effects, and in some cases patients are required to suspend treatment for relief these effects. Several alternative treatments are being studied, aiming mainly to the reduction of these side effects. Among these, the use of magnetic nanoparticles (MNPs), whose main characteristics that make them biocompatible with humans are their small size (10 to 200 nm), low toxicity, in addition to the possibility of being covered with functional materials. Traditionally, applications against cancer involve the insertion of MNPs into cancer cells followed by the application of high frequency and low intensity magnetic fields, causing localized heating of cancer cells, which can lead to their death. The purpose of this work is to use MNPs to cause carcinogenic cell destruction, not by heating, but by the abrupt movement of MNP inside the cell, through the application of a high intensity external pulsed magnetic field. The abrupt movement of the MNP can cause rupture of the cell membrane as well as destruction of other structures inside the cancer cell, without causing damage to healthy cells, because its range of action is limited to the dimensions of the cell. Magnetic pulsed field generation techniques as well as high resolution confocal microscopy for visualization of the MNPs are used throughout the work.
Keywords: magnetic nanoparticles, cancer treatments, pulsed magnetic fields.

Title: Acquisition and Processing of Electromyographic Signals for Activating Human Prostheses.

Team: Prof. Marlio Bonfim.
Abstract: Engineering is becoming more and more present in the medical field, be it assisting with instrumentation and equipment or creating solutions such as prostheses and artificial organs. The prosthesis area has made significant advances to make people's lives easier or to repair a deficiency. For this purpose we have the myioletric prostheses, which are controlled by the patient through sensors on the skin. Any voluntary muscle movement is preceded by electrical impulses from the motor neurons that are applied to the periphery of the muscle fibers. The electromyography process collects part of these electrical potentials generated in the contraction of muscle fibers through electrodes placed in specific positions according to the muscles or muscle groups responsible for the movement. Even when a limb and associated musculature is lost, it is still possible to capture the electrical impulses that would originate the muscle movement, in order to be applied in the activation of a prosthesis. In this way, the electrical signals captured by the electrodes are treated and transmitted to the prosthesis control system, which, through its programming, activates the servomotors to perform the desired movements. This project aims to collect and treat the electromyography signals so that they are applied to a hand prosthesis made in a 3D printer, aiming at the reproduction of the movements of the lost limb through compact battery-powered servomechanisms and managed by microcontrollers. The development of a low-cost prosthesis is sought, enabling a greater social dissemination of the technology.

Title: Analysis and Optimization of Electromagnetic Emissions in Electro-Electronic and Communication Systems.

Team: Prof. Marlio Bonfim.
Abstract: With the increasing development and expansion of electro-electronic systems and the use of these technologies in various equipments, problems such as electromagnetic interference become more and more present in everyday life. This fact occurs significantly in equipment that has switched converters, which are potential elements that generate electromagnetic emissions. These converters are present in almost all modern equipment (electro-electronic and communications), as they enable high efficiency in energy conversion. The optimization of the design of this equipment must take into account the aspects of emission and susceptibility to electromagnetic interference, in order to guarantee reliability in the operation of the equipment and other equipment in its surroundings. This research aims to optimize the layout and arrangement of components in a circuit, development of new topologies that enable a low emission of electromagnetic radiation, as well as the reduction of electromagnetic susceptibility to external interference.

Title: Study of Magnetic Structures for Spin Electronics.

Team: Prof. Marlio Bonfim.
Abstract: Spin Electronics or Spintronics is a science that deals primarily with electronic interactions with magnetic materials, where it is important not only the electron current but also its spin state. This science has developed at great speed in recent years, due to the growing interest in fundamental studies as well as its technological applications. Among these applications, MRAM’s stand out, magnetic memories with non-volatility properties and high access speed, which promise a significant advance in the data storage segment in the near future. Theoretical and experimental aspects of Spintrônica are the focus of this research, aiming at a better understanding and consolidation of knowledge. Particularly the dynamics involved in the spin transitions and magnetic domains are analyzed in this research, because the frequency of operation of the spintronic devices is closely related to this dynamics.

Title: Design of integrated circuits and passive components for wireless communication systems.

Team: Prof. Bernardo R. B. de Almeida Leite.
Abstract: This research project focuses on the design of integrated circuits for wireless applications. The study, specification, design, simulation and test of radiofrequency and mixed-signal circuits CMOS circuits are carried out, applying innovative solutions for the optimization of their performance. Moreover, this project targets the study, design, electromagnetic simulation and modeling of passive components such as transmission lines, inductors, transformers, baluns and power combiners in advanced silicon-based technologies.

Title: Gauge Symmetries and Dimensionality Effects in Nanostructured Systems and Polymers.

Team: Prof. César Augusto Dartora.
Abstract: The present project is expected to last for 5 (five) years, aiming at the study of scale effects, dimensionality and gauge symmetries on condensed matter, and more specifically on nanostructures and organic polymers. The objectives of this project are the study charge and spin transport dynamics in nanostructures and graphene, the search for optical analogies for graphene and the study and application of polymers in photovoltaic devices. We also propose to further study extensions of the theory of Dirac fermions in fractal dimensions, as well as to try to understand and apply the gauge principle to fractional operators. It is known that fractional derivatives, unlike whole derivatives, have an intrinsic non-local character, which can have consequences in quantum mechanics. The identification of systems that can be more easily understood through fractional geometries, and eventually the study of the effect of scale, self-similarity and renormalization will also be sought. In addition to these general objectives, the continuity in the training of human resources, through the orientation of doctoral theses and master's dissertations, in the Engineering and Materials Science (PIPE / UFPR) and Electrical Engineering (PPGEE / UFPR) programs, as well as the production of teaching articles and scientific dissemination. Finally, the acquisition of a cryogenics system, currently installed at the UFPR Magnetism, Measurement and Instrumentation Laboratory (LAMMI), through a project included in the Universal Call - MCTI / CNPq No 14/2013, under the number CNPq 471521 / 2013- 2 , allows experimental studies of electrical and magnetic measurements at low temperatures, which can be explored in the orientation of theses and dissertations.

Control and Automation

Title: MEIDCO - Metaheuristics and machine learning applied to the identification, modeling, control and optimization of systems.

Team: Prof. Leandro dos Santos Coelho.
Abstract: This project aims to propose and validate innovative artificial intelligence approaches including optimization metaheuristics and efficient machine learning paradigms (deep learning models, decision trees, support vector machines, among others). In terms of application fields, the focus is on solving optimization, regression, forecasting, classification and data clustering problems in robotics, electrical power systems, finance, brain-machine interface, neuroscience, control systems, and image processing.
Key-words: Artificial intelligence, Metaheuristics, Machine learning, Deep learning, Artificial neural networks, Fuzzy systems, System identification, Time series forecasting, Control systems, Image processing.

Title: Identification and Control for Complex Systems.

Team: Prof. Gustavo Henrique da Costa Oliveira.
Abstract: This project aims to investigate problems within the field of dynamic systems, such as the design of advanced control systems and/or new systems identification methods, including aspects of analysis and simulation. New techniques are studied as well as case studies for applications in real situations are also investigated. As far as control systems are concerned, all design steps are covered. Modeling, controller synthesis, performance analysis and practical implementation of the algorithms. The main studied approaches are predictive control, robust control and non-integer-order control (fractional order control). As far as system identification method, time-domain and frequency-domain are used. The method are mainly based on orthonormal bases functions, but also vector-fitting and subspace algorithms are employed. In this project, the emphasis is on fundamental theoretical issues as well as practical applications related to different areas of engineering.

Title: Control Design in Microgrids with Renewable Energy Sources.

Team: Prof. Gustavo Henrique da Costa Oliveira.
Abstract: Microgrids are defined as a single and complex controlled system made up of a set of distributed energy resources, which may include renewable energy sources and energy storage systems. This system provides energy for its local loads and/or for the rest of the electrical system. Microgrids contain different control loops for their energy sources, operating at various hierarchical levels. Some are grid forming, that is, the controlled variables are voltage and frequency. Others are grid following and operate as a controlled current source. This is an ideal application for developing new control algorithms to improve Microgrid performance due to its natural complexity and relevance in the last decade. Therefore, this is the main objective of this project. Moreover, This being an offshoot of the R&D project developed at UFPR, the goal is also to use the UFPR benchmark in its practical studies.

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