Signal Processing and Instrumentation Section

Skip to Main Content

Full SPIS Website | Staff Listing

Chief: Tom Pohida.

The Signal Processing and Instrumentation Section (SPIS) provides engineering research and design expertise to the NIH Intramural Research Program (IRP) for scientific projects that require advanced technology development. SPIS collaborative projects involve custom signal transduction and data acquisition; real-time signal and image processing; automation and robotic control systems; and instrumentation prototype development. Most collaborations result in the creation of novel biomedical/clinical research systems, instrumentation, and methodologies, comprised of custom hardware and application specific software.

SPIS is dedicated to fostering interdisciplinary, multi-investigator teams to solve biomedical laboratory and clinical research problems. The majority of SPIS collaborative projects span the associated disciplines of systems biology – biology, chemistry, engineering, computer science, physics, and applied mathematics. As a central, on campus, resource within the NIH IRP, SPIS’s broad range of engineering knowledge and experience provides a strong technical infrastructure required for systems biology research. This in-house technology development capability is critical to establishing an interactive environment that facilitates progress through successive iterations of experiment and theory development as systems biology projects evolve.

SPIS collaborations necessitate extensive expertise in electronic, electro-optical, mechanical, computer, and software engineering. More specifically, hands-on capabilities included: advanced analog and digital circuitry, biophysical signal transduction techniques, radio-frequency and telemetry systems, digital signal processing hardware and software, programmable logic devices, printed circuit board development, electromechanical devices, opto-electronics, mechanical 3D prototyping, video processing, systems integration and simulation, scientific programming, and computer based instrumentation for signal processing and control.

SPIS core capabilities and project accomplishments have established the group as a focal point for engineering research and technology development at the NIH. Example technology developments and projects include:

  • cDNA and protein microarray
  • tissue microarray (TMA)
  • laser capture microdissection (LCM)
  • expression microdissection (xMD)
  • chromosome microdissection
  • microfluidics, microfabrication, and microanalysis
  • single molecule, DNA, and chromatin fiber mechanics and manipulation
  • high-speed scanning spectrometry
  • atomic force microscopy (AFM)
  • electron paramagnetic resonance (EPR) imaging
  • magneticresonance imaging (MRI) and functional MRI (fMRI) methodologies and devices
  • magnetic resonance elastography (MRE) imaging
  • ultrasound imaging
  • positron emission tomography (PET) imaging
  • gamma camera imaging
  • fluorescence imaging
  • two-photon excitation fluorescence microscopy (TPEFM)
  • speech acquisition and real-time adaptive processing
  • biomechanics real-time gait analysis
  • neuro-specific nociceptive assay for mouse pain studies
  • nonhuman primate maternal-fetal monitoring
  • SCORHE: Automated video-based mouse ethology
  • pathology tissue processing methodologies
  • spectrally programmable lighting for health and rhythm entrainment