Foto del docente

Nicola Testoni

Adjunct Professor

Department of Electrical, Electronic, and Information Engineering "Guglielmo Marconi"

Curriculum vitae

Education and Training


October 2012 – December 2012: Guest Researcher at School of Aerospace Engineering, Georgia Institute of Technology, Atlanta, GA, USA. Research theme: “Bulkwave Frequency Steerable Acoustic Transducers”. Supervisor: Prof. Massimo Ruzzene.


May 2008 – May 2009: Guest Researcher at Institute of Medical Engineering, Ruhr-University Bochum (RUB), Bochum, Germany. Research theme: “Fast Simulation of Non-linear Ultrasound Fields”. Supervisor: Prof. Georg Schmitz.


April 2006 – September 2006: Visiting Ph.D at Audiovisual Communications Laboratory (LCAV), Ecole Polytechnique Federale de Lausanne (EPFL), Lausanne, Switzerland. Research theme: “Wavelet techniques for Biological Signal Processing”. Supervisor: Prof. Martin Vetterli.


January 2005 – April 10th, 2006: Ph.D. Degree in Information Technologies at Advanced Research Center on Electronic Systems “E. De Castro” (ARCES), University of Bologna, Italy. Ph.D. Degree in Information Technologies with a thesis titled “Adaptive Multi scale Biological S ignal Processing”. The work describes methods and algorithms useful to deal with the typical non-idealities present in ultrasound imaging and extracellular recordings in order to improve the overall accuracy of these methods. Excerpts of this work have already been presented at international conferences. Supervisor: Prof. Ing. Guido Masetti.


October 2002 – July 22nd, 2004: Master Level Degree with honors in Electronic Engineering with specialization in Microelectronics and Sensor Systems received from “Alma Mater Studiorum” - University of Bologna, Italy. M.Sc. in Electronic Engineering with a thesis titled Metodi per la classificazione in tempo reale di tessuti biologici” (Biological tissues real-time classification methods). The work describes the optimization of a biological tissues classification algorithm applied to ultrasonic signals in order to achieve real-time signal processing capabilities. The result of this work consists in an algorithm for non-linear echographic signal processing which has been presented at the conference “2004 International Symposium on Nonlinear Theory and its Applications” (NOLTA2004) in December 2004. Supervisors: Prof. Ing. Guido Masetti, Prof. Ing. Sergio Graffi.


September 1999 – July 24th, 2002: Bachelor Level Degree with honors in Electronic Engineering received from “Alma Mater Studiorum” - University of Bologna, Italy. B.Sc in Electronic Engineering with a thesis titled “Implementazione di un metodo geometrico per la definizione di Wavelet ortogonali” (Implementation of a geometric method for the definition of orthogonal Wavelets). The work describes a method for the definition of orthogonal Wavelet functions using a characterization based on geometrical loci. Supervisors: Prof. Ing. Guido Masetti, Prof. Ing. Sergio Graffi.


Research Activity


The research activity carried out up to now mostly concerned the definition of algorithms and circuits dedicated to the analysis and elaboration of signals exploiting the time-scale domain transform based on the multiresolution operator.


The first contact with this research field occurred in September 2001 during probation activity. The application of the waveletoperator to the identification and filtering of SONAR pulses embedded in strong additive Gaussian noise was chosen as the first research topic [8]. An extension of this work started in May 2002 during B.Sc thesis activity provided interesting results in the definition of orthogonal wavelet functions, enlightening the relationship between dilation equationcoefficient bounds and some elementary geometrical loci.


In September 2002 research activity moved to the biomedical field: the goal became the development and implementation of hardware/software algorithms dedicated to ultrasound image processing and filtering.


The use of the radio-frequency echo signal was considered mandatory to enhance real-time diagnosis and classification of biological tissues in both clinical and surgical environments. Spectral parameters were investigated through the use of both time-scale and time-frequency techniques. The optimization of biological tissues classification methods brought to the definition of an algorithm [9] capable of directly processing the input data stream from the ultrasound transducer, thus eliminating the separation between the signal acquisition and elaboration phase. Algorithm optimization was carried out so to implement them on various hardware support like DSP, FPGA and SOG: in particular, some collateral projects, aimed to the improvement of algorithm portability on SOG support, produced some scientifically interesting results [10].


From September 2004 to July 2011 the research activity directed toward the application of deconvolution based algorithms [3,11,14] to the RF signal in order to eliminate the transducer impulse response and subsequently improve the detection of cancerous region in biological tissues.


Results in this field, discussing how its is possible to integrate deconvolution techniques with advanced channel estimation algorithms, were presented in [,4,15,16]. Here, a reduced complexity Viterbi Algorithm is used in combination with adaptive alphabet estimations and a bank of Least Mean Square adaptive filters to perform ultrasound images deconvolution with very high accuracy. Tissue characterization through speckle statistics was also investigated in [12], showing that speckle noise in ultrasound images, although it is usually regarded as something that must be removed from the incoming signal to improve classification performance, carries meaningful information about the tissue. These results were also corroborated by extensive studies in the urological medical field [5,6,7,25,26,27] by applying an ad-hoc optimized version of the developed algorithm capable of real-time ultrasound data processing [19].


Since September 2011 research activity investigated the application of guided ultrasonic waves to the non-destructive inspection and testing of homogeneous and composite materials.


The development of innovative smart sensors based on a frequency-conscious transducer design allowed for the fast inspection of plates for impact detection and damage assessment [20]. Low power circuit design and compressed-sensing system architecture [21,22,23,24] are deemed to be mandatory for the large scale application of this technique in the aeronautical field.


Research activity carried out abroad consisted of 21 months. First, during 2006, at the EPFL LCAV laboratory, performance improvement of neural spike sorting algorithm was tackled by developing an innovative flexible signal model and defining an adaptive multiscale algorithm for signal denoising capable of dealing with different noise models [13]. Then during 2008, at the RUB Institute of Medical Engineering, fast and accurate techniques for the simulation of non-linear ultrasound fields were developed in order to better understand the effect that non-idealities have on the nonlinear propagation of ultrasound pulses [17,18]. Finally, during 2012, at the Gatech School of Aerospace Engineering, the design of compact ultrasound sensors capable of steering the acoustic beam according to its temporal frequency was tackled. An invention disclosure was filed due to the originality and flexibility of the sensor design [1].


Publications


- Invention disclosures


  1. M. Ruzzene, N.Testoni, “Bulk Wave Frequency Steerable Acoustic”, Georgia Tech Research Corporation ID# 6251.


- Contributions to books


  1. A. Palladini, N. Testoni, L. De Marchi, N. Speciale, Acoustical Imaging vol. 29, “ML Estimation for Acoustical Image Deblurring”, pp. 417-422, Kanagawa, Japan, 2008, Springer (ISBN 978-1-4020-8822-3).


- Journal papers


  1. S. Maggio, N. Testoni, L. De Marchi, N. Speciale, G. Masetti, “Ultrasound Images Enhancement by means of Deconvolution Algorithms in the Wavelet Domain”, WSEAS Transaction on Systems, vol. 4, no. 11, pp. 1958-1965, 2005.

  2. A. Palladini, N. Testoni, L. De Marchi, N. Speciale, “A Reduced Complexity Estimation Algorithm for Ultrasound Images De-Blurring”, Computer Methods and Programs in Biomedicine, vol. 95, no. 2, supplement 1, pp. S4-S11, 2009.

  3. N. Testoni, N. Speciale, A. Bertaccini, D. Marchiori, M. Fiorentino, F. Manferrari, R. Schiavina, R. Cividini, F. Galluzzo, S. Maggio, E. Biagi, L. Masotti, G. Masetti, G. Martorana, “A retrospective study to reduce prostate biopsy cores by a real time interactive tool”, Archivio italiano di urologia, andrologia, vol. 82, no. 4, pp. 238-241, 2010.

  4. N. Testoni, N. Speciale, A. Bertaccini, D. Marchiori, M. Fiorentino, F. Manferrari, R. Schiavina, R. Cividini, F. Galluzzo, S. Maggio, E. Biagi, L. Masotti, G. Masetti, G. Martorana, “Reducing the Number of Prostate Biopsy Cores Using a Real-Time Tool”, Anticancer Research, vol. 31, no. 5, pp. 1943-1944, 2011.

  5. F. Galluzzo, N. Testoni, L. De Marchi, N. Speciale, G. Masetti, “Improving Prostate Biopsy Protocol with a Computer Aided Detection Tool Based on Semi-supervised Learning”, Lecture Notes in Computer Science, vol. 6963, pp. 109-120, 2011.


- International conference papers

  1. A. Marcianesi, N. Testoni, R. Padovani, N. Speciale, G. Masetti, “FPGA Implementation of QCWT Based Algorithm for Filtering Low SNR Signals”, Proceedings of IEEE-EURASIP Workshop on Nonlinear Signal and Image Processing (NSIP 2003), Grado, Italy, Jun 2003.

  2.  N. Testoni, L. De Marchi, N. Speciale, G. Masetti, “Real-time Classification Methods for Biological Tissues”, Proceedings of IEICE (NOLTA 2004), pp. 537-540, Fukuoka, Japan, Dec. 2004.

  3.  N. Testoni, M. Cisterni, E. Franchi, “A Regular Modular Architecture for Pipelined Binary Tree Multipliers Based on a SOG Structure”, Proceedings of 2005 Conference on Ph.D. Research in Microelectronics and Electronics (PRIME 2005), pp. 44-47, Lausanne, Switzerland, Jul. 2005.

  4.  S. Maggio, N. Testoni, L. De Marchi, N. Speciale, G. Masetti, “Wavelet-based Deconvolution Algorithms Applied to Ultrasound Images”, International Conference on Signal Processing, Computational Geometry and Artificial Vision (WSEAS 2005), pp. 77-81, Malta, Sept. 2005.

  5.  L. De Marchi, N. Testoni, N. Speciale, “Prostate Tissue Characterization via Ultrasound Speckle Statistics”, Proceedings of (ISSPIT 2006), pp. 208{211, Vancouver,Canada, Aug. 2006.

  6.  N. Testoni, N. Speciale, A. Ridolfi, C. Pouzat, “Adaptive Wavelet-based signal Dejittering”, Proceedings of 2007 Conference on Ph.D. Research in Microelectronics and Electronics (PRIME 2007), pp. 257-260, Bordeaux, France, Jun. 2007.

  7.  A. Palladini, N. Testoni, L. De Marchi, N. Speciale, “A Reduced Complexity Estimation Algorithm for Ultrasound Images De-Blurring”, International Symposium on Computer-based Medical Systems (CBMS 2007), pp. 275-280, Maribor, Slovenia, Jun. 2007.

  8.  L. De Marchi, A. Palladini, N. Testoni, N. Speciale, “Blurred Ultrasonic Images as ISI-Affected Signals: Joint Tissue Response Estimation and Channel Tracking in the Proposed Paradigm”, IEEE Ultrasonics Symposium (IUS 2007), pp. 1270-1273, New York, USA, Nov. 2007.

  9.  N. Testoni, L. De Marchi, N. Speciale, G. Masetti, “Non-Minimum Phase Iterative Deconvolution of Ultrasound Images”, Proceedings of the 4th European conference of the International Federation for Medical and Biological Engineering (IFMBE 2008), pp. 664-668, Antwerp, Belgium, Nov. 2008.

  10.  N. Testoni, K. Hensel, M. Siepmann, N. Speciale, G. Schmitz, “Noniterative second harmonic ultrasound field simulations: an axisymmetric approach”, Proceedings of 2009 NAG-DAGA International Conference on Acoustic (DAGA 2009), Rotterdam, Netherlands, Mar. 2009.

  11.  N. Testoni, K. Hensel, M. Siepmann, N. Speciale, G. Schmitz, “Fast Simulation of Second Harmonic Ultrasound Fileds”, Proceedings of 2009 International Ultrasonic Symposium (IUS 2009), Rome, Italy, Sep. 2009.

  12.  N. Testoni, S. Maggio, F. Galluzzo, L. De Marchi, N. Speciale, “rtCAB: A tool for reducing unnecessary prostate biopsy cores”, Proceedings of 2010 International Ultrasonic Symposium (IUS 2010), San Diego, CA, USA, Oct. 2010.

  13.  L. De Marchi, A. Marzani, A. Perelli, N. Testoni and N. Speciale, “Guided waves characterization of bamboo fibers reinforced composites”, Proceedings of 2011 International Congress on Ultrasonics (ICU 2011), pp.447-450, Gdansk, Poland, Sep. 2011.

  14.  L. De Marchi, E. Baravelli, N. Testoni, N. Speciale, M. Ruzzene, “Low Power SHM via Frequency-Steerable Acoustic Transducers and Compressive Sensing”, Proceedings of 6th European Workshop on Structural Health Monitoring (EWSHM 2012), Dresden, Germany, Jul. 2012.

  15.  A. Perelli, T. Di Ianni, L. De Marchi, N. Testoni, N. Speciale, “Compressive Sensing with Warped Frequency Models in Lamb Waves Damage Detection Procedures”, Proceedings of 2012 International Ultrasonic Symposium (IUS 2012), Dresden, Germany, Oct. 2012.

  16.  L. De Marchi, A. Marzani, M. Miniaci, A. Perelli, N. Testoni, “Localization of defects in irregular waveguides by dispersion compensation and pulse compression”, Proceedings of 2013 SPIE Smart Structures and Materials + Nondestructive Evaluation and Health Monitoring, San Diego, USA, Mar 2013.

  17.  N. Testoni, L. De Marchi, N. Speciale, “Bulk wave FSAT for 2D optic fiber endoscopic echography”, Proceedings of 2013 International Ultrasonic Symposium (IUS 2013), Prague, Czech Republic, Jul. 2013, in press.

- National Conference Papers

  1. N. Testoni, N. Speciale, A. Bertaccini, D. Marchiori, M. Fiorentino, F. Manferrari, R. Schiavina, R. Cividini, E. Biagi, L. Masotti, G. Masetti, G. Martorana, “A retrospective study to reduce prostate biopsy cores by a real time interactive tool”, Atti del 17° Congresso Nazionale SIEUN, Bari, Italy, Nov. 2010.

  2. N. Testoni, N. Speciale, A. Bertaccini, D. Marchiori, M. Fiorentino, F. Manferrari, R. Schiavina, R. Cividini, M. Giampaoli, S. Maggio, F. Galluzzo, G. Masetti, G. Martorana, “Reducing Prostate Biopsy Cores by a Real Time Tool”, Atti del 21° Congresso Nazionale SIUrO, Napoli, Italy, Jun. 2011.

  3. D. Marchiori, N. Testoni, N. Speciale, A. Bertaccini, M. Fiorentino, F. Manferrari, R. Schiavina, R. Cividini, M. Giampaoli, F. Galluzzo, S. Maggio, G. Masetti, G. Martorana, “A one year retrospective study to reduce prostate biopsy cores by a real time tool”, Atti dell'84° Congresso Nazionale SIU, Roma, Italy, Oct. 2011.