Sylvain Martel received the Ph.D. degree in Electrical Engineering from McGill University, Institute of Biomedical Engineering, Montréal, Canada, in 1997. Following postdoctoral studies at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), he was appointed Research Scientist at the BioInstrumentation Laboratory, Department of Mechanical Engineering at MIT. From Feb. 2001 to Sept. 2004, he had dual appointments at MIT and as Assistant Professor in the Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering, and the Institute of Biomedical Engineering at École Polytechnique de Montréal (EPM), Campus of the University of Montréal, Montréal, Canada. He is currently Professor in the Department of Computer Engineering and the Institute of Biomedical Engineering, and Director of the NanoRobotics Laboratory at EPM that he founded in 2002. Dr. Martel holds the Canada Research Chair (CRC) in Micro/Nanosystem Development, Fabrication and Validation since 2001. He has over 200 refereed publications, several patents, gives several invited presentations annually, and he is an active member in many international committees and organizations worldwide. Dr. Martel’s main expertise is in the field of nanorobotics, micro- and nano-systems, and the development of novel instrumented platforms and a variety of related support technologies targeted mainly for biomedical and bioengineering applications, and nanotechnology. He has a vast experience in electronics, computer engineering, and also worked extensively in biomedical and mechanical engineering.
In the past, Dr. Martel developed several innovative systems including the first parallel computer specialized for remote micro-surgeries, new medical systems used worldwide for isochronal and isopotential direct cardiac mappings capable to operate under cardiac defibrillations and enabling world leading cardiologists to better understand the causes of sudden cardiac death and ventricular fibrillation. He developed new types of computers and networks, hundreds of other electronic systems including dynamically reconfigurable networked control systems, and developed with internationally renowned neurologists at Brown University, new brain-machine implants and interfaces.
Presently, Dr. Martel leads a multidisciplinary team involved in research and development of new instrumented platforms mainly for the medical field and in bioengineering. He is also involved in the development of nano-factories based on a fleet of scientific instruments configured as autonomous miniature robots capable of high throughput screening in biotechnology and autonomous operations at the molecular scale. He is also active in the development of minimally invasive tools based on microdevices propelled in the blood vessels by magnetic gradients generated by Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI) systems for tumor targeting and other applications. He is also active in the development of biosensors designed to be navigated through the blood vessels that could potentially be targeted at the brain for non-invasive recording and imaging of brain activities with high spatial resolution. He is also developing various microsystems using and integrating magnetotactic bacteria as computer controlled functional components for various applications including but not limited to the fast detection of pathogenic bacteria and as bio-carriers for drug delivery in cancer therapy. As such, he is leading highly interdisciplinary projects that include Micro-Electro-Mechanical System (MEMS), System-on-Chip (SoC)-based microsystems, microbiology, nanotechnology, and many other fields.
Beside its academic and industrial experience, between 1976 and 2004, Dr. Martel had several positions in the Canadian Naval Reserve, including 8 years as ship’s diver and supervisor, and many years as navigator, operations officer, etc., and participated in several NATO exercises. From 1994 to 2004, he was acting as warship commanding officer involved mainly in coastal defense operations along the Atlantic and Pacific coasts.