Last updated: 10.01.2008
Bulgarian Society of Biomedical Physics and Engineering
The Bulgarian Society of Biomedical Physics and Engineering (BSBPE) was founded in 1971. It is a collective member of the Union of Scientists in Bulgaria and the Union of the Bulgarian Medical Societies.
From 1962 to 1971 the "medical physicists" were members of the Bulgarian Society of Radiology while the "biomedical engineers" - members of the Section of Medical Electronics in the Bulgarian Physiological Society. In 1971 these two groups of scientists merged to form the new Bulgarian Society of Biomedical Physics and Engineering. Thus, one of the oldest biomedical scientific societies in the world and a co-founder of the International Organization of Medical Physicists (IOMP) and the European Federation of the Organizations of Medical Physicists (EFOMP) came to life. Among the founders of the Society were the medical physicists Prof. V. Vransky, R. Poppitz, V. Pentchev, M. Gantchev and the medical engineers D. Karadimov, I. Stamboliev, Prof. I. Daskalov.
The activities of the Society include: organization of national conferences, distribution of information on scientific research and development from the country and abroad as well as practical implementations, expertise, revision of new books, approbation of dissertations or publications, celebration of anniversaries of important scientific events, participation in the education and postgraduate training of medical physicists and engineers from Bulgaria and abroad, consultations to governmental and non-governmental institutions (advising the Ministry of Health and other government agencies) on major problems of medical physics and engineering such as acquisition of special instrumentation and distribution of clinical physics and engineering services, etc. (see also BSBPE report at the WC2006). Through the years the activities varied and have been carried out with different intensity
Since 1972 the Society holds its regular scientific National Conferences each four years. Scientists from all Central and Eastern European countries, France, Germany, England, India, from USA, Canada and Australia actively participated in the nine conferences by presenting papers and joining the discussions. In the scope of the conferences WHO-seminars, IOMP- and EFOMP-supported meetings and IAEA-workshops have been organized in order to follow actual problems and trends in special fields (modern procedures and instrumentation, quality assurance, harmonization of standards and legislation, education and training among others).
The Annual Colloquium “Physics in Protection of Man and Environment”, jointly organized by the BSBPE and the Sofia Division of the Union of Bulgarian Physicists, also gained wide acceptance and popularity as it is convened already 27 years in succession. Every year in June specific ecological objectives are tackled, attracting most of the specialists. The Proceedings of the National conferences and the Colloquia are published and distributed to the participants and many institutions including public libraries.
The Bulgarian Society of Biomedical Physics and Engineering (BSBPE) is a collective member of the International Organization of Medical Physics (IOMP), the European Federation of the Organizations for Medical Physics (EFOMP), the International Federation of Medical and Biological Engineering (IFMBE) and the European Association of Medical ….. Engineering and Sciences (EAMBES). Good collaboration is realized with all of them. They provide the BSBPE with information and support for participation in international schools and conferences. IOMP donated to BSBPE many medical physics books and journal series. Two IOMP sponsored Medical Physics Libraries – in Sofia and in Shumen are accessible to all Bulgarian specialists. The BSBPE is maintaining good contacts with the identical organizations in Germany, Czech Republic, Poland, Hungary, Greece, Turkey and others. Thanks to Dr. D. White since 1992 the BSBPE has collaborated actively with the Clinical Science Foundation – London. The latter subsidized three seminars on Radiation Physics with invited lecturers from abroad, and financially supported members of the BSBPE to participate in the 8th Congress of the Bulgarian Association of Radiology in Varna, October 1995. On occasion of the Centenary of the invention of X-rays Prof. V. C. Roberts (Kings College, London) and Dr. S. Tabakov (a regular member of the BSBPE) initiated the Project “TEMPUS”, financed by the European Commission, and realized as international postgraduate course on Medical Radiation Physics at the Medical Institute and the Technical University in Plovdiv.
The Medical Radiation Physics was the first developed area of Medical Physics in Bulgaria. Its beginning could be marked by the work of Prof. A. Sakhatchiev in 1920 on the measurement of X-rays. The first medical physicist who worked in the field of ionizing radiation dosimetry in Bulgaria was Prof. V. Vransky. He also was the first lecturer in the postgraduate courses for medical doctors on radiological dosimetry and radiotherapy as well as the author of the first manual in this field (Fundamentals of Radiological Dosimetry, 1953). Prof. Vransky worked in a period when an intensive development of radiology, radiotherapy and nuclear medicine emerged. His active assistant was Mrs. Stefanova – the first woman-medical physicist in the country. Laboratories of clinical dosimetry and radiation protection were established for the first time at the former Institute of Postgraduate Medicine, presently the University Hospital "Queen Giovanna", and at the National Oncology Centre. The Ministry of Health founded a Quality Control Laboratory for Radiology and Radiotherapy, authorized to supervise all hospitals. This facility at the University Hospital was transformed in 1975 to a National Secondary Standard Laboratory of Ionizing Radiation Dosimetry. Since 1977 it is included in the network of secondary dosimetry laboratories under the IAEA and the WHO. The Laboratory is participating in international comparative studies and is responsible for the regular supervision of the Co-60 teletherapy units in the country. The Clinical Dosimetry Laboratory at the National Oncology Centre takes part in international comparative studies on dosimetry of high energy electrons and photons and of X-rays, organized by the IAEA. The second accelerator in Eastern Europe ("Betatron 42 MeV") has been operating in the Centre from 1969 to 1999 when replaced by a new Linac.
At present the radiology physics is the most developed area of Medical Physics in Bulgaria. About 30 medical physicists work in the national and regional centres of radiotherapy and nuclear medicine. The Radiation Protection Laboratories established in 1960 as well as the respective Departments to the Regional Environment and Public Health Protection Inspectorates employ about 100 specialists, and the majority of them are physicists. They are under the methodological supervision of the National Centre of Radiobiology and Radiation Protection - NCRRP, the latter itself being an institute where numerous physicists are engaged in scientific research and training activity, too.
The second largest group of physicists is concentrated on the control and investigation in the sanitary hygiene connected with different harmful agents and factors. The Laboratory of Physical Factors incl. Non-ionizing Radiation at the National Centre of Public Health Protection - NCPHP (former NCHMEN) is very active. Its functions include research, teaching (Bachelor’s and Master’ degrees), standardization and inspections throughout the country.
The NCRRP and the NCPHP are appointed to realize the harmonization of the Bulgarian legislation with the EU one in the fields of ionizing and non-ionizing radiation. At present both Institutions are implementing the corresponding National Programs on the EC MED on Patient Exposure and the WHO Policy for EMF Exposure (WHO-EMF).
Another group of physicists are engaged in the field of climatology and therapy in a climatic environment. Their efforts are significant in view of the utilization of the various favorable climatic conditions in Bulgaria.
Postgraduate educational courses in Medical Radiation Physics, and Medical and Hygiene Physics are regularly organized by the Medical University of Sofia. The courses duration is minimum 3 years following steadily updated curricula. Master of Science degree may be obtained at three Departments: Dpt.of Applied Physics at the Shumen University, the InterUniversity Center in Plovdiv and the Faculty of Physics at the Sofia University. Several tenths of physicists mainly involved in radiotherapy and nuclear medicine also in hygiene and metrology have graduated. Many of them are occupied in the Departments of Medical Physics and Biophysics at the Bulgarian Medical Universities. Short courses and individual training programmes in Medical Radiation Physics are also organised by several research centres in this field. Educational and training activities for physicists and engineers in radiology and radiotherapy are supported by IAEA, EFOMP, EC and other international and some national organizations through research contracts, fellowship grants, measurements instrumentation, etc.
The first biomedical engineer in Bulgaria was S. Karadimov who had introduced X-ray and electrical therapy instrumentation in the country yet before the Second World War. He was a representative of a foreign manufacturer and established a service and maintenance facility. These activities were further developed by himself and the X-ray technicians S. Stefanov and V. Stefanov. In 1956 the medical technology attracted several young engineers - K. Popov and E. Milev who contributed to the maintenance of the more complex medical equipment. Under the supervision of S. Karadimov local production of electrotherapy devices has been started. The research group: K. Marinchev, D. Karadimov, I. Stamboliev and I. Daskalov, managed the production. Several years later L. Jovev and K. Popov, assisted by I. Dotsinsky, headed the newly established Institute of Medical Engineering with both objectives - development and production control of medical instrumentation. Later the Department of Biomedical Engineering, a research and clinical engineering unit, within the Medical Academy (today the Medical University in Sofia) was established, and its Head was Prof. I. Daskalov.
I.Stamboliev initiated the education of medical engineers in 1974. A specialization of medical electronics was set up within the Department of Electronics Engineering at the Technical University of Sofia. Despite some decline in the interest in engineering sciences in the last years in average 45 graduated in medical electronics.
Teaching and research activities are combined due to the intense collaboration between the Faculty of Electronics Engineering and Technology and the Central Laboratory of Biomedical Engineering “Prof. I. Daskalov” of the Bulgarian Academy of Sciences. Ph.D. and diploma theses are jointly supervised. Common projects are developed. Relations to several industrial groups are well maintained. In the last years educational activities in biomedical engineering were undertaken at the Technical Universities in Varna, Plovdiv (a Division of the Technical University in Sofia) and Gabrovo. Considerable improvement was achieved due to the EC supported Project "TEMPUS": about 10 Bulgarian students could attend the international postgraduate bioengineering course at the University of Patras (Greece) and Bulgarian professors have the opportunity to participate by lecturing in this course.
Scientific research and development work in biomedical engineering is mainly concentrated in several institutions in Sofia: the Centre of Biomedical Engineering, the bioengineering groups at the Institute of Physiology and the Institute of Biophysics at the Bulgarian Academy of Sciences, the Department of Medical Electronics at the Technical University in Sofia, the Clinical Engineering Department at the Medical University (some years ago at the Military Medical Academy, too). More than 500 papers on different topics of biomedical engineering have been published in international scientific journals and books by our researchers cited by more than 800 authors abroad.
Clinical Engineering has a prolong tradition in Bulgaria. About 800 engineers and technicians are occupied in this field. Some of them are in separate service offices as representatives of foreign manufacturers and some are clinical engineers in large hospitals throughout the country. The majority of them are graduated in medical electronics at the Technical University in Sofia.
The medical engineering industry used to include assemblies of X-ray units manufactured by foreign firms in the locally developed X-ray units and electrotherapy devices, standard blood pressure measurement devices, surgical instruments and so on.
Please, find hereafter the actual state of the Society Officers elected during the Tenth National Conference on Biomedical Physics and Engineering for the period 2008 -2012 :
President: Assoc. Prof. Eng. Peter Trindev, PhD
Vice-President: Ass oc . Prof. Athanas Slavchev, PhD
Secretary: Ass. Prof. Lubomir Traikov, PhD
Treasurer: Roumen Georgiev, PhD
Education and Training : Assoc. Prof. Jenia Vassileva , PhD
Past-President : 2000-2008
Information about the 10th National Conference on Biomedical Physics and Engineering
with international participation
Information about the 9th National Conference on Biomedical Physics and Engineering with international participation
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