IFMBE Scientific Challenge

Scientific Challenge of EMBEC2024


Welcome to the IFMBE Scientific Challenge Competition of the 9th European Medical and Biological Engineering and Computing Conference (EMBEC 2024). In this edition of the IFMBE Scientific Challenge, the goal is to predict responses of genetically modified HEK (human embryonic kidney cells) to pulsed electric fields. The motivation includes finding new relationships between the shape and size of the cells and their influence on the response of intracellular Ca2+ concentrations as a response to stimulation with pulsed electric fields.


Electroporation is a phenomenon in which the permeability of the cell membrane to ions and small molecules is temporarily increased after exposure to high intensity electric field pulses. Electroporation is used in various fields of medicine. The electrical pulses used in electroporation-based treatments have been shown to affect the excitability of muscle and nerve cells. However, understanding the interplay between electroporation and electrophysiological response of excitable cells is complex because both ion channel gating and electroporation depend on dynamic changes in transmembrane voltage. In the context of cell excitation, calcium ion influx is also particularly important for muscle cells because it is directly involved in the molecular machinery responsible for muscle cell contraction.

PDF with complete and detailed instructions (updated 16 February!)

Download the PDF with the complete and detailed instructions describing the Challenge itself and containing all the information relevant to your participation (updated 16 February!).

Download the EMBEC2024 Scientific Challenge Detailed Instructions

Register for the challenge

Please register using the form on the dediated page accessible via the link below. Access to the dataset and example code will be provided in the automated email you will receive after successfully filling in and submitting the registration form.

Register for the Challenge

Important dates

The challenge consists of a single phase in which participants will be given full access to the data (except for the test set). The participants will be able to submit their solutions in the form of Matlab or Python code and will receive feedback in the form of a score within a few days. Participants will be able submit multiple solutions and the best score will be counted for the final ranking.

Date Milestone
15 November 2023 Challenge Registration opens and final criteria for evaluation are published
15 November 2023 Data access and example code is available to registered participants (registration is now available – see above)
18 November 2023 Challenge is open for submissions
13 February 2024
22 February 2024
Deadline for submission of contest entries (extended)
18 February 2024
25 February 2024
Deadline for full paper submission (extended)