Graduate School of Biomedical Engineering Open Lab

Join us in Week 6 of Term 2 (4th, 6-8th July) for a week of great opportunities to learn more about the exciting research that is done in the Graduate School of Biomedical Engineering. This will be an in-person event on the UNSW Kensington Campus and for the first time EVER, we will throw open our labs and take you on exciting tours with demonstrations and information titbits.

Our academics have especially blocked times in their calendars for this special event so take advantage and sign-up based on your interests in the various research areas our academics have expertise in (see below information).

Sign up is super easy. Just click the Eventbrite link and choose as many time slots as you want for each academic you want to visit. Places in each time slot are limited so hurry.

Academic Name:

Mohit Shivdasani

(Meeting location: Samuels Building, F25, Level 5, Room 515)

Timeslot(s) Available:

Monday: 3:30-4:00 PM

Wednesday: 2:00-2:30 PM

Thursday: 2:00-2:30 PM

Friday: 2:00-2:30 PM

Maximum Students in Each Session: 5

Research Area(s):

neural prostheses; neuromodulation; electrophysiology

Research Overview:

My research focuses on the design and development of various medical bionic devices to treat sensory and inflammatory conditions using electrical stimulation of neurons and/or nerves in the body, where pharmacological and surgical interventions do not work. These include better cochlear implants for music perception, a high-resolution capable bionic eye, a device to treat chronic pain through peripheral nerve stimulation and a device to treat severe inflammation of the bowel caused by inflammatory bowel disease. In this lab tour, I will show you the various tools and toys we use in such device development as well as help you visualize some of the cool biological experiments we perform.

 

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Academic:

Hamid Rokny

(Meeting location: Biological Sciences South Building, E26, Level 1, Room 1002)

Timeslot(s) Available:

Monday: 10:00-10:30 AM; 10:30-11:00 AM; 11:00-11:30 AM; 12:00-12:30 PM; 1:30-2:00 PM

Wednesday: 9:30-10:00 AM; 11:00-11:30 AM; 12:00-12:30 PM; 1:30-2:00 PM; 2:00-2:30 PM; 2:30-3:00 PM; 3:00-3:30 PM

Thursday: 9:30-10:00 AM; 12:00-12:30 PM; 1:30-2:00 PM

Friday: 9:30-10:00 AM; 10:00-10:30 AM; 10:30-11:00 AM; 11:00-11:30 AM; 11:30-12:00 PM; 12:00-12:30 PM; 1:30-2:00 PM

Maximum Students in Each Session: 5

Research Area(s):

Artificial Intelligence (AI), Machine Learning (ML), Health Data Science, Bioinformatics, Biomedical Pattern Recognition and Data Mining, Genomics, Neurogenetics, Cancer Genetics, Biomedical Image Processing,

Research Overview:

My research focuses on using innovative data analytic techniques including AI and ML techniques in conjunction with biomedical data to reveal novel disease-related biomarkers. We usually have extensive collaborations with national and international institutes including UWA, Uni Adelaide, SUT, Texas Biomed, Scripps Research Institute, RIKEN Japan, and Rutgers University. We are keen to see accurate diagnostic tools implemented into the clinic to improve the health care and personalised medicine in the Australian healthcare system.

 

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Academic Name:

Thanh Nho (Michael) Do

(Meeting location: Biological Sciences South Building, E26, Level 1, Lab Area)

Timeslot(s) Available:

Monday: 10:00-10:30 AM; 10:30-11:00 AM; 11:00-11:30 AM; 11:30-12:00 PM, 1:30-2:00 PM; 2:00-2:30 PM; 2:30-3:00 PM

Wednesday: 10:00-10:30 AM; 10:30-11:00 AM; 11:00-11:30 AM; 11:30-12:00 PM

Maximum Students in Each Session: 8

Research Area(s):

Surgical robotics; wearable haptics; soft robotics; artificial muscles and organs; wearable devices; biomimetic sensors

Research Overview:

My research mainly focuses on the development of advanced flexible surgical robots, soft robotics, soft capsule robots, medical devices, wearable haptic systems, soft exoskeletons, soft assistive systems for heart failure, and control of mechatronic systems. Detail can be found in my lab website: https://www.medicalrobotics-lab.com/.

They generally include the following topics:

  • Flexible surgical devices, especially Natural Orifice Transluminal Endoscopic Surgery (NOTES) systems, for gastrointestinal cancer treatments.
  • Soft Wearable Haptic Devices for VR/AR and teleoperation.
  • Soft robotics including stretchable sensors and actuators for haptic/tactile displays and medical applications.
  • Soft assistive device for heart failure and soft artificial organs
  • Soft exoskeleton for rehabilitation and human augmentation.
  • Functional materials for soft electronics and biomedical applications
  • Soft magnetic capsule endoscopy for obesity treatments and gastrointestinal diagnosis
  • Advanced control algorithms (feedforward and nonlinear adaptive control) for flexible medical systems and smart materials and structures

 

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Academic Name:

Michael Stevens

(Meeting location: Samuels Building, F25, Ground Floor Foyer)

Timeslot(s) Available:

Thursday: 1:30-2:00 PM; 2:00-2:30 PM; 2:30-3:00 PM; 3:00-3:30 PM; 3:30-4:00 PM

Friday: 9:30-10:00 AM; 10:00-10:30 AM; 10:30-11:00 AM; 11:00-11:30 AM; 2:00-2:30 PM; 2:30-3:00 PM; 3:00-3:30 PM; 3:30-4:00 PM

Maximum Students in Each Session: 5

Research Area(s):

Cardiovascular System and Diseases; Diagnostic Methods

Research Overview:

Chances are high that you or someone you know is affected by cardiovascular disease. It’s one of the biggest killers in the developed world, and costs Australia billions of dollars annually to treat. The best course of treatment is a heart transplant – but fewer than 100 of these are performed in Australia each year.

My research focuses on Artificial Hearts – developing and improving mechanical hearts that can assist or completely replace a failed heart inside the body. On this tour you’ll get exposed to clinical devices, as well as see how we test them on the bench. You’ll see how we use a combination of knowledge in mechanical engineering, electrical engineering, mechatronics engineering, biology, physiology and fluid mechanics to develop the latest in artificial heart research.

 

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Academic Name:

Megan Lord

(Meeting location: Samuels Building, F25, Level 5 Reception)

Timeslot(s) Available:

Friday: 10:30-11:00 AM

Maximum Students in Each Session: 5

Research Area(s):

Regenerative medicine (incl. stem cells), Nanomaterials, Biomaterials

 

Research Overview:

My research mainly focuses on biomaterials (including nanomaterials) design to direct cell responses for applications in tissue repair and drug delivery, biophysical analyses of protein and cell interactions with biomaterials and nanomaterials, extracellular matrix molecule biochemistry as well as in vitro and in vivo models of angiogenesis.

 

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Academic Name:

Robert Nordon

(Meeting location: Samuels Building, F25, Level 5 Reception)

Timeslot(s) Available:

Monday: 1:30-2:00 PM; 2:00-2:30 PM; 2:30-3:00 PM; 3:00-3:30 PM

Wednesday: 9:30-10:00 AM; 10:00-10:30 AM; 10:30-11:00 AM; 11:00-11:30 AM; 11:30-12:00 PM; 12:00-12:30 PM; 2:00-2:30 PM; 2:30-3:00 PM; 3:00-3:30 PM; 3:30-4:00 PM

Thursday: 9:30-10:00 AM; 10:00-10:30 AM; 10:30-11:00 AM; 11:00-11:30 AM; 11:30-12:00 PM; 12:00-12:30 PM; 1:30-2:00 PM; 2:00-2:30 PM; 2:30-3:00 PM; 3:00-3:30 PM; 3:30-4:00 PM

Friday: 9:30-10:00 AM; 10:00-10:30 AM; 10:30-11:00 AM; 11:00-11:30 AM; 11:30-12:00 PM; 12:00-12:30 PM; 1:30-2:00 PM

Maximum Students in Each Session: 5

Research Area(s):

Regenerative Medicine (incl. Stem Cells and Tissue Engineering), Medical Devices, Cell Development, Proliferation and Death; Cell separation; Bioreactor systems for cell therapies

Research Overview:

I work closely with industry in the fields of advanced manufacturing and medical technologies. Since 2016 I have been awarded over $5M in research grant funding in the fields of point-of-care diagnostics, cell and gene therapy manufacture and stem cell science.

 

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Academic Name:

Jelena Rnjak-Kovacina

(Meeting location: Samuels Building, F25, Level 5 Reception)

Timeslot(s) Available:

Monday: 3:00-3:30 PM; 3:30-4:00 PM

Friday: 3:00-3:30 PM; 3:30-4:00 PM

Maximum Students in Each Session: 5

Research Area(s):

Biomaterials, Regenerative Medicine (incl. Stem Cells and Tissue Engineering), Biochemistry and Cell Biology, Functional Materials, Cardiovascular Medicine and Haematology

Research Overview:

My research interests are at the interface of biology and engineering, focusing on the development of novel materials and medical devices for the treatment of cardiovascular disease. I develop biomimetic biomaterials to study the effects of physical and biological cues on the formation of new blood vessels and use these materials to develop functional medical implants, including vascular grafts, cardiac patches and wound dressings.

 

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Academic Name:

Ewa Goldys

(Meeting location: Biological Sciences South Building, E26, Level 1, Outside Meeting Rooms 1063 and 1064)

Timeslot(s) Available:

Monday: 1:30-2:00 PM; 3:00-3:30 PM; 3:30-4:00 PM

Thursday: 3:00-3:30 PM; 3:30-4:00 PM

Maximum Students in Each Session: 5

Research Area(s):

Bioimaging and biosensing: Biomedical diagnostics based on colours and shapes of cells and tissues. Point of care/end-user molecular analytics e.g  Covid rapid antigen tests.

Research Overview:

At Prof Ewa Goldys’ lab you will be given a tour of her three domains of research, with demonstrations from her postdoctoral research team.

Biosensing:

Lateral flow assays (LFAs) are among the most popular point-of-care (POC) biosensing platforms, which have gained extensive attraction in the market. LFAs are typically capable of detecting a wide range of analytes in a POC manner offering multiple advantages including low-cost, portable, simple, user-friendly, facile fabrication process, and rapid analysis without the need of centralized instruments. In this tour, Drs Fei Deng and Yi Li will demonstrate the standard lateral flow assay, which has been successfully applied for the rapid test of SARS-CoV-2 (Covid rapid antigen test). 

Cellular biology:

Cell culture and related assays are invaluable skills for working in biomedical research. Dr Ayad Anwer will show you our cell culture facility and also demonstrate the use of confocal microscopy to image intracellular organelles. Dr Jared Campbell will then show the laboratory’s hyperspectral microscope, which can measure cellular autofluorescence to determine colours of biologial cells.

Data science:

Dr Saabah Mahbub and Dr Abbas Habibalahi will demonstrate the data science and analytic approaches that are used with the images collected by the hyperspectral microscope to enable researchers and medical practitioners to precisely determine the biochemical “color” of cells and tissues. As an example they will detail the “metabolic fingerprint” that can be used to distinguish healthy from non-healthy reproductive cells in a variety of disease conditions.  This approach has also been used to noninvasively detect various cancer types such as eye surface cancer, which is currently diagnosed by painful biopsy. This technology can also be used to delineate the boundary of cancer, which is useful for cancer surgery and saving healthy tissue while removing entirety of cancerous tissue.

 

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Academic Name:

Nigel Lovell

(Meeting location: Samuels Building, F25, Level 5 Reception)

Timeslot(s) Available:

Monday: 10:30-11:00 AM; 11:00-11:30 AM

Maximum Students in Each Session: 

Research Area(s):

Telemedicine and medical informatics including predictive analytics (machine learning) and design of wearable devices and sensors; biomonitoring, computer data acquisition and database design; biomedical instrumentation; cardiac neurophysiology; implantable bionics (particularly improving neural interfaces, brain—machine interfaces using optical-electrodes, the design of a bionic eye, gene electrotherapy for augmented bionic ears)

Research Overview:

My research focus areas range from web-enabling technologies, telehealth apps, biomedical instrumentation, biological signal processing and health data analytics, neurophysiology and physiological modeling. Our projects tend to comprise multi-disciplinary teams with medical and clinical colleagues often resulting in the pre-clinical and human clinical trials of technologies we have developed.

 

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Academic Name:

David Tsai

(Meeting location: Biological Sciences South Building, E26, Level 1, Lab Area)

Timeslot(s) Available:

Wednesday: 2:30-3:00 PM; 3:00-3:30 PM

Friday: 2:30-3:00 PM; 3:00-3:30 PM

Maximum Students in Each Session: 5

Research Area(s):

Implantable electronics; neuromodulation; electrophysiology; neural prostheses; computational modelling

Research Overview:

At the Biomedical Microsystems Lab we develop cutting-edge miniature bioelectronics for studying biological systems and for therapeutics, with particular emphasis on the brain and peripheral nervous system, the so-called brain machine interfaces. We are housed in a new, well-equipped and well-funded laboratory on the UNSW campus, with close proximity to UNSW Medicine and UNSW Biological Sciences. We have extensive on-campus collaborations with other groups at Biomedical Engineering, the School of Electrical Engineering & Telecommunications and with School of Photovoltaic and Renewable Energy Engineering, as well as external collaborations with leading Australian and overseas research labs in the USA, Netherlands and in South Korea. Find out more about us at https://www.biomicrosyslab.org/

 

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Academic Name:

Dorna Esrafilzadeh

(Meeting location: Biological Sciences South Building, E26, Level 1, Outside Meeting Rooms 1063 and 1064)

Timeslot(s) Available:

Monday: 10:00-10:30 AM; 12:00-12:30 PM; 1:30-2:00 PM

Wednesday: 10:00-10:30 AM; 10:30-11:00 AM; 11:00-11:30 AM

Maximum Students in Each Session: 5

Research Area(s):

Additive fabrication technologies (3D printing), smart textiles, polymeric composites, electromaterials, bionic devices, nanotechnology

Research Overview:

My research mainly focuses on multidisciplinary research projects that combine the knowledge and skills across material chemistry, nanotechnology and additive fabrication technologies for biomedical engineering and capture or conversion systems.

 

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Academic Name:

Penny Martens

(Meeting location: Samuels Building, F25, Level 5 Reception)

Timeslot(s) Available:

Monday: 10:00-10:30 AM; 10:30-11:00 AM; 11:00-11:30 AM; 11:30-12:00 PM; 1:30-2:00 PM; 2:00-2:30 PM; 2:30-3:00 PM;

Research Area(s):

Biomaterials, Tissue engineering, Regenerative medicine (incl. stem cells), Polymers and plastics, Polymerisation mechanisms, Macromolecular and materials chemistry,

Research Overview:

My research focuses on polymer synthesis and characterisation, and specifically the design of complex biomedical polymer systems made from biosynthetic hydrogels.  What does this mean?  Think of soft contact lenses – these are hydrogels. I am looking at ways to engineer these materials to be used in a range of other applications from cell encapsulation to drug delivery vehicles to conducting coatings for implants.  My approach is to use synthetic (human-made) polymers to provide the engineering and tailoring capability and combine them with biological polymers which provide the cellular interfacing properties.

 

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Academic Name:

Luca Modenese

(Meeting location: Biological Sciences South Building, E26, Level 1, Outside Meeting Rooms 1063 and 1064)

Timeslot(s) Available:

Monday: 11:00-11:30 AM; 11:30-12:00 PM; 2:00-2:30 PM; 2:30-3:00 PM

Maximum Students in Each Session: 5

Research Area(s):

Computational biomechanics, personalised neuro-musculoskeletal modelling, digital twins of the neuro-musculoskeletal system, orthopaedic biomechanics

Research Overview:

My research focuses on developing computational models of the skeletal and muscular system of specific individuals and patients, using as starting point their medical images (MRI or CT scans). I also study how their brain coordinates the actions of the muscles to produce walking and other daily life movements, and the forces occurring within the human body during those movements.

What does this mean in practice? That I am developing “digital twins”, or “avatars” that can be used by clinicians to evaluate the effect of a physical interventions, for example a surgery, before it is performed, so allowing to choose the best therapeutic option for each patient.