Our research areas
The health sector has an increasing need to interface devices with the human body, to control and communicate with machines, computers and implanted devices. The Bioengineering Research Group partners with industry and clinicians to understand the challenges associated with implanting devices in the body, modelling their behaviors and designing new medical devices.
We work in:
- Vision and hearing loss
- Brain stimulation and monitoring.
The need to augment body functions by replacing and repairing tissues allows us to develop new biomaterials and engineered tissues. We need to understand how to integrate
- Biological stimulation
to direct the formation and regeneration of tissues in the lab and in the human body.
We focus on developing materials for nerve and muscle regeneration as well as drug delivery and 3D cell culture systems. By integrating bioreactors and microfluidic systems, we can mimic local tissue environments and use these systems to evaluate novel materials, stimulation strategies and pharmaceuticals.
Working with hospitals and industry, we identify unmet clinical needs and product opportunities.
The interface between biological systems and materials controls the performance of everything from contact lenses to ships. We investigate the fundamental processes that control:
- Microbial attachment and function to surfaces.
Working with clinical and industrial partners we translate this knowledge to improve the performance and lifetime of medical devices, biological sensors and maritime infrastructure.
We link this work to surface engineering and coatings to control and mediate biological behaviours, eg. biofouling that leads to biodegradation and device failure.
Experimental data brings us closer to understanding pathological brain dynamics. But, in many cases, mathematical modeling and computer simulations are the only way to observe changes in a complex system and make solid predictions based on a comprehensive analysis.
Theoretical neuroscience involves the use of computational models to simulate the dynamics of neural populations and their interactions. Together with our research and clinical collaborators, we use advanced signal processing, optimisation and machine learning techniques to make sense of biological data.
Our group uses their expertise in physics and engineering to address challenges in monitoring, characterising and controlling biological processes. Our work covers a wide range of:
- Length scales - from sub-cellular to tissue
- Timeframes - from seconds to years.
Light provides a major means of probing biological systems, from traditional microscopy techniques to emerging methods based on optically-active nanomaterials.
We're also exploring the use of emerging methods for detecting gases and chemical and electrical activity in living tissues. Wearable sensors with ultra-low power requirements are also being developed for remote health monitoring.
Working on specific challenges identified by our clinical and research partners, these efforts have a range of important potential applications, including:
- More effective assays for small biomolecules
- Real-time health monitoring
- Quality control in cellular therapies and tissue engineering
- Supporting a new generation of bionic devices.