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Develop and implement a non-contact real-time respiratory monitoring technique, using low cost 3D camera technology, and explore its use in abdominal-thoracic cancer sites

Consumer-grade depth sensing technology has in recent years become widely available. A number of vendors have developed similar technologies, for example, Microsoft KinectTM (now discontinued), Intel’s RealSenseTM, the Asus Xtion depth sensor, and the Qualcomm Spectra ISP platform, now in its second generation.The systems make use of camera technology that measures the distance to a surface, rapid image acquisition can then enable real time motion detection of location of the surface. The infra-red transmitter and sensor use a time-of-flight method …

Study level
PhD, Master of Philosophy, Honours, Vacation research experience scheme
Faculty
Science and Engineering Faculty
Lead unit
School of Chemistry, Physics and Mechanical Engineering

Hi-resolution imaging of microscale fracture in osteoporotic bone

Osteoporosis leads to weak bones and debilitating fractures in the elderly. Understanding the biomechanics of osteoporotic vertebral fractures is an essential step in avoiding the morbidity caused by this condition.

Study level
PhD, Master of Philosophy, Honours
Faculty
Science and Engineering Faculty
Lead unit
School of Chemistry, Physics and Mechanical Engineering

Bone adaptation

Bone is a dynamic living tissue which undergoes continuous remodeling and adaptation due to changes in the mechanical and hormonal environment. Current knowledge of bone remodelling is mainly based on experimental observations, and this limits the discovery of novel therapies for the treatment of bone diseases in particular osteoporosis.This project aims to explore various aspects of bone adaptation due to mechanical loading and drug interventions using image postprocessing analysis tool together with biomechanics. Bone adaptation is accomplished by teams of …

Study level
Vacation research experience scheme
Faculty
Queensland University of Technology
Lead unit
Science and Engineering Faculty

Development of novel bio-inspired nanocomposites

The quest for more-efficient energy-related technologies necessitates the development of lightweight, high performance structural materials with exceptional strength and toughness. Unfortunately, these two properties tend to be mutually exclusive in most synthetic materials, and high strength is often associated with low fracture toughness (resistance to the initiation and growth of a crack). Interestingly, nature has found a way to combine brittle minerals and organic molecules into hybrid composites with exceptional fracture toughness and structural strength. The notion of mimicking biological …

Study level
PhD, Master of Philosophy, Honours, Vacation research experience scheme
Faculty
Science and Engineering Faculty
Lead unit
School of Chemistry, Physics and Mechanical Engineering

A biofabricated surgical referral suite to predict intracranial aneurysm rupture

Intracranial aneurysms are bulging, weak areas of an artery that supply blood to the brain which are relatively common. While most aneurysms do not show symptoms, 1% spontaneously rupture which can be fatal or it can leave the survivor with permanent disabilities. This catastrophic outcome has motivated surgeons to operate on approximately 30% of aneurysms despite their rate of complications arising and cost of operation.The impact of aneurysm morphology on blood flow shear stress and rupture could educate surgical decision-making …

Study level
Master of Philosophy, Honours
Faculty
Science and Engineering Faculty
Lead unit
School of Chemistry, Physics and Mechanical Engineering

Advanced vascular models for surgical education, training and diagnosis

Vascular surgery is Australia’s second-most expensive surgical program, primarily due to an aging population with increased incidence of cardiovascular disease, representing 29% of all deaths in 2017.Surgical decision-making regarding whether, when and how to operate on a patient relies on the clinicians’ analysis of 2D and 3D reconstructed images on a computer screen in either the endovascular suite or the operating room.Further, endovascular surgeries require skillful and rapid deployment of vascular prosthetics through tortuous, patient-specific geometries to safety, effectively and …

Study level
Honours, Vacation research experience scheme
Faculty
Science and Engineering Faculty
Lead unit
School of Chemistry, Physics and Mechanical Engineering

Functional, architected vascular grafts via biodesign and 3D printing

Vascular surgery is Australia’s second-most expensive surgical program, primarily due to an aging population with increased incidence of cardiovascular disease, representing 29% of all deaths in 2017. Globally, cardiovascular disease remains the primary cause of morbidity and mortality. This high clinical burden has led to a $10B global market value for vascular medical devices.The high cost of cardiovascular treatments are, in part, due to the high failure rate of implanted vascular grafts (50% failure rate at 10 years post-surgery). While …

Study level
PhD
Faculty
Science and Engineering Faculty
Lead unit
School of Chemistry, Physics and Mechanical Engineering

Optimising bone shape with memory networks

Bone is a dynamic tissue that optimises its shape to the mechanical loads that it carries. Bone mass is accrued where loads are high, and reduced where loads are low. This adaptation of bone tissue to mechanical loads is well-known and observed in many instances. However, what serves as a reference mechanical state in this shape optimisation remains largely unknown.

Study level
PhD, Master of Philosophy, Honours, Vacation research experience scheme
Faculty
Science and Engineering Faculty
Lead unit
School of Mathematical Sciences

Spider silk: structure, mechanics and processing

Spider silks possess a range of qualities that are rarely found simultaneously in one material, and it is no surprise that an enormous effort has been made to replicate or learn from them.1,2 Toughness, extensibility and strength are only a few of the desirable traits that make spider silk of such interest. Silk is biodegradable and, unlike synthetic high-performance fibres such as Kevlar, it is extremely lightweight.3,4 A further advantage lies in its processing conditions and requirements. Whereas production of …

Study level
PhD, Master of Philosophy, Honours, Vacation research experience scheme
Faculty
Science and Engineering Faculty
Lead unit
School of Chemistry, Physics and Mechanical Engineering

Understanding and exploiting the phenomenal properties of collagen

Collagen is the most abundant protein in the human body and, as one of its principal building blocks, plays a dominant role in the function of many tissues. As such, the structure-property-function relationships in collagen are central to understanding health and disease, and developing materials-based strategies for regenerative medicine. A better understanding of these relationships further provides a biomimetic target for high-performance, multifunctional fibre-based materials in applications outside of biomedicine. The defining feature of collagen is an elegant structural motif …

Study level
PhD, Master of Philosophy, Honours, Vacation research experience scheme
Faculty
Science and Engineering Faculty
Lead unit
School of Chemistry, Physics and Mechanical Engineering

Surgery with rockets

Self-propelled nano/microscale rockets have been developed that consume locally supplied chemical fuels to generate thrust, analogous to how large rocket engines ignite onboard propellants. Such rockets offer tremendous advantages as nano/microdevices. They can be designed for low or high velocities (up to 1000 body lengths/sec), can tow large loads, have remarkable design flexibility, and allow surface functionalisation with nanomaterials and biomolecules.1,2Unlike their macroscale counterparts, these rockets have the advantage of harvesting their chemical fuel directly from their surrounding environment. In …

Study level
PhD, Master of Philosophy, Honours, Vacation research experience scheme
Faculty
Science and Engineering Faculty
Lead unit
School of Chemistry, Physics and Mechanical Engineering

Retaining and regaining hydrogel mechanical properties

Hydrogels have great potential in tissue engineering and regenerative medicine, where they serve as an artificial extracellular matrix. However, they typically have poor mechanical properties, which limits their applications.  Double network hydrogels can overcome some of these limitations, with substantially improved stiffness and toughness compared to traditional single network hydrogels.  Nonetheless, double network hydrogels can lose these properties over time and with repeated loading.

Study level
Honours, Vacation research experience scheme
Faculty
Science and Engineering Faculty
Lead unit
School of Chemistry, Physics and Mechanical Engineering

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