Deep Neural Networks for Omni-modality MSK Image Analysis
This project aims to produce, evaluate and disseminate new deep neural networks-based algorithms for the analysis of MSK images through:
Advanced 3D Visualization of MSK Imaging
This project aims to innovate in:
We anticipate that the development of new effective 3D MSK visualization algorithms/techniques will aid the clinicians and surgeons in improving the diagnosis of MSK defects and making pre-surgical planning. The developed 3D visualization algorithms/techniques will be shared with the computer graphics and medical communities. Ultimately, the medical visualization software/system with the developed 3D visualizations will be delivered to medical professionals. This will allow other investigators from the university and medicine sector to collaborate and benefit from the project, as well as to use the clinical validation results for future funding opportunities.
Bioactive Ceramic Coatings with Antimicrobial Properties to Increase Orthopaedic Implant Longevity
We will develop a family of ceramic coatings for orthopaedic implants, featuring osteogenic and antimicrobial properties coupled with high bonding strength to prevent premature implant failure (addressing RT2). This will reduce the costs associated with revision surgery and greatly improve the recipients’ long-term quality of life. Biosensors can be incorporated to facilitate monitoring and stimulation of the tissue regeneration (Project 7). Training: Two ICHDRs will develop extensive skills in biomaterials processing and characterization techniques, to develop new ceramic coatings with antimicrobial properties (addressing TT1). Osseointegration, Allegra, and Peter Brehm will provide industry direction and associated training for the development, design, production, and commercialization of medical implants (addressing TT2). Methods: The short lifespan of orthopaedic implants is a major clinical problem, where failure often occurs within a few months as a result of infection, or within 10–15 years due to loosening. Most orthopaedic implants use titanium alloys (Ti-6Al-4V), which often cannot achieve sufficient integration with bone, and currently used hydroxyapatite coatings are prone to delamination and fragmentation. This project will develop our family of patented ceramics for use as novel implant coatings: Baghdadite (US patent 9,005,647), Sr-HT (US patent 8,765,163), and Sr-HT-Gahnite (US patent 9,220,806). We will optimize the plasma-spraying process for coating deposition to produce high bonding strength while ensuring that the inherent bioactivity and antimicrobial properties of the ceramics are retained.
Quick-release, Fail-safe Connector between Osseointegration Implants and Artificial Limbs
We will develop a connector to couple osseointegration implants to artificial limbs (addressing RT2). This device will enhance the functionality and safety of osseointegration implants and will assist in promoting their widespread use as an emerging technology to improve the treatment of lower limb amputees. This project will draw on image analysis (Project 1), scaffold construction (Project 3), and computational modelling (Project 9). Training: One ICHDR will receive training in medical device development, including design, computational modelling, materials selection, device manufacturing and testing, and regulatory knowledge, to produce a safe, viable, and economical device that meets market demands (addressing TT1). Osseointegration will provide specific design inputs, materials of the current devices, regulatory expertise, and direct access to patient feedback, as well as facilitate the manufacturing of prototypes (addressing TT2). Methods: Osseointegration implants have been developed over the past two decades as a new technology for mobilizing patients with lower-limb amputations, offering many benefits over traditional socket prostheses, including improved function and quality of life. Currently, artificial limbs for osseointegration implants are connected through traditional mechanisms used in the socket prosthesis system based on rigid screws and bolts that limit the versatility of the implant. As osseointegration implants become more common, there is a pressing demand for an ideal connector system designed specifically to meet the requirements of individual patients. Our goal is to develop a unique and cost-effective connector system between osseointegration implant and artificial limb to allow: (1) quick and easy release for the recipient to rapidly attach and remove the artificial limb as required, and (2) a fail-safe mechanism to prevent undesirable impact and strain passing through the implant site, and to protect residual bone from breakage in the event of a fall.
Implantable Biosensors to Monitor and Stimulate Tissue Regeneration
The project will develop a comprehensive active sensor and stimulation system – an instrumented MSK implant that measures a range of physical, chemical, and physiological conditions to monitor rehabilitation and implant failure (addressing RT3). Implant placement can be guided by imaging (Projects 1 and 2). Sensor information will become inputs for computational modelling (Project 9).
Smart Dressings to Diagnose, Stimulate and Monitor Musculoskeletal Tissue
This project will develop new silver nanowire dressings for interfacing to a miniaturised bioimpedance measurement system. The wearable system will be used to measure tissue properties (RT3) from locations identified by imaging scans (Project 1 and 2).
The goal of project 8 is to develop smart dressings that provide diagnostic and monitoring data of MSK tissue and investigate the capacity of smart dressings to stimulate to promote osseointegration. Besides the main goal, project 8 also looks at studies on disability rehabilitation with exoskeleton and computer vision for monitoring and assessing the efficacy of rehabilitation therapy.
Developing the Next Generation of Fluorescent Nanoparticles for Biosensing and Bioimaging
In the last few years, fluorescence spectroscopy has emerged as a highly attractive analytical technique to rapidly and sensitively detect and monitor biomolecules in cells and bodily fluids. Over the past two decades, a wide variety of fluorescent sensory materials have been synthesized, such as fluorescent proteins, graphene sheets, and semiconductor quantum dots. While each of these materials have their advantages, they collectively suffer limitations from high noise-to-background fluorescence ratios, large particle sizes, synthesis complexity, low photostability, poor resolution, and toxicity. We aim to overcome these limitations by developing the next generation of carbon-based fluorescent nanoparticles, Carbon Dots (CDs), with combinational properties of monodispersity, high photostability, biocompatibility, low cytotoxicity, good cell permeability, high resolution two-photon deep tissue imaging. We plan to use the novel CDs for developing a real-time quantitative probe for targeted in vivo monitoring the osteoclast activity and bone substitute resorptive activity (these activities can cause severe exctra- and intra-cellular pH dysregulation).
To investigate the capability of the developed probe for targeted in vitro and in vivo monitoring of the osteoclast function after bone graft implantation.
To Develop a Multifunctional Biomaterial for Bone Regeneration
Globally, bone- and joint-related degenerative problems are a major cause in 50% of all chronic diseases in people over 50 and cause debilitating pain and loss of independence. 3.8 million bone-grafting procedures globally are performed each year, to repair non-union and osteoporotic fractures; the demand for orthopaedic implants is ever-increasing due to increasing levels of obesity, population ageing, and growth in sports-related injuries. Current treatments using autografts or allografts for bone regeneration have serious limitations, triggering the growing demand for synthetic bone substitutes; and a major orthopaedic challenge with insufficient osseointegration for the implant with surrounding bone tissue. We aim to overcome these limitations by developing a bone biomaterial with combinational functions: including strong mechanics, excellent bone biocompatibility, anti-ageing, or antimicrobial.
1) To develop a ceramic scaffold possessing novel architecture, chemical, and mechanical properties that provide strong mechanical property, excellent bioactivity, particularly having anti-ageing function for large bone defect regeneration application. 2) To develop an implant coating strategy with a novel ceramic possessing structural and chemical, and mechanical properties that provide an anti-ageing and antimicrobial environment, thereby overcoming premature implant failure and improving osseointegration.
Flow Lithographic Fabrication of a Structured Bone Microtissue
Tissue engineering and stem cells have the potential to regenerate bone damaged by trauma or disease. First, however, it is necessary to address the challenge of fabricating synthetic scaffold structures that can support true tissue function. While pluripotent-stem-cell-derived tissue-models have been established with increasingly physiological shape, size and function1,2, the histo-and-morphogenetic processes present in these models proceeds stochastically. This reflects an absence of technologies able to produce complex supportive cell niches that can reproducibly guide tissue patterning and generate well-defined tissue structures. Scaffold materials require a heterogeneity rivalling that of native tissue; this includes supporting multiple cell lineages through a complex structured architecture rich with multiphasic inductive interactions specifically directed to bone, muscle, tendon or cartilage regeneration. However, while current approaches to fabricating such structured material systems have demonstrated the spatial patterning of bioactive molecules and peptides, there has been limited success in fabricating materials that support structured multilineage cell culture able to recapitulate tissue function.
To fabricate a complex bone microtissue in which spatially defined biophysicochemical cues regulate pluripotent stem cell differentiation to recapitulate the tissue-scale heterogeneous structure and the cellular composition of bone marrow.
Novel Biomaterials, Surface Coatings and Antimicrobial Devices
Electroceuticals for Musculoskeletal Applications
Nano Particles for Theranostics
Nano Particles for Theranostics
Tel: 0061 2 9114 4607
@2021 ARC Centre for Innovative BioEngineering
Level 4, J07
Faculty of Mechanical Engineering
University of Sydney
Darlington NSW 2008