PROJECT #1

Deep Neural Networks for Omni-modality MSK Image Analysis

Dr. Ashnil Kumar
Prof. Dagan Feng
A/Prof. Jinman Kim
Prof. Michael Fulham
Dr. Lei Bi
Dr. Jiao Jiao Li

AIM

This project aims to produce, evaluate and disseminate new deep neural networks-based algorithms for the analysis of MSK images through:

  • To improve diagnosis, treatment planning and management of MSK patients. This will increase our understanding of the MSK disease and develop better treatment options.
  • To disseminate our algorithms and tools to the MSK community. This will allow other investigators from USyd, Australia and overseas, to collaborate and benefit from the project, as well as to use the preliminary validation results for further funding opportunities.
  • Providing training for the HDR students at the partner’s institution (hospital) to collaboratively work on algorithm design, evaluation, and implementation.

GOALS

  • Curating a MSK image dataset with functional, anatomical, pathological and outcome data. This will be used to build our algorithms.
  • Developing algorithms for the automatic segmentation of anatomical defect.
  • Developing algorithms for the prognosis analysis of anatomical defect e.g., early identification of patients who may develop metastatic diseases.
  • To establish a research lab at the partner hospital to provide training at the coalface of a clinical Department.

PROJECT #2

Advanced 3D Visualization of MSK Imaging

A/Prof. Jinman Kim
Prof. Dagan Feng
Dr. Ashnil Kumar
Prof. Michael Fulham
Dr. Lei Bi
Dr. Jiao Jiao Li

AIM

This project aims to innovate in:

  • 3D visualization algorithms/techniques that enable improved diagnosis and for use in multi-disciplinary team meetings. This will allow clinicians to view the anatomical characteristics of the MSK defect without the noise and obstruction inherent in the medical images and with minimum user inputs.
  • To develop novel visualisation display technologies, such as with Holograms, to aid in image interpretation
  • Providing training for the HDR students at the partner’s institution (hospital) to collaboratively work on algorithm design, evaluation and implementation.

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.


GOALS

  • To automate deep learning-based segmentation approach for the identification and derivation of the defects and the anatomical structures that can be fed into the 3D visualization pipeline (from Project 1 – Deep neural networks for omni-modality MSK image analysis).
  • Optimize the 3D visualization of the defects and the anatomical structures by automatically exploring the parameter space and specifying the ideal visualization parameters for both multi-modality images that ensure the visibility of the defects and surrounding structures.
  • Develop Interactive real-time 3D visualization by leveraging the deep learning techniques and GPU-based computer graphics, which optimizes the visibility of the defects and surrounding structures based on user selection and preferences.
  • To establish a research lab at the partner hospital to provide training at the coal-face of a clinical Department.

PROJECT #3

Novel 3D-printed scaffolds to promote spinal fusion

Prof. Qing Li
Prof. Hala Zreiqat
Dr. Ashnil Kumar

AIM

In this project, our development resides on several different aspects, including Mechanical analysis and design analysis of Gahnite scaffolds: Modelling analysis and tests have bene done for the 3D-printed Gahnite scaffolds for load bearing applications in spinal fusion, which has been worked from two interconnected stages on (1) CT-based finite element modelling and mechanical test for animal model (intervertebral cervical spinal cage for sheep), which was conducted by ITTC PhD Ben Ferguson, as shown in Fig. 1. (2) Extended finite element method (XFEM) and phase field analysis of structural strength of load-bearing Gahnite scaffold (Wu et al 2020).

PROJECT #4A

Prof. Christopher Berndt
Dr. Andrew Ang
Prof. Hala Zreiqat
Prof. Colin Dunstan
Dr. Robert Bell

Bioactive Ceramic Coatings with Antimicrobial Properties to Increase Orthopaedic Implant Longevity

AIM

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 (HAp) coatings are prone to delamination and fragmentation. This focused project aims to develop a family of ceramic coatings for orthopaedic implants featuring osteogenic and antimicrobial properties coupled with high bonding strength to prevent premature implant failure.

GOALS

This project will examine existing implant technologies and biomaterials research, then design novel coatings to evaluate the possibility for these newly discovered materials to be used as a coating for orthopaedic implants. The plasma spraying procedure is used to create coatings, which are then tested to determine their suitability for usage in orthopaedic implants. Three patented ceramics would be used as the materials in the project would be Baghdadite_Ca3ZrSi2O9 (US patent 9,005,647), Strontium-Hardystonite (Sr-HT)_Sr-Ca2ZnSi2O7 (US patent 8,765,163), and Strontium-Hardystonite-Gahnite (Sr-HT-Gahnite)_Sr-Ca2ZnSi2O7-ZnAl2O4 (US patent 9,220,806) with the optimization of plasma spraying technology for coating. The new coatings of these new bioceramics using plasma spray as a technique for deposition are expected to provide excellent performance to enhance the longevity of the implants. The evaluations of the project’s delivery were investigated to achieve the following objectives:

  • To process the raw powder of the bioceramics to get them sprayable using plasma spray coating. Key focuses were improving the powder flowability and maintaining the acceptable particle sizes to fit in the requirement of feedstocks for plasma spray coating. Next, produce coatings from the processed powders using plasma spray coating techniques, including investigating and optimizing process parameters to achieve the desirable coatings. In addition, coatings were produced on the actual knee replacement prostheses.
  • To perform coating characterizations, including the physical, chemical, and micromechanical properties of the new bioceramic coatings. These results would be compared with the properties of the commercial HAp coating as the control.
  • To study the biological properties of the new bioceramic coatings regarding cell performance and antibacterial properties. These works collaborated with the University of Sydney and RMIT University. These results would also be evaluated against the commercial HAp coating to determine the effectiveness of the new coatings.

PROJECT #4B

Prof. Hala Zreiqat
Prof. Colin Dunstan
Dr. Zufu Lu
Prof. Alistair McEwan
Dr. khanh truong

AIM

The main goal of this project is to develop novel and multifunctional biomaterial platforms (3D scaffolds or material surface coatings), that possess the necessary properties for bone tissue regeneration, including enhanced mechanical property, improved bioactivity, and excellent antimicrobial properties.

Project Objectives

The three main objectives of the project are:

  1. Enable 3D printing technology to produce the personalized scaffolds that can be readily functionalized with bioresorbable coatings containing bioactive molecules for the regeneration of large bone defects.
  2. Employ gas-stabilized atmospheric plasma spray technology to achieve the varying ceramic coatings on titanium alloy to enhance mechanical and bioactive properties of the implants for future orthopedic implant.
  3. Endow the biomaterial platforms (3D scaffolds or material surface coatings) with excellent antimicrobial properties by optimizing chemical compositions or surface topography.

PROJECT #5

Quick-release, fail-safe connector between osseointegration implants and artificial limbs

Prof. Hala Zreiqat
Prof. Colin Dunstan
Dr. Jiao Jiao Li
Dr. Zufu Lu
Dr. William Lu

AIM

This project will develop an active osseointegration implant system. 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.


GOALS

  • Deploy integrated sensors and stimulators within osseointegrated implants to monitor and promote the healing process for improved integration, health management
  • Enable long-term data acquisition capabilities, to assist in directing future research and innovation based on a major advance in the knowledge base.

PROJECT #6

Optimisation of Bone Scaffold by Design of Pore Geometry to Modulate Permeability and Difffusivity

Prof. Hala Zreiqat
Prof. Patrick Tam
Dr. Peter Newman
Dr. Jiao Jiao Li

AIM

This project will produce an optimised architecture for bone scaffolds to replace the conventional architecture. This will improve implant design and produce bone substitutes with enhanced bioactivity and strength to achieve the best possible tissue regeneration.


GOALS

Design and fabricate bone scaffolds with optimised diffusivity and permeability, by altering strut and pore geometry through the combination of computational modelling and 3D printing. Test the physical and mechanical properties of the designed scaffolds, and evaluate their biological performance using bone-related cells.


PROJECT #7A 

Implantable biosensors to monitor and stimulate tissue regeneration

 

Prof. Hala Zreiqat
Prof. Alistair McEwan
A/Prof. Rona Chandrawati
Dr. Duy Truong
Dr. William Lu
Dr. Jiao Jiao Li

AIM


This project will develop a comprehensive sensor and stimulation system – an instrumented MSK implant that measures a range of physical, chemical, and physiological conditions to monitor rehabilitation and implant failure.

GOALS

Develop new functionalised electrodes to detect changes in pH, leached materials, electrical signals, and biomechanical strain; these measurements will indicate factors that influence the healing process such as osteoporosis, implant fatigue, wear, and mechanical stimulation.

PROJECT #7B 

Implantable biosensors to monitor and stimulate tissue regeneration

 

Prof. Hala Zreiqat
A/Prof. Elizabeth New
Prof. Alistair McEwan
A/Prof. Rona Chandrawati
Dr. William Lu

AIM


This project will develop the next generation of carbon-based fluorescent nanoparticles, Carbon Dots (CDs), with combinational properties of monodispersity, high photostability, biocompatibility, low cytotoxicity, good cell permeability, and high resolution two-photon deep tissue imaging. These novel CDs will be applied as a real-time quantitative probe for targeted in vivo monitoring of osteoclast activity and bone substitute resorptive activity.

GOALS

  • To synthesis novel CDs with a narrow size distribution, which is essential for fine-tuning their electronic and optical properties, biocompatibility, and cellular interactions.
  • To perform comprehensive optimization of the synthesis and post-synthesis parameters employed for the synthesis of CDs to gain a better understanding of the effect of these parameters on photophysical and biological properties.
  • To synthesize and characterize novel pH-sensitive fluorophores using organic synthesis.
  • To engineer and design the surface of CDs with ultra pH-sensitive fluorophores and bone targeting moieties through a novel conjugation method to develop a novel pH-sensitive two-photon ratiometric CDs-based probe.

PROJECT #8

Smart Dressing to Diagnose Stimulate and Monitor Musculoskeletal Tissue

 

Dr. Omid Kavelei
Prof. Alistair McEwan
A/Prof. Rona Chandrawati
Dr. Warren Smith

AIM

This project will develop new smart dressings and sensors for interfacing to a miniaturised bioimpedance measurement system. These systems will be used to measure tissue properties at repair locations.


GOALS

  • Implantable sensors and stimulation for robotic prosthetics
  • Printable stick-on sensors for muscle and wound healing monitoring and stimulation
  • Brain computer interfaces for prosthetic control

PROJECT #9A

Computational Modelling and Biomechanics for Implant Design

 

Prof. Hala Zreiqat
Dr. Peter Newman
A/Prof. Jinman Kim
Prof. Qing Li
A/Prof. Rona Chandrawati
Prof. Christopher Barner-Kowollik

AIM


Develop a computational model that can be adapted for use as a predictive planning tool for surgical parameters. The model will be used to derive the physical and mechanical properties to enable implant adaptation to expected load after injury and surgery. Computational simulations will enable the optimisation of new scaffold designs for implant fabrication.

GOALS

The project will use computer modelling to integrate medical images with biomechanical data and to transform surgical planning by surgeons. We will create a quantifiable computational model of the knee that describes the loading of the joint structures during dynamic motion, which incorporates soft tissue anatomy and function. The computational models will be integrated into a database of several targeted surgical techniques to enable the simulation complex surgery, for use in pre-surgical planning. 

 

PROJECT #9B

Computational Modelling and Biomechanics for Implant Design

 

Prof. Hala Zreiqat
Dr. Gurvinder Singh
A/Prof. Jinman Kim
Prof. Qing Li
Prof. Alistair McEwan

AIM

Develop a novel theranostic agent based on magnetic nanoparticles.

 


GOALS

This project will develop novel magnetic nanoparticles with inherent MRI traceability, ability to provide targeted diagnostic or therapeutic function, and can be taken orally. It can be coupled with custom-designed scaffolds to enable imaging and real-time monitoring of tissue healing, as well as deliver therapeutics to targeted sites.

Tel: 0061 2 9114 4607
Email: artcibe@sydney.edu.au

 

 

@2021 ARC Centre for Innovative BioEngineering

Level 4, J07
Faculty of Mechanical Engineering
University of Sydney
Darlington NSW 2008
Australia