Tuesday, 24 May 2016

SPHPM and engineering ARC research grant for cutting-edge innovation

SPHPM’s Professor Andrew Tonkin and Associate Professor Bing Wang have been awarded a $380,000 Australian Research Council (ARC) linkage grant with the Monash University Faculty of Engineering to develop new innovative technology that could revolutionise blood pressure monitoring.

The pioneering project will involve chief investigators from a range of disciplines and research centres including: Engineering, Information Technology; the Faculty of Art, Design and Architecture; the Baker IDI Institute; industry partners; The Melbourne Centre for Nanofabrication; The Monash Centre for Electron Microscopy; and the Monash eResearch Centre.

Professor Andrew Tonkin is Head of the Cardiovascular Research Unit and Associate Professor Bing Wang works with the Centre for Cardiovascular Research and Education in Therapeutics (CCRET) at SPHPM. Both will be working closely with Professor Wenlong Cheng in Monash University’s Nanobionics Lab to develop e-skin technology that will allow conformal contact with the wrist to detect pulse waveforms related to systolic and diastolic blood pressure (BP).

“BP is a vital sign of health, but no existing technology is both truly wearable and capable of monitoring it continuously. Traditional cuff-based BP monitors can only provide reading at a certain time point by a trained health professional, while catheter-based BP monitors are invasive and require the patient to be hospitalised,” said Professor Andrew Tonkin.

Professor Cheng’s Nanobionics Lab were the first group worldwide to apply ultrathin gold nanowires as electronic skin material, which they have successfully developed into an e-skin technology platform including nanopatch and tattoo variations.

“The preliminary research has been very encouraging and we hope to develop wearable and wireless prototypes of the E-skin nanopatches that can reliably monitor a person’s BP continuously and non-invasively anytime or anywhere,” said Chief Investigator on the project Professor Cheng.

This project lies at the forefront of nanoscience and nanotechnology, and will foster multidisciplinary research collaborations that will strengthen Australia’s burgeoning position in the medical device industry.

The research team also includes: Professor Geoffrey Webb from the Faculty of Information Technology, Dr Stephen Wang from the Faculty of Art, Design and Architecture, Professor David Kaye from the Baker IDI Institute and industry partners Dr Yijia Li and Mr Paul Carboon.

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