PharmaTell Seminar Series - School of Pharmacy Event as iCalendar

13 February 2018

10 - 11am

Venue: Room 503-028

Location: Grafton Campus, 85 Park Road, Grafton

Host: Dr Justin Leigh Bourke

Contact email: s.thakur@auckland.ac.nz

Innovations in Personalised Medicine - Epilepsy and Prosthetic Limbs

Abstract: Advances in 3D printing technologies, tissue engineering, and robotics will likely underpin future disruptive approaches to personalised medicine. Effective and productive interactions between clinicians, engineers, and biologists are critical to producing innovative and clinically useful outcomes for individuals.

Embedding a 3D printing, tissue engineering, and robotics facility within the hospital setting has facilitated productive interactions between usually disparate groups, and is providing innovative approaches to a variety of conditions. From hand printing of tissues in surgery, to selecting drugs and doses for epilepsy, and interfacing prosthetic limbs with the nervous system - the future of personalised medicine looks bright.

Here, we will explore two projects as examples of how collaborative teams are innovating the next generation of personalised medical interventions;

  1. The native environment for neural development and function is inherently three dimensional, while traditional neural culture approaches limit cellular outgrowth to two dimensions. The questions remain, are neurons cultured in 3D engineered constructs capable of generating networks akin to those in vivo, and how can we use these networks to provide personalised clinical outcomes for patients? 
  2. Upon loss of a hand or arm through disease or injury, an individual’s interaction with their environment inevitably changes. Existing bionic limb devices can be cumbersome and their control far from intuitive. So, can we effectively interface prosthetic limbs to the nervous system to provide intuitive control of (and sensory feedback from) bionic devices for amputees?

Bio: Justin is a biomedical engineer and electrophysiologist within the synthetic biosystems team of the ARC Centre of Excellence in Electromaterials Science. With a PhD in biomaterials, neural tissue engineering, electophysiology and signal processing, Justin is working on various electrophysiological applications with the aim of providing clinical outcomes in neurological modelling and interfacing prosthetic limbs with the sensory and motor nervous system.