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The Lab

The ICETLAB is located in the Clinical Sciences Building at the Prince Charles Hospital, the largest cardiac hospital in Queensland. The laboratory is situated close to the clinical arena with only a two minute walk to surgical theatres, intensive care units and wards. This state-of-the-art research centre provides a world-class environment for medical engineering research development and commercialisation. The laboratory offers a rich suite of equipment for collaborative in-depth research including a systemic and pulmonary mock circulation loop, blood circulation loops, high performance computers, 3D printing technology and small mechanical and electrical workshops. Through our links with local universities, we have access to high end electrical and mechanical workshops (QUT, UQ and Griffith), particle image velocimetry equipment (Griffith) and a state-of-the-art Medical Engineering Research Facility (MERF – QUT) for in-vivo evaluation of medical devices. As part of the Critical Care Research Group, the ICETLAB has access to a range of biological evaluation equipment to assess the interaction between cardiovascular devices and blood. This combination of mechanical and biological research facilities and close collaboration with the clinic makes the ICETLAB an ideal facility for medical engineering research.

  • Mock Circulation

  • Mechanical and Electrical Workshops

  • 3D Printing

  • PIV Equipment

  • Biological Assessement

  • Engineering Facility

  • In-Vivo Evaluation

Researchers

Directors

Technical Director

Prof Geoff Tansley

Medical Director

Prof John Fraser

About

Geoff was the Foundation Professor of Mechanical Engineering and is now Head of Griffith School of Engineering. He graduated his BSc(Hons) Mechanical Engineering at Nottingham Trent in 1984 and stayed on to complete a PhD in blood flow mechanics in 1988. Soon after he took up academic positions at Adelaide and then Flinders Universities. He was Chief Engineer of Ventracor Pty Ltd (1998–2004) and led a team of engineers in the development of a commercially implantable centrifugal rotary blood pump (VentrAssist) through research and into production. Geoff returned to the UK in 2004 as Associate Professor in Mechanical Engineering at Nottingham University before taking up a professorial appointment at Aston University in 2008. He came to Griffith University in 2012.

He is a professional engineer with an extensive background in research, development and translation of medical device systems, specialising in the design of implantable medical devices, particularly blood contacting devices. Geoff holds 15 patents and has 3 more provisional patents in medical devices. He is an active industry consultant, working with 5 medical device companies. He has published over 50 peer-reviewed journal articles and delivered 50 papers at engineering and medical device conferences. His has received 3 prizes for research, 2 design awards and a NATO scholarship.

Geoff’s role is a technical director to the ICETLAB and has involvement in many medical device projects and supervision of several PhD and undergraduate projects. Geoff’s lab at Griffith University’s Gold Coast campus is an extension of the ICETLAB and houses a mock circulatory loop and PIV system for measuring blood flow velocities.

About

John Fraser graduated from the University of Glasgow in 1991. Prior to qualification in intensive care medicine, he completed fellowships in internal medicine and anaesthesia; as well as a PhD in fetal surgery. During his NHMRC fellowship-supported PhD, he won 13 national and international research awards, and was the co-founder of the Royal Children’s Hospital Burns Research Group.

John formed the Critical Care Research Group in 2004, which has now grown from humble beginnings to become the largest group of its kind in Australasia. The CCRG is an interdisciplinary group which encompasses Intensive Care, Cardiology, Cardiac surgery, Anaesthesia, and Emergency; as well as basic science, engineering and basic animal models. The group has three purpose built labs and works in a state of the art animal research facility on transfusion models, acute lung injury, artificial heart and transplantation of heart and lung, using the ex vivo lung resuscitation device. The CCRG has produced 225 peer reviewed publications since its inception.

John’s interest in blood and ICU resulted in his PhD student Dr John Paul Tung winning the prestigious Vox Sanguinis Best Paper 2011 for his work on TRALI. He runs multiple animal, human, and secondary data analysis studies in the field of blood and critical care. He recently devised and formed a national collaborative group aimed at optimising the utilisation of blood products in cardiac surgery. He has published over 190 peer reviewed papers, received over $28 Million in research funding, and supervises 16 PhD, MPhil, and honours students. He has five children and supports Glasgow Celtic.

Technical Advisors

Prof Mark Pearcy

Dr Shaun Gregory

About

Professor Mark Pearcy has conducted research in Biomedical Engineering for more than 35 years. He has experience in a variety of areas including: the measurement of three-dimensional movements and mechanics of the human spine; the mechanics and biology of bone fracture healing; tribology and design of total joint replacements; and the development of artificial hearts. He has published over 240 refereed papers and conference proceedings in international publications. He has worked in Glasgow, Oxford and Durham, UK; and in Adelaide and Brisbane, Australia. Since 1996 Professor Pearcy has held the Foundation Chair of Biomedical Engineering at The Queensland University of Technology (QUT) where he has been responsible for the ongoing development of the Bachelor of Engineering (Medical) degree and built a large Orthopaedic and Trauma research group in QUT’s Institute of Health and Biomedical Innovation. He led the team that built and developed QUT’s Medical Engineering Research Facility, opened in 2008 on the site of The Prince Charles Hospital in Brisbane, with funding from the Queensland state government, industry and QUT. In 2004 Prof Pearcy was presented with the Engineers Australia, College of Biomedical Engineers, David Dewhurst Award for outstanding contribution to the profession of Biomedical Engineering. In August 2009 he was awarded a DEng from the University of Bristol following examination of a portfolio of his research publications.

 

Recent publications can be seen at:

http://eprints.qut.edu.au/view/person/Pearcy,_Mark.html

About

Dr Gregory has completed Bachelor, Masters and PhD degrees in medical engineering. He completed his three-year postdoctoral fellowship at the University of Queensland’s School of Medicine, followed by a two-year research fellowship at Griffith University’s School of Engineering. During these fellowships, Dr Gregory was Technical Director of the ICETLAB and grew a small team into a large research group through attracting competitive grant funding and world-class researchers. Dr Gregory left the ICETLAB to join the Department of Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering at Monash University in 2018, where he is also a member of the Monash Institute of Medical Engineering (MIME). He maintains an advisory role in the ICETLAB, while also having adjunct / honorary positions at Griffith University and the University of Queensland. Dr Gregory has also completed research at institutes from Australia, Germany and the UK.

Dr Gregory’s research interests focus primarily on the development and evaluation of mechanical circulatory and respiratory support. Key areas of this research include new surgical fixation techniques, anatomic fitting, physiological control, blood flow dynamics, surgical training rig development, numerical simulations, in-vitro testing and test rig development, and in-vivo evaluation. Through this research, Dr Gregory has produced over 40 publications, 4 patents, 28 conference presentations and secured over 50 research grants worth more than $7.4 Million. Dr Gregory is also lead editor on the textbook titled ‘Mechanical Circulatory and Respiratory Support’, and has supervised more than 100 research staff / students.

Postdoctoral Research Fellows

Dr Brendan O’Flaherty

About

Dr O’Flaherty is a Mechanical Engineer with more than 4 years experience
in design, analysis and testing and a Ph.D. from UQ. He has broad  experience in both numerical and experimental work, including producing manufacturing drawings, FE analysis, CFD analysis, embedded systems, and instrumentation of machinery.

Dr Nicole (Loechel) Bartnikowski

About

Nicole Bartnikowski completed her undergraduate degree in Medical Engineering at the Queensland University of Technology (QUT) in 2011 with first class honours. After working as an undergraduate engineering student at the ICETLAB in 2011, she pursued a PhD at the Institute of Health and Biomedical Innovation, QUT, from 2012 – 2015. Her PhD work focused on the evaluation of the mechanical environment of bone fractures during healing, assessing whether manipulation of strain magnitude during this period may be used to positively influence healing outcome. She has presented at 2 international and 4 national conferences and is a co-author on  6 publications. She has broad experience in the application of technical engineering in a problem solving context, including FE analysis, mechanical testing, medical imaging and histological evaluation.

Dr Fredy Munoz

About

Fredy Munoz received the B.Sc. degree in Electronics Engineering and the M.Sc. degree in Industrial Automation from the National University of Colombia, Bogota, Colombia, in 2007 and 2009, respectively, and the MBA degree from Stevens-Henager College, Salt Lake City, USA, in 2010. After having worked on the automation of manufacturing processes with the private sector, he completed the PhD degree in Mechatronics at the University of Wollongong, Wollongong, Australia, in 2016. His PhD work focused on magnetic actuation for untethered capsule robots and medical devices. He worked on magnetic sensing as a Research Associate with the Centre for Autonomous Systems at the University of Technology Sydney, Sydney, Australia, before joining the CCRG and the ICETLAB as a Postdoctoral Research Fellow with the University of Queensland, Brisbane, Australia. Dr. Munoz has broad experience in Electromagnetic (EM) systems, FEM modelling (Comsol Multiphysics), fabrication of novel EM sensors and actuators, magnetic devices for surgical robotics, software and hardware integration and mechatronics. His current research interests include the development of highly efficient EM sensors and actuators for implantable medical devices and rotary blood pumps. His orcid ID is: https://orcid.org/0000-0002-0143-5407.

Dr Jo Pauls

About

Jo Philipp Pauls has completed a degree in medical engineering at the Rheinisch-Westfälische Technische Hochschule Aachen (RWTH), Germany, where he also worked as a research student at the Helmholtz Institute, Aachen. Following his studies, he worked for the B.Braun Melsungen AG – Vascular Systems in Germany, USA and Poland and contracted for BiVACOR, an artificial heart company. He has completed a PhD student at Griffith University – School of Engineering. His research is conducted in cooperation with the CCRG’s Innovative Cardiovascular Engineering and Technology Laboratory (ICETLAB) based at The Prince Charles Hospital. Dr Pauls research is primarily focused on the development of a passive physiological control system for rotary ventricular assist devices. Other areas of his research include the investigation of the native hearts response to changes in patient states, in-vitro testing, in-vivo evaluation and numerical simulations. He has presented his research at various national and international conferences.

Dr Chris Chan

About

Hoi Houng (Chris) Chan has completed both his degree and PhD in Chemical and Biochemical Engineering at the Swansea University, United Kingdom. He has devoted his research and development career to studying the haemocompatibility of cardiovascular devices, with particular focus on developing novel bioassays to assess damage caused by these devices to key blood components and to total blood function. He has worked in different types of mechanical circulatory support (MCS) technologies such as left ventricular assist device (Calon Cardio, Swansea, UK), minimal invasive intra-atrial pump (Texas Heart Institute, Houston, US) and total artificial heart (BiVACOR, Los Angeles, US). Other areas of his research include the cavitation, flow cytometry, rheology, in-vitro testing and in-vivo evaluation. He has presented his research at various national and international conferences.

 

PhD Students

Martin Mapley

Kristy Garrick

 

Sam Liao

About

Martin has completed his Bachelor of Engineering (Electronic and Computer) at GU in 2016. He has contributed to several journal papers and presented at conferences. Martin was awarded a 2017 New Investigator Grant provided by The Prince Charles Hospital Foundation. He has begun his PhD investigating the additive manufacturing of functional materials in the endeavour to reduce mechanical circulatory support device development time and costs.

About

 Kristy Garrick completed her Bachelor of Engineering (Medical) at the Queensland University of Technology (QUT) in 2016.  Her final year undergraduate project was completed in collaboration with the ICETLAB developing a novel dual lumen cannula.  Kristy is undertaking her PhD at the ICETLAB with Griffith University, to develop a suture-less cannula for the rapid implantation of blood pumps, aiming at improving the outcomes for patients requiring mechanical circulatory support.  Kristy is the recipient of The Prince Charles Hospital Foundations 2017 PhD Scholarship, as well as a New Investigator Grant to complete this research.  Kristy’s research interest is cardiovascular engineering, with biodesign and fluid dynamics a major focus. 

About

Sam Liao has completed his Bachelor of Engineering (Medical) at QUT in 2014. He has contributed to several journal papers and presented at conferences. Sam was awarded a 2014 New Investigator Grant provided by The Prince Charles Hospital Foundation. He is about to begin his PhD at QUT in collaboration with the ICETLAB. Sam’s current research interest is in tissue engineering which looks at improving the integration between a ventricular assist device and the native heart

Andrew Stephens

Eric Wu

Eleonore Bolle

About

Andrew completed his Bachelor of Electronic and Computer Engineering with first class honours at Griffith University and has been a member of the ICET LAB since 2014. Andrew is undertaking a PhD with Griffith University designing a low drift implantable pressure transducer. In addition to his research, Andrew provides major electronic and computer modeling support to the ICET LAB. Andrew has a passion for utilising electronic engineering to drive medical advancement and develop innovative patient therapies. His areas of interest include; implantable devices, physiological control methods, optics and ventricular assist device control. Andrew’s research aims to provide patients with optimal mechanical support, improving patient outcomes and quality of life.

About

Eric is currently undertaking a research degree at UQ with a focus on developing a pump management system for rotary blood pumps. He has previously completed a Bachelor of Medical Engineering at QUT and Masters of Electrical Engineering at UQ. His interests include control theory and pump design.

Clayton Semenzin

Alice Boone

Raymond Ho

About

Clayton completed his Bachelor of Mechanical Engineering (with Advanced Studies) degree with first class honours at Griffith University. He is currently undertaking his PhD on developing a centrifugal pump design handbook specifically for blood pumps. His research interests include computational fluid dynamics and rotary blood pump design

About

Alice Boone completed her Bachelor and Masters studies in Biomedical Engineering at the Université Catholique de Louvain-la-Neuve (UCL) in Belgium. During her studies she developed a passion for engineering rehabilitation technologies including the development of neuro-prostheses and cardiovascular technologies.

Alice is currently undertaking a Doctoral degree at the ICETLAB with Griffith University; she is researching on the development of a low-cost intra-ventricular balloon pump to assist patients with acute or chronic heart failure.

About

Raymond Ho is a chartered professional engineer and registered with the Queensland Board of Professional Engineers. He has completed a Bachelor of Engineering (Mechanical) in 1999 at the University of Technology Sydney (UTS) and Masters of Engineering Science (Mechanical) in 2015 at the University of Southern Queensland (USQ). He is a self-employed engineering consultant specializing in fluid power, design, verification and validation of mobile machinery with an interest in solid and fluid mechanics. He currently volunteers with the Australian Smith Family and the USQ as a tertiary mentor.

During his master’s degree, he designed a novel robotic fluid sensing fingertip which currently has an Australia provisional patent. With his 30 plus years of industrial design and testing experience in fluid mechanics, he is now extending that knowledge to the biomechanical effects of cardiovascular devices.

His research is based on a numerical evaluation of various arterial cannulas’ outflow, placement, tip design effects within the ascending aorta that may lead to neurological disorders during cardiopulmonary bypass. The aims of his study will lead to increased understanding of cannula haemodynamics with regards to clinical implementation which will enviably improve the quality of patient care.

Masters Students

Vicky Boucard

Valentine Oqda

Undergraduate Students and Interns

Oscar Vosshage

Coubus Hoffman

Taryn Smith

Dylan Lightbody

Kristy van der Vegte

Harry Pilch

Luis Ayora

Vasu Lakkoju

Research Support

Surgical Support

Bruce Thomson

In-vivo Support

Sanne Pederson

Cardiology Support

David Platts

Cardiology Support

Nchafatso Obonyo

Biology Support

Jacky Suen

Perfusion Support

Charles McDonald

Admin Support

Marianne Tansley

Graphics Support

Kirby Shannon

Collaborators