Projects

List of mentor-guided projects

This year’s mentors have brainstormed the following projects. If any of them interest you, please indicate this in your registration form!

  • Project 1
  • Project 2
  • Project 3
  • Project 4
  • Project 5
  • Project 6
  • Project 7

Project 1: Antibacterial surface design for medical implants to reduce the risk of implant-related infection

Project Description:

Implant-related infection is associated with the application of biomaterials. Once biomaterials expose to body fluid after implantation, their surfaces can be rapidly attached by bacteria, which leads to biofilm-oriented implant infection. In this case, how to design an antibacterial surface becomes challenging. Current mechanisms include inhibiting bacterial attachment and killing bacteria while releasing biocidal agents. However, there are a lot of factors, such as surface chemistry, peri-implant environment and antimicrobial resistance, should be considered thoroughly while designing an antibacterial surface.  

This project aims to design an engineered surface for medical implant to reduce the risk of implant-related infection. It should be generally based on literature review and some design software may be applied accordingly. Medical implants could be selected from but not limited to orthopaedic implants, dental implants, pacemakers, catheters, etc. 

Project 2: 3D printing to the rescue: PPEs and beyond

Project Description:

The current COVID-19 pandemic has thrown the world into disarray, aggravated by shortages in medical devices, e.g. personal protective equipment (PPE), ventilators. Several 3D printing professionals and hobbyists have stepped up to rapidly print components to meet this unprecedented demand and also design innovatively for a touch-less environment. What would you print with a (bio)ceramic? How would you design it and what material(s) would you use? 

Project 3: Developing a method to monitor the curvature of your spine

Project Description:

Spinal diseases trouble current population in almost all ages so it is important to maintain the natural curvature of spine which would prevent the spinal disease. However, due to the differences among individuals, the body posture may not show explicit curvature of spine. Therefore, developing a method to monitor the curve of spine, which facilitate people to adjust their posture at daily life, is a meaningful task to do. 

Some useful resources: 

https://thewholeu.uw.edu/2016/07/01/natural-posture/ 

https://idealspine.com/why-is-your-spine-s-shaped-the-importance-of-spinal-curves/ 

https://finishlinept.com/news/a-simple-exercise-to-lengthen-your-spine/ 

Project 4: A Novel Reverse Total Shoulder Arthroplasty Implant Design to Eliminate Scapular Notching Complication

Project Description:

Reverse total shoulder arthroplasty (RSA) is a shoulder replacement surgery in which the normal ball-and-socket relationship of the glenohumeral joint is reversed. This design demonstrates success in treating patients with cuff tear arthropathy, a condition for which other shoulder replacement surgeries perform poorly. However, current RSA implant design is associated with many complications, and scapular notching is a common one of them. Scapular notching refers to the erosion of the scapular neck occurs when the humeral implant component impinges at the inferior scapular neck with the arm in adduction. Scapular notching has been found to be present radiographically in approximately two-thirds of RSAs at 2-year follow-up. And the presence of scapular notching can lead to decrease in shoulder strength, reduced shoulder range of motion, and even implant loosening. 

The objective of this project is to come up with a novel RSA design that can eliminate scapular notching and provide impingement-free shoulder motions. 

A great video that provide background knowledge about shoulder anatomy and RSA implant: 

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=X59Z1a3v-Pm 

Project 5: Creation of a smart-phone app to manage prosthetic limb setup of transfemoral amputees

Project Description:

Prosthetic limbs of transfemoral amputees have a number of specific adjustments to customize  

the limb for individual users. For example, the knee axis can be moved or rotated to a number of different positions. This customization is currently performed by a prosthetist and to a limited extent by the user, however, this process is largely based on comfort and experience and the precise setup is not recorded.  

The aim of this project is to develop a smart-phone app that uses photographs of the limb to accurately determine its arrangement. It is intended this app will empower patients to more greatly customize their own prosthesis setup, as well as providing a tool for clinicians to monitor performance of different configurations. 

Project 6: Weight management during the COVID-19 global pandemic using low-cost digital photography 

Project Description:

This project aims to develop a low cost solution for detecting body composition following/during the COVID-19 pandemic. The global pandemic has led to several lockdowns and less opportunities for individuals to be physically active. Body composition and weight management play a major role in quality of life. We will use digital photography and simple machine learning techniques to detect body composition remotely. The aim is to compare gender effects and whether men or females’ health is affected the most during the pandemic.  

Project 7: Surgical training simulations

Project Description:

With advances in technology, surgical training is moving towards becoming a competency-based practice to produce more competent trainees. Various teaching tools are present but simulation-based training is becoming increasingly popular. ICD lead extraction is a procedure that could greatly benefit from improved training tools due to the risk involved.  

The aim of this project will be to design a system that is capable of adequately training trainee surgeons in lead extraction. Consider what kinds of technology could be useful for this and how they can be combined. 

Self-guided projects

If you would like to pursue an idea/project that is not listed above, you can undertake a self-guided project.

If you’ve already got an idea, head over and submit an application! If you’re still thinking of a project, here are some of last year’s projects to give you inspiration:

Bluetooth protheses!

What’s the best diet and exercise plan for an astronaut?

The optimal transgenic yeast for carbon capture

Can we extend in vitro fertility by recreating gastrulation in vitro?

Biomimicry of platypus and echidna electroreception for finding electroexamination
of our environment

Using CRISPR modified corn to create a bio-powered flashlights

Biomimicry of platypus and echidna electroreception for the fabrication of
novel batteries

Treating diabetes with encapsulated iPSC derived insulin secreting beta cells

Technologies to prevent spending too much time on youtube/Netflix/the
internet

Cloning Dr Young No, twice or more

Self contained actuator system powered from cell cultured muscles

Making in vitro meat tasty: 3D matrix supported fat, muscle and stromal cells

A space elevator to Mars

A way to write down Graham’s number

New methods to calculate the biggest prime number ever

Ion drive

Regenerative casts/splints

Technology to prevent muscle wastage while waiting for a bone to heal