A transparent, silk-derived implant that looks like a contact lens and can fix damaged eardrums is giving hope to millions who suffer from recurrent ear infections.
Creators of the device—from the Australian Research Council’s Future Fibres Research Hub and the Perth-based Ear Science Institute Australia (ESIA)—secured funding to start human clinical trials with it in Australia in 2018.
The implant, called ClearDrum, is made from silk protein that forms a see-through scaffold on which cells can grow to close eardrum perforations. Continue reading Touch of silk to repair ruptured eardrums
It’s difficult to get medical devices out of academia and industry and into end-users’ hands. But a South Australian researcher developed a way to do it—and the program is now set to expand nationally, thanks to funding from the Medical Technologies and Pharmaceuticals Industry Growth Centre.
Devices the program has supported include the U-stand Frame—which helps hospital patients or the elderly stand from a bed with minimal assistance—and a device placed in urinals that gives instant feedback on hydration, to address the impact of heat stress on worker safety. Continue reading Seeing medical devices from concept to commercialisation
Scientists from RMIT University are helping businesses across Europe and Australia harness the power of social media to become more innovative in a competitive market.
“Social media will help businesses develop innovations and promote novelties faster, with a competitive advantage,” says Professor Anne-Laure Mention, Director of the Enabling Capability Platform for Global Business Innovation at RMIT University.
With colleagues from Sydney, Geneva, and Luxembourg, Anne-Laure’s team is analysing the use of social media for open innovation practices in businesses around the world.
Continue reading How social media can help businesses get ahead
Information scientists are figuring out how to make search engines better at listening, so they can give us search results before we even ask.
Quizzing Siri or Alexa on the weather forecast or latest football results is common these days. But if we’re going to have fluent and intuitive conversations with future search engines, they will need to be built differently.
This challenge has captivated Professor Mark Sanderson, Director of the Enabling Capability Platform for Information and Systems (Engineering), and his team at RMIT University. Continue reading Teaching search engines to know what you need
A PhD student at The University of Melbourne has discovered a technique that can improve the resolution of bionic eyes for people who suffer from retinal conditions such age-related macular degeneration and retinitis pigmentosa.
“Implants are really limited in how much resolution they can provide. I’m trying to improve that,” says Kerry Halupka, who works with the Bionics Institute. Continue reading Sharpening vision in bionic eyes
Saliva or blood tests may one day be used to detect when we’re too tired to drive or think clearly.
A team of scientists has found specific biological markers (biomarkers) linked to reduced alertness, including eye movement patterns, blood-based metabolites, chemiresistor signal responses and various speech parameters.
If these can be used to develop a test, they hope to see it on the road and in the workplace within the next two-to-five years. Continue reading Towards a portable test for tiredness
Graeme Jameson’s technologies use trillions of bubbles to add billions of dollars to the value of Australia’s mineral and energy industries.
Graeme took flotation, a century-old technology developed in Broken Hill, and transformed it. A turbulent cloud of minute bubbles are pushed through a slurry of ground-up ore where they pick up tiny mineral particles and carry them to the surface.
Continue reading Trillions of bubbles at work for Australia