med devices header


Click here to download the programme 

This meeting aims to bring together researchers across the health sector to discuss their efforts towards creating new diagnostic tools and treatment devices, from early-stage engineering development through to clinical application and commercialisation. The programme includes: 
Confirmed Keynote Speakers
Robert Shepherd,
Bionics Institute and University of Melbourne: Implantable devices: lessons in taking devices to the clinic 
Sally McArthur, Swinburne University of Technology and CSIRO Creating the tool boxes for 4D cell culture systems 
Greg O’Grady, University of Auckland Commercialising research: a clinical scientist’s experience 

Rob Shepherd “Implantable devices: lessons in taking devices to the clinic”
Neural prostheses are engineered devices that record from and/or electrically stimulate excitable tissue in order to improve health outcomes. This talk will provide an overview of the design and their pathway to the clinic using examples from our research including cochlear implants for the treatment of severe hearing loss and retinal prostheses for the treatment of end-stage retinitis pigmentosa. Significantly, there are a large number of devices currently undergoing development, fuelling expectations that this field will undergo major expansion over the next decade. One example is the application of bionics to stimulate peripheral nerves —bioelectronics — to treat a broad range of diseases, from arthritis to inflammatory bowel disease.

Rob Shepherd is a Professorial Fellow in the Medical Bionics Department, University of Melbourne and a former Director of the Bionics Institute (2006-2017). He is focused on developing neural technologies for unmet clinical needs, and conducting his research in a multidisciplinary environment with engineers, clinicians, scientists and industry. His research has contributed to the development of cochlear and retinal prostheses as well as more recent applications in bioelectronics for the treatment of inflammatory bowel disease. He has published over 200 papers, holds 7 patents and has been generously supported by the NIH, DARPA, NHMRC, ARC and the Garnett Passe and Rodney Williams Memorial Foundation.

Sally McArthur “Creating the tool boxes for 4D cell culture systems"
The conventional approach to cell culture uses 2D surfaces to attach and grow cells on tissue culture polystyrene (TCPS). While these systems are central to much of our current research paradigm, it is well established that they fail to reproduce many of the cell-cell signalling and external cues experienced by cells in tissue. There is increasing demand for reproducible and predictable 3D in vitro models that effectively replicate the tissue of interest and will enable the evaluation of biomaterials and smaller implantable devices. These systems need to
• replicate specific physical and biochemical aspects of the biological system.
• be readily manipulated to address specific research questions or target specific biological pathways
• can be monitored in real time (adding the 4th dimension)
• be reproducible, scalable and critically, validated against the gold standards.
This talk will explore the manufacturing and materials challenges in these systems and discuss approaches being made in the 4D Cell Culture team at CSIRO and Swinburne to develop toolboxes to address these challenges.

Sally McArthur is a Professor of Biomedical Engineering at Swinburne University of Technology and a CSIRO Research+ Science Leader in Biomaterials.
As an engineering researcher Sally has obtained approximately $22M in funding from research councils, industry and government in the UK and Australia. She is passionate about exploring new ways to link industry and academia. Sally is the Regional Director for Victoria of the National Medical Device Partnering Program (MDPP), an ideas incubator that supports inventors to turn their medical or assistive device ideas into proven concepts.
In her role as a CSIRO Science Leader leads a team developing 4D Cell Culture Systems for biomaterials evaluation and testing. Based on tissue engineered models, her team aims to develop the materials, devices, monitoring tools and verification methods required to take translate these systems from the lab to industrial application.

Greg O’Grady “Commercialising research: a clinical scientist’s experience“
Commercialisation is an outstanding potential avenue to achieve research impact, by taking research out of the lab to develop useful products for the ‘real world'. However commercialisation is also a complex maze and challenging path, with many potential pitfalls. This talk will provide an overview of research commercialisation based on real-world experience, from the perspective of a clinical-scientist engaged in the development and translation of medical technologies.

Greg O’Grady is an Associate Professor of Surgery at Auckland Hospital and leads the Surgical Engineering Lab based at the Auckland Bioengineering Institute. He is focused on developing innovative medical technologies for unmet clinical needs, working in close collaboration with engineers, industry, physiologists and other clinicians. His research has contributed to two spin-out companies, over 120 papers, 10 patents and has been recognised by several international awards. He is generously supported by an HRC Programme Grant, as well as the MedTech CoRE, MBIE and Marsden.

Daniel McCormick “Networks of implants: the future of electroceuticals?”
Implantable devices have seldom departed from the pacemaker model where a single large device connects to sense or stimulus site via leads. This model is troublesome where the leads must endure long term flexing which hinders reliability, MRI compatibility is required, or the site is inaccessible. In this talk I will discuss the Implantable Device Group’s ambitious aim to develop an alternative approach based on a network of small devices placed directly at the sense or stimulus site which communicate wirelessly. This not only addresses the limitations previously identified but opens the possibility of therapies based on multiple sense and stimulus sources.
Daniel McCormick is the Hugo Charitable Trust fellow in Bioengineering at the Auckland Bioengineering Institute. His research focuses on the practicalities of powering, encapsulating and communicating with implantable devices. He also works in the medical device industry where he has developed wireless implantable devices for pressure measurement for Millar Inc. He has attracted $16mil in funding through research project and philanthropic grants including being a PI on the currently funded MBIE Smart Senor Programme.


Networking and social function: Join us for an informal event of food and networking across New Zealand’s medical device and technology community. 

Presentations and Prizes: We welcome abstract submissions for presentation in either oral (standard or quick-fire) or poster format. Presentation of quality research at any stage is invited. 

Please submit abstracts of up to 300 words using the template on the website and register for the conference by 19 July 2019

For more information regarding the Medical Devices satellite please contact Simon Malpas,

Key Dates:
Friday 19 July, 2019
QRW Earlybird Registration Deadline
Friday 19 July, 2019
QRW Abstract Submission Deadline
Friday 19 July, 2019
AWCBR Early Bird Registration. NOTE: Abstract Submission Deadline 12th July.
Friday 26 July, 2019
Major Awards Application Deadline
QRW Updates: