Cultivating a Sustainable Future
World hunger is an increasing problem and as the global population rises, food insecurity will become more prevalent worldwide. To feed the growing world population, we need to increase both the production and the nutritional value of crops. Plants are a rich source of proteins and are more economical to produce than farm animals for the same purpose. Unfortunately, invasive weeds and low nutrient content of plants results in significant reduction of both the quantity and quality of crops we produce. One nutrient which is found in both weeds and crops is lysine. This project focuses on understanding the production of lysine in plants at the molecular level. With this understanding we will be able to utilise lysine to either control crop losses caused by weeds or to boost the nutritional value of crops. Overall, we hope to cultivate a sustainable agricultural industry which can feed our growing population.
- Mirrin Mckay
Insect Soldiers to fight extinction!
Where would humanity be without insects? With alarming levels of insect extinction across the planet if we ignore their role in balancing our environment, we face a truly difficult existence. Understanding their natural biology and function will help their preservation as well as allow us to utilise their vast array of benefits. Black Soldier Fly (Hermetia illucens) (BSF) are nutritionally rich in protein, omega-3 fatty acids and vitamins as a feed additive and can aid in waste removal whilst lowering greenhouse gas production. With predicted global production valued at AUD$3.96 billion by 2033, why are Australian based enterprises so hesitant?
Our project is analysing BSF Production for Australian enterprise, through identifying optimal breeding and grow-out practices to inform economic analysis and modelling. We aim to identify how an Australian industry can develop and thrive utilising this truly amazing insect so we can help protect biological diversity on our planet.
- Adele Barca
Got Milk? Make Cheese.
The average Australian eats about 13.6 kilograms of cheese per year. But where does this cheese come from? How does it end up on the shelves at your local supermarket? The most important aspect of cheesemaking is the milk that eventually produces the cheese and therefore, this project was to design an efficient and simple processing plant for standardising and pasteurising the milk required for cheese production. Technical drawings and various simulations were used to calculate the volumes, flowrates and operating conditions before equipment items were sourced, from Australian companies, to put together the basic plan for this plant. We successfully provided the information and documentation required to build a fully functioning and safe milk treatment plant from the delivery of raw cow milk to the pasteurisation of the milk, ready for cheesemaking in the Adelaide Hills.
- Josephine Matthias
- Thomas Li
Eradicating Ebola Epidemics
Ebola Virus Disease (EVD) caused by the Ebola Virus, is one of the deadliest diseases ever recorded. A 2014 outbreak, occurring largely in West Africa, resulted in the deaths of over 50% of those infected by the disease, whilst smaller outbreaks have recorded a 90% mortality rate. The Non-Replicating Viral Vectors Plant Design Project aims to prepare the world for a future Ebola outbreak by annually producing 10kg of a vaccine that prevents the virus from spreading and minimises its effects. The vaccine is produced through several operations that are common within the biopharmaceutical industry. Initially, genetically modified Human Embryonic Kidney (HEK 293A) cells are scaled up, before being amplified and infected with non-replicating AD26.ZEBOV Ebola viruses in a bioreactor. The viral particles are purified through centrifugation, chromatography and filtration stages. The vaccine provides an 80% protection rate, whereas unvaccinated individuals were shown to have a 50% mortality rate.
- Ryan Jon Allan
- Michelle Wilson
- Si Mikan Chen
- Zara Jackson
- Nguyen Trong Tin Pham
Plant Protein From Canola Waste
In Australia, over 2.5 million tonnes of canola is produced each year, primarily used for animal feed, cooking oils and biofuels. This plant aims to unlock canola’s full potential by marrying plant-based protein and biodiesel production processes. Together with industry partner, South Australian Biofuels, we have developed a modern production plant able to convert canola waste solids into protein isolate. The process can valorise Australian canola further as a sustainable, high-quality protein source, presenting new business opportunities to market towards chefs and environmentally conscious consumers. In this process canola waste solids are milled, whereafter proteins are then extracted, separated, refined and dried for storage. The production unit, intended for use on farms in the Yorke Peninsula region, is built as a transportable, short assembly system able to process canola meal with up to 30% protein extraction yield.
- Wei Khang (Ken) Lew
- Samuel Wallis
- Callan Bratton
- Grace Dawson
- Tran Minh Uyen Vu
- Harry Litster
Can we train AI to detect COVID-19?
The rampant spread of COVID-19 has caused many testing and healthcare facilities to become overwhelmed. As a result, many patients have experienced extended queue times as well as a delayed turnaround time between testing and receiving their results. The aim of this project is to implement machine learning models to automatically detect COVID-19 from a patient's chest X-ray image. To further optimise the performance of these models, a wide range of image pre-processing techniques were also explored. The best performing model and it's associated image pre-processing techniques will be identified and proposed for future research and implementation.
- Nivin Jose Kovukunnel
- Andreas Kotsanis
- Mohammad Shafaie
Calibrating a Needle-Sized Camera
The development and implementation of tiny lenses embedded within the tip of a needle has opened the door to imaging organs deep within the body. These tiny cameras, which are not much larger than the diameter of a single human hair, are capable of being inserted in areas such as the brain or important vessels like arteries, to capture important images which aid in the detection of deadly diseases. Although revolutionary in design, due to the extremely small size of these needle probes it is often hard to firstly manufacture and secondly determine their ability to capture a quality image. Therefore, this project aimed to design a tool to define the important imaging characteristics of these tiny probes. A calibration object was embedded into an experimental setup to assess the imaging resolution of a probe, producing a reliable and repeatable method of quality probe assessment.
- Flynn Pisani
X-Ray Safety Smart Ring
Your dentist leaves the room to take a single low power X-Ray, but many surgeons stand next to a machine taking 10 X-Rays per second for 20 minutes straight! This is because in minimally invasive procedures (like keyhole surgery), surgeons use X-Rays to see what they are doing.
Unfortunately, this puts them at a much higher risk of developing radiation diseases, like cancers. Hospital staff currently use passive devices to measure X-Ray exposure and to ensure they stay within safe limits. These devices take months to return results from a lab
We developed a wearable electronic device that can provide real-time alerts and data collection of X-Ray exposure.
- Samuel Messina
- Christian Alexandru
Biomechanics of the cheetah spine
The cheetah, Acinonyx jubatus, is known for its incredible speed and hunting ability. Population decline and habitat changes have made it important to understand the cheetah biomechanics, as it may impact their hunting ability. Therefore, this project aimed to investigate the cheetah’s locomotion and internal mechanics of the spine. The locomotion was analysed through motion tracking of a video from a hunting cheetah. Changes in the joint angles over time were measured and used to develop kinematic modelling for investigation of key parameters, such as the cheetah size. The internal mechanics of the cheetah spine were also analysed using structural simulations built from 3D scans of actual cheetah vertebrae. These models were used to determine the spine flexure and stresses acting within a vertebral segment during locomotion. The overall investigation helped to provide an understanding of spinal mechanics and how potential changes in skeletal structure may alter the hunting ability.
- Dinkar Shamasundar Kashyap
Mannequin Neck for Paramedic Training
Neck immobilisation using collars, spine boards and manual stabilisation, attempts to minimise the risk of damage to the spinal cord following trauma.Paramedics and other clinicians use Patient Simulator Mannequins (PSMs) to learn and practice immobilisation procedure. However, current commercially available PSMs do not provide accurate neck stiffness and range of motion in six degrees of freedom, or provide a measure of head and neck movement. The aim of this project was to optimise several aspects of a prototype PSM neck, to improve its usability and to provide range of motion and stiffness that better aligns with human data. We have altered the mechanical features and material properties of the mannequin neck primarily towards limiting its range of motion and achieving variable stiffness for different motions of the neck. Better testing apparatus and assembling tools have been developed which significantly improve the test procedure and the neck assembly.
- Lachlan Miller
- Raid Roslan
Develop blood flow analysis tools
The project aims to create tools for better understanding the blood flow in diseased coronary arteries. The tool will process the angiographies from patients and reconstruct a 3D model of the vessels. The tool will generate the centrelines and measure the diameters of the arteries, 3D reconstructions using projection methods that are developed in MATLAB scripts. The second part of the project is to conduct flow simulations based on the 3D reconstructions. The simulation will be conducted by using Ansys. It will return some key parameters such as wall share stress and pressure, which are important in generating treatments and diagnosing coronary artery diseases.
- Xueshen Liu
Reduce Surgical Radiation Exposure
With the increasing demand for medical radiation during surgery, the surgical team must be aware of their radiation exposure. The dosimeter has the potential to minimise the exposure level and maintain it within a safe range for surgeons. This project aims to design and build a wearable dosimeter that utilises haptic feedback to alert the surgeon when the exposure level exceeds the safety threshold. Haptic feedback has been integrated to overcome visual and audio sensory overload. The hardware and software components have been designed and developed with continuous adjustments. Tests with radiation sources were conducted for signal processing purposes and to verify the dosimeter's performance. Concurrently, user interfaces, including website and Mobile applications, were developed to support both wifi and bluetooth applications. This project presents a compact wearable dosimeter with a simple and efficient user interface to guide surgeons toward safe radiation behaviour through the use of real-time haptic feedback.
- Madelyn Zacher
- Korapin Itakornpan
- Vitor Klein
- Claire Serwan
Measuring Brain Deformation
In Australia, over 20,000 people are hospitalised with a Traumatic Brain Injury (TBI) every year. The mechanics of the brain during TBI events are complex and not well understood. Better understanding of TBI mechanisms may lead to improve prevention strategies and treatments. An ongoing research program seeks to measure brain deformation in a pre-clinical (sheep) model of TBI. The aim of this project was to develop a method and testing model to measure brain deformation during a simulated injury event using sonomicrometry. To simulate the preclinical model, 3D models of a sheep brain, spinal cord, and cranial cavity were created from medical images, and manufactured using gelatin moulding and 3D printing. Piezoelectric sonomicrometry crystals were embedded in the gelatin brain to establish the feasibility of the sonomicrometry method. A trilateration program was written to transform the ultrasonic signals transmitted by piezoelectric crystals into their change in 3D position.
- Charlotte Toohey
Development of Dental Ceramics
Gorgonzola Cheese producing plant
Microwave Imaging of Breast Cancer
Next Gen Medical Stents
Predicting Spinal Cord Injury Risk
Production of Bioactive Products as by products from Australian mean and livestoke
Smart Sock to Aid Prothesis Fit