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Centre for Biomedical Engineering


Centre for Biomedical Engineering

A Newcastle University Centre of Research Excellence

Developing new technologies for the diagnosis, treatment and management of medical conditions. Our Centre brings together our engineering, scientific, clinical, and policy expertise across the University.

Developing new technologies for medical conditions

Newcastle University has a long track record in biomedical engineering. This gives an integrated and connected approach to research, development and translation of new devices, therapies and diagnostic technologies. Our core areas of expertise are:

  • diagnostics and theranostics
  • clinical imaging and medical physics
  • medical devices
  • tissue engineering and regenerative medicine
Centre for Biomedical Engineering logo

Diagnostics and theranostics

Our research covers:

  • general sensor development
  • theranostics for stratified medicine
  • point-of-need sensor solutions capable of remote deployment

Some solutions are adapted for existing delivery platforms, such as cost-effective paper-based solutions. Others work with novel electrochemical and MEMS sensing or next generation molecular diagnostics platforms.

The solutions often utilise new innovations in materials science to improve on state-of-the-art performance. The disease areas covered include cancer and infectious disease diagnostics.

Transdisciplinary research approach used in developing a Clostridium difficile point-of-care test at Newcastle.

Medical devices

Medical devices covers a very broad area of our research, including:

  • implantable neuroprosthetics to bring sight back to the blind
  • advanced pacemakers for epilepsy
  • orthopaedic implants for hip, knee and spine
  • assistive devices which allow people to compensate for impairments

Research covers:

  • the development of new devices
  • understanding the clinical effectiveness of devices
  • supporting medical device regulators in developing well founded policies around devices
Visual brain prosthesis concept to restore sight to the blind.

Tissue engineering and regenerative medicine

Research covers a wide range of applications, including:

  • the use of novel bioprinting techniques to develop new in vitro models for disease models and drug development
  • new technologies to support transplantation
  • new scalable cell sources
  • new biomaterials to support tissue development
  • regenerative approaches to treating musculoskeletal, diabetic, cardiac, retinal, liver, kidney and immunological conditions
Reactive jet impingement bioprinting process – developed at Newcastle, and being used to accelerate the production of tissues in vitro.

Clinical imaging and medical physics

Our research in clinical imaging and medical physics covers:

  • the development of new imaging methods
  • use of state-of-the-art imaging techniques to gain new insights into the development and treatment of disease

This exploits multi-modality imaging, which is where multiple imaging techniques are applied together in order to get a greater depth of understanding of the underlying biological processes.

Our impact

A recent example of our impact is the VAIOS® shoulder implant. This is used to restore function to patients who have damaged their shoulder joint.

The shoulder prosthesis was developed on the basis of research into the biomechanics of the shoulder joint carried out at Newcastle University.

It was then commercialised by JRI Orthopaedics, with the first products implanted in April 2010. Since then over 17,000 prostheses have been sold worldwide.

VAIOS® shoulder implant