If you are interested in working with me during your 4th-year project, please contact me at leila@sce.carleton.ca, and please make sure to include the following information (for all prospective group members):

  1. A resume or CV showing both academic and industry experience;
  2. An academic transcript (electronic, non-official);
  3. A brief statement of interest detailing which project(s) you are interested in working on and what you hope to gain from this experience (e.g. research experience, collaboration with other departments, developing a particular skill, etc.). Please keep it to a maximum of 1 page.
  4. What extracurricular activities are you involved with and why?

Do not forget to visit the SYSC4907/4917 course website for all information related to the course, including a list of currently available projects. Please also note that groups should have between 2 to max 6 students. I am open to supervising mixed groups with students from Biomed, CSE, EE, and/or SE.

*If you have your own idea for a project and would like me to supervise you and your group, please send me an email to schedule a meeting to discuss it.

2023-24 Projects

1 – Re-designing and improving a low-cost 3D-bioprinter [Tissue Engineering]

Description: Who would think that one day we would be printing biological tissues in the same way we transfer ink to paper? Although this sentence oversimplifies a complex process, 3D bioprinting is one of the most promising technologies of the 21st century. 3D models and related organ-on-a-chip technologies represent powerful new tools in biomedical research, and 3D bioprinting has been a major driver of innovation in medicine. In this project, students will face the challenge of building, testing and optimizing a low-cost 3D bioprinter. Creativity will be fundamental to achieving success.

To learn more about the topic, I recommend you to visit the following pages:

 2- Simulating organs and tissues [Tissue Engineering]

Description: In tissue engineering, one of the biggest challenges is to be able to simulate the conditions cells find in our bodies. Biochemical and mechanical cues are important elements in organs and tissues, which cause the cells to behave in certain ways (e.g. heal injuries, migrate from one site to another, etc). For example, the lungs inflate and deflate as breathe.  How can we simulate this movement, tissue stretching and contraction in the lab?

In this project, students will develop a low-cost stretch chamber able to deform 3D bioprinted tissues and record biomechanical information from the sample (e.g. deformation coefficient) and allow the user to control parameters such as frequency of deformation and intensity. If the group manages to complete a functional prototype, I will provide you with real 3D bioprinted samples to test your device.

To see an example of this system, please watch this video. This project can also be adapted/integrated into the development of a system able to track the mechanical properties of the bioprinted samples. Here is one example of a commercial system.

3- Head movement vs balance: can we predict which is the most stable footwear?

Description: How about we could find a correlation between someone’s shoe type and persisting headaches? Or find metrics that could help seniors choose the most adequate pair of shoes to minimize the risks of falls?

Head stabilization contributes to dynamic balance, especially during the functional task of walking. Head stability and the role of vision in this process have not been studied during walking in older adults. In this project, you will integrate the use of sensors to track head movement and look for correlations between body movements and the type of shoes one might be wearing. How might shoes be playing a role in maintaining balance during simple dynamic activities such as walking? Can we find a strategy for selecting shoes that could prevent falls in older adults?

This project will involve the design and creation of a system able to track head movement in individuals and correlate such information with different types of footwear. Students are expected to have an interest in working with hardware, development of data collection protocols and biomedical correlation of relevant findings. To learn more about the subject:

4- Neuro-BASS – BAnging, Stretching, Squeezing neurological testing device

Description: Diagnostic tests and procedures are vital tools that help physicians confirm or rule out a neurological disorder or other medical condition. A century ago, the only way to make a definite diagnosis for many neurological disorders was to perform an autopsy after someone had died. Today, new instruments and techniques allow scientists to assess the living brain and monitor nervous system activity as it occurs, including MRI, CT scans, etc. However, some clinical tests which are crucial and still performed are based on measuring reflexes, strength, sensations, coordination, and balance. In this project, students will work on developing a device able to quantify certain pre-defined stimuli, as well as measuring the responses from several commonly adopted neurological tests and integrate the results into a database that can be used by physicians, physiotherapists, and other health practitioners to track patients’ progress.

To learn more about the subject:

5- Indoor training: how well are we mimicking the movements?

Description: Cross-country skiers are among the fittest athletes out there. All this fitness does not come for free: they often must train over 800h/year to achieve such physical conditioning. As the snow season only lasts for a few months, skiers all around the world must rely on other ways to keep their technique sharp during the off-snow season. They train using roller skis and on machines called SkiErg. However, how close to the on-snow technique are these athletes training during the offseason? In this project, students will work on developing and testing ways to apply pressure sensors and accelerometers to record data and assess how efficiently the movements done on roller skis and/or on the SkiErg machine are compared to the performance on skis on snow.

To learn more about the subject:

*This project can be adapted to different sports (e.g. rowing, running, cycling, etc)*