The Centre’s facilities enable research which brings together biology, medicine, computation, mathematics, chemistry, physics, cell biology, neuroscience, engineering, and bioengineering to impact knowledge in unprecedented ways.
In 2016, Prof. Vissel drove the formation of a momentous collaboration between UTS and St Vincent’s Hospital in Sydney.
This partnership enabled the establishment of laboratory facilities for the CNRM within St Vincent’s Applied Medical Research Centre (AMR).
Combining the research environment of UTS, AMR and St Vincent’s Research Campus, CNRM provides state-of-the-art facilities to realise the aims of the proposed project, including:
- Behavioural test facility
- Flow cytometry lab
- Cell sorting facility
- Behavioural tests established in the lab:
- Morris maze, elevated plus maze
- Open field
- Fear conditioning
- Decision-making test in automated reward chambers
- High-resolution microscopy facility
- With bright field microscopes, fluorescence microscopes, confocal microscope all equipped with last generation stereology systems
- Joint mass spectrometry and protein analysis facility (with single cell and capillary western systems)
- DNA sequencing and genotyping facility
- Behavioural tests established in the lab:
These facilities, brought together, create a unique research environment for the successful accomplishment of the CNRM research goals, and in the long run, the translation of research outcomes from bench to bedside. + Animal Facility in partnership with Garvan Institute (BTF= Biological Testing Facility)
- Large Breeding facility for genetically modified mice ABR= Australian Bioressource, offering GM mice colony maintenance, sperm and embryo freezing
- Electrophysiology Rig
- Microbiological lab
- PC3 Virology lab
- PC2 surgery facility containing > eight surgery rooms, six stereotaxes (four robotic, two manual)
- PC2 cell culture facility equipped for primary cell culture and immortalised cell line work.
- Fully-equipped histology room for carrying out perfusions, equipped with state-of-the-art equipment, including:
- A cryostat and vibratomes
- Abundant wet lab space
- Access to a high-resolution microscopy facility
CNRM Spinal Cord Injury Research Facility, at Tech Lab
This purpose-built facility is the first of its kind in Australia, embedded in the UTS Tech Lab to enable cross-collaboration with engineering, motion sensor technology, and technological innovation.
Fitted with brand-new, best-in-the-world research equipment this space is primed to take neurostimulation technology to the next level.
A complete laboratory for clinical motion analysis
Developed as a result of 30 years of research and experience in this field, this motion capture system from Europe will allow the Centre’s researchers to perform clinical motion and gait analysis on participants in our program.
This machinery will allow our scientists to capture data on walking, posture, load anomalies and muscle failure. Digital synchronization of different analysis tools will simultaneously compare, frame by frame, the patient’s movements of limbs and muscle, and force distribution during movement.
Features include a digital sensory floor for dynamic analysis; high precision optoelectronic systems for motion study, and wireless probes for real-time motion and EMG analysis.
The world’s first robotic arm exoskeleton
Equipment designed to guide initial phases of arm and hand function recovery for severely impaired patients has arrived at the Centre’s facilities in Botany from Singapore.
Using sensors and intelligent algorithms to detect, guide and improve a patient’s arm movements in a 3D workspace, this machine will enable patients to:
- Relearn hand opening and closing
- Train reaching and grasping with assist-as-needed support from shoulders to fingers
The most advanced overground gait and balance training system
Installed in the CNRM Spinal Cord Research Facility, this dynamic body-weight system spans a 24.4m overhead track attached to a steel support beam. It enables patients to practice walking on smooth and uneven terrain, with walking aids such as walkers or canes.
The system also allows patients to be lifted out of their wheelchair or lowered to the floor; containing a small motor that drives the system so the patient only feels vertical unloading forces. The trolley assemblies pivot, allowing the system to move along straight and curved sections.
The patient is connected to the system with a harness placed around their torso and pelvis.
This equipment will allow individuals to begin practicing walking early after their injuries, in a safe controlled manner.