Professor Nicholas Opie BE BSc PhD MBA is a biomedical engineer and world expert in neural interfaces. He is Professor and Laboratory Head of the Vascular Bionics Laboratory, Department of Medicine, University of Melbourne, and an NHMRC Research Fellow.
Prof Opie has taken multiple numerous biomedical devices from concept to clinic, including a suprachoroidal retinal prosthesis (bionic eye) designed to restore sight to those with profound vision loss, and a motor neuron prosthesis (bionic spine) that is aimed at restoring independence, communication and mobility to those with paralysis. He has published over 55 peer reviewed articles in journals including in Nature Biomedical Engineering and Nature Biotechnology, and has filed over 90 patents, and was awarded the 2021 NFMRI John Raftos AM Award for Advancing Innovation.
Prof Opie is the founding CTO of Synchron, a neural interface company based in Melbourne and New York and has raised over AUD$210M in both private funding and grants. Prof Opie designed and developed Synchron’s flagship product, the Stentrode™, listed in Time Magazine’s Top 100 Inventions of 2021. The Stentrode and Synchron system aims to provide treatment for debilitating medical illnesses and enable patients to feel empowered by reconnecting online in ways that dramatically improve their lives.
Following a successful first-in-human trial conducted in Australia on the Stentrode motor neruro prosthesis, Prof Opie and Synchron recently received approval from the US FDA. This trial will commence this year and paves the way towards the first FDA approval for implantable brain computer interfaces.
Talk title: Stentrode: The Journey from Concept to Clinic.