UQ research gets a smart boost

8 May 2007

Needle-free injections and making electricity from sewage are just two examples of innovative University of Queensland research to receive almost $5 million in funding over the long weekend. 

Announced as part of the latest round of the Queensland Government's $200 million Smart State Innovation Funding Program, four projects led by UQ researchers have received $4.859 million in Innovation Project Funds. 

Professor Mark Kendall, from UQ's Australian Institute for Bioengineering and Nanotechnology, has received $1.24 million to further develop his research into nanopatches that could replace needles. 

Professor Kendall said the patch contained tiny projections that when applied to the skin would deliver the vaccine to target cells below the surface. 

The funding comes on top of Professor Kendall's Smart State Senior Fellowship, which he received last year. 

MedTeQ, an international research partnership led by UQ, will receive $2 million to create the next generation of medical imaging and monitoring systems. 

MedTeQ director Professor Stuart Crozier, from UQ's School of Information Technology and Electrical Engineering, said the project aims to improve health care efficiency through faster diagnosis of select cancers and cardiopulmonary diseases. 

Professor Melissa Little, from UQ's Institute of Molecular Bioscience, will receive $1 million to further her research into cell-based regenerative therapies for chronic kidney disease. 

Professor Little said the aim of the research is to enable repair to damaged kidneys and is expected to be more effective than current treatment such as dialysis. 

Dr Damien Batstone, from UQ's Advanced Wastewater Management Centre, will receive $619,000 to develop better technology for organic solids handling. 

Dr Batstone said this technology could be widely applied across rural Queensland, benefiting a potential 2.5 million people by reducing the amount of energy it takes to process waste as well as using the biosolids to produce enough energy from large communities to power almost 600 households.