Seminar: Birth, Babies and Breastfeeding, 2nd Dec, 1p

When: Weds 2nd of Dec, 1p AEDT

Where: This seminar will be presented online, RSVP here.

Speakers: Dr Graham Brooker, Evie Deaker and Weirong Ge

Title: Birth, Babies and Breastfeeding

Abstract: This talk will focus on our development of an improved mechanical birth simulator that we have been developing primarily to teach obstetricians and midwives in the subtle art of manual rotation. It will also dabble in fetal health monitoring and breastfeeding.

One of the critical skills learned by midwives and doctors is the ability to gauge cervical dilatation. Most clinicians find this a challenging skill to develop and so can make poor estimations on the remaining duration of labour. This presentation outlines the development of two complementary teaching tools for cervical assessments.

Shear-wave elastography (SWE) is a useful tool in imaging mechanical properties of soft-tissue. It has great potential to improve the predictive accuracy of preterm birth. This imaging modality, however, has high inter- and intra- observer variability. This is due its sensitivity to changes in pressure caused by tissue stiffening and the natural variation in elasticity across the cervix. The aim of this project is to improve the accuracy of SWE by quantifying the tissue stiffening behaviour of the cervix using hyperelastic material models.

Bios: Graham Brooker knows quite a lot about radar systems having worked in industry for 20 years before moving to the ACFR in 1999 where he continued to build state-of-the-art millimetre wave radar imagers while teaching and completing the research for a PhD in the subject. It is only fairly recently that his interest in things biomedical was rekindled and he developed a course in Biomechatronics. His primary research interests these days are related to vestibular disorders, sensory substitution, prosthetics and improving the welfare of mothers and babies during birth. He works closely with a number of clinicians and researchers, mostly at the RPAH.

Evie Deaker was awarded her Biomedical Engineering bachelor’s degree at the University of Sydney in 2019. She completed her honours regarding a birthing simulator for cervical assessments which involved the design and testing of a multiring device and a fetal head model. She is now a PhD student undertaking research in robotic dentistry with the aim to revolutionise the future of dentistry to benefit the safety of patients and improve the workplace for dentists. 

Weirong Ge holds a bachelor’s degree in Biomedical engineering from the University of Sydney and is a current PhD candidate in the Central Clinical School of the same University. In her undergraduate honours thesis she worked on measuring the effect of forces on the Arabin pessary for the prevention of preterm birth. Now she continues to work with the Royal Prince Alfred Hospital in several projects including using Shear-wave elastography to monitor pregnancy health, tracking the mechanism of perineal tearing and developing custom inflatable pessaries.


Sydney Institute for Robotics and Intelligent Systems