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Dr Behnam Akhavan

Dr Behnam Akhavan

Brief Profile / Biography

Dr Behnam Akhavan joined the University of Newcastle in 2022 as a Senior Lecturer and ARC DECRA Fellow. He received his PhD in Advanced Manufacturing from the School of Engineering at the University of South Australia in 2015. In recognition of his PhD research on innovative new plasma processes to engineer the properties of surfaces, Dr Akhavan was selected as one of UniSA’s Enterprising Faces. Following his PhD, he worked as a Postdoctoral Researcher at the Max Planck Institute for Polymer Research and Fraunhofer Institute of Microtechnology in Germany. Prior to his appointment at the University of Newcastle, he was a Senior Lecturer at the University of Sydney, Schools of Biomedical Engineering and Physics.  

His Plasma Bio-engineering Lab develops new plasma science and surface engineering solutions for a range of modern applications, including plasma surface engineering of bone implants, cardiovascular devices, and artificial nerves; plasma polymer nanoparticles for drug delivery and cancer therapy; electrochromic coatings for wearable electronics; and micro/nano particles for toxin removal.

In surface and interface science, his research focuses on a variety of problems in the areas of thin film deposition, plasma polymerization, ion implantation, surface biofunctionalization, and interface engineering. 

In recognition of his contributions to surface engineering, in 2020 Dr Akhavan received the Most Innovative Engineers Award from Engineers Australia.
 

Research Interests

  • Biomaterials
  • Biointerfaces
  • Biomedical Devices
  • Tissue Engineering
  • Surface Engineering
  • Nanomaterials

 

Why did you get into research?

I have always been passionate about developing engineering solutions to solve societal problems. Witnessing the application of plasma technologies developed in my lab in tackling grand challenges of modern life inspires me to do the work I do. Nothing is more rewarding for me than contributing to the development of science and technologies that address the needs of our society and improve health outcomes.

 

What would be the ultimate goal for your research?

The ultimate goal of my research is to create artificial materials and devices that function as well as our natural tissues and organs. I harness the power of plasma, i.e. ionized gas, to develop such materials.  My Plasma Bio-engineering Group develops cutting-edge plasma technologies to fabricate structures that are anti-infection and mimic the native environments of cells in the body. I aim to translate these green and environmentally friendly plasma technologies with the ultimate goal of improving healthcare outcomes and quality of life.

 

Specialised/Technical Skills

  • Implant surface modification
  • Anti-infection coatings
  • Antimicrobial interfaces
  • Nanoparticles for drug delivery and cancer therapy
  • Biomimetic scaffolds for tissue engineering
  • Hybrid materials for regenerative medicine 

 

Affiliations

  • HMRI Precision Medicine Program
  • University of Newcastle, School of Engineering
  • University of Sydney, School of Biomedical Engineering
  • University of Sydney, School of Physics
  • University of Sydney, Sydney Nano Institute