Lab News

Trade Show Highlights Student Innovation, Attracts Local MP

November 13, 2017:  11:30 am to 1:00 pm

From a medical brassiere that assists healing after breast cancer surgery to an electronic glove that helps a deaf-blind person communicate more easily, University of Guelph students have come up with about two dozen bioengineering prototypes that can help improve life.

They were displayed Monday during a bio-instrumentation trade show as part of the ENGG*4390 Bio-Instrumentation Design course taught by Professor Suresh Neethirajan of the University of Guelph. The School of Engineering atrium teemed with people and ideas that may help the biomedical, health care, food and agricultural industries. 

Guelph MP Lloyd Longfield toured the displays, talked with the undergraduate developers, and spoke of the importance of student research and innovation.

“It is so good to see the work going on here – practical work, where you are learning design, and you’re also learning how to get it to a point where other people can understand what ideas you’re developing,” Longfield said.

He said the trade show is an excellent showcase of how products are developed and career paths embarked upon.

Longfield’s visit to U of G was part of Universities Canada’s Bold Thinking, Better Solutions campaign, aimed at connecting local MPs with universities to highlight students and researchers driving economic, social and cultural innovation.

Hannah Milan, Victoria Champion and Caitland Boulos developed the Healing Assist Bra prototype. It was inspired by a commercial product that uses multiple sensors in a pair of leggings to measure the wearer’s exact jean size.

“We first saw that the same application could work for bra sizes,” Boulos said. “Then we started thinking that it could have a medical application.”

About 29,000 Canadian women undergo breast cancer surgery each year, the students said. Most post-surgery recovery takes place at home. Intended for use after a mastectomy or lumpectomy, the Healing Assist Bra contains temperature and moisture sensors that alert the wearer to a potential wound infection or when it’s time to change dressings.



Carlos Lopez, Karine Jarzecki and Daiana Spaturu developed the TacTalk personal communication device. The glove senses gestural information, converting it from touch to text.

“Having this kind of hands-on research experience is invaluable,” Lopez said of the project.

He said he went into engineering because of the deep-rooted problem-solving potential in the field, as well as to be able to produce a prototype that actually works.

“Through this project, I was able to become more aware of the community we are trying to help,” he added. “From an engineering and understanding perspective, putting what you learn in lectures toward actually manufacturing something helps you understand those concepts even further.”

Longfield’s visit to campus comes as the federal government is mulling over the recommendations of the Fundamental Science Review Panel, or Naylor Report, in the lead-up to the 2018 budget. The report recommends a major reinvestment in discovery research at the university level, a scaling up of capacity to attract top minds from around the world, and enhanced support for research and innovation leaders.

Professor Suresh Neethirajan gave an invited seminar to the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering and Medicine on the topic of Sensors in Food and Agriculture on November 8, 2017 on the theme of Science Breakthroughs 2030: A strategy for Food and Agricultural Research.

Watch the webinar recording from the site below:  (Link)

Professor Suresh Neethirajan gave an invited speech at the 'Smart Agriculture and Canada's Poultry Sector' workshop held at October 17, 2017 at Toronto. The workshop on Smart Agriculture - Where we are and Where we need to go was organized by Canadian Poultry Research Council in collaboration with Poultry Health Research Network of the University of Guelph through the support of NSERC Connect program.

Dr. Suresh Neethirajan's talk was titled 'Biosensors for Agro-Defense (B4A): Ensuring Poultry Health and Food Safety'.

The goal of this workshop was: 

To advance Canada’s poultry sector through greater use of Smart Agriculture by:

  • Clarifying the emerging issues, challenges and opportunities for the poultry industry in Canada, and where Smart Agriculture could potentially help;
  • Identifying areas where existing Smart Agriculture tools can be applied (in part based on experiences in other sectors of agriculture) and;
  • Identifying research needs/gaps related to Smart Agriculture;

On October 26th, 2017, the delegates from the Ontario Ministry of Agriculture, Food and Rural Affairs (OMAFRA) Research and Innovation Branch visited the BioNano Lab of the University of Guelph.  The delegation was hosted by Professor Suresh Neethirajan, Director of the Bionanolab.  An overview and a tour of the lab facilities was provided by Dr. Suresh. The students and research engineers of the Bionano Lab interacted and gave short presentations.

Presentations on the topic of Sustainable Food Engineering using Bionanotechnology was provided by Professor Suresh and his lab members to the OMAFRA's staff and scientists. 

Bio-Instrumentation Trade Show
Monday, November 13, 2017 @ 11:30 am - 1:00 pm

Biological & Biomedical Engineers of University of Guelph look forward to your support & participation at our Annual Bio-Instrumentation Trade Show exhibition, at the Thornbrough Building Atrium, School of Engineering, University of Guelph.

Connect with industry representatives and meet with senior bioengineering students who have developed prototypes and products to solve practical problems in biomedical, health care, food and agricultural industries. All are welcome.

Location: Thornbrough Building, Engineering Atrium 


Page 1 of 31

Contact Us

Bionanotechnology Laboratory
Suresh Neethirajan

School of Engineering
University of Guelph
Guelph, Ontario
Canada N1G 2W1

Room 3513 - Richards Building
50 Stone Road East

Lab: THRN 2133 BioNano Lab

Phone: (519) 824-4120 Ext 53922
Fax: (519) 836-0227


© 2016 Bionano Lab - University of Guelph. All Rights Reserved.