Medical Engineering Robotic Hand BeBionic Michael Fagan

Biomedical Engineering Research Group

The impact of the ageing population and pressure on healthcare budgets makes the continued wellbeing of the population difficult to ensure. In parallel, there is a continuous drive to develop better medical devices to improve patients’ quality of life as well as improve the way in which healthcare is provided. The Biomedical Engineering group works across a number of areas to address these issues in a combination of applied and fundamental research projects, including: wound management and novel scaffold-based materials; craniofacial biomechanics and musculoskeletal form and function in general; advanced data processing and diagnostic techniques to monitor cardiac health; development of smart medical devices and novel telehealth and care technologies to improve patient care while improving healthcare efficiency.

Michael Fagan
Faculty of Science and Engineering
Professor Michael Fagan
Professor of Medical and Biological Engineering

The Approach

We undertake both fundamental and applied research, invariably in multidisciplinary teams, working with experts from other disciplines where necessary, usually in partnership with clinicians and/or industry. We use a wide range of tools including advanced computational modelling, signal processing and artificial intelligence, utilising the University’s high-performance computer platform VIPER.



We aim to develop and apply new medical technologies, techniques and devices that will:

  • improve quality of life
  • improve effectiveness and efficiency of healthcare
  • make healthcare more accessible and convenient for patients and healthcare providers
  • provide insight into the underlying mechanisms of disease
  • assist in the diagnosis, treatment and management of disease.


Squirrel skull

Functional morphology and the biomechanics of feeding in squirrels

Royal Society, 2020-2022.


Development of an ex vivo porcine model for wound care materials

Smith & Nephew, 2020-2021.


Feasibility of a physical experimental platform for research and teaching of forward and inverse electrocardiography

IPEM, 2020-2021.

View all projects
  • 2020-2022: Royal Society. Functional morphology and the biomechanics of feeding in squirrels.
  • 2020-2021: Smith & Nephew. Development of an ex vivo porcine model for wound care materials.
  • 2020-2021: IPEM. Feasibility of a physical experimental platform for research and teaching of forward and inverse electrocardiography.
  • 2019-2023: Smith & Nephew. Advanced Wound Care: working towards standardised test platforms for novel wound care therapies.
  • 2018-2022: BBSRC. A new framework for computational biomechanical models and 3Rs in musculoskeletal research.
  • 2017-2022: EPSRC. Biomimetic blade design; [part of a Prosperity Partnership in offshore wind using inspiration of cancellous bone structures to design new turbine blades].
  • 2017-2021: Smith & Nephew. Combined in vitro/in silico cavity wound model for assessing novel devices and wound biomechanics.
  • 2017-2020: NERC. Functional evolution of the early tetrapod skull.
  • 2017-2019: Smith & Nephew. Biomechanical mode of action of wound care therapies – PICO vs RENASYS.
  • 2017-2019: Wellcome Trust. Three-dimensional analysis of maxillofacial growth in patients with cleft lip and palate (led by Computer Science).
  • 2016-2018: NiHR. Speech rehabilitation from articulator movement.
  • 2015-2018: BBSRC. The role of soft tissues in cranial biomechanics – an investigation using advanced modelling techniques.
  • 2013-2017: Action Medical Research. Improving the diagnosis and preventing the development of Perthes’ disease.

Funders and collaborators

BBSRC, EPSRC, NERC, Wellcome Trust, NIHR, BHF, Action Medical Research, HYMS, Hull University Teaching Hospitals NHS Trust, IPEM, Smith and Nephew.

Academic Staff

Researcher Staff

Recent Publications


LA France, KS Fancey. 2020. Viscoelastically active sutures – a stitch in time? Materials Science & Engineering C. Article in Press, 111695. DOI:10.1016/j.msec.2020.111695

PJ Watson, MJ Fagan, CA Dobson. 2020. The influence of musculoskeletal forces on the growth of the prenatal cortex in the ilium: a finite element study. Computer Methods in Biomechanics and Biomedical Engineering, 23(13): 959-967. DOI: 10.1080/10255842.2020.1777546

Al-Karadi MS, Langley P. Multi-beat averaging reveals U waves are ubiquitous and standing tall at elevated heart rates following exercise. Sensors 2020,20, 4029. DOI:10.3390/s20144029

A Manikandan, M Yogasundari, K Thanrasu, A Dinesh, KK Raja, Y Slimani, SK Jaganathan, R Srinivasan, A Baykal. 2020. Structural, morphological and optical properties of multifunctional magnetic-luminescent ZnO@ Fe3O4 nanocomposite. Physica E: Low-dimensional Systems and Nanostructures, 12:114291. DOI:10.1016/j.physe.2020.114291

SA Nordin, MP Mani, SK Jaganathan, AZ Khudzari, AF Ismail. 2020. Fabrication and characterization of a novel wound scaffold based on polyurethane added with Channa striatus for wound dressing applications. International Journal of Polymer Analysis and Characterization, 19:1-8. DOI:10.1080/1023666X.2020.1766786

Jones MEH, Gröning F, Aspden RM, Dutel H, Sharp A, Moazen M, Fagan MJ, Evans SE. 2020. The biomechanical role of the chondrocranium and the material properties of cartilage. Vertebrate Zoology, 70(4): 699-71. DOI: 10.26049/VZ70-4-2020-10

B Ji, Y Zhang, C Zhen, MJ Fagan, Q Yang. 2020. Mathematical modelling of canonical and non-canonical NF-κB pathways in TNF stimulation. Computer Methods and Programs in Biomedicine, 196, 105677. DOI: 10.1016/j.cmpb.2020.105677

J Ortún-Terrazas, MJ Fagan, J Cegoñino, E Illipronti-Filho, A Pérez del Palomar. 2020. Towards an early 3D-diagnosis of craniofacial asymmetry by computing the accurate mid-plane. Computer Methods and Programs in Biomedicine, 191, 105397. DOI: 10.1016/j.cmpb.2020.105397


M Pinheiro, X Ma, MJ Fagan, GT McIntyre, P Lin, G Sivamurthy, PS Mossey. 2019. A 3D cephalometric protocol for the accurate quantification of craniofacial symmetry and facial growth. Journal of Biological Engineering, 13:42. DOI: 10.1186/s13036-019-0171-6

H Dutel, M Galland, P Tafforeau, J Long, MJ Fagan, P Janvier, A Herrel, M Santin, G Clément, M Herbin. 2019. Neurocranial development of the coelacanth and the evolution of the sarcopterygian head. Nature, 569, 556–559. DOI: 10.1038/s41586-019-1117-3

B Ji, Y Zhang, C Zhen, MJ Fagan, Q Yang. 2019. Mathematical modelling of bone remodelling cycles including the NFκB signalling pathway. Computers in Biology and Medicine, 107: 257-264.  DOI: 10.1016/j.compbiomed.2019.03.003

A Marghoub, J Libby, C Babbs, Y Ventikos, MJ Fagan, M Moazen. 2019. Characterizing and modelling bone formation during mouse calvarial development. Phys. Rev. Lett. 122, 048103. DOI: 10.1103/PhysRevLett.122.048103

H Jiang, MP Mani, SK Jaganathan. 2019. Multifaceted Characterization and In Vitro Assessment of Polyurethane-Based Electrospun Fibrous Composite for Bone Tissue Engineering. International Journal of Nanomedicine, 14:8149-8159. DOI:10.2147/IJN.S214646

SK Jaganathan, MP Mani, A. Manikandan, R Rathnasamy. 2019. Biomimetic electrospun polyurethane matrix composites with tailor made properties for bone tissue engineering scaffolds. Polymer Testing, 78:105955. DOI:10.1016/j.polymertesting.2019.105955


MS Al-Karadi, AJ Wilkinson, J Caldwell, P Langley. 2018. Validation of an algorithm to reveal the U wave in atrial fibrillation. Nature Scientific Reports, 8:11946. DOI:10.1038/s41598-018-30493-8

A Dostan (Dostanpor), CA Dobson, N Vanicek, 2018. Relationships between walking speed, T-score and age with gait parameters in older post-menopausal women with low bone mineral density. Gait and Posture, 64, 230-237. DOI: 10.1016/j.gaitpost.2018.05.005

S Lautenschlager, P Gill, Z-X Luo, MJ Fagan, E Rayfield. 2018. The role of miniaturization in the evolution of the mammalian jaw and middle ear. Nature. 561: 533–537. DOI: 10.1038/s41586-018-0521-4.

V Sellés de Lucas, H Dutel, SE Evans, F Gröning, AC Sharp, PJ Watson, MJ Fagan. 2018. An assessment of the role of the falx cerebri and tentorium cerebelli in the cranium of the cat (Felis silvestris catus). Journal of the Royal Society Interface, 15:147, 20180278. DOI: 10.1098/rsif.2018.0278

PJ Watson, LC Fitton, C Meloro, MJ Fagan, F Gröning. 2018. Mechanical adaptation of trabecular bone morphology in the mammalian mandible. Nature Scientific Reports, 8, 7277. DOI:10.1038/s41598-018-25597-0

A Blanke, M Pinheiro, PJ Watson, MJ Fagan. 2018. A biomechanical analysis of prognathous and orthognathous insect head capsules: Evidence for a many to one mapping of ridge strain to head strain. Journal of Evolutionary Biology, 31:5, 665-674. DOI: 10.1111/jeb.13251

M Pinheiro, CA Dobson, NM Clarke, MJ Fagan. 2018. The potential role of variations in juvenile hip geometry on the development of Legg-Calvé-Perthes disease: a biomechanical investigation. Computer Methods in Biomechanics and Biomedical Engineering, 21:2, 194-200. DOI: 10.1080/10255842.2018.1437151

M Pinheiro, CA Dobson, D Perry, MJ Fagan. 2018. New insights into the biomechanics of Legg-Calvé-Perthes’ disease: the role of epiphyseal skeletal immaturity in vascular obstruction. Bone and Joint Research, 7, 148-156. DOI: 10.1302/2046-3758.72.BJR-2017-0191.R1


EA Perez Alday, MA Colman, P Langley, H Zhang. 2017. Novel non-invasive algorithm to identify the origins of re-entry and ectopic foci in the atria from 64-lead ECGs. A computational study. PLoS Comput Biol, 13(3): e1005270. DOI: 10.1371/journal. pcbi.1005270

P Langley, A Murray. 2017. Heart sound classification from unsegmented phonocardiograms. Physiol Meas, 38(8):1658-1670. DOI: 10.1088/1361-6579/aa724c

PJ Watson, A Dostan (Dostanpor), MJ Fagan, CA Dobson, 2017. The effect of boundary constraints on finite element modelling of the human pelvis. Medical Engineering & Physics. 43, 48-57. DOI: 10.1016/j.medengphy.2017.02.001

SW McCormack, U Witzel, PJ Watson, MJ Fagan, F Gröning F. 2017. Inclusion of periodontal ligament fibres in mandibular finite element models leads to an increase in alveolar bone strains. PLoS ONE 12(11): e0188707. DOI: 10.1371/journal.pone.0188707.

A Blanke, PJ Watson, R Holbrey, MJ Fagan. 2017. Computational biomechanics changes our view on insect head evolution. Proceedings of the Royal Society B. 284,20162412. DOI: 10.1098/rspb.2016.2412

JM Gilbert, JA Gonzalez, LA Cheah, SR Ell, P Green, RK Moore, E Holdsworth. 2017. Restoring speech following total removal of the larynx by a learned transformation from sensor data to acoustics. The Journal of the Acoustical Society of America, 141:3, EL307-EL313. DOI: 10.1121/1.4978364.

JA Gonzalez, LA Cheah, AM Gomez, PD Green, JM Gilbert, SR Ell, RK Moore, E Holdsworth. 2017. Direct speech reconstruction from articulatory sensor data by machine learning. IEEE/ACM Transactions on Audio, Speech, and Language Processing, 25(12), 2362-2374. DOI: 10.1109/TASLP.2017.2757263

AD Bateson, HA Baseler, KS Paulson, F Ahmed, AUR Asghar. 2017. Categorisation of mobile EEG: a researcher’s perspective. BioMed Research International, 2017: 5496196. DOI: 10.1155/2017/5496196

A Blanke, H Schmitz, A Patera, H Dutel, MJ Fagan. 2017. Form function relationships in dragonfly mandibles under an evolutionary perspective. Journal of the Royal Society Interface, 14: 20161038. DOI: 10.1098/rsif.2016.1038

J Libby, A Marghoub, D Johnson, RH Khonsari, MJ Fagan, M Moazen. 2017 Modelling human skull growth: a validated computational model. Journal of the Royal Society Interface 14: 20170202. DOI: 10.1098/rsif.2017.0202

Research students

Matthew Barras, "Field deployable brain monitoring", Dr Anthony Bateson

Michael Burke, "Sensing and measurement technologies or wound health dynamics", Dr Anthony Bateson

Alexandra Hendon, "Combined in vitro/in silico cavity wound model for assessing novel devices and wound biomechanics", Professor Michael Fagan

Catherine Hill, "Advanced Wound Care: Working towards standardised test platforms for novel wound care therapies", Dr Louise France

Alistair Hull, "Development of use of novel bone repair materials for the treatment of cleft palates", Professor Michael Fagan and Dr Louise France

Nicola Mandolini, "Characterising the effect of negative pressure wound therapy on skin cells in vitro", Dr Louise France

Roberto Rodrigues, "Systems and methodologies for the early detection of diabetic foot ulcers", Dr Anthony Bateson


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