Acknowledgement for MRI-safe electrode development

10 July 2018

Professor Jonathan Scott.

Professor Jonathan Scott and graduate student Steven McCabe from the School of Engineering at University of Waikato were finalists in this year’s Kiwinet Awards, for their work inventing new designs that allow people with implanted electrodes to safely have full MRI scans.

The KiwiNet Research Commercialisation Awards celebrate the achievements of individuals, teams and organisations actively commercialising publicly funded research.

Professor Scott explains that many people are fitted with medical implants such as spinal cord and deep brain stimulators. People wearing one of these devices usually can’t go into an MRI machine as the strong radio frequency signals react with the leads. Although most modern implants are made from material safe in both the RF and magnetic fields of scanners, the electrodes connected to these devices that deliver a therapeutic electric pulse to an area such as the spinal cord are not safe.

The new lead designs were invented in response to needs of Australian start-up, Saluda Medical, whose products automate implants for the management of chronic pain. Their inventions address deep-brain stimulation and spinal-cord stimulation (together “neurostimulation”).

Saluda Medical recently raised AU$53 million after successful human trials to support commercialisation of its technology. The Saluda solution offers a significant improvement in quality of outcomes for patients and has the technology to make a significant impact in its market over a short period of time. Professor Scott’s MRI-Safe human-implantable electrodes are now set to generate significant royalty streams and make a significant market impact.

Related stories


Whakatāne High School win ChemQuest

Students from Whakatāne High School took out the top prize at the University of Waikato’s…


Uni campus hosts STEM Festival in Tauranga

As a main sponsor of the country's first world-class STEM Festival (STEMFest) event, the University…

Robotic Asparagus Harvester

Robotic asparagus picker praised by US farmers

Asparagus is one of the hardest crops to harvest. But an ingenious device created by…

UoW Rutherford Fellows

$1.6m awarded to Waikato University’s new Rutherford Fellows

Two top researchers have been awarded a highly prestigious award to carry out their research…

Emma Walker and Thomas Archbold

University students receive hefty scholarship to study at Cambridge

Two University of Waikato students have landed a substantial scholarship that has opened the door…

Waikato scientists ranked as some of most-influential in the world

23 Waikato scientists appear in a new international database of the 100,000 most influential scientists…

Armon Tamatea

University of Waikato secures more than $6m in MBIE research funding

The University of Waikato has received more than $6 million in research funding from the…

Dr Lee Streeter

Waikato researcher given ‘Kudos’ for big problem

Dr Lee Streeter has solved a problem. But not just any problem – one that’s…

UoW Engineering

Top researcher recognised for highly cited work

Waikato researchers converged in Melbourne recently for the 22nd International Conference on Composite Materials (ICCM),…

Kudos 2019

Time-of-flight technology and internet behaviour secure Kudos Awards for top researchers

Two University of Waikato researchers have been recognised for their scientific prowess at the Kudos…

Dr Chris Tanner (NIWA), Associate Professor Maui Hudson, Tim Manakau

Celebrating Lakes Resilience

A four-year MBIE-funded research programme led by the University’s Environmental Research Institute and School of…

Jeremy Zolnai-Lucas

Nice work if you can get it

Young Londoner needs a job, walks into Waikato and becomes a research programmer.