Research Projects

Logo is text that reads: SuPeR Knee. Support. Predict. Recover.

Our doctors, health professionals, data scientists and engineers are developing an algorithm that will predict how well and how fast an individual will recover from knee replacement surgery.

Most people make an excellent recovery after knee replacement, thanks to advances in surgical methods. Still, there is a lack of scientific evidence to explain why some people get back into life quickly with their new knee, whilst others recover more slowly. Powered by machine-learning, the tool will take the guess-work out of deciding which, how much and what kinds of rehabilitation will be the most useful for each patient.

Partnered with the Hunter Medical Research Institute and Ramsay Healthcare, we're currently following the recovery of 1000 adults having total knee replacement surgery. This tool will guide the development of the tailored, precision-rehabilitation methods of the future. The three year project is funded by the Ramsay Hospital Research Foundation.

Find out more:

For study participants - read the Information Statement


Project targets 'precision rehab' for knees (Dec 6, 2018)

Super Knee Kicks Off! Professor Nilsson chats with Kia Handley on ABC Newcastle (Nov 6, 2019)

For study updates, connect with us on social media

     Twitter                Facebook                Instagram

[Research Project: Understanding and predicting recovery in patients undergoing total knee replacement. This project has been approved by the University of Newcastle's Human Research Ethics Committee, Approval No. H-2019-0109.]


Photo looking side on at line of people who are sitting down and talking. Camera has focussed on woman with grey hair and glasses who is laughing

Community-based group playmaking and theatre performance for psychosocial and cognitive recovery after stroke

Our researchers will test an 8-week Devised Theatre Performance Process, which we hypothesise will improve the psychosocial well-being and cognitive function of people in the chronic phase of stroke (stroke >6 months ago), with a protocol currently in development.

Challenging, multimodal, social experiences like group-based arts and music have been shown to stimulate recovery in the chronic phase of stroke. Taking part in playmaking - synthesising ideas and imaginations, building artistic relationships, mutual respect and discipline – and performing dramatically are demanding both psychologically and cognitively. This planned project seeks to test, scientifically, whether this community-based group process can improve the cognitive function, mood and well-being people with stroke.

The ABC Compass TV program documented the pilot project; Stroke Stories is still available on iView. To watch, click here.

line of logos for Centre for Rehab Innovations, Hunter Medical Research Institute, Uni of Newcastle, The George Institute, The Black Dog Institute


photo of stroke finder device with a woman lying down with her head in it. It is a sort of helmet on a sturdy platform. Woman appears to be comfortable.

Stroke Finder - Microwaves for early stroke detection

CRI Director, Professor Michael Nilsson, works together with Professor Chris Levi, Dr Tom Lillicrap and senior neurologists at the John Hunter Hospital, Newcastle, to evaluate a new diagnostic device called the Stroke Finder. The collaboration includes Swedish company Medfield Diagnostics, HMRI, HNELHD and the University of Newcastle. Being compact and portable, this device can potentially detect bleedings/stroke type for faster therapeutic interventions. It is primarily designed for rapid deployment in Emergency departments and ambulances. The technology could have significant impact on survival and disability rates for stroke victims, and help to transform the pre-hospital stroke diagnostic capacity. 

Watch a video about StrokeFinder

Read more on HMRI website 



     Twitter                Facebook                Instagram