Dr Jiawen Li working on 3D printed camera to detect cause of heart attacks

The School of Electrical and Electronic Engineering and Institute for Photonics and Advanced Sensing researcher has been awarded grants totalling $608, 308 for her research.

Jiawen Li

This research has seen Dr Jiawen Li receive National Health and Medical Research Council and National Heart Foundation grants to develop a clinically applicable device to detect heart attack causing high-risk plaques to enable cardiologists deliver tailored treatment for their patients.

Jiawen is also a 2021 Heart Foundation Paul Korner Innovation Award recipient. This award offers addition of $20,000 to support her interdisciplinary project.

The research team

The interdisciplinary team includes Dr Jiawen Li from the School of Electrical and Electronic Engineering, along with Professor Robert McLaughlin, Dr Johan Verjans, Associate Professor Peter Psaltis, and Associate Professor Christina Bursill from the Faculty of Health and Medical Sciences, Royal Adelaide Hospital-Cardiology and South Australian Health and Medical Research Institute (SAHMRI).

image of woman with a piece of wire

What we're excited about

Their work seeks to improve the health outcomes of the 20 million+ coronary artery disease patients presenting to emergency departments worldwide each year.

With most heart attacks caused by high-risk plaques in coronary arteries, Jiawen said that her research will enable the accurate identification of high-risk patients and help clinicians optimise therapeutic decision making at the individual patient level.

“A significant unmet need in cardiology is to reliably detect high-risk plaques before they are life-threatening,” said Jiawen.

“Building upon our recent engineering breakthrough – 3D printed hair-sized ‘camera’, we are developing a clinically applicable device to detect these high-risk plaques".Jiawen Li

“Our project will generate unique insights into plaque pathogenesis over time to see how plaques become high-risk and cause heart attacks”.

The imaging device will be the first-of-its-kind worldwide, holding great hope of significantly reducing cost and complications in cardiovascular diseases.

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