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Prof Nick Donaldson
Room 3.06
Malet Place Engineering Building
Gower Street
Prof Nick Donaldson profile picture
  • Professor of Neuroprosthesis Engineering
  • Dept of Med Phys & Biomedical Eng
  • Faculty of Engineering Science

Nick Donaldson studied Engineering and Electrical Sciences at Cambridge University. From 1977 to 1992 he worked for the Medical Research Council, Neurological Prostheses Unit, under the direction of Professor G.S. Brindley. On Brindley’s retirement in 1992 and closure of the MRC Unit, he brought the engineers to UCL and has since directed the Implanted Devices Group in the Department of Medical Physics and Bioengineering. He studied for the PhD as a student in non-university laboratory and obtained a doctorate from UCL in 1990. His research interests now include implanted device technology, the development of devices that use natural nerve signals as inputs; stimulators of nerve roots and spinal cord in paraplegia; the use of electrical stimulation for recreational exercise of paralysed legs; and methods to encourage functional neurological recovery after injury. He has published over 90 papers in peer-reviewed journals on subjects as diverse as electrical and electronic design, materials, biomechanics, exercise physiology, electrodes and neural signal processing. He has been an investigator in over thirty projects since coming to UCL.

Research Summary

The following topics have been or are part of my research portfolio, and I have publications in these areas. Many of them are shared with Mr Tim Perkins, Dr Anne Vanhoestenberghe, Dr Sandy Mosse and Dr Nooshin Saeidi (Implanted Devices Group) and the Analogue and Biomedical Systems Group (Prof Andreas Demosthenous).

(i) Electronic Design of Implanted Stimulators, Nerve Recording Devices and Systems

(ii) Instrumented orthopaedic implants (with Dr Stephen Taylor, Stanmore)

(iii) Velocity-selective Recording: obtaining more information from natural nerve traffic (with Prof John Taylor, Bath University)

(iv) Control of the body after spinal cord injury by natural and artificial means

(v) Material science of implant materials (packaging & encapsulation)

(vi) Use of Functional Electrical Stimulation for fitness after spinal cord injury (with Prof Di Newham, KCL)

(vii) Artificial control of the urinary bladder after spinal cord injury (with Prof Michael Craggs)
Design of connectors and wiring for implanted devices

(viii) Nerve interfaces for control of prosthetic limbs (with Prof Gordon Blunn, Prof James Fawcett (Cambridge) and Dr Ed Tarte (Birmingham))

Teaching Summary

He teaches an undergraduate course called ‘Medical Electronics & Neural Engineering’ (MPHY3013/M013) and well as organising a module of the MSc in Physics & Engineering in Medicine (MPHYGB17). He has supervised sixteen PhD students.

Academic Background
1990   Doctor of Philosophy University College London
1976   Master of Arts University of Cambridge
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