Dr Manus Biggs’ current research is focused on applying nanofabrication techniques to novel classes of electrically active and responsive ‘smart’ materials. Electricity is ubiquitous in living things. In humans, it provides the basis for thoughts, senses, movement, cardiac activity and evidence is growing that it may also play a crucial role in the functioning of our musculoskeletal system. Consequently, electrically active and responsive or ‘smart’ biomaterials offer significant possibilities for next-generation medical devices.
Dr Biggs’ laboratory is focused on the developed of tuneable, electrically active biomaterials for musculoskeletal and neural regeneration through piezoelectric and electrically conducting polymers, alloys and nanocomposites. Critically, Dr Biggs’ research integrates material science, electronic engineering, top-down nanofabrication techniques and biological functionalisation strategies in the development of next-generation biomaterials platforms.
A key research focus for Dr Biggs is neural biomaterials and the integration of implanted neuroelectrodes to promote functionality at the brain-machine interface. Rapid growth and development at the intersection of neuroscience, computer science, engineering and medicine has allowed the creation of revolutionary neurotechnologies to evaluate and treat nervous system disorders and to restore lost neural functions.
Neural interfaces (NI) have become a major focus of Dr Biggs’ research in an effort to identify and develop novel approaches to augment human cognitive or sensory-motor functions, to interface with computer systems or to control external devices . There are many reasons to interface a device with the central nervous system (CNS), from regulating mood disorders , epilepsy  or Parkinson’s symptoms  with deep brain stimulation to coupling the brain directly to a computer controlled prosthetic .