Krstajic, Nikola

Dr

  • Source: Scopus
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20052022

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Personal profile

Biography

I graduated from the University of Salford in 1997 (MEng in Electronics) with one year spent at the Ecole Centrale de Lyon, France. I grew up in Belgrade, Serbia. During my industrial work 1997-2004 in England, I engaged in designing various aspects of STM microscopes (embedded software, image acquisition and scan head control), ECG monitoring devices (embedded software) and precision mechanics control (digital electronics and embedded software). I completed a PhD in Medical Physics in 2007 at the University of Surrey, tackling optical analysis of 3D radiation dosimeters.

Since 2007, I moved wholeheartedly into in vivo biomedical imaging and sensing.  I enjoyed building instrumentation and I specialised in several exciting bio-imaging techniques including optical coherence tomography, fluorescence microscopy/endoscopy and time resolved imaging/spectroscopy. I worked as a postdoc at the University of Sheffield (2007-2010), the University of St Andrews (2010-2011) and the University of Edinburgh (2011-2017). I joined the University of Dundee as Lecturer in Biomedical Engineering in 2018, based in the School of Science and Engineering.

My current focus is on translating endomicroscopy into wider clinical use and exploiting the recent advances in time-resolved imaging and spectroscopy. I have learnt a lot about how dedicated CMOS design can advance bio-imaging through work in Professor Robert Henderson’s group at the University of Edinburgh and via a collaboration with Professor Simon Ameer-Beg, Dr Simon Poland and Dr James Levitt in Kings College London. We applied CMOS single photon avalanche detectors into multiphoton microscopes resulting in world-beading count-rates. On the clinical translation side, I am currently working on innovating in endomicroscopy with Professor Kev Dhaliwal and his group at the University of Edinburgh. Lastly, I am expanding industrial collaborations across Medtech and Biotech locally around Dundee and across UK, one example being my recent Innovate UK Knowledge Transfer Partnership with Moor Instruments Ltd.

Research

My current research focus is on endomicroscopy, time-resolved imaging & spectroscopy and, more recently, laser speckle imaging. I designed a variety of imaging instruments including fluorescence microscopes, optical coherence tomography instruments and endoscopy tools. I enjoy tackling challenging clinical and biology problems with novel components and techniques. This requires unusually broad expertise and I have been working closely with clinicians, biologists and chemists, as well as with engineers and physicists. One of my key goals now is to provide affordable tools for endomicroscopy, allowing in vivo cell biology of disease processes in humans.

Research Group

The laboratory is based in the School of Medicine, University of Dundee (Ninewells Hospital complex).

Postdoctoral research assistant:

Dr Ranjeet Kumar, KTP Associate based at Moor Instruments Ltd.

Current PhD students (University of Dundee):

Andrew Dennison (starting January 2022)

Matthew Eadie (started October 2020)

Lukas Markwalder (2nd supervisor, started October 2018, 1st supervisor Dr Colin Murdoch,)

Manuel Hoffman (2nd supervisor, started February 2019, 1st supervisor Dr Svetlana Zolotovskaya)

Past PhD students (University of Edinburgh):

Dominic Norberg - passed viva in 2021 and currently working designing prosthetics devices at Össur based in Livingstone.

Andras Kufcsak - graduated 2018 and currently working as PDRA at the University of Edinburgh.

Collaborations

I collaborate with the Translational Healthcare Technologies (THT) Group (Centre for Inflammation Research, College of Medicine and Veterinary Medicine, University of Edinburgh) on topics related to endomicroscopy and clinical translation. As part of my collaboration with the THT Group in Edinburgh, I work closely with Professor Kev Dhaliwal, Dr Anne Moore, Dr Annya Bruce and Dr Vasiliki Voulgaridou.

I have been part of an EPSRC Interdisciplinary Research Collaboration (Proteus), since 2013 (EPSRC EP/R005257/1 and EP/K03197X/1), which introduced me to a wide network of chemists, biologists and clinicians at the University of Edinburgh as well as photonics experts at Heriot-Watt University, the University of Bath and Durham University. My endomicroscopy work emanated from the Proteus project and engaged me more actively on the clinical usability and translation.

In Dundee, I have teamed up with Dr Colin Murdoch (Systems Medicine, School of Medicine, University of Dundee) and his group on applying laser speckle imaging to endoscopy and we established a funded partnership with Moor Instruments Ltd to work on productionising and advancing the field (Innovate UK Knowledge Transfer Partnership KTP 12072). I am currently expanding endomicroscopy capabilities in Dundee. The lab, which is based in the School of Medicine and Ninewells Hospital complex, is specifically targeting challenges in urology working with Professor Ghulam Nabi (Imaging System and Technology, School of Medicine, University of Dundee) and a team of PhD students.

Teaching

I mainly teach modules related to biomedical engineering. I am module lead for the 2nd year module BE21003 Digital Electronics (Biomedical Engineering (with North Eastern University China) BEng (Hons)), 3rd year modules BE31003 Research and Development Skills, BE32001 Biomedical Engineering Design and 4th year elective BE41001 Biophotonics (Biomedical Engineering BEng (Hons)). I contribute to teaching in the MSc in Biomedical Engineering and the MSc in Medical Imaging concentrating on optics-related topics. I strive to provide students with industry-relevant skills and encourage them to build a portfolio of designs (e.g. CAD, code and circuits).

We consult our industrial partners for latest skills and recruitment needs continuously and for BE32001 Biomedical Engineering Design we specifically engage companies to take on a supervisory role. This is a key aspect in pedagogy, students experience problem-solving in an industrial context from a detailed engineering perspective. We have received generous support in careful project supervision for BE32001 from colleagues in Cellexus Ltd, Vascular Flow Technologies Ltd, Moor Instruments Ltd, Dundee Science Centre, Abbott/Axis Shields and NHS Tayside (Medical Physics and numerous clinicians).

My interests in teaching and learning go beyond biomedical engineering and I previously taught ME21002 Thermodynamics and EG40004 Control Engineering II to Mechanical Engineering BEng (Hons) students. I work closely with colleagues across Engineering and Physics disciplines in both teaching and research, in fact most of the modules mentioned above have been taught together with colleagues across subjects in the School of Science and Engineering (e.g. Dr Jonathan Nylk, Dr Markus Pakleppa, Dr Jan Vorstius, Dr Svetlana Zolotovskaya and Dr Alejandra Aranceta-Garza).

I am actively engaged on the programme level in both Biomedical Engineering BEng (Hons) programme and the Joint Education Project (JEP) between the University of Dundee and North Eastern University, Shenyang, China (led by Professor Zhihong Huang, University of Dundee). The exciting challenge is to help shape a UK and international cohort of biomedical engineers who are technically astute, hands-on and confident to tackle complex engineering designs required for future hospitals, patient care and biomedical research.

Expertise related to UN Sustainable Development Goals

In 2015, UN member states agreed to 17 global Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) to end poverty, protect the planet and ensure prosperity for all. This person’s work contributes towards the following SDG(s):

  • SDG 3 - Good Health and Well-being

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