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Eric Abel is Professor of Biomedical Engineering at Dundee University. He is a Fellow of the Institution of Mechanical Engineering, a Fellow of the Institute of Physics and Engineering in Medicine (IPEM), Senior Member of the IEEE, a Chartered Engineer and a Chartered Scientist. He has served as a Council member for IPEM. His research interests are in the application of biomechanics, mechatronics and smart materials to the design of surgical devices and implants. He is a leading researcher in the field of hearing implant design, particularly in active middle ear implants for senorineural hearing loss, which affects about 14% of the UK population. Since 2000, he has received awards of over £0.5m from Scottish Enterprise to take the results of his research in the field of ear, nose and throat surgery to the proof of concept stage with a view to commercialisation. In 2005, he founded a Dundee based university spinout company, Sentient Medical Ltd., to develop a new concept in middle ear implant technology, which by the mid-2008 will have reached the end of its technical development programme and will then move to a phase that will lead to clinical trials. He is the Technical Director of the company.
Professor Abel is a member of the UK Department of Health's Working Group for Research on the Decontamination of Surgical Instruments, which is concerned with introducing new technologies to improve the cleanliness of reusable surgical instruments. In parallel with this work he is developing single use instruments incorporating smart materials and structures. His group has undertaken studies to improve our understanding the two-way memory effect and ways of improving its performance for practical use. Applications include their use in access systems for colon surgery and throat biopsy.
- 2000-2005: Head of Division of Mechanical Engineering and Mechatronics, University of Dundee
- 1998-2000: Reader, Department of Applied Physics, Electronics and Mechanical Engineering, University of Dundee
- 1985-1997: Head of School of Biomedical Engineering, University of Dundee
- 1981-1985: Research Fellow, School of Biomedical Engineering, University of Dundee
- 1980-1981: Research Fellow, Institute of Sound and Vibration, University of Southampton
- 1977-1980: Biomedical Engineer, Department of Medical Oncology, Charing Cross Hospital, London
- Middle ear implants
- Ossicular replacement prosthesis technology
- Minimally invasive surgical instrumentation
- Smart and advanced materials in surgical instrumentation
- Signal and image processing in biomedical instrumentation