Mr Alex William Dixon

BE(Hons), ME(Hons)

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Doctoral Candidate - Doctor of Philosophy


Alex received a Bachelor of Engineering degree in Biomedical Engineering from the University of Auckland in 2013. He went on to complete his Master of Engineering in Bioengineering at the Auckland Bioengineering Institute. The aim of the masters research was to develop an instrument and processing techniques to simultaneously characterise the optical and mechanical properties of biological membranes.

In 2015, Alex commenced his PhD in Bioengineering at the Auckland Bioengineering Institute.

Research | Current


Non-destructive estimation of mechanical properties of biological membranes​

It has been estimated that several hundred thousand patients undergo heart valve replacement procedures worldwide every year. Bioprosthetic heart valves, which are used in approximately half of these replacement procedures, are constructed from biologically derived soft tissue materials, such as, bovine pericardium. These valves are limited in their durability, showing complications in 50% of patients after 10 years.

The aim of this research is the prediction of mechanical properties of pericardium via a model-based approach using a non-destructive imaging technique. Such an outcome would impact the selection of pericardial tissue that is suitable for constructing bioprosthetic heart valves with improved durability.


Research projects/groups

Biaxial testing

Selected publications and creative works (Research Outputs)

  • Dixon, A. W., Taberner, A. J., Nash, M. P., & Nielsen, P. M. F. (2018). Extended depth measurement for a Stokes sample imaging polarimeter. Paper presented at Conference on Imaging, Manipulation, and Analysis of Biomolecules, Cells, and Tissues XVI, San Francisco, CA. 29 January - 31 January 2018. IMAGING, MANIPULATION, AND ANALYSIS OF BIOMOLECULES, CELLS, AND TISSUES XVI. (pp. 8). 10.1117/12.2289311
    Other University of Auckland co-authors: Poul Nielsen, Andrew Taberner, Martyn Nash
  • Ruddy, B., Dixon, A., Williams, R., & Taberner, A. (2017). Optimization of portable electronically-controlled needle-free jet injection systems. IEEE/ASME Transactions on Mechatronics, 22 (5), 2013-2021. 10.1109/TMECH.2017.2725345
    Other University of Auckland co-authors: Andrew Taberner, Bryan Ruddy
  • Dixon, A. W. (2015). An Optomechanical Instrument for Pericardial Tissue Selection in Bioprosthetic Heart Valves The University of Auckland. ResearchSpace@Auckland.
  • Cheuk, M., Lippok, N., Dixon, A., Ruddy, B., Vanholsbeeck, F., Nielsen, P., & Taberner, A. (2014). Optical coherence tomography imaging of cardiac trabeculae. Engineering in Medicine and Biology Society (EMBC), 2014 36th Annual International Conference of the IEEE, 182-185. Chicago, USA. 10.1109/embc.2014.6943559
    Other University of Auckland co-authors: Andrew Taberner, Frederique Vanholsbeeck, Bryan Ruddy, Poul Nielsen


Contact details

Primary office location

Level G, Room G12
New Zealand

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