Penny Martens

Associate Dean (Research & Training)
Graduate Sch-Biomedical Engine
Contact details:
+61 2 9385 3902
+61 2 9663 2108

Samuels Building (F25)
Level 5, Room 511
Kensington Campus

Dr Penny Martens, Graduate School of Biomedical Engineering

Research interest


Level 1: I take materials (very similar to soft contact lenses) and use them to replace various tissues inside the body.

Level 2: I design and create hydrogel materials for engineering replacement tissues.

Level 3: I combine synthetic and natural polymers in order to exploit the benefits of each for improved cell survival in 3D constructs.


Interest in engineering

Why did you get into engineering?

I loved both math and chemistry in high school. Engineering was a natural fit.

What are your research goals?

Rational design of functional biomaterials for a variety of applications ranging from diabetes treatments, to artificial cartilage, to neural interfaces.

Advice for prospective biomedical engineers

Take maths, physics and chemistry in high school. Then, at university, pick the subjects that really excite you – you will be doing this for a long time and you want to be excited.

Lectures/Courses taught

BIOM9332 – Biocompatability

BIOM9334 – Comprehensive Biomaterials Science

BIOM9432 – Chemistry and Physics of Synthetic and Biological Polymers

BIOM9561 – Mechanical Properties of Biomaterials


Number currently in lab: 2 PhDs

Number graduated: 5 Phds, 1 ME

Student Projects:

Development of new polymeric materials

Biosynthetic hydrogel microspheres for diabetes applications

Biosynthetic conducting hydrogels for neural applications

Looking for students for projects related to:

Polymer synthesis, fabrication, and characterisation

Professional Organisations and Consulting positions

Treasurer, Australasian Society for Biomaterials and Tissue Engineering

Board Members, Science and Technology Australia

Member, Royal Australian Chemical Institute


Young Tall Poppy, 2009



PhD from the University of Colorado in Chemical Engineering

MS from the University of Colorado in Chemical Engineering f


BS from Loras College in Engineering Physics

Dr Penny Martens is a Senior Lecturer with the Graduate School of Biomedical Engineering. Her research focuses on the use of biosynthetic hydrogels for a variety of biomedical applications, including diabetes treatment, neural electrodes and cartilage repair.