Owen joined the Bionics Institute in 2012 as a part of the Bionic Vision Australia’s initiative to develop a bionic eye. Contributing to both preclinical and clinical aspects of the program, Owen is responsible for developing robustness testing systems and novel surgical tooling for the prosthesis. Following the successful completion of Australia’s first-in-human trial of a retinal prosthesis, Owen continues to contribute to our Bionic Vision program which is currently developing a second generation prosthesis. In addition Owen is leading design and development of novel implantable electrode systems for monitoring neural activity in epileptic patients and neuromodulation of the vagus nerve.

Prior to joining the Bionics Institute, Owen spent several years developing microfluidic manifolds for liver specific tissue engineering applications, conducted research on impact test dummy standards and designed testing standards for Australian Harness Racing Sulkies.

E: [email protected]

Research projects


Crohn's disease

Implant to delay blindness

Recent publications

  1. Shivdasani, M. N., M. Evans, O. Burns, J. Yeoh, P. J. Allen, D. Nayagam, J. Villalobos, C. J. Abbott, C. D. Luu, N. L. Opie, A. Sabu, A. L. Saunders, M. McPhedran, L. Cardamone, C. McGowan, V. Maxim, R. A. Williams, K. Fox, R. Cicione, D. J. Garrett, A. Ahnood, K. Ganesan, H. Meffin, A. N. Burkitt, S. Prawer, C. E. Williams, and R. K. Shepherd. 2020. In vivo feasibility of epiretinal stimulation using ultrananocrystalline diamond electrodes. Journal of Neural Engineering: [epub ahead of print]. doi: 1088/1741-2552/aba560.

  2. Payne, S. C., J. B. Furness, O. Burns, A. Sedo, T. Hyakumura, R. K. Shepherd, and J. B. Fallon. 2019. Anti-inflammatory Effects of Abdominal Vagus Nerve Stimulation on Experimental Intestinal Inflammation. Frontiers in Neuroscience. 13(418). doi: 10.3389/fnins.2019.00418. Full Text

  3. Payne, S. C., O. Burns, M. J. Stebbing, R. Thomas, A. C. de Silva, A. Sedo, F. Wiessenborn, T. Hyakumura, M. Huynh, C. N. May, R. A. Williams, J. Furness, J. Fallon, and R. Shepherd. 2019. Vagus nerve stimulation to treat inflammatory bowel disease: a chronic, preclinical safety study in sheep. Bioelectronics in Medicine. 1(4): 235-250. doi: https://doi.org/10.2217/bem-2018-0011.

  4. Shepherd, R. K., J. Villalobos, O. Burns, and D. Nayagam. 2018. The development of neural stimulators: a review of preclinical safety and efficacy studies. Journal of Neural Engineering. 15(4): 041004. doi: 10.1088/1741-2552/aac43c. Full Text

  5. Abbott, Carla J., David A. X. Nayagam, Chi D. Luu, Stephanie B. Epp, Richard A. Williams, Cesar M. Salinas-LaRosa, Joel Villalobos, Ceara McGowan, Mohit N. Shivdasani, Owen Burns, Jason Leavens, Jonathan Yeoh, Alice A. Brandli, Patrick C. Thien, Jenny Zhou, Helen Feng, Chris E. Williams, Robert K. Shepherd, and Penelope J. Allen. 2018. Safety Studies for a 44-Channel Suprachoroidal Retinal Prosthesis: A Chronic Passive Study. Investigative Ophthalmology & Visual Science. 59(3): 1410-1424. doi: 10.1167/iovs.17-23086. Full Text

  6. Benovitski, Y. B., A. Lai, C. C. McGowan, O. Burns, V. Maxim, D. A. X. Nayagam, R. Millard, G. D. Rathbone, M. A. le Chevoir, R. A. Williams, D. B. Grayden, C. N. May, M. Murphy, W. J. D'Souza, M. J. Cook, and C. E. Williams. 2017. Ring and peg electrodes for minimally-Invasive and long-term sub-scalp EEG recordings. Epilepsy Research. 135: 29-37. doi: 10.1016/j.eplepsyres.2017.06.003. Full Text

  7. Fox, K., H. Meffin, O. Burns, C. J. Abbott, P. J. Allen, N. L. Opie, C. McGowan, J. Yeoh, A. Ahnood, C. D. Luu, R. Cicione, A. L. Saunders, M. McPhedran, L. Cardamone, J. Villalobos, D. J. Garrett, D. A. Nayagam, N. V. Apollo, K. Ganesan, M. N. Shivdasani, A. Stacey, M. Escudie, S. Lichter, R. K. Shepherd, and S. Prawer. 2016. Development of a Magnetic Attachment Method for Bionic Eye Applications. Artificial Organs. 40(3): E12-24. doi: 1111/aor.12582.

  8. Lichter, S. G., M. C. Escudie, A. D. Stacey, K. Ganesan, K. Fox, A. Ahnood, N. V. Apollo, D. C. Kua, A. Z. Lee, C. McGowan, A. L. Saunders, O. Burns, D. A. Nayagam, R. A. Williams, D. J. Garrett, H. Meffin, and S. Prawer. 2015. Hermetic diamond capsules for biomedical implants enabled by gold active braze alloys. Biomaterials. 53: 464-74. doi: 1016/j.biomaterials.2015.02.103.

  9. Saunders, A. L., C. E. Williams, W. Heriot, R. Briggs, J. Yeoh, D. A. Nayagam, M. McCombe, J. Villalobos, O. Burns, C. D. Luu, L. N. Ayton, M. McPhedran, N. L. Opie, C. McGowan, R. K. Shepherd, R. Guymer, and P. J. Allen. 2014. Development of a surgical procedure for implantation of a prototype suprachoroidal retinal prosthesis. Clinical & Experimental Ophthalmology. 42(7): 665-74. doi: 1111/ceo.12287. Full Text

  10. Hoganson, D. M., H. I. Pryor, 2nd, I. D. Spool, O. H. Burns, J. R. Gilmore, and J. P. Vacanti. 2010. Principles of biomimetic vascular network design applied to a tissue-engineered liver scaffold. Tissue Engineering Part A. 16(5): 1469-77. doi: 1089/ten.TEA.2009.0118. Full Text

See more publications by Owen Burns in Google Scholar