Group overview

Personal profiles

Group leaders

Post Doc researchers

Ph.D. Students

Laboratory engineer

Active Collaborators

Emeritus and Emerita members

Research Group

Isaac O Afara
Ph.D., Medical Engineering

Academy Research Fellow,
University of Eastern Finland.

Docent (Adjunct Professor),
Faculty of Science and Forestry,
University of Eastern Finland.

Personal information

  • Phone: +358 503 501 905
  • Room: Me/360
  • Email: isaac.afara[at] (please fix the address before mailing!)

  • Current position:
    • Academy Research Fellow, University of Eastern Finland, Sept 2018 - pres
    • Adjunct Professor, University of Eastern Finland, March 2017 - pres

  • Previous position:
    • Postdoc Researcher, University of Eastern Finland, Jan 2014 - Feb 2017
    • Postdoc Fellow, Queensland University of Technology, Australia, July 2012 - Dec 2013

  • Current research interests:
    • Biophotonics and optical evaluation of connective tissues (cartilage, meniscus, sub-bone, etc)
    • Computational modelling of light-tissue interaction
    • Radiative transfer
    • Multivariate analysis and machine learning of optical data for tissue diagnosis
    • Translational research: bench-to-bed approach.

  • Education:
    • Ph.D., Medical Engineering, Queensland University of Technology, Brisbane, Australia - 2012
    • B.Sc.(Hons.), Electrical & Electronics Engineering, University of Lagos, Nigeria - 2006
    • High School Dip., AirForce Secondary School, Lagos, Nigeria - 2000

  • Doctoral thesis:
    Near infrared spectroscopy for non-destructive evaluation of articular cartilage.

  • Language proficiency:
    • Yoruba, native language
    • English, fluent
    • Finnish, basic

  • Membership in professional associations:
    • Optical Society of America (OSA)
    • Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers (IEEE)
    • Engineering in Medicine and Biology Society (EMBS)

  • Honours and Awards:
    • QUT's 2012 Outstanding Doctoral Thesis Award, Australia - 2013
    • Postgraduate Research Write Up Scholarship (QWU), Australia - 2012
    • Outstanding Higher Degrees Research (HDR) student, Australia - 2010
    • Summer vacation research experience scholarship, Australia - 2008
    • State Bursary scholarship, UNILAG, Nigeria - 2005, 2006

  • Reviews for Scientific Journals:
    • Osteoarthritis and Cartilage (OAC)
    • Annals of Biomedical Engineering (JBA)
    • PLOS One
    • Annals of the New York Academy of Science
    • Journal of Orthopaedic Research (JOR)
    • Cartilage
    • American Journal of Sports Medicine (AJSM)
    • Journal of Biomaterials Applications (JBA)
    • Biomedical Engineering/Biomedizinische Technik (BMT)
    • Tissue Engineering - Part A

  • Skills:
    • Multivariate data analysis
    • Machine and deep learning
    • Computational modelling
    • Programming in MATLAB, Python, C
    • Computing in S and R; LaTeX

  • Hobbies:
    • Hobby Electronics
    • Soccer (Playing and watching)
    • Table Tennis


(full papers, conference proceedings)
  1. Book: Afara I., and Oloyede A., Near infrared spectroscopy evaluation of articular cartilage. Decision-making in arthroplasty: real-time assessment of articular cartilage. LAP Lambert Academic Publishing, 2012. ISBN: 978-3-659-18372-0.

  2. Torniainen J, ORCID:, Ristaniemi A, Sarin JK, Mikkonen S, ORCID:, Afara IO, ORCID:, Stenroth L, Korhonen RK and Toyras J. Near Infrared Spectroscopic Evaluation of Ligament and Tendon Biomechanical Properties. Ann Biomed Eng. 2019 Jan;47(1):213-222. doi: 10.1007/s10439-018-02125-9. Epub 2018 Sep 20.

  3. Sarin JK, ORCID:, Te Moller NCR, Mancini IAD, Brommer H, Visser J, Malda J, van Weeren PR, Afara IO, ORCID: and Toyras J. Arthroscopic near infrared spectroscopy enables simultaneous quantitative evaluation of articular cartilage and subchondral bone in vivo. Sci Rep. 2018 Sep 7;8(1):13409. doi: 10.1038/s41598-018-31670-5.

  4. Afara IO, ORCID:, Florea C, Olumegbon IA, Eneh CT, Malo MKH, ORCID:, Korhonen RK and Toyras J. Characterizing human subchondral bone properties using near-infrared (NIR) spectroscopy. Sci Rep. 2018 Jun 27;8(1):9733. doi: 10.1038/s41598-018-27786-3.

  5. Moody HR, Afara IO, Singh S and Oloyede A. Potential enhancement of articular cartilage histological grading with collagen integrity. Clin Biomech (Bristol, Avon). 2018 Jul;56:1-10. doi: 10.1016/j.clinbiomech.2018.04.016. Epub 2018 Apr 27.

  6. Arabshahi Z, Afara IO, Moody HR, Schrobback K, Kashani J, Fischer N, Oloyede A and Klein TJ. A new mechanical indentation framework for functional assessment of articular cartilage. J Mech Behav Biomed Mater. 2018 May;81:83-94. doi: 10.1016/j.jmbbm.2018.02.028. Epub 2018 Feb 23.

  7. Ala-Myllymaki J, Danso EK, Honkanen JTJ, Korhonen RK, Toyras J and Afara IO. Optical spectroscopic characterization of human meniscus biomechanical properties. J Biomed Opt. 2017 Dec;22(12):1-10. doi: 10.1117/1.JBO.22.12.125008.

  8. Afara IO, ORCID:, Prasadam I, Arabshahi Z, ORCID:, Xiao Y, ORCID: and Oloyede A. Monitoring osteoarthritis progression using near infrared (NIR) spectroscopy. Sci Rep. 2017 Sep 13;7(1):11463. doi: 10.1038/s41598-017-11844-3.

  9. Sarin JK, ORCID:, Rieppo L, Brommer H, Afara IO, ORCID:, Saarakkala S and Toyras J. Combination of optical coherence tomography and near infrared spectroscopy enhances determination of articular cartilage composition and structure. Sci Rep. 2017 Sep 6;7(1):10586. doi: 10.1038/s41598-017-10973-z.

  10. Prakash M, Sarin JK, Rieppo L, Afara IO and Toyras J. Optimal Regression Method for Near-Infrared Spectroscopic Evaluation of Articular Cartilage. Appl Spectrosc. 2017 Oct;71(10):2253-2262. doi: 10.1177/0003702817726766. Epub 2017 Aug 22.

  11. Afara IO, Singh S, Moody H, Zhang L and Oloyede A. Characterization of Articular Cartilage Recovery and Its Correlation with Optical Response in the Near-Infrared Spectral Range. Cartilage. 2017 Jul;8(3):307-316. doi: 10.1177/1947603516662502. Epub 2016 Aug 10.

  12. Sarin JK, Brommer H, Arguelles D, Puhakka PH, Inkinen SI, Afara IO, Saarakkala S and Toyras J. Corrigendum to "Multimodality scoring of chondral injuries in the equine fetlock joint ex vivo" [Osteoarthritis Cartilage 25 (5) (2017 May) 790-798]. Osteoarthritis Cartilage. 2017 Aug;25(8):1377-1378. doi: 10.1016/j.joca.2017.05.010. Epub 2017 May 27.

  13. Eneh CT, Afara IO, Malo MK, Jurvelin JS and Toyras J. Porosity predicted from ultrasound backscatter using multivariate analysis can improve accuracy of cortical bone thickness assessment. J Acoust Soc Am. 2017 Jan;141(1):575. doi: 10.1121/1.4973572.

  14. Bandara CD, ORCID:, Singh S, Afara IO, ORCID:, Wolff A, ORCID:, Tesfamichael T, ORCID:, Ostrikov K and Oloyede A. Bactericidal Effects of Natural Nanotopography of Dragonfly Wing on Escherichia coli. ACS Appl Mater Interfaces. 2017 Mar 1;9(8):6746-6760. doi: 10.1021/acsami.6b13666. Epub 2017 Feb 16.

  15. Sarin JK, Brommer H, Arguelles D, Puhakka PH, Inkinen SI, Afara IO, Saarakkala S and Toyras J. Multimodality scoring of chondral injuries in the equine fetlock joint ex vivo. Osteoarthritis Cartilage. 2017 May;25(5):790-798. doi: 10.1016/j.joca.2016.12.007. Epub 2016 Dec 10.

  16. Sarin JK, Amissah M, Brommer H, Arguelles D, Toyras J and Afara IO. Near Infrared Spectroscopic Mapping of Functional Properties of Equine Articular Cartilage. Ann Biomed Eng. 2016 Nov;44(11):3335-3345. doi: 10.1007/s10439-016-1659-6. Epub 2016 May 27.

  17. Te Moller NCR, Pitkanen M, Sarin JK, Vaananen S, Liukkonen J, Afara IO, Puhakka PH, Brommer H, Niemela T, Tulamo RM, Arguelles Capilla D and Toyras J. Semi-automated International Cartilage Repair Society scoring of equine articular cartilage lesions in optical coherence tomography images. Equine Vet J. 2017 Jul;49(4):552-555. doi: 10.1111/evj.12637. Epub 2016 Oct 20.

  18. Puhakka J, Afara IO, Paatela T, Sormaala MJ, Timonen MA, Viren T, Jurvelin JS, Toyras J and Kiviranta I. In Vivo Evaluation of the Potential of High-Frequency Ultrasound for Arthroscopic Examination of the Shoulder Joint. Cartilage. 2016 Jul;7(3):248-55. doi: 10.1177/1947603515617280. Epub 2015 Nov 26.

  19. Pawlak Z, Urbaniak W, Afara IO, Yusuf KQ, Banaszak-Piechowska A and Oloyede A. Tribological efficacy and stability of phospholipid-based membrane lubricants in varying pH chemical conditions. Biointerphases. 2016 Mar 4;11(1):019002. doi: 10.1116/1.4939246.

  20. Ala-Myllymaki J, Honkanen JT, Toyras J and Afara IO. Optical spectroscopic determination of human meniscus composition. J Orthop Res. 2016 Feb;34(2):270-8. doi: 10.1002/jor.23025. Epub 2015 Aug 27.

  21. Afara IO, Hauta-Kasari M, Jurvelin JS, Oloyede A and Toyras J. Optical absorption spectra of human articular cartilage correlate with biomechanical properties, histological score and biochemical composition. Physiol Meas. 2015 Sep;36(9):1913-28. doi: 10.1088/0967-3334/36/9/1913. Epub 2015 Aug 6.

  22. Puhakka PH, Te Moller NCR, Afara IO, Makela JTA, Tiitu V, Korhonen RK, Brommer H, Viren T, Jurvelin JS and Toyras J. Estimation of articular cartilage properties using multivariate analysis of optical coherence tomography signal. Osteoarthritis Cartilage. 2015 Dec;23(12):2206-2213. doi: 10.1016/j.joca.2015.05.034. Epub 2015 Jun 6.

  23. Afara IO, Moody H, Singh S, Prasadam I and Oloyede A. Spatial mapping of proteoglycan content in articular cartilage using near-infrared (NIR) spectroscopy. Biomed Opt Express. 2014 Dec 15;6(1):144-54. doi: 10.1364/BOE.6.000144. eCollection 2015 Jan 1.

  24. Afara IO, Prasadam I, Moody H, Crawford R, Xiao Y and Oloyede A. Near infrared spectroscopy for rapid determination of Mankin score components: a potential tool for quantitative characterization of articular cartilage at surgery. Arthroscopy. 2014 Sep;30(9):1146-55. doi: 10.1016/j.arthro.2014.04.097. Epub 2014 Jun 17.

  25. Pawlak Z, Urbaniak W, Gadomski A, Yusuf KQ, Afara IO and Oloyede A. The role of lamellate phospholipid bilayers in lubrication of joints. Acta Bioeng Biomech. 2012;14(4):101-6.

  26. Afara IO, Singh S and Oloyede A. Load-unloading response of intact and artificially degraded articular cartilage correlated with near infrared (NIR) absorption spectra. J Mech Behav Biomed Mater. 2013 Apr;20:249-58. doi: 10.1016/j.jmbbm.2012.11.022. Epub 2012 Dec 20.

  27. Afara IO, Prasadam I, Crawford R, Xiao Y and Oloyede A. Near infrared (NIR) absorption spectra correlates with subchondral bone micro-CT parameters in osteoarthritic rat models. Bone. 2013 Apr;53(2):350-7. doi: 10.1016/j.bone.2012.12.042. Epub 2012 Dec 27.

  28. Afara I, Singh S and Oloyede A. Application of near infrared (NIR) spectroscopy for determining the thickness of articular cartilage. Med Eng Phys. 2013 Jan;35(1):88-95. doi: 10.1016/j.medengphy.2012.04.003. Epub 2012 Jul 22.

  29. Afara I, Prasadam I, Crawford R, Xiao Y and Oloyede A. Non-destructive evaluation of articular cartilage defects using near-infrared (NIR) spectroscopy in osteoarthritic rat models and its direct relation to Mankin score. Osteoarthritis Cartilage. 2012 Nov;20(11):1367-73. doi: 10.1016/j.joca.2012.07.007. Epub 2012 Jul 20.

  30. Fan W, Wu C, Miao X, Liu G, Saifzadeh S, Sugiyama S, Afara I, Crawford R and Xiao Y. Biomaterial scaffolds in cartilage-subchondral bone defects influencing the repair of autologous articular cartilage transplants. J Biomater Appl. 2013 May;27(8):979-89. doi: 10.1177/0885328211431310. Epub 2012 Jun 8.

  31. Afara I, Singh S, Moody H, and Oloyede A. A comparison of the histochemical and image-derived proteoglycan content of articular cartilage, Anatomy and Physiology, 3(2):, 2013.

  32. Afara I, Sahama T, and Oloyede A. Near infrared for non-destructive testing of articular cartilage, Nondestructive testing of materials and structures, RILEM Book Series, 6: 399-404. 2013.

  33. Afara I, Sahama T, and Oloyede A. Can proteoglycan change in articular cartilage be detected by ultrasound evaluation?, Nondestructive testing of materials and structures, RILEM Book Series, 6: 393-398. 2013.

  34. Afara IO, Zenon P, and Oloyede A. Current state of the application of infrared optical methods for assessing articular cartilage. Journal of Materials Science and Engineering, 1: 892-898. 2011.

  35. Afara I, and Oloyede A, A new rapid imaging methodology for articular cartilage. . 6th Nordic Cartilage Imaging Conference, Kuopio, Finland. February 2014.

  36. Pawlak Z., Urbaniak W., Gadomski A., Yusuf K. Q., Afara IO, and Oloyede A, The role of lamellate phospholipid bilayers in lubrication of joints. Tribo Conference, Poland, 2012.

  37. Afara I, Pawlak Z, and Oloyede A, Optical non-destructive evaluation of articular cartilage integrity: A review. Proceeding of the first international conference on engineering, designing and developing the built environment for sustainable wellbeing, pages 352–355. Queensland university of Technology, 2011

  38. Afara I, and Oloyede A, A novel technique for determining the thickness of articular cartilage. IHBI Inspires Postgraduate Student Conference, Brisbane, Queensland, Australia. November 2009.

Under review:

Contact: +358 29 4451111 (Switch), email: bbc-l [at]