Group member and 3rd year PhD candidate Oisín Byrne has received a Fulbright Irish Student Award to conduct research over in the Therapeutic Technology Design and Development Laboratory of Professor Ellen Roche at Massachusetts Institute of Technology. Oisín’s PhD research focuses on 3D printing medical grade polymers onto cylindrically shaped substrates with applications in coronary artery bypass grafting. As a Fulbright Student to Massachusetts Institute of Technology, he will conduct research into ways to promote the mechanical coupling of medical devices to tissue.
A new paper from the Medical Device Design Group entitled Additive Manufacture of Composite Soft Pneumatic Actuators has been published in Soft Robotics. In the article, Oisín Byrne et al. describe a direct additive manufacturing method for composite material soft pneumatic actuators that are capable of performing a range of programmable motions using an affordable, open-source, desktop three-dimensional (3D) printer.
Second year biomedical engineering PhD student Oisín Byrne has been announced as the winner of the BOC Gases Symposium 2018. He presented a pitch of his work to a multidisciplinary audience of engineering staff and students from the School of Mechanical and Materials Engineering on March 12th.
His presentation entitled “3D printing of polymers onto the abluminal surface of cylindrical tissue samples” secured him the BOC Gases sponsored prize fund of €1300 and consequently, he participated in the prestigious Sir Bernard Crossland Symposium which was hosted by UCD this year on April 25th.
Competing with 23 posters from other Mechanical Engineering Institutions across Ireland, he received 3rd prize at this event and €200. As a member of Dr. O’ Cearbhaill’s Medical Device Design group, the aim of Oisín’s project (co-funded by Cúram, the SFI Centre for Research in Medical Devices and Neograft Technologies Inc.) is to provide an intra-operative method for improving the mechanical performance and longevity of saphenous vein grafts that are routinely used in Coronary Artery Bypass Grafting (CABG) procedures. He seeks to harness the unique benefits of additive manufacturing technology to provide a patient-specific graft reinforcement method in order to improve graft performance compared to the current state of the art reinforcing methods.
Group member and PhD student Ellen Cahill won the best ‘Devices’ presentation at the annual Bioengineering in Ireland (BINI) conference. Ellen’s presentation entitled ‘Porous Metal Microneedle Patch Platform for Transdermal Drug Delivery and Interstitial Fluid Collection’ detailed her PhD work and results on this exciting metallic microneedle device.
PhD students Oisín Byrne and Kevin Krieger were also in attendance at the conference and both presented on their respective PhD works on ‘3D Printing of Exo-Stents onto Saphenous Vein Grafts’ and ‘Rapid Fabrication of Customisable Microneedle Moulds Using Low Cost SLA ‘Print and Fill’ Technique’. aDr. Eoin O’Cearbhaill spoke to PhD and Post-Docs about his career to date weaving through academia and industry during the Career Development session. UCD was also represented at the conference by PhD students Karen Fitzgearld and Antonia Trotta and Assistant Professor Dr. Aisling Ní Annaidh.
On June 15th, the annual Teaching Awards BBQ took place outside Belfield House where awards were given to the best teaching assistants and lecturers in both the School of Mechanical & Material Science as well as the School of Electrical & Electronic Engineering for Semester 2 2016/17 as voted by students. The event is an opportunity to recognise outstanding contribution to the teaching activity in the schools. Group Member Kevin Krieger placed joint 1st while Oisín Byrne won 3rd place.
Kevin Krieger receiving his award from Professor Michael Gilchrist, Head of School
A research project developing a new microneedle platform technology has won a University College Dublin (UCD) commercialisation award.
Group member Ellen Cahill, a PhD student in the UCD Medical Device Design Group is working on this technology with Dr Eoin O’Cearbhaill and Dr Shane Keaveney.
Microneedle patches are microsystem devices which are commonly used to painlessly pierce an individual’s skin creating a pathway for therapeutic drug delivery.
Many such needles have been designed for use in vaccine delivery. However there is an industry demand for microneedles which can deliver a slow, sustained release of therapeutic drugs through a cost-effective, scalable process.
To solve this issue the team has designed and developed a new type of microneedle. This new microneedle platform technology has the potential to deliver slow-release therapeutics with enhanced mechanical performance compared to currently available microneedles on the market.
Ms Cahill was the overall winner of the 2016 UCD MedTech Innovation Sprint Programme, a 1-day initiative designed and delivered by UCD’s technology transfer and enterprise development teams at NovaUCD.
Each 1-day innovation sprint programme aims to encourage the development of commercial outputs, arising from specific research areas, by engaging with researchers at an earlier stage in the commercialisation process.
Ellen said, “The aim of my research at UCD is focused on developing a platform technology which offers a smart way of delivering next-generation therapeutics through minimally invasive approaches.”
The team will continue to develop this microneedle platform while putting it through rigorous testing to ensure that the best possible product is brought forward.
This research has been supported by Science Foundation Ireland through a Technology Innovation Development Award, the Naughton Foundation and a Marie Skłodowska-Curie fellowship.
MDD would like to thank UCDNOVA for the continued support and encouragement in moving research into real world applications.
The UCD VentureLaunch Accelerator Programme, an intensive 3 month workshop held at NovaUCD, culminated on Wednesday night in the announcement of the winner of the UCD start-up of the year award. This title was won by EpiCor Therapeutics, who are developing new disease-modifying treatments that target the mechanisms underlying the development of heart failure.
Members of the Medical Device Design Group Dr. Nicky Bertollo and Dr. Eoin O’Cearbhaill, together with Dr. Seamus Morris, took part in the 2016 UCD VentureLaunch Accelerator Programme with their start-up Latch Medical. The start-up is developing a revolutionary tissue anchorage system based on microtechnology.
More information on the night, and details of the technologies being developed by other early-stage UCD start-ups participating in the program can be found here.