MDD Group Microneedle Platform Technology Wins University College Dublin Commercialisation Award

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.

More info can be found here.

02/12/2016 - NovaUCD - Pictured at NovaUCD is Ellen Cahill, a PhD student in the UCD School of Mechanical and Materials Engineering, winner of the 2016 UCD MedTech Innovation Sprint Programme, with Micro Needle Slow-Mo, the biofunctional dermal delivery system. Photograph Nick Bradshaw
Ellen Cahill, Winner of the 2016 UCD MedTech Innovation Sprint Programme, with Micro Needle Slow-Mo