Trinity Centre for BioEngineering



Trinity Centre for BioEngineering
Trinity Centre for BioEngineering
Winter 2014
Trinity Centre for Bioengineering
Trinity Biomedical Sciences Institute,
Tel: +353-1-8964214
Email: [email protected]
Directors Message
In this issue:
Directors Message
TCBE Bibliometrics
Grants & Awards
Events, Seminars & Conferences
Media Highlights
Other news
Happy New Year and welcome to the winter 2014/2015 newsletter of the
Trinity Centre for Bioengineering. The past few months have again been a
very productive period for the PIs, postdoctoral researchers and students
associated with the Centre. Details of all our recent outputs and activities
can be found within this newsletter, but I’d like to highlight just a few of
them here.
Firstly, I’d like to welcome our newest PI to the Centre - Dr Mark Ahearne,
who is a Senior Research Fellow in Trinity College Dublin. Mark is an SFI
SIRG awardee, and was recently successful in obtaining a highly prestigious
European Research Council (ERC) starter grant. In addition, Dr Triona Lally
from Dublin City University also received an ERC starter award. This brings
to 8 the number of TCBE researchers (either past or present) who have
been awarded these highly prestigious ERC grants. This reflects the strength
of research within the TCBE, and highlights Bioengineering as a key national
research strength.
Congratulations also to Professor Richard Reilly and all others in TCD
involved in the new European Institute for Innovation and Technology (EIT)
Knowledge Innovation Communities (KICs). The KICs are large scale
partnerships made up of academic institutions and innovation stakeholders.
The InnoLife Consortium – winner of EIT Health (healthy living and active
ageing) – is a consortium of more than 140 partners of leading businesses,
research centres and universities from 14 EU countries. Professor Richard
Reilly led the Irish input to the successful InnoLife consortium.
Thanks again to everyone who participated in the TCBE Winter Symposium,
which was held during the week before the Christmas break. At the
symposium, TCBE researchers presented a 3 minute review of their
research. It was great to see the diversity and strength of research ongoing
in the Centre.
Finally, congratulations to Prof. Ciaran Simms who was recently promoted
to associate professor.
I hope you enjoy reading the newsletter.
TCBE Peer reviewed Journal Articles 2004-2013
No. of papers:
Number of citations:
Impact (citations per paper):
Collaborating countries (in terms of co-authorship)
Top citing countries 2004-2013
Number of Citations
Source: Scopus, accessed December 17, 2014
Trinity Key Partner in Two Successful
Multi-Million EU Bids to Tackle Ageing and
Trinity College Dublin has been successful as a key
partner in two milestone EU consortia that will boost
innovation and tackle health and raw materials. The
European Institute for Innovation and Technology
yesterday announced the winning consortia for two
new Knowledge Innovation Communities (KICs) − large
scale partnerships made up of academic institutions
and innovation stakeholders. The winners of the EIT’s
2014 Call for Knowledge and Innovation Communities
(KICs) proposals are the pan-European consortia
InnoLife (EIT Health) and RawMatTERS (EIT Raw
Materials), bringing together more than 150 partners
from 20 EU Member States.
InnoLife Consortium – winner of EIT Health (healthy
living and active ageing) – is a consortium of more than
140 partners of leading businesses, research centres
and universities from 14 EU countries, including Abbott
Laboratories from Spain, the French National Institute
of Health and Medical Research (Inserm) and the
University of Oxford from the UK.
Professor Richard Reilly, who led the Irish input to the
successful InnoLife consortium, described the EIT KICHEALTH programme as the “perfect framework to
accelerate near-to-market healthcare related research
projects and promote developed concepts to an expert
global audience to secure additional funding, support,
network and commercialization opportunities.”
European Research Council Grants
TCBE PI’s, Dr Mark Ahearne and Dr Triona Lally are
recipients of European Research Council Grants.
Dr Mark Ahearne was awarded an
European Research Council (ERC) Starting
Grant. The grant is valued at just under
€1.5 million over five years and will fund
research in the area of corneal tissue
regeneration. Corneal blindness resulting from disease,
physical injury or chemical burns affects millions
worldwide. In many cases a cornea transplant is
required to restore vision however a shortage of donor
tissue has necessitated the development of alternative
treatment strategies. The aim of this research will be
to develop a biomaterial based product that can used
as an alternative to donor tissue for transplantation.
Enterprise Ireland Commercialization
Fund 2015-2017
Project title: A decellularised extracellular matrix derived
scaffold incorporating freshly isolated joint tissue derived
cells as a bioactive implant for cartilage repair.
Description: We have developed a new ‘single-stage’ or
regeneration that consists of a chondro-inductive
extracellular matrix (ECM) derived scaffold seeded with
freshly isolated joint tissue derived stromal cells that are
processed ‘in-theatre’. The primary objective of this
project is to evaluate the efficacy of this ‘single-stage’ or
‘in-theatre’ therapy for articular cartilage regeneration in
a large animal model study.
Collaborators: Prof. Fergal O’Brien (Royal College of
Surgeons); Prof. Conor Buckley (TCD); Prof Kevin Mulhall
(Mater Hospital & TCD); Prof Cathal Moran (Sports
Surgery Clinic & TCD).
Project title:
Development of a platform for
understanding astrocyte mechanobiology: Steps towards
the treatment of glaucoma in patients.
Description: Glaucoma affects >60 million people and is
the second leading cause of blindness worldwide. Existing
treatments are all designed to lower intraocular pressure
(IOP), but are inadequate. Thus, novel treatments for
glaucoma are needed. IOP deforms the delicate tissues
of the optic nerve head (ONH). It is believed that ONH
astrocytes respond to this deformation in glaucoma,
changing their phenotype in a way that ultimately
triggers vision loss. However, the details of this response,
i.e. the mechanobiology of ONH astrocytes, are unclear.
Previous researchers have studied ONH astrocyte
mechanobiology using 2D (monolayer) culture systems,
which do not mimic the true 3D environment of the ONH.
We know that cells are sensitive to such 2D/3D
differences, and thus there is a pressing need to
understand how astrocytes react to deformation in 3D.
Accordingly, our aim is to better understand the
mechanobiology of ONH astrocytes and astrocyte
precursor cells, with the long-term goal of developing
new interventions to treat glaucoma. Astrocytes and
astrocyte precursor cells will be cultured in 3D, and their
response to mechanical strain will be studied using
proteomic approaches to identify key pathways involved
in ONH astrocyte mechanobiology.
Collaborators: Prof. Ross Ethier (Georgia Institute of
Technology & Emory)
Fellow of the year
Prof Fergal O’Brien was awarded Fellow of the year
in the Anatomical Society, RCSI .
Discover Research
TCBE was involved in Discover Research which had
over 50 fun, interactive, free events and activities
allowing members of the public to interact with
researchers. The idea is to challenge perceptions
about researchers and showcase the creativity and
innovation that exists across all disciplines. Activities
on the night were grouped under four broad themes
– Body Parts, Creativity in Research, Meet the
Researchers and Living Thought/Thinking Life
Pictured above is Prof. Clive Lee presenting Prof. Fergal O’Brien
with his award
Professional Excellence Award
Dr Sally Ann Cyran (PI, TCBE) was the recipient of the
Professional Excellence Award at the recent Helix
Health Pharmacist Awards 2014. Dr Cyran also
received the following grants:
SFI IvP (€1.9million) Functional polymers for
nanomedical devices -SFI CURAM Centre for
Research in Medical Devices (SA Cryan Funded
SFI TIDA (€80,000) Development of a scalable
process for production of inhaled anti-tubercular
therapies using bioactive carriers.
Academic Innovation of the Year 2014
Prof Richard Reilly (TCBE) and Prof Richard Costello
of RCSI/Beaumont Hospital were finalists in the
Academic Innovation of the Year 2014 Excellence
Clinical Innovation Award
Dr. Aamir Hameed, a Cardiothoracic
Surgeon and currently a clinician
Scientist with the Royal College
of Surgeons in Ireland, received a clinical innovation
award. Dr. Hameed is developing a solution with
colleagues in RCSI of safer paediatric treatments for
cancer. Side effects, and in particular cardiotoxicty, is
associated with current cancer treatments for
paediatric patients, thus limiting treatment options.
This solution has the potential to address the safety
profile of these treatments, and therefore improve
the quality of life and life expectancy for these
patients. Awardees receive Feasibility Funding from
Enterprise Ireland to investigate the commercial
potential of their ideas.
Pictured above are TCBE Researchers at the Discover Research Event
"I'm An Engineer Get Me Out of Here“
Professor David Taylor (Principal Investigator, TCBE)
entered a competition called "I'm An Engineer Get
Me Out of Here"...and he won! The competition,
which has been run several times before in the UK,
was running for the first time in Ireland, sponsored
by SFI. The idea is to engage with school students
who want to find out more about engineering.
Engineers sign up as competitors: the children get to
ask them questions and engage in online chat
sessions. Engineers get eliminated until someone - in
this case David - is left standing. It's a lot of fun,
questions range from the serious and technical
("how does the remote work on a TV"), to careeroriented ( "how much do you earn?") to the very silly
("what's your favourite joke?"). David won €500
which he will donate to the research group of Tony
Robinson in the Mechanical Engineering department:
Tony is working with people in Malawi to make
better cooking stoves that generate electricity. The
competition will run in February: colleagues are
recommended to enter as it's a very nice way to
engage with schools and students. Here's the link: “
TCBE Transition Year Programme
The TCBE Transition Year programme will take place
from February 23-27 2015. If you would like to
participate please email an expression of interest to
[email protected] The programme gives students an
excellent insight into biomedical engineering and
Neuromorphic Cognition Engineering Workshop
Keynote & Invited Talks
Dr Ed Lalor co-led a group of researchers including
James O'Sullivan and Giovanni Di Liberto at the
Neuromorphic Cognition Engineering Workshop in
Colorado in July.
Professor Daniel Kelly, Director of TCBE gave the
following invited talks:
“Re-engineering articular cartilage: A seemingly simple
tissue that is wonderfully complex”. Keynote talk,
Matrix Biology Ireland, Galway, 19th to 21st of
November 2014.
Auditory Cortex Conference Germany
Dr Ed Lalor and PhD candidates James O'Sullivan,
Michael Crosse and Giovanni Di Liberto all presented
work at the Auditory Cortex Conference in
Magdeburg Germany in September (pictured below).
“Innovation in Medical Devices and Advanced Therapy
Medicinal Products”. Invited talk, Pharmacists in
Industry, Education and Regulatory (PIER) meeting, 8th
November 2014.
“Innovation in Natural Biomaterials: A review of next
generation implants and regenerative therapies in
AMBER”. Invited Talk, MEDTEC Ireland, October 2014.
“Tissue Engineering of soft-hard tissue interfaces”
Invited Talk, World Congress of Biomechanics, Boston,
July 2014.
Trinity Biomedical Sciences Annual Symposium 2014
‘Research at the Interface’
Ground-breaking research at the interface of
immunology, cancer and medicine was recently
discussed at the third annual symposium in the Trinity
Biomedical Sciences Institute (TBSI) at Trinity College
Dublin. Prof Danny Kelly Director of Trinity Centre for
Bioengineering organised the event.
National Thesis-in-3 final
Congratulations to Dinorath Olivera
who was a finalist at the National
Thesis-in-3 final. Thesis-in-3 is a
national competition for research
students from all over Ireland who have just 3 slides
thesis. The competition is designed to showcase the
world-class research happening in Ireland in bitesized chunks.
Dinorath is a PhD student in the Trinity Centre for
Bioengineering in Trinity College Dublin. As part of
the Regenerative Medicine team, her research
focuses on a fibre reinforced hydrogel to engineer
the interface between soft and hard tissue. Dinorath
was awarded an Irish Research Council scholarship to
carry out her PhD studies.
“Coupling in vitro and in silico models of endothelial
and mesenchymal stem cell mechanobiology to
improve our understanding of bone regeneration”.
Invited Talk, World Congress of Biomechanics, Boston,
July 2014.
Dr. Ed Lalor gave an invited talk at a Workshop and
Summer School on "Auditory Attention and Scene
Analysis" in Delmenhorst Germany in July. One of our
MSc Bioengineering students, Timo Lauteslager, won a
student travel award to present his work at this
workshop. And James O'Sullivan also presented his
latest findings.
Dr. Buckley gave a public lecture entitled “Science &
Sports Injuries- How tissue engineering will reduce
the need for complex surgery?- "A World of Science in
Sport”, Public Lecture, Global Room, Trinity College
Dublin, July 2014.
As part of his Irish Research Council (IRC) New
foundations Award Dr Buckley was a visiting Professor
in the laboratory of Prof James Latridis at the Icahn
School of Medicine at Mount Sinai, New York, USA and
gave a seminar entitled “Regenerating the
Intervertebral Disc- Biomaterial Strategies, Stem Cells
and Microenvironmental Effects- Icahn School of
Medicine at Mount Sinai, New York, USA.”
The Trinity Centre for Bioengineering Winter
symposium was held on 18 December. Director of
TCBE, Professor Daniel Kelly gave a review of the year
for the Centre. Senior PhD candidates gave a ‘thesis-in3” presentation of their research. Congratulations
James O’Sullivan, Gillian Gunning and Masooma Naqvi
who won prizes for best presentations. There was also
a poster display.
Welcome to Dr. John Mulvihill to
the Tissue Engineering Group. John
received his Ph.D in Biomedical
Engineering from the University of
Limerick, Ireland, John previously
was a research and development
engineer with commercialisation experience in
vascular medical device design (AMCARE FP7
project, Enterprise Ireland funded Halo Device and
Cleveland Clinic Innovation funded TUCSS project),
academic experience in diseased vascular tissue
characterization and lecturing at the University of
Limerick in the areas of Mechanical Design and
Mechanics of Solids, with a specialty in fracture
mechanics. John is currently a visiting research
scholar from Trinity College Dublin through the
ELEVATE funding from the Irish Research Council
International Career Development Fellowship – cofunded by Marie Cure Actions.
Jennifer Gansau (PhD Candidate)
studied medical Biotechnology and
Universität Berlin. She received an
Irish Research Council Government
of Ireland Postgraduate Fellowship
and joined the group of Dr. Conor Buckley to
investigate “Microencapsulated MSCs for Minimal
Invasive Regeneration of the Intervertebral Disc”.
TCBE Research ‘Thesis-in-3” Presentation prize winners L-R:
James O’Sullivan, Gillian Gunning, Masooma Naqvi
Welcome to Denis Drennan who
was awarded an IRC Enterprise
Scholarship to join the Lalor lab. His
work will focus on auditory-tactile
multimodal stimulation as a solution to a number
of clinical needs.
Welcome to Ivan Dudurych, Darina Gilroy, Samuel
Holt, Srujana Ven Vedicherla, Tom McIntyre who
join the Buckley Lab as part of the MSc in
Bioengineering (Tissue Engineering Specialisation)
Fiona Brien and Dr Jeremy Murphy joined the Lalor
lab to work on an IRC project on the
neurophysiology of music.
Pictured at the symposium: TCBE Principal Investigators
Prof. Bruce Murphy, Prof. Conor Buckley and Prof. Ed Lalor
Congratulations to Dr Raja Eswaramoorthy, who
recently left the Tissue Engineering lab to take up a
faculty position at Sri Ramachandra University
Welcome to Eimear Dolan who recently
joined the Cardiovascular research group
as a Research Associate and part of a
translational research program to develop
truly restorative therapies
for acute
myocardial infarction (MI) repair by
optimising cardiac progenitor cell therapy
using smart biomaterials and advanced drug delivery,
and coupling these therapeutics with minimally-invasive
surgical devices. These multimodal therapies developed
by this collaborative 7th Framework Programme
European Commission project aim to modify the
underlying pathology of the post-MI disease state,
specifically replacing lost cells due to ischemia with
functionally competent viable cells using cardiopoietic
stem cells. Fore more information, see
Loughnane GM, Shanley JP, Lalor EC, O'Connell RG (2015).
Behavioral and electrophysiological evidence of opposing
lateral visuospatial asymmetries in the upper and lower
visual fields. Cortex, 63(2015): 220-231.
Guillaume, O., Naqvi, S.M., Lennon, K. and Buckley C.T.
Enhancing cell migration in shape-memory alginatecollagen composite scaffolds: in vitro and ex vivo
assessment for intervertebral disc repair. Journal of
Biomaterials Applications (Accepted for Publication)
Sridharan, R., Reilly, R.B. and Buckley C.T. Decellularized
Grafts with Axially Aligned Channels for Peripheral Nerve
Regeneration. Journal of the Mechanical Behavior of
Biomedical Materials (Accepted for Publication)
Naqvi, S.M. and Buckley, C.T. Differential Response of
Encapsulated Nucleus Pulposus and Bone Marrow Stem
Cells in Isolation and Coculture in Alginate and Chitosan
Hydrogels. Tissue Engineering Part A (In Press)
Aisa J., Calvo I., Buckley C.T. and Kirby B.M. Mechanical
Comparison of Loop and Crimp Configurations for
Extracapsular Stabilization of the Cranial Cruciate
Ligament-Deficient Stifle. Veterinary Surgery (In Press)
Kelly C, Yadav AB, Lawlor C, Nolan K, O'Dwyer J, Greene
CM, McElvaney NG, Sivadas N, Ramsey JM, Cryan
SA.Therapeutic Aerosol Bioengineering of siRNA for the
Treatment of Inflammatory Lung Disease by TNFα Gene
Silencing in Macrophages. Mol Pharm. 2014 Nov
3;11(11):4270-9. doi: 10.1021/mp500473d. Epub 2014 Oct
13.PMID: 25243784 [PubMed - in process]
Sheehy, E.S, Mesallati, T., Vinardell, T., Kelly, D.J.
Engineering cartilage or endochondral bone: A
comparison of different naturally derived hydrogels. Acta
Biomaterilia (in press).
Burke, D., Kelly, D.J. A Mechanobiological Model of
Endothelial Cell Migration and Proliferation. Computer
Methods in Biomechanics and Biomedical Engineering (in
Steward, A.J., Kelly, D.J., Wagner, D.R. The role of calcium
signalling in the chondrogenic response of mesenchymal
stem cells to hydrostatic pressure. European Cells and
Material, 28, 358-371, 2014.
Steward, A.J., Kelly, D.J. Mechanical regulation of
mesenchymal stem cell differentiation. Journal of
Anatomy, (in press).
Hibbitts A, O'Mahony AM, Forde E, Nolan L, Ogier J,
Desgranges S, Darcy R, MacLoughlin R, O'Driscoll CM,
Cryan SA.Early-Stage Development of Novel CyclodextrinsiRNA
Postnebulization Transfection of Bronchial Epithelial
Cells. J Aerosol Med Pulm Drug Deliv. 2014
Dec;27(6):466-477.PMID: 24665866
McKiernan PJ, Molloy K, Cryan SA, McElvaney NG,
Greene CM Long noncoding RNA are aberrantly
expressed in vivo in the cystic fibrosis bronchial
epithelium.Int J Biochem Cell Biol. 2014 Jul;52:184-91.
doi: 10.1016/j.biocel.2014.02.022. Epub 2014 Mar
12.PMID: 24631641
Brandwein, Alice B., et al. "Neurophysiological Indices of
Atypical Auditory Processing and Multisensory
Integration are Associated with Symptom Severity in
Autism." Journal of autism and developmental
disorders (2014): 1-15.
Wynne C, Lazzari E, Smith S, McCarthy EM, Ní Gabhann J,
Kallal LE, Higgs R, Cryan SA, Biron CA, Jefferies
CA.TRIM68 negatively regulates IFN-β production by
degrading TRK fused gene, a novel driver of IFN-β
downstream of anti-viral detection systems. PLoS One.
10.1371/journal.pone.0101503. eCollection 2014.PMID:
Ciara Kelly, Ciaran Lawlor, Colin Burke, James W. Barlow,
Joanne M Ramsey, Caroline Jefferies and Sally-Ann
Cryan. High Throughput Methods for Screening
Liposome-Macrophage Cell Interaction, j oF Liposome
Research In press
Radio: Prof. Conor Buckley was interviewed on national radio- Newstalk: Pat Kenny Show on the topic of
“Tissue Engineering for Sports Injuries”
National Press: Prof. Daniel Kelly featured in the irish Times Science Supplement (5 Nov 2014)
Great scientific mysteries: the researchers puzzle it out
From freak waves to gut bugs, Irish scientists are working to crack some of the imponderables in life.
Trinity College Dublin along with the Royal College of Surgeons in Ireland (RCSI) will co-host the 2018 World
Congress of Biomechanics in Dublin in 2018 (WCB2018). The World Congress of Biomechanics (WCB) is an
international meeting held once every four years, rotating among Europe, Asia and the Americas.
Prof Daniel J. Kelly, Director of the Trinity Centre of Bioengineering, and Co-Chair WCB2018 said "the scientific
programme of the congress will feature the best international speakers and a wide programme of subject areas
across the spectrum of biomechanics in plenary and parallel formats. We look forward to welcoming all those
engaged in the field of biomechanics to Dublin in 2018."
The conference is potentially worth over €5 million to the Irish economy. The Convention Centre Dublin will be
the venue for the congress in July 2018, with 3000 participants expected from all corners of the globe.
The bid will be supported by an All-Ireland Organising Committee which includes biomechanics researchers from
all across Ireland- north and south.
Contact us
Trinity Centre for Bioengineering
Trinity Biomedical Sciences Institute,
Trinity College Dublin,
152-160 Pearse Street,
Dublin 2
Tel: +353-1-8964214
Email: [email protected]

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