The Biggs Lab at NUI Galway

Welcome to the Biggs Lab Homepage. The Biggs group conducts multi-disciplinary bioengineering research at the National University of Ireland, Galway to develop biomaterials focused solutions to medical device design with a focus on the nanofabrication of electrically active and responsive biomaterials.

32th Annual Conference of the European Society of Biomaterials
04/09/2022 - 08/09/2020
Bordeaux - France


GRC meeting Neuroelectronic Interfaces
13/03/2022 - 18/03/2022
Ventura - USA
Tissue Engineering and Regenerative Medicine International Society (TERMIS) European Chapter Conference 2022 
28/06/2022 - 01/07/2020
Krakow - Poland


Marc's New Paper in Advanced Materials Generates Media Interest!
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Marc Fernandez' Ph.D work has been published in Advanced Materials. This latest paper has generated significant media interest with coverage appearing in Advanced Science, in the Irish Times, Silicon Republic and was discussed in a radio interview by Dr Biggs one Galway Bay FM.

Dr Manus BiggsGalway Bay FM
00:00 / 12:00
New Paper by Marc Fernandez Published in Advanced Materials

Marc Fernandez' Ph.D work has been published in Advanced Materials. Tendon disease constitutes an unmet clinical need and remains a critical challenge in the field of orthopaedic surgery. Innovative solutions are required to overcome the limitations of current tendon grafting approaches, and bioelectronic therapies show promise in treating musculoskeletal diseases, accelerating functional recovery through the activation of tissue regeneration-specific signaling pathways. Self-powered bioelectronic devices, particularly piezoelectric materials, represent a paradigm shift in biomedicine, negating the need for battery or external powering and complementing existing mechanotherapy to accelerate the repair processes. In this study, the dynamic response of tendon cells to a piezoelectric collagen-analogue scaffold comprised of aligned nanoscale fibers made of the ferroelectric material poly(vinylidene fluoride-co-trifluoroethylene) was investigated. 

New Paper led by James Britton on the Development of a Green Strain Sensor Published in Materials & Design
Biosensor technologies are of great interest for applications in wearable electronics, soft robotics and implantable biomedical devices. To accelerate the adoption of electronics for chronic recording of physiological parameters in health and disease, there is a demand for biocompatible, conductive & flexible materials that can integrate with various tissues while remaining biologically inert. In this paper, we describe the development and characterisation of an electronic ink made from an environmentally sustainable copolymer-ω-pentadecalactone-co-ε-decalactone, (PDL) incorporating silver nanowires (AgNW). PDL nanocomposites were shown to be biocompatible, demonstrated in vitro through the promotion of neural adhesion and prevention of astrocyte activation. An optimised ink formulation was subsequently used to fabricate strain-responsive biosensors with high spatial resolution (sub – 100 µm) using a direct write additive manufacturing process.
Dr Marc Fernandez Awarded European Doctorate Award for Research Achievements

Dr. Mark Fernandez, has been awarded the Julia Polak European Doctorate Award 2021 of the European Society for Biomaterials (ESB) to be presented at the General Assembly of the next ESB conference to be held from 5-9 September 2021 in Porto. Candidates nominated for the award needed to demonstrate that they have received high standard research education and training at a European level in Biomaterials and Tissue Engineering and that they are also able to produce scientific results deserving recognition by being published and accepted in high-quality journals and conferences. Dr Manus Biggs supervised Dr Fernandez's doctoral research that focussed on developing a synthetic fibrous scaffold to promote tendon repair. The technology developed was specifically designed to address the biological, mechanical and adhesions issues in rotator cuff tendon repair and used electrospinning to generate a highly structured and porous scaffold made from an inert synthetic polymer.