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.

GRC Neuroelectronic Interfaces
15/03/2020 - 20/03/2020
California - USA


TERMIS EU Annual Meeting
26/05/2020 - 29/05/2020
Manchester - UK
Matrix Biology Ireland Annual Meeting 2019
21/11/2019 - 22/11/2019
Dublin -  Ireland


Dr Adriona Kelly Awarded the Ph.D Degree Following a Successful Thesis ​Defence

Adriona Kelly was awarded the Ph.D degree after successfully defending her thesis on February 28th, 2020. Adriona was co-supervised by Prof Ger O'Connor and was examined by Dr Una Fitzgerald (NUI Galway) and Dr Mathis Riehle (University of Glasgow). Adriona has been a member of the Biggs Lab since 2013, when she initiated Ph.D studies into laser processing of platinum alloys,  submitting a thesis entitled 'Fabrication of Biomimetic Electrodes by Laser Processing and Two Photon Lithography'. Adriona has initiated a senior research engineer position at a medtech company in Galway. All the Biggs Lab wish her the very best and look forward to hearing of her continued success. 

New Paper by Adriona Kelly on Laser-Induced Periodic Surface Structure Enhances Neuroelectrode Charge Transfer Capabilities and Modulates Astrocyte Function 
In this study, commercially available platinum iridium (Pt/Ir) microelectrode probes were nanotopographically functionalized using femto/picosecond laser processing to generate laser-induced periodic surface structures (LIPSS). Three different topographies and their physical properties were assessed by scanning electron microscopy and atomic force microscopy. The electrochemical properties of these interfaces were investigated using electrochemical impedance spectroscopy and cyclic voltammetry. The in vitro response of mixed cortical cultures (embryonic rat E14/E17) was subsequently assessed by confocal microscopy, ELISA, and multiplex protein array analysis. Overall LIPSS features improved the electrochemical properties of the electrodes, promoted cell alignment, and modulated the expression of multiple ion channels involved in key neuronal functions.
New Paper by katarzyna krukiewicz on Low resistance, highly corrugated structures based on poly (3, 4-ethylenedioxythiophene) doped with a d-glucopyranoside-derived ionic liquid

A Conjugated polymers have gained significant interest as highly conducting organic materials with versatile surface morphology. In this study, we demonstrate that the electrodeposition of poly(3,4-ethylenedioxythiophene), PEDOT, in the presence of a d-glucopyranoside-derived ionic liquid (IL) results in the formation of highly corrugated three-dimensional structures. The as-formed PEDOT/IL is found to outperform PEDOT electrodeposited in the presence of a conventional electrolyte (KCl) in terms of the low impedance at the biologically relevant frequency (1 kHz) and low charge transfer resistance. Consequently, it can be inferred that the unique surface morphology and beneficial electrochemical performance will facilitate the application of PEDOT/IL in biomedical engineering, especially in the field of neural interfaces and tissue scaffolds.

Funding Awarded For EPSRC-SFI 2018 Centre for Doctoral Training - LifETIME (Engineered Tissues for Discovery, Industry and Medicine) 

Funding has been approved by SFI and the EPSRC for an new centre for doctoral training (CDT),  a partnership between the University of Glasgow, the University of Birmingham, Aston University and CÚRAM. SFI has agreed to fund 25 PhD positions, 5 per year for the next 5 years, with the first cohort to be recruited in September 2019. The program will last for eight years.

The lifETIME CDT focuses on development of non-animal technologies to improve predictive power of pre-clinical drug screens and thus drive medicines discovery. In this programme students will undergo a secondment with an industry partner (Pharma, contract research organisations, small enterprises). Also, as the CDT is based at Universities of Glasgow, Birmingham, Aston and CÚRAM we will work with these academic partners to create a national cohort of new talent to drive this sector. Students will be hosted in dynamic labs and will have the opportunity for co-supervision, travel and training within CÚRAM and the UK. The first projects the CDT are currently being formulated by CÚRAM and our UK partners and will be available online soon,  the lifETIME CDT website can be accessed at the following address

The National University of Ireland, Galway

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