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.

World Biomaterials Congress
11/12/2020 - 15/12/2020


GRC meeting Biomaterials and Tissue Engineering
18/07/2021 - 23/07/2021
Holderness - USA
EMRS Annual Meeting 2020


Kasia's New Paper on Neural Interface Biomaterials Published in Scientific Reports

By providing a bidirectional communication channel between neural tissues and a biomedical device, it is envisaged that neural interfaces will be fundamental in the future diagnosis and treatment of neurological disorders. Due to the mechanical mismatch between neural tissue and metallic neural electrodes, soft electrically conducting materials are of great benefit in promoting chronic device functionality. In this study, carbon nanotubes (CNT), silver nanowires (AgNW) and poly(hydroxymethyl 3,4-ethylenedioxythiophene) microspheres (MSP) were employed as conducting fillers within a poly(ε-decalactone) (EDL) matrix, to form a soft and electrically conducting composite. The effect of a filler type on the electrical percolation threshold, and composite biocompatibility was investigated in vitro. All investigated composite surfaces were found to be biocompatible, and to reduce the presence of reactive astrocytes relative to control electrodes. The results of this work clearly demonstrated the ability of high aspect ratio structures to form an extended percolation network within a polyester matrix, resulting in the formulation of composites with advantageous mechanical, electrochemical and biocompatibility properties.

Enterprise Ireland Commercialisation Funding Awarded to Marc Fernandez to Develop His PhD Work Into Commercial Devices for Tendon Repair 

Funding has been approved by Enterprise Ireland to Marc Fernandez to further develop his PhD research at the Biggs Lab into a synthetic fibrous scaffold for the promotion of tendon repair. Over 32 million musculoskeletal injuries occur each year worldwide. In particular, complete tears of the rotator cuff tendon is the leading cause of shoulder-related disability and one of the most significant clinical challenges (20 to 90 % repair failure rates). Despite the fact that repaired tendons using synthetic scaffolds have presented the best clinical outcomes, their poor biological integration limits their clinical adoption and tissue grafts are the preferred option for tendon repair. The technology being developed by Marc is specifically designed to address the biological, mechanical and adhesions issues in rotator cuff tendon repair. and is built on the use of electrospinning to generate a highly structured and porous scaffold made from an inert synthetic polymer.

New Paper by Ghazal Tadayyon on the Development of a Resorbable Strain Sensor Published in Materials Science and Engineering: C
Biodegradable strain sensors able to undergo controlled degradation following implantation have recently received significant interest as novel approaches to detect pathological tissue swelling or non-physiological stresses. In this study, the physicomechanical, electrochemical and active pressure sensing behavior of an electrically conductive and biodegradable poly(glycerol sebacate urethane) (PGSU) composite, reinforced with poly(3,4-ethylenedioxythiophene) polystyrene sulfonate (PEDOT:PSS) functionalized carbon nanotubes (CNTs), was evaluated in vitro. Analysis of these PGSU-CNTs composites demonstrated that the incorporation of functionalized CNTs into a biodegradable elastomer resulted in enhanced mechanical strength, conductivity and tailored matrix biodegradation. PGSU-CNT composites were subsequently formulated into flexible and active pressure sensors which demonstrated optimal sensitivity to applied 1% uniaxial tensile strains. 
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. 

The National University of Ireland, Galway

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