The Discipline of Biomedical Engineering at NUI Galway is a world leading research site in the fields of Biomechanics, Mechanobiology, Biomaterials, Computational Modelling and Tissue Engineering. We are focused on deriving fundamental understanding of the biomechanics of biological cells and tissues, studying the mechanobiology of human disease, and also developing innovative biomaterials and medical devices to treat human disease. We have over 60 PhD students in Biomedical Engineering.

Selected Research Highlights

  • Researchers in Biomedical Engineering have a long history of collaborating with medical device companies (Stryker, Medtronic, Boston Scientific, Hollister, Neuravi, Veryan, Proxy Biomedical, Invibio) in the area of medical device design, materials characterisation and pre-clinical computational modelling.
  • Dr. Patrick McGarry is collaborating with the National Science Foundation (NSF) Engineering Research Centre Revolutionizing Metallic Biomaterials (RMB) and the Nanotechnology and Integrated Bioengineering Centre (NIBEC) at Ulster University to develop advanced metallic biomaterials and create biodegradable orthopaedic devices to support regeneration. The partnership combines internationally leading expertise in the fields of material processing, experimental characterisation and computational modelling, and strives to develop next-generation biodegradable metal orthopaedic implants to reduce infection, promote bone formation new bone and remove the necessity of an additional surgical procedure patients who have suffered either traumatic bone fractures.
  • Biodegradable materials are on the cusp of revolutionising medical implant technology, where the implant is resorbed into the body when it has served its purpose. A research team led by Professor Peter McHugh uses advanced computational modelling and high performance computing to fundamentally analyse the physical behaviour of these materials and to design this next generation of biodegradable implants. This research forms part of a collaboration between Biomedical Engineering at NUI Galway and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and Harvard Medical School.
  • The NUI Galway-MIT/Harvard collaboration also includes an exciting research project developed by Dr. Ellen Roche to develop a novel biomaterial-based device to deliver drug therapy to the heart for patients with post-heart attack tissue damage. For this project, Dr. Roche received NUI Galway’s first ever Seed Award in Science from the SFI/HRB/Wellcome Trust Biomedical Partnership.
  • Osteoporosis is a hugely debilitating disease and a research team in Biomedical Engineering led by Professor Laoise McNamara has received €2.4 million Euros in funding from the European Research Council (ERC) and Science Foundation Ireland (SFI) for research focused on osteoporosis, using mechanobiological approaches to fundamentally understand the disease mechanisms and develop new treatment methods. This ground-breaking research has won international prizes, been invited for presentation at top international conferences and has led to numerous high impact factor publications. The group are currently working to develop Lab-on-a-chip devices for use in osteoporosis drug development.
  • Researchers in Biomedical Engineering are conducting fundamental and applied research in the area of medical device innovation funded through the Science Foundation Ireland (SFI) Centre for Research in Medical Devices (CÚRAM), which is lead by NUI Galway. With six academic partners and over 24 industry partners, CÚRAM is establishing a global hub of research expertise in medical device technology. Establishment of CÚRAM positions Ireland at the forefront of the worlds’ medical device industry – a leading area of innovation, employment and export in Ireland. CÚRAM’s innovative approach incorporates biomaterials and drug delivery, tissue engineering and regenerative medicine, glycoscience and device design to enhance, develop and validate both traditional and new combinational medical devices from molecular design to device manufacturing. Our devices are developed with strong clinical collaborations to enable rapid translation of research findings to clinical application. Key to this approach has been the establishment of a unique network of synergistic national and international collaborations, integrating world-class academic, industry and clinical partners.
  • Dr. Eimear Dolan is a Science Foundation Ireland Royal Society University Research Fellow and Lecturer in Biomedical Engineering. Her key research interest is in implantable medical devices, their effect on the host cells and coupling advanced therapies to minimally invasive delivery devices. Her vision is to leverage medical device research to enable applications in biomaterial and cell/drug delivery for chronic diseases such as Diabetes, Cancer and Cardiovascular disease. Dr. Dolan has received multiple international and national awards for research excellence. She was listed by MIT Technology Review’s Innovators under 35 list and one of ten global visionaries. She is a PI on Science Foundation Ireland Royal Society University Research Fellowship, SFI Technology Innovation Development Award and a co-I on Juvenile Diabetes Reseach Foundation Pilot and Feasibility Award and Marie Skłodowska-Curie Innovative Training NetworksEuropean Industrial Doctorate Program. Dr Dolan has published in high impact factor journals, in particular Science Robotics, Advanced Materials  and Advanced Healthcare Materials. She has submitted patent applications and invention disclosures on innovations in medical device technology.