NUIG launches two cutting edge medical devices research labs

Galway Daily news Four Galway-based healthcare projects awarded over €19 million

NUI Galway has launched two state of the art research labs to advance the creation and manufacturing of medical devices.

The Pilot Line for Bio-microsystems Development and the Advanced Manufacturing Laboratory will push NUIG’s capabilities in biomedical research and prototype manufacturing for medical devices.

The two labs are being supported by funding from Science Foundation Ireland.

The Pilot Line facility is the first manufacturing testbed of its kind anywhere in the world and will be used to bring laboratory concepts to pilot production quicker than ever.

The testbed will be used to evaluate advanced manufacturing of two types of biomedical product concepts – smart medical devices and tissue-engineered organs on a chip device.

Smart medical devices leverage new technologies with diagnostic and therapeutic functions like a woundcare device that can asses the status of a wound an administer a drug accordingly.

The testbed can also create artificial tissue that mimic human organs, something that is important in evaluating new medical therapies.

Dr Gerard O’Connor at the School of Physics in NUIG is leading this laboratory, which was set up in partnership with UK manufacturing system integrator *M-Solv Ltd.

He said that being able to integrate new technologies into medical devices “will be transformative – changing the way we connect with, and use, future healthcare products.”

The Advanced Manufacturing Laboratory at the College of Engineering features a suite of state of the art 3D printing technologies.

Led by Dr Noel Garrison it will advance research and testing of sustainable technologies and materials.

With NUIG’s first metal based 3D printer in-house prototyping and experimental manufacturing.

Last month the lab received a licence to manufacture cementless orthopaedic medical devices for the Galway medtech startup Loci Orthopaedics.

Dr Garrison said that many industries are now looking for graduates with experience in 3D printing, and this lab will be an excellent resource for students.

Professor Mark Ferguson, Director General of Science Foundation Ireland said that the two labs will “support researchers by ensuring there are superb technologies and supports in place for them, ultimately facilitating excellent and impactful scientific research.”