Dr. Manus Biggs awarded BBSRC–Science Foundation Ireland Joint Research Grant

Oct 27 2016 Posted: 03:16 IST

Dr Manus Biggs, Lecturerer in Biomedical Engineering at NUI Galway was one of three Irish researchers to receive a newly launched BBSRC - Science Foundation Ireland joint research grant, with research funding of over 1 Million Euros awarded between NUI Galway and the University of Glasgow. The BBSRC and Science Foundation Ireland have entered an agreement to welcome, encourage and support research applications that cut across national boundaries involving collaborative teams led by researchers from the UK and Ireland.

Dr Biggs will co-lead a research programme in conjunction with Prof. Matthew Dalby, which will focus on the development of nanobiomimetic electrically active scaffolds for bone regeneration, with an aim of producing rapid, large area bone grafts in vitro.

Bone tissue regeneration remains an important challenge in the field of tissue engineering and sees a transplantation frequency second only to that of blood. Bone grafting is the current standard treatment; however, given the inherent limitations of this approach, bone tissue engineering and advanced biomaterials that mimic the structure and function of native tissues hold potential as alternative strategies to regeneration.

Current studies in regenerative bone scaffolds suggest that further biomimicry is required before a complete solution to bone regeneration can be delivered. Furthermore, evidence is gathering apace on the importance of minute electrical and mechanical cues on cell differentiation and function, thus, new research must focus on understanding the cellular response to subtle electrical and mechanical cues and how these influence cell function and tissue regeneration. This Joint programme will focus on combining piezoelectric regenerative scaffolds with nano mechanical stimulation to promote osteospecific stem cell differentiation. Importantly, this project will further current understanding of the joint role or electromechanical stimulation on stem cell function.

College of Engineering and Informatics

Biomedical Engineering