Dermot Brougham

Dermot Brougham


Professor Dermot Brougham is an Associate Professor of Physical Chemistry at University College Dublin. His Group studies microscale dynamics in condensed matter using advanced nuclear magnetic resonance (NMR) techniques. Dynamics largely determine emergent physical properties; the information informs the design of the next-generation nano-composite materials. In CÚRAM, his Group fabricates responsive 3D-printable magnetic-nanoparticle/peptide composite hydrogels as next-generation supports for tissue engineering.

In particular, responsive, functional soft nano-composites can respond to electric and magnetic fields, temperature, salts, pH, and light. They can be engineered through precise physicochemical modifications and by spatial patterning using 3D printing technologies. Magnetic nanoparticles (MNPs) are utilised in the biomedical field in a wide range of applications from cancer treatment to MRI imaging. The combination of MNPs and 3D printable polymeric hydrogel formulations can provide multifunctional and stimuli-sensitive nano-composite delivery systems with spatial-, temporal- and dosage-controlled release properties.

Biocompatibility of the novel printed hybrid hydrogels for various cell lines, including stem cells, has been demonstrated. The Group is now exploring the applications in tissue engineering. Improved cerebral and kidney organoids for tissue engineering and drug screening and next-generation responsive magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) contrast agents are among the clinical targets for his research.

Prof. Brougham has won €3.9M in personal research funding and is Director of the HEA-funded National Facility for Field-Cycling NMR relaxometry. He is a current the SFI Principal Investigator for “NANO-MAG-FACTORY: Multi-functional Magnetic Nanocomposite Materials for Biomedicine”. Prof. Brougham has secured substantial non-exchequer funding, including under FP7 as Coordinator of NMP.2012.1.4-2 “Ultra-versatile Nanoparticle Integration into Organized Nanoclusters”. He was a founding member of the National Institute for Cellular Biotechnology at DCU.

Prof. Brougham has published over 75-refereed papers. He has filed two patent applications and has several ongoing collaborations with national and international academic and industry partners. Prof. Brougham is an internationally recognised for his research in magnetic nanomaterials for biomedicine and in particular for his contributions to nanoparticle contrast agents for MRI.

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