Dr O’Cearbhaill’s research is focused on developing novel medical device and minimally invasive platforms for biosignal sensing and therapeutic delivery towards clinical translation.
Dr O’Cearbhaill is Director of the UCD Medical Device Design Group, which has three key thematic focuses:
(1) Delivery & sensing devices, with a particular focus on platform technologies, offering smart ways of delivering next‐generation therapeutics and monitoring biosignals through minimally invasive approaches
(2) Novel implantable medical devices and manufacturing methods, including devices with embedded sensors and the capacity for therapeutic (drug, cells and biologics) delivery and bio-absorption
(3) External assistive-devices, including orthotics and mobility devices
Dr O’Cearbhaill’s work is clinical-need-driven, working with clinicians and health-care practitioners on developing platform technologies with applications, for example, in treating diabetes, cardiovascular disease and orthopaedic dysfunction.
Dr O’Cearbhaill is a Marie-Curie Fellow, a Conway Fellow (Conway Institute, UCD), a PI in the Trinity Centre for Bioengineering, Co-Director of Biomedical Engineering programmes in the School of Mechanical & Materials Engineering, University College Dublin, where he has founded the UCD Medical Device Design Group and is Director of the UCD Centre for Biomedical Engineering. Previously, Dr. O’Cearbhaill has worked in the medical device industry for Creganna and Veryan Medical.
Dr O’Cearbhaill has 3 published patent applications and over 20 peer-reviewed journal articles in journals including Science Translational Medicine, Nature Communications, Biomaterials, Mayo Clinic Proceedings, and Advanced Healthcare Materials.
Of note, Dr O’Cearbhaill developed a mechanical clutch needle that is designed to stop automatically when it enters a cavity for which he won 1st prize for best innovation at The MIT Sloan Bioinnovations Conference, 2012. Dr O’Cearbhaill and colleagues at Harvard University invented an adhesive microneedle patch that mechanically interlocks with tissue and can be used to anchor skin grafts, for sustained drug delivery or the extraction of interstitial fluid (IChemE’s Innovative Product of the Year Award 2013, published in Nature Communications). His work has been featured on BBC, CNN, Fox News, National Geographic and the NIH Director's Blog.
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