Jul 01 2015 Posted: 08:57 IST

CÚRAM PhD student Diana Gaspar has been awarded first prize for her presentation entitled 'Modulation of cell microenvironment with oxygen tension and macromolecular crowding: A multifactorial approach towards in vitro organogenesis' at the UK Society for Biomaterials Annual Conference held at Ulster University. The award was sponsored by the Institute of Materials, Minerals and Mining.

Diana is carrying out her PhD in Biomedical Engineering and Regenerative Medicine at Regenerative, Modular & Developmental Engineering Laboratory (REMODEL), Centre for Research in Medical Devices (CÚRAM), NUI Galway under Prof Pandit and Dr Zeugolis.
One of CÚRAM’s key research areas focusses on regenerative medicine, where patients’ own cells are extracted and cultivated under apropriate conditions for the developemnt of tissue-like three-dimenional supramolecular assemblies. Diana’s research will ultimately lead to faster production of tissue equivalents for use in tissue repair.
“The overall idea is to recreate different aspects of the physiological environment in the lab, to obtain tissue-like constructs that can be used as cell therapies. Eventually we would like to apply this to tendon repair” says Diana.

Diana was also awarded 2nd prize for her Oral Presentation at the conference from the UK Society for Biomaterials. Professor Abhay Pandit, Director of CÚRAM, congratulated Diana on her awards and commented ‘A major aim of CÚRAM is to take the fruits of research – these medical device products – to clinical trials and there is a tremendous opportunity here, with the talent and the technical tools we have at our disposal, to see not only results for the science, but also for job creation and the economy’.

Backed by Science Foundation Ireland and industry funding, CÚRAM aims to radically improve health outcomes for patients by developing implantable ‘smart’ medical devices. It will develop these devices through strong clinical collaborations with industry partners and hospital groups to enable their rapid translation to clinics.