Bioengineering Technology Centre

Bioengineering Technology Centre

Campus Designated Research Centre

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Bioengineering Technology Centre - Spinal DiagramBioengineering Technology Centre

The BTC (Bioengineering Technology Centre) setup in 2008, has developed particular expertise in orthopaedics and is currently involved in a number of spine related projects with the active involvement of medical consultants  Mr Seamus Morris (Mater Hospital, Dublin) and Mr Pat Kiely (Crumlin Children’s hospital) along with an orthopaedic company K2M.  

In parallel, the centre specialises in head injury due to contact sports, this research is in collaboration with Colin Doherty (St James Hospital), Matt Cambell (Trinity College Dublin) and David Camarillo (Stanford University). The BTC is an Institute designated Institute Research Centre that operates under the umbrella of the Centre for Applied Science for Health.

Spinal Research 
The Centre has a state of the art 8 axis MTS Bionix material test machine purpose built designed for testing spines & hips dynamically across a full range of motion, such as flexion extension, lateral bending and torsion.

Impact of Spinal Research
The spinal areas of research are on the analysis of techniques used to repair spinal fractures, spondylosis and scoliosis. The BTC are also investigating the effects of the cement position used in Vertebroplasty and Kyphoplasty in vertebrae using artificial bone (Sawbones) to eliminate the huge variation in the trabecular bone of patients with osteoporosis. 

The outcome of this work on spinal injury in collaboration with the surgeon Mr. Seamus Morris and Mr Pat Kiely provides: 

  • Improved patient outcome (both from trauma and deformity). 
  • Reduction in revision surgery with associated reduction in costs. 
  • Development of new products and processes for spine stabilisation
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Bioengineering Technology Centre - Measurement and simulationBioengineering Technology Centre

Measurement and Simulation of Head Impact in Sports
When athletes experience head collisions the brain is subjected to violent linear and rotational accelerations. These accelerations result in large forces being transmitted to the brain. This project measures these accelerations using instrumented mouth-guards. These head impacts are then simulated using finite element techniques. The results from these simulations are then compared to MRI scans and blood tests of the athletes. 

Since 2008, the BTC has secured in excess of €1,037,351 in funding. Funding has been received from Enterprise Ireland; The Irish Research Council; HEA Equipment Grant; The National Children’s Research Centre Seed Fund; Malaysian Government; Institutes of Technology Ireland; IT Tallaght President’s Awards.

PI Names:  Dr Fiona McEvoy, Mr Stephen Tiernan, Mr Tony Tansey and Dr Colin Bright
Postgraduate Research Students (current): Gary Byrne, Adam Kelly, Aidan Meagher, Mark Beakey 

Mr Seamus Morris (Mater Hospital, Dublin)
Mr Pat Kiely (Crumlin Children’s hospital) 
K2M (Washington DC).
Colin Doherty (St James Hospital)
Matt Cambell (Trinity College Dublin) 
David Camarillo (Stanford University)

  • Byrne G, Tiernan S " An Investigation of the Effect of Impact Locations on Strain within the Brain”. Antwerp IRCOBI Sept 2017.
  • Bright C, Tiernan S, McEvoy F, Kiely P. Fatigue and damage of porcine pars interarticularis during asymmetric loading. J Mech Behav Biomed Mater. 2018;78. 
  • Bright C, Tiernan S, McEvoy F, Kiely P. Development of a Porcine FE Model for the Investigation of Vertebral Laminae Strains Resulting From Facet Tropism. J Biomed Eng Biosci. 2017;4:34–42. 
  • Purcell P, Tyndyk M, McEvoy F, Tiernan S, Morris S. Stress distribution at the bone-cement interface changes during Kyphoplasty rehabilitation. Proceedings - 29th Southern Biomedical Engineering Conference, SBEC 2013. 2013. 
  • Purcell P, Tiernan S, McEvoy F, Morris S. Strong similarities in the creep and damage behaviour of a synthetic bone model compared to human trabecular bone under compressive cyclic loading. J Mech Behav Biomed Mater. 2015;48:51–9. 
  • Publications such as the Wall street Journal and Engineers Journal and most recently in the Journal of the Mechanical Behaviour of  Biomedical Materials
  • 10 students graduated with a M.Eng by research
  • 3 students transferred from the masters to PhD programme (2 in ITT Dublin and 1 at University of Birmingham) 
  • Collaboration with K2M – Global leaders in Spinal Fixation designs
  • Collaboration with several orthopaedic consultants (e.g. Mr Pat Kiely & Mr Seamus Morris)
  • Student awards: Philip Purcell won first prize for his presentation at the 19th Southern Biomedical Engineering Conference in Florida, on May 4, 2013. Bernard Lawless won the best presentation award for ‘Orthopaedic Biomechanics & Devices’ section of the Bioengineering Ireland conference in Limerick 25th January, 2014, and Young Research Engineer of the year 2012, Institute of Mechanical Engineers.