Cormac Flynn, Ireland
Cormac Flynn, originally from Clare on the west coast of Ireland, received an Honours Bachelors of Mechanical Engineering from the prestigious National University of Ireland, Galway in 2008. During his degree, he represented his University at a national level in the Siemens Innovative Engineering Competition for his work with design optimisation for tidal ducts with the aim to increase the power output. His interest in renewable energy and biomedical devices determined his career path as a research and development engineer in Brivant Medical, Galway, where he began building his professional portfolio through innovative designs and applications. In 2010, his first patent was granted for an innovative medical device. In late 2009, Cormac started a PhD at the Nanotechnology and Integrated Bioengineering Centre (NIBEC) at the University of Ulster in Belfast, Northern Ireland under the supervision of Professor Brian J Meenan. His research area focuses on the surface modification of polymers to create intelligent surfaces for advanced applications.
Animo functionalisation of biopolymers using atmospheric pressure plasma modification
Many biomedical implants fail due to poor interaction with their biological environment. This biological response is driven by the materials' surface properties. Plasma processing of biomaterials is one method of changing these surface properties to make them favourable to a biological environment. Plasma processing materials in air will result in oxygenation of the surface. This will increase the hydrophilicity, and can facilitate the attachment of biomolecules, such as Vancomycin, to the surface of the material.
Oxygen functionalities on the surface of a biomaterial will only facilitate the attachment of certain biomolecules. As different biomolecules will favour different chemical groups, the ability to create a range of chemistries on the surfaces of biomaterials would allow the attachment of a broader range of biomolecules. The ability to attach any biomolecule would offer the possibility of tailoring a material so that it will provide a required biological response while maintaining the same mechanical properties.
The introduction of an ammonia and nitrogen mixture to the discharge medium has been shown to induce nitrogenation of the surface. The ammonia treated surfaces have been characterised to determine the percentage of nitrogen on the surface and the effect this has on the wettability.