David Bishop, Ireland

In 2011, David attained a first class honours degree in Biomedical Engineering with a commendation in a Diploma in Industrial Studies from the University of Ulster. During this time he represented the university at an international level in the Institute of Mechanical Engineers (IMechE) Medical Engineering Competition as well as being elected as the student representative to the WACE world congress on co-operative education, in Philadelphia PA, due to his industrial placement experience with Boston Scientific.

Now a PhD student within the biomaterials research group at the Nanotechnology and Integrated BioEngineering Centre (NIBEC), his work is focused on using plasma technology to create 'smart' materials for biodiagnostic applications. As a winner of a prestigious Santander scholarship, David was able to complete part of his PhD at the University of Massachusetts in Boston and has presented his research at multiple national conferences. His talk is based on his collaborative project, with the Biomedical Diagnostics Institute and the Royal College of Surgeons in Ireland, in which a diagnostic assay for the bleeding disorder von Willebrand disease has been developed.

 

Addressing an unmet need in von Willebrand Disease: A biosurface solution

The area of biomaterials is an expanding multi-billion dollar industry which focuses on the production of state-of-the-art tailored devices to suit individual patients. Modern medicine has seen a paradigm shift towards bioactive materials which positively affect the host in vivo. Today, bio-inspired materials are designed to mimic the host environment and can also be used for biodiagnostic purposes.

In this work, a method of surface fabrication is presented which incorporates both physical and chemical triggers to produce a 'smart' biomaterial. its potential applications are numerous but its primary design for use in dynamic surface analysis of blood chemistry is of most interest. It utilises polymer de-mixing methodology, supplemented with plasma treatment and targeted protein printing, to create a nanotopography upon which the blood protein von Willebrand Factor can be trapped and used to analyse shear-mediated platelet interactions. This results in a potential, but necessary, diagnostic assay for von Willebrand disease.