The department has established a research effort in the biomedical engineering area, with a focus on electronics, signal processing and image processing rather than the traditional biomedical areas of implants, surgical device design, and tissue mechanics. This put the Department in a unique position in terms of the biomedical research conducted nationally; the biomedical electronics area has been relatively unexplored and there are potentially significant advances to be made. The biomedical group in the department comprises five academic staff: Dr. Gordon Lightbody, Dr. Liam Marnane, Dr. Alan Morrison, Dr. Kevin McCarthy and Dr. Bill Wright. A diverse range of biomedical electronics areas are being investigated, including Biomedical Signal processing, automatic neonatal seizure detection and EEG analysis, monitoring and control of diabetes, characterisation of DNA molecules using nanopores, and ultrasonic temperature estimation, imaging, and elastography.
There are a number of existing collaborations in the biomedical area between staff in the department and other departments within UCC, the Tyndall Institute, and other academic institutions. Drs. Marnane & Lightbody have collaborated extensively with Dr. Geraldine Boylan in the Faculty of Medicine on Neonatal seizure detection, and there are a number of joint projects with the Tyndall Institute including NAP projects investigating the design and manufacture of miniature ultrasonic sensors with Dr. Bill Wright and Dr. Conor O’Mahony. Nationally, the group collaborates with DCU, NUIG, UL and UCD, and internationally with T. U. Delft and the University of Warwick.
Funding for this research has come from Enterprise Ireland, The Health Research Board, the Wellcome Trust and SFI. Of particular note is the SFI funding of nearly €4M for a Strategic Research Cluster in Efficient Embedded Digital Signal Processing for Mobile Digital Health, whose PI is Dr Liam Marnane.