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Full NameDr Eimear Dolan

Biomedical Engineering

National University of Ireland Galway

Email Address:Email hidden; Javascript is required.

Research Fields
  • cell and developmental biology/regenerative medicine
  • cancer/oncology
  • bioengineering/medical devices
Postgrad Medical Specialties
  • Medicine
  • Surgery
  • General Practice
  • Pathology
Medical Subspecialties
  • Cardiology
  • Cardiac Surgery
  • Endocrinology
  • Immunology
  • Oncology
My Work

The work undertaken by our research group is focused on improving cell therapy delivery. The work is translational focused, however a fundamental understanding must be derived to understand and optimise solutions. There are two predominant themes:

- Type 1 Diabetes: Enormous progress has been made in the development of artificial pancreas and bioartificial pancreas technology in recent years. However, the longterm performance of implanted devices have been hampered by complex and unpredictable foreign body responses, where the formation of a fibrous capsule surrounding the implant can limit diffusion. This is particularly problematic in technologies for T1D where diffusion of insulin is essential (Goswami et al, Advanced Science, 2021). We are developing dynamic devices to overcome this challenge (Dolan et al, Science Robotics, 2019).

- Ovarian Cancer: Cell immunotherapy is a promising new approach where immune cells are administered to prime the patient’s immune system to fight cancer. However, success to date has been limited in solid tumours, such as ovarian cancer, which has been correlated with limited numbers of therapeutic cells trafficking to the tumours. Our group are developing delivery strategies that allow localised and repeated minimally invasive delivery directly to tumours to avoid wastage and maximising viability and therapeutic efficacy (O'Dwyer et al, Advanced Therapeutics, 2020).

Potential Projects

Cell therapies have demonstrated significant potential to treat a diverse array of pathologies. However, such approaches have resulted in a modest clinical benefit, which may be attributed to poor cell retention and survival at the disease site. Delivery systems that facilitate regional and repeated delivery to target tissues (Duffy et al, Advanced Healthcare Materials, 2020) can provide enhanced clinical efficacy of cell therapies when localised delivery of high doses of cells is required. However, implanted devices are often subject to a collection of biological host responses, including fibrosis, which can impair device functionality over time. An increased understanding of mechanobiology is revealing the critical role that mechanical loading plays in cell function. Stretch, fluid flow, and compression to cells has been shown influence cellular activity. Our work reveals the potential for anti-fibrotic mechano-therapeutics. We are developing dynamic implantable devices that can deliver therapies and modulate the host environment with the overall aim of improving therapeutic outcomes (Dolan et al, Science Robotics, 2019). Potential PhD student/s could apply this concept to therapy delivery for ovarian cancer or diabetes.