Trinity College Dublin: Trinity student wins 2022 Engineers Ireland Biomedical Research Medal

Matteo Solazzo, a recently graduated PhD student in Biomedical Engineering under the supervision of Professor Michael Monaghan at the Department of Mechanical, Manufacturing and Biomedical Engineering, is the 2022 winner of the Engineers Ireland Biomedical Research Medal.

This prestigious award and €1500 honorarium sponsored by DePuy Synthes, is adjudicated based on a research paper and presentation, by an expert panel drawn from academia and industry. It is awarded annually to the best PhD-level biomedical engineering researcher on the Island of Ireland at the Annual Conference of the Section of Bioengineering of the Royal Academy of Medicine in Ireland.

Matteo’s winning presentation entitled ‘Piezoresistive Sensors & Platforms in Tissue Engineering’ provides key insights into how the electroconductive polymer PEDOT:PSS can be processed into three-dimensional (3D) constructs and adopted toward multiple bioengineering applications spanning from wearable sensors to biomaterial scaffolds, both rapidly emerging fields of research that will play a critical role in future patient treatments. The fundamental insights gained from this research will be used to develop wearable sensors for “Connected Health” and drug screening systems to study cardiac regeneration and is already published in several top-tier journals in the field.

The award recipient Dr Matteo Solazzo said:

I am delighted to be receive this prestigious award while being compared among a high calibre of fellow candidates, that recognises the quality of research and scholarship I have received at TCD. This multidisciplinary PhD thesis has been made possible by the collaborative and engaging research taking place in TCD with international experts in the fields of chemistry, engineering, physics, medicine, electronics and biology.

Professor Michael Monaghan, Ussher Assistant Professor in Biomedical Engineering at Trinity, said:

Matteo’s research has been built from the ground up here in my group and has benefited from collaboration with local experts and by the surrounding support structures of our administrative, technical and professional services that keep the research running. He is already the recipient of several other accolades which includes an Irish Research Council Postgraduate Fellowship. It is through such funding that internationally competitive and meaningful research can be executed and nurtured by talented individuals at the university. His PhD has made significant advances in electroconductive polymer biomaterial sciences in the applications of sensor technology and tissue engineering with four first author publications in internationally leading journals. We expect to translate one of these technologies to use in the clinic within the coming years.