Biomedical Engineering in Ireland (IT Sligo) Group

The IT Sligo group currently comprises two academic staff (Dr John Hession and Dr Leo Creedon), one technical advisor (Gordon Muir) and four postgraduate students.


Research is currently focused in the area of orthopaedics and in particular bone fracture. Postgraduate students are involved in various projects dedicated to these areas, a brief outline of which is given below, for more information

John O’ Toole is using an acoustic emission system to locate the source of bone fractures in bovine bone.

Michael Cafferty is carrying out an investigation into the effects of vibration and fatigue on bovine bone using an in house materials tester.

Robert Carroll is using high speed cameras and an acoustic emission system to investigate the formation of damage in bone. Click here for a recording of cortical bone fracture

Padraig Varley is using a vibration system and a computer modelling package to investigate the effect of fractures in ovine bone.

The laboratory of the Biomedical Engineering Group is equiped with essential equipment for orthopaedic research and is managed by our technical advisor, Gordon Muir. The following is not an exhaustive list of instruments available on site to the research group.


Figure 1: Instron 8874 bi-axial servohydraulic testing system. A bovine tibia under fatigue loading is shown.











Figure 2: Hitachi TM3000 Scanning Electron Microscope.











Figure 3: Image of a haversian canal taken at 10,000 magnification with Hitachi TM3000










Figure 4: Flir 600 series camera (left) Thermal image of a human hand (right)







Figure 5: Veeco, White Light Interferometer. The surface profile of a calibration standard is shown in this image.












Figure 6: A Dalsa Genie high speed camera is used to record fractures occuring in cortical bone.










Figure 7: Microscope and accompanying software is used to examine fractures in cortical bone. (Fracture can be seen on the laptop).













Figure 8: Vishay P3 strain indicator and recorder











Figure 9: Low speed saw is used to machine bone into samples. Cutting temperatures are low due to the low speed of cutting which ensures minimal damage to samples.













Figure 10: Acoustic emission system is used to capture valuable acoustic information during bone fracture. An acoustic emission is shown on the left, the centre image shows acoustic sensors placed on a bovine femur during simulated hip replacement, right image shows acoustic sensor placed on cortical bone to record emissions during a three point bend.








Figure 11: Bruel and Kjaer vibration analysis system is used to record data from accelerometers.



















Figure 12: PXI system is used to record information from various sensors in combination with LabVIEW.



The Biomedical Engineering Group was established in 1998 when Dr Brendan McCormack joined the staff at IT Sligo.The group grew when Gordon Muir joined the staff and research commenced in three areas:  analysis of the cutting process of biological materials (lead by Ger Reilly), modelling abdominal activity (lead by Dr John Hession) and cell culturing (lead by Dr Brendan McCormack and Dr Jerry Bird) .The mathematical and statistical research component for the group is led by Dr Leo Creedon.

Graduates of the Biomedical Engineering in Ireland (IT Sligo) Group

Masters Doctorate
Eamonn Price John Hession
Hamid Khalili Parsa Cormac Flynn
Ashkan Safari  Lucy O’Keeffe      (UL collaboration)
Saied Kasiri  Brice Murphy        (NUIG collaboration)
Tomas Burke  Liam Breen            (NUIG collaboration)
Robert Carroll


Over €1 million of funding has being awarded to the group since 1999 for a range of biomedical projects.

Grant Holder Source of Income Project Start End Amount  ( €)
McCormack Graduate Training programme(DOE) Monitoring of Bowel Activity 2000 2002 23,000
McCormack ,Bird ,NUIG HEA/PRTLI3 Macro and Micro Physical Characterisation and Modelling of Vascular Tissue 2002 2005 137,530
McCormack & Reilly Enterprise Ireland(ATRP)2002/422 Sharpness of Serrated Blades 2002 2006 243,000
McCormack & Reilly & UCD Council of Directors, Strand 111 Program for Investigation and Specification of Cutting Edge Sharpness 2002 2006 340,000
McCormack Hession Enterprise Ireland Innovation Partnerships IP/2002/560 Development of Non –Invasive Monitoring Techniques to Detect Bowel Sounds 2002 2004 9,000
McCormack Hession Sligo General Hospital Collaborative Project With Clinical Practitioners Into Bowel Activity 2003 2004 2,000
Reilly PRTLI, TSR, Strand 111 Investigation with Acoustic Emissions to Monitor and Detect Micro cracking in Bone 2008 2012 394,000

2018/19 Fulltime Prospectus IT Sligo