Nick Hewer, of The Apprentice and Countdown, presents Eoin O’Cearbhaill with the IChemE Innovative Product of the Year Award.

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Nick Hewer (left) from The Apprentice and host of Countdown presents the award to Dr. Eoin O'Cearbhaill (centre), Lecturer in Bioengineering from School of Mechanical and Materials Engineering. Sponsor Astra Zeneca representative on the right.

Dr. Eoin O'Cearbhaill, who recently joined UCD as a Lecturer in Bioengineering, School of Mechanical and Materials Engineering, accepted The Innovative Product of the Year Award at the Institution of Chemical Engineers (IChemE) ceremony in Bolton, UK on 7 November 2013. Dr. O'Cearbhaill accepted the award on behalf of the team he worked with at Brigham and Women's Hospital, Harvard Medical School, Boston.

The team developed an adhesive microneedle patch, inspired by a parasitic worm, that mechanically interlocks with tissue. It’s an adhesive device that consists of a sheet of microneedles whose tips swell upon contact with water. The patch could be used to adhere skin grafts to wounds, deliver drugs to target tissues among other medical applications (Nat Comm, 4:1702, 2013).