Biomedical Engineer Dr Bryan Hennelly receives SFI funding for research on life-science microscopes

Dr Bryan Hennelly, pictured in the Department of Eectronic Engineering
Wednesday, February 13, 2019 - 09:30

Maynooth University is delighted to congratulate biomedical engineer Dr Bryan Hennelly on receiving funding from Science Foundation Ireland (SFI) of €112,672 under its Technology Innovation Development Award (TIDA) programme.
Minister for Business, Enterprise and Innovation, Heather Humphreys TD, and Minister for Training, Skills, Innovation, Research and Development, John Halligan TD, announced €4.5 million in funding for 38 research projects to support the commercialisation of government-funded research.
Some 47 research positions will be supported through the awards, in areas such as medical devices, cancer research, preterm infant care, agriculture, energy and food technologies, for a duration of 12 months.
Dr Hennelly’s received funding for his project to develop an innovative microscope that has a number of key advantages over existing research microscopes used in life science.
“The aim of the project is to develop a life-science microscope with continuously variable magnification, resolution and field of view by moving the sample. Traditionally, the microscope objective must be changed in order to change magnification, and only a small number of magnifications are available,” Dr Hennelly explained.
“The project also aims to identify and visualize the cellular nucleus in colour and in 3D without the use of labels and/or fluorescence microscopes, which would offer the potential for a significant breakthrough for the life science community.” It is titled ‘Label-free life-science microscope with continuously variable magnification.’
Dr Hennelly’s field of work has focused on developing optoelectronic microscopy systems for application in the area of clinical pathology. He is also working on automated microscopy and spectroscopy systems for diagnosing early stage bladder cancer from urine samples using a combination of holographic microscopy and Raman microspectroscopy.
Speaking of the awards, Minister for Business, Enterprise and Innovation, Heather Humphreys TD, said: “The programme will develop important entrepreneurship skills and commercialisation capabilities, ensuring Ireland maintains its position as a leader in cutting-edge research.”
The Science Foundation Ireland’s Technology Innovation Development Award (TIDA) programme has been running since 2009. The programme, which has been running since 2009, provides project development funding and training in entrepreneurship skills to third-level researchers, to support them in exploring commercial opportunities associated with their research. Through the funding programme, researchers will demonstrate if an applied research project, that is, research used to find practical solutions to everyday problems, and curing illness, is technically feasible, and has potential for further commercial development.