Double award for Clon PhD student

Posted on: 7th July, 2014

Category: Headlines

Contributor: West Cork People

Tyndall PhD candidate and Clonakilty native, Lisa Helen, has been celebrated with two prestigious awards for her research on tissue bioimpedance using a macro-needle. Her final year CIT-UCC research project in Biomedical Sciences, completed in the Tyndall National Institute, has proved the feasibility of an improved method for potentially administering anesthesia.

As the top marked student from her final year project in CIT-UCC, Lisa was nominated to compete in the President’s Prize competition at the Academy of Medical Laboratory Science annual conference, Biomedica 2014, in the RDS Dublin. Lisa presented her talk entitled, ‘Investigation of Tissue Bioimpedance using a Macro-needle for Biomedical Applications’. Competing against the best of her peers from around the country, Lisa’s project was awarded second place and was highly commended for its innovative and original approach.

This prestigious prize was closely followed by the European Technology Platform on Smart Systems Integration’s announcement that Lisa had won their ‘Best Poster Award 2014’ for ‘Development of a ‘smart’ needle integrated with an impedance sensor to determine nerve proximity for nerve blocking (anaesthetic) procedures’. Her star looks set to rise, as she is invited to speak at the Smart Systems Integration Conference in March, 2015.

Lisa’s project addresses an unmet need for an innovative type of anaesthesia, ultrasound guided nerve block, which is currently replacing conventional general anaesthesia worldwide for a broad range of surgical procedures. Working closely with clinicians at the ASSERT for Health research group (UCC and CUH), current technical limitations with ultrasound guided nerve block anaesthesia were identified. The research will allow for the integration of an impedance sensor to a hypodermic needle tip. The sensorised needle can differentiate between tissue types, confirming real-time needle tip location and enabling clinicians to eliminate the risk of injecting anesthetic in nerve bundles. This solution addresses the clinicians need, and makes the process of ultrasound guided nerve block anaesthesia administration more accurate, efficient and lessens procedural risks for the patient.

“Having a collaborator of the caliber of Lisa working on the smart needle project has added serious impetus to the overall project,” says Dr Brian O’Donnell, Consultant Anaesthetist at Cork University Hospital and specialist in ultrasonography in regional anaesthesia.

The project, which was initially supported by Science Foundation Ireland’s TIDA programme, was proudly able to proclaim that the use of bioimpedance for needle guidance is feasible and as a result, the fabrication of a smart needle is underway. Lisa is currently doing her PhD studies under the supervision of Dr Eric Moore at Tyndall National Institute, University College Cork. Her research is funded by an Irish Research Council Award.

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An evening on the 'Balance of Feeling Good' by Clonakilty Gaa Club Health and Wellbeing Committee followed by Guest Speaker, Cork GAA Chairperson, Tracey Kennedy.

Paddy Duggan, former Principal of Clonakilty Community College, will be MC on the night, facilitating a discussion on getting the balance of feeling good.
Contributors on the night are Colm Sheehy, Conor Murray, David Lowney, Denis Murphy, Eoghan Deasy, Sean McEvoy, Thomas Clancy and Treasa O'Brien.
Topics covered will range from awareness and responsibility to yourself and others to the benefits of exercise and nutrition.
The evening is suitable for everyone aged 16 and over from players, members of the community, parents of young and adolescent children, etc.

This is a public event, free of charge and everyone is invited and very welcome to attend.
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The Cast of Harold Pinter’s ‘No Man’s Land’ are on their way to the All-Ireland finals, having won 26 awards, including five best of Festivals, at the Amateur Drama League of Ireland annual three act festivals. The play ‘No Man’s Land, by Harold Pinter, the Nobel Prize Winning Author is directed by Jennifer Williams.

One last opportunity to view this multi award winning play at Skibbereen Town Hall, on Saturday 14th of April, before the finals.

Having met by chance in a pub, two aging writers continue a long night of drinking and reminiscing in a stately London home. As the night wears on, their conversation wanders through memories long forgotten or invented. Is their encounter real or a delusion? Are they strangers or do they share a past history? When unexpected guests intrude upon an increasingly surreal evening, the atmosphere quickly changes from friendly to threatening, and the encounter becomes a game of survival.

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For more information please contact hilary.mccarthy6@gmail.com
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