Tyndall partners with Boston Scientific on cancer research

11 Sep 2023

Tyndall National Institute chair Dr Denis Doyle and CEO Prof William Scanlon. Image: Gerard McCarthy

Tyndall researchers have developed a small implantable device to help treatment teams deliver radiation treatment to tumours more effectively.

Tyndall National Institute has partnered with medical device giant Boston Scientific to develop a new micro sensor to support cancer treatment.

Supported by clinicians at Cork University Hospital and designers from Design Partners, Tyndall researchers claim to have made a smart implantable fiducial marker, which can accurately measure radiation at the site of a tumour during radiation therapy.

The research led to a prototype device, which Tyndall claims could be the world’s smallest radiation field effect transistor to date. The device is designed to helps treatment teams pinpoint the location of tumours with greater accuracy and deliver the maximum radiation dose to the tumour while sparing healthy tissue.

It is hoped that this technology could lead to significantly improved treatment outcomes for patients. Tyndall CEO Prof William Scanlon said the collaboration with Boston Scientific strengthens the institute’s position as a “world leader in deep-tech research”.

“It is our unique ability to apply our expertise in semiconductor materials, devices and systems in partnership with industry that underpins successful collaborations like this,” Scanlon said. “We will continue to build on over 40 years of research excellence and industrial impact, while addressing societal challenges through deep-tech innovation.”

The research was praised by Minister for Further and Higher Education, Research, Innovation and Science Simon Harris, TD, who launched Tyndall’s 2022 Annual Report today (11 September).

Harris said the institute has played a “key role” in securing Ireland’s international prominence within the information and communication technologies (ICT) industry for more than 40 years.

“This research collaboration illustrates how the application of advanced technology, developed at Tyndall, has a profound effect on the lives of citizens, as well as industry, through smart medical devices, high-speed telecommunications, robotics and automation, and the microelectronic chips that enable all of ICT.” Harris said.

Earlier this year, Boston Scientific announced an €80m investment in its Clonmel site, which is expected to create more than 400 new jobs in Ireland within the next three years.

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Leigh Mc Gowran is a journalist with Silicon Republic