Tyndall researcher Niamh Creedon demonstrates an on-farm BVD and IBR test for cows at the Tyndall Technology Days event in Croke Park.

Looking ahead to the future, Tyndall National Institute teams are developing the technology we need to power and support an increasingly connected world.

This is to make our buildings and farms smarter, and enable medical devices that last as long as our lengthening lifespan.

One person looking at Ireland’s vital agriculture sector is Tyndall researcher Niamh Creedon.

Creedon is a PhD student who works with a data nanotechnology group that develops sensors for on-farm disease diagnostics.

They are looking at two specific respiratory diseases: bovine viral diarrhoea (BVD) and infectious bovine rhinotracheitis (IBR).

“Basically, the sensor works in a similar way to a glucometer for a diabetic,” said Creedon, explaining that a drop of blood is placed on the sensor and a result is generated within 15 minutes.

By mobilising a variety of proteins on the sensor, the team can detect antibodies in the cow’s blood.

The group uses a system with a specially designed circuit board that can track any increase, which marks a positive test sample.

Words by Colm Gorey