Lifestyle monitoring is an increasingly useful tool in preventative medicine. However, persuading patients to wear a camera on their body throughout the day can be tricky given its impractical nature. However, most people now go everywhere with their smartphones and DCU’s Professor Alan Smeaton from the CLARITY Centre for Sensor Web Technologies has collaborated with an international research group who have successfully replicated the functions of a medical SenseCam, a wearable camera, on a regular smartphone platform. These can be used to automatically monitor any sort of dietary and lifestyle habits, including for those hoping to lose weight or manage a medical condition.
In addition, the NICB are working alongside other groups to help identify protein markers in blood and bone marrow that will help prescribe the most suitable drugs for breast cancer patients. The NICB group also aims to identify new blood markers relevant to skin melanoma, ocular melanoma, breast cancer and pancreatic cancer.
Thousands of Irish people have issues with their hips and knees. Left unattended, sufferers can end up needing joint, hip or knee replacements in later life. While the medical technology available in terms of joint replacement - like Hydroxyapatite (HA) bio-ceramics – have proven to be very effective for around 12-15 years, after this time implants can begin to loosen or even become infected.
Dr Joseph Stokes, from the DCU School of Mechanical and Manufacturing Engineering, is working with his team on ways to make implants last longer by placing biodegradable layers (biopolymers) and anti-bacterial coatings onto the existing bio-ceramics. These not only protect the implant, but the extra layers/coatings can also act as drug carriers for localised drug release following implantation.