DCU part of €5.4 million project awarded funding under the Disruptive Technologies Innovation Fund

Project involves DCU’s Biodesign Europe and I-Form, the SFI Research Centre for Advanced Manufacturing, PBC Biomed, an Irish based MedTech company and Dolmen Design and Innovation, a DCU Alpha based product design company

Dublin City University research centre Biodesign Europe, I-Form, the SFI Research Centre for Advanced Manufacturing, Irish based medical device company PBC Biomed and product design company Dolmen Design and Innovation are all part of an exciting €5.4 million consortium planning to revolutionise the treatment of complex osteoporotic bone fractures. 

In Europe there are more than 3 million broken bones each year, a third of which are osteoporotic fractures that are extremely challenging for orthopaedic surgeons to treat and result with a failure rate of 10-15%. The resulting annual fracture-related costs are €45 billion and are expected to increase by 27% by 2030.

The ground-breaking project, OsStic, is aiming to develop and deliver a bioinspired adhesive that will stick broken bone tissue together following an osteoporotic fracture and then facilitate rapid healing and repair of the bone. 

The consortium was awarded €3.4 million in the latest round of funding from the government’s Disruptive Technologies Innovation Fund (DTIF) with the remaining €2 million provided by the industry partners. 

Overall, it ranked among 29 projects recently announced as part of the state’s DTIF investment of €95 million over three years driving the development of disruptive technologies in the areas of healthcare, food, factory safety, maritime and construction.

Professor Nicholas Dunne, Executive Director of Biodesign Europe, a transatlantic partnership with ASU’s Biodesign Institute and a Funded Investigator at I-Form will act as the Academic Lead along with colleagues Dr Tanya Levingstone (Biodesign Europe & I-Form) and Professor Helen McCarthy (Biodesign Europe). 

The DCU team will provide technical expertise associated with testing and validating the efficacy of the platform technology for use in treating osteoporotic bone fractures and will facilitate technology adoption by positioning the OsStic platform technology at their world-class facilities.

The multi-million project will involve working closely with PBC Biomed, the Shannon based medical device company (also located in Memphis, Tennessee) that 
is focussed on accelerating medical innovation and partners globally with healthcare, professional, academic institutes and MedTech companies to bring new technologies in the areas of bone and tissue healing to market.

The development of the bone adhesive will significantly reduce operating times, the risk of infection and reduce the need for hardware in complex osteoporotic fracture treatment. The award will support the expansion of the bone adhesive technology into other clinical benefits such as tissue regeneration and repair.

Dolmen Design and Innovation will bring innovative delivery solutions to the complex application of the bone adhesives in various anatomical settings, in turn reducing the risk and complexity faced by surgeons in the operating rooms. 

Professor Nicholas Dunne said, 

“DCU, Biodesign Europe and I-Form are thrilled to be playing a pivotal role in this exciting challenge-based project that will accelerate the development of the first mechanically-compliant bone adhesive with tissue regenerative properties to be applied to orthopaedic surgery for the management and treatment of osteoporotic bone fractures, which affects approximately 5 million people each year across the world. 

This interdisciplinary project truly epitomises the ground-breaking scientific discovery and MedTech innovation that is taking place in Ireland and has the potential to drastically alter the bone fracture orthopaedic market on a global scale.”

Commenting on the announcement Paul Burke, Managing Partner at PBC Biomed highlighted his delight “that PBC Biomed will lead this collaboration in developing a technology which will truly disrupt the treatment of bone repair” and acknowledged the support of the Department of Enterprise, Trade and Employment and the DTIF Team for supporting this initiative. 

Dr Gerard Insley, Chief Scientific Officer at PBC Biomed added, 

“Treating complex bone diseases using biomimetic biomaterials give patients the opportunity for a quicker return to mobility and health. Our goal is to help accelerate healing in osteoporotic patients.”

Martin Bruggemann, Medical Design Director at Dolmen Design and Innovation said, 

“We are delighted to be part of this exciting consortia, where we will be bringing our expertise in dispense, deployment and delivery system innovation to the fore. We have patented award winning solutions in this area for clients around the world for the past 30 years and the opportunity to continue working with such visionaries as the PBC Biomed and DCU teams is what drives us to deliver solutions on a daily basis.”

The Disruptive Technologies Innovation Fund (DTIF) is a €500 million fund established under the National Development Plan (NDP) in 2018. To date, €235 has been allocated. The Department of Enterprise, Trade and Employment manages the DTIF with administrative support from Enterprise Ireland. 

The purpose of the Fund is to drive collaboration between Ireland’s world-class research base and industry as well as facilitating enterprises to compete directly for funding in support of the development and adoption of these technologies. 

About Biodesign Europe
Biodesign Europe combines the research strengths of Dublin City University and Arizona State University, two leading institutions striving to make much-needed scientific discoveries and innovations available to advance society. Inspired by nature’s design, particularly at the intersection of engineering, biology and computing, our scientific discoveries and innovations are being directed towards the areas of human health, community safety and global sustainability. Further information available here

About I-Form, SFI Research Centre for Advanced Manufacturing
I- Form is delivering the next level of understanding and control for complex manufacturing processes. I-Form’s mission is to shape the future of manufacturing through high-impact research into the application of digital technologies to materials processing. I-Form brings together a nationwide pool of expertise in materials science, engineering, data analytics and cognitive computing. Further information available here

About Dolmen Design and Innovation Ltd
Dolmen is a leading product design and R&D partner based in Ireland for the last 30 years. Dolmen produces IP rich and internationally award winning products for clients across three main sectors: Medtech, FMCG and Industrial. Clients include: Randox, Boston Scientific, Diageo, Henkel, Teleflex, BD, Viatris, Hollister Inc, Analog Devices, ABB, Sulzer. Their work involves collaborations across the UK & Ireland, Europe, USA and Asia. They make ideas work. Further information available at 

About PBC BioMed Ltd 
PBC Biomed was founded in 2010, with the mission of being the preferred 
partner for accelerating medical innovations to launch in order to make a meaningful difference in patients’ lives. PBC Biomed delivers value through a wide array of services, including R&D, quality, regulatory, contract manufacturing, supply chain and commercialisation. Located in Ireland, an international hub for the development and production of medical devices, biologics and pharmaceuticals, PBC Biomed is the strategic partner for medical innovation from ideation to implantation.