Irish research team play critical role in €6m brain cancer project

Irish research team play critical role in €6m brain cancer project
Dr Sasitharan Balasubramaniam.

Technology experts in Waterford are bidding to tackle one of the most aggressive forms of brain cancer using miniature, implantable devices.

Telecoms experts at Waterford Institute of Technology’s Telecommunications, Software and Systems Group (TSSG) have partnered with universities worldwide on the potentially life-changing GLADIATOR project.

Together, they are developing miniature devices that interface with engineered cells, bio-nanomachines, to detect and treat cancer from inside the brain.

Engineering cells into bio-nanomachines involves the use of synthetic biology to design specific functions in living cells and the secretion of molecules that can be used to detect and treat the tumour.

The devices, when implanted in the brain, will be controlled from an external wireless device that will collect information, which should enable a solution for treating Glioblastoma Multiforme, a type of brain cancer that can kill within weeks.

Director of Research at TSSG, Dr Sasitharan Balasubramaniam, said:

Irish research team play critical role in €6m brain cancer project

“The comprehensive theranostic solution for brain malignancies is set to be a significant medical breakthrough.

"Currently, highly complex malignancies such as brain tumours have a very grim prognosis, despite recent progress in their treatment and management,” he added.

GLADIATOR’s mission is to change cancer monitoring and therapy, TSSG’s Dr Michael Barros said.

“Surgery for this form of brain cancer is very traumatic as the cancer is embedded deep within the brain.

GLADIATOR aims to use wireless signals to control implanted bio-nanomachine engineered cells within the brain for sensing and treatment, and to send signals back to an external computing device that will determine the next best course of action.

“Moreover, the innovative biological and nanotechnology-based innovations, development methods, computational and analytical tools advanced through GLADIATOR, are expected to have significant economic impact, since they can enter into particular market segments as indicated by global market projections and underlying drivers.

“The project team will also examine the circuitry design, the power and communication requirements etc of these tiny implantable devices and how to interface to the bio-nanomachines that will interact with cancer,” Dr Barros added.

Dr Michael Barros.
Dr Michael Barros.

The €6 million Horizon 2020-funded project which is set to substantially improve patient prognosis and prolong their survival underway with the 4-year long project seeing ICT experts at TSSG working with six other vibrant academic centres across Cyprus (University of Cyprus), Finland (University of Oulu), Norway (Norwegian University of Science and Technology), Germany (Fraunhofer Institute for Biomedical Engineering), USA (Michigan State Univerity) and Japan (Osaka University) and a nano-biotechnology SME EPOS-IASIS from Cyprus.

More in this Section

Man charged over ATM thefts in Co AntrimMan charged over ATM thefts in Co Antrim

589 people are waiting on trolleys589 people are waiting on trolleys

Sports minister open to 'constructive suggestions' over possible FAI splitSports minister open to 'constructive suggestions' over possible FAI split

Three arrested in connection with Lucan murderThree arrested in connection with Lucan murder


I had a stand-out lesson this week. One of those lessons that grows arms and legs, wings and tentacles.Secret Diary of an Irish teacher: They label themselves vegetarian, Liverpool fans, ‘woke’ - just not feminist

Helen O’Callaghan looks at some of the fun-filled fundraisers Irish people got involved with this year.'It’s generosity in action': Charities get inventive to spark the spirit of giving

All the latest from the entertainment world with Des O'Driscoll.Scene + Heard: Festival line-ups and new albums from Harry Styles and Stormzy

A hardworking group of local supporters are crucial in helping talented baritone Dylan Rooney fulfill his dream of studying at the Guildhall in London, writes Cathy Desmond.Community in harmony with Tipp opera singer's ambition

More From The Irish Examiner