In Brief

  • Challenge: SFI Future Innovator Prize 2018
  • Challenge Type: SFI Future Innovator Prize
  • Status: Complete
  • Phase: Prize Award winner

The Challenge

It is estimated that 8 % of the European population suffer from Neuropathic Pain with over 300,000 suffers in Ireland. Diseases that have a high incidence of chronic neuropathic pain include Multiple Sclerosis (46%), Cancer (66%) and Arthritis (33%).  Sadly, Chronic neuropathic pain sufferers are a lesser-heard voice within the health service, but live with constant pain, which has a significant personal and societal impact.  Current treatments for chronic neuropathic pain include analgesic medications and nerve block injectables. Injectable treatments are painful and need to be repeated every three months for adequate pain relief. The effects of the injectable diminish over time, with the patient often experiencing severe intermittent pain between treatments. Given the personal, family and societal costs of chronic neuropathic pain, there is an urgent need for a disruptive non medication-based therapy. 

The Solution

HydroBloc provides Chronic Neuropathic Pain sufferers with long-term restorative pain relief. 

A multidisciplined team at National University of Galway are developing HydroBloc, novel hydrogel solution for Chronic Neuropathic Pain. An ideal solution would provide long-term pain relief for patients with neuropathic pain which is drug free without the severe side effects of prescription medications. HydoBloc is that solution.  

Researcher with computer in lab

The Team

  • Team Lead: Dr Alison Liddy, University of Galway
  • Team Co-Lead: Dr Martin O'Halloran, University of Galway

University Hospital Galway 

Translational Medical Device Lab 

College of Engineering and Informatics, NUI Galway 

Centre for Pain Research, NUI Galway 

Team members standing together
From left to right: Dr Leo Quinlan, Dr Alison Liddy, Dr Conor Judge, Dr Martin O’Halloran and Dr Barry McDermott