CÚRAM launches new exhibit showing how medical device research is aided by marine resources

Monday, 27 September 2021: CÚRAM, the SFI Research Centre for Medical Devices based at NUI Galway, has launched a new public exhibition showcasing how marine resources can aid medical device research.

Guest speakers attending the launch were Mayor of Galway City, Collette Connolly and Filmmaker Ken O'Sullivan.

The marine-inspired display at Galway Atlantaquaria, the National Aquarium of Ireland, shows how scientists are studying sponge slime to fight cancer and harmful microbes; using algae for controlled release of medicine; and copying barnacle glue to create surgical glue.

Visitors can browse information panels, tanks and models of marine resources that are used in medical device research.

Professor Abhay Pandit, Scientific Director at CÚRAM, said: “We’re delighted to partner with Galway Atlantaquaria to showcase an exciting aspect of medical device research and we look forward to continuing the collaboration and developing the exhibit and associated educational resources for schools and families over the coming years.”

Liam Twomey, Director at the National Aquarium, said: “Galway Atlantaquaria continues its collaboration with state and semi-state organisations. Our technical know-how and good design links with Anchor Studios have resulted in a superb new exhibit that has already started to draw attention from aquarium visitors. We look forward to continued engagement with CÚRAM over the coming years.”

CÚRAM’s research is focused on developing innovative and smart medical devices and implants that will benefit patients with chronic ailments such as cardiovascular, musculoskeletal and neural diseases.

This new exhibit investigates how marine-inspired medtech research can heal the body. It also ties in with Galway Atlantaquaria’s education programme and reinforces the message of the importance of ocean health and conservation.

The exhibit is located on the upper floor of the National Aquarium and is fully accessible.

Dr Sarah Gundy, CÚRAM’s coordinator of content development for the exhibit, said: “If we lose the biodiversity of our oceans, we also lose potential ways to help fight diseases. Keeping our oceans healthy helps us discover new ways of developing medical therapies, which, in turn, keeps us healthy.”

Dr Nóirín Burke, Director of Education at Galway Atlantaquaria, said: “Working with the team at CÚRAM on this exhibit has been such as positive experience. The oceans are part of our lives, from the air we breathe, the water we need to survive, and the food we eat. The connection between the ocean’s health and our health cannot be overstated and launching an exhibit which helps people explore this relationship is so important for the aquarium team.”