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Dr. Michael Monaghan

Ussher Assistant Professor (Mechanical & Manuf. Eng)

Dr. Michael Monaghan is an Ussher Assistant Professor in Biomedical Engineering at Trinity College Dublin, the University of Dublin Dr. Monaghan performed his Postdoctoral research in Germany as a recipient of a prestigious Marie Curie Individual Fellowship. His research was coordinated between the Department of Cell and Tissue Engineering in the Fraunhofer Institute for Interfacial Engineering and Biotechnology and the Department of Women's Health in University Clinic Tubingen. During this period he has published a number of key papers in the field of human valvulogenesis, embryonic stem cell research, cardiomyocyte differentiation, biomaterials and non-invasive optical characterisation (Raman microspectroscopy, fluorescent lifetime imaging (FLIM), multiphoton and second harmonic generation (SHG) imaging). Dr. Monaghan received both his B.Eng (Biomedical) and Ph.D. (Biomedical Engineering) from the National University of Ireland Galway (NUIG).During his Ph.D. Dr. Monaghan received a number of research awards such as travel awards from the European Molecular Biology Organisation (EMBO) and the German Academic Exchange Service (DAAD), and the 2015 Julia Polak European Doctorate Award in recognition of the achievements made during his Ph.D. Dr. Monaghan is actively involved in the tissue engineering and regenerative medicine international society (TERMIS); previously as Chair of the EU Student and Young Investigator Section, and recently promoted full EU Council Member. Lab Website:
 Enabling Melt ElectroWriting of Electroconductive, Geometrically Defined 3D Biomaterials to Promote the Maturation of Cardiomyocytes for Cardiac Regeneration
 Cell-Specific Metabolic FLIM Profiling of the Ulcerative Colitis Microenvironment to Establish an Association with Patient Treatment Response
 The role of macrophage polarization in the generation of functional engineered mature myocardium organoids
 Recapitulating electrical, mechanical and extracellular-matrix cues via multifunctional biomaterials to engineer cardiac tissue

Details Date
Elected Treasurer- Matrix Biology Ireland 2017 Meeting 30 Nov 2016
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Details Date From Date To
Royal Academy of Medicine in Ireland (RAMI)- Bioengineering Section 2017 Present
MBI- Matrix Biology Ireland 2016 Present
ESB- European Society for Biomaterials 2010 Present
TERMIS - Tissue Engineering and Regenerative Medicine Society 2009 Present
DGMB-German Matrix Biology Society 2013 2016
Monaghan M.G, Holeiter M, Brauchle E, Layland S.L, Lu Y, Deb A, Pandit A, Nsair A, Schenke-Layland K, Exogenous miR-29B delivery via a hyaluronan-based injectable system yields functional maintenance of the infarcted myocardium, Tissue Engineering Part A, 24, 2018, p57 - 67, Notes: [doi:10.1089/ten.TEA.2016.0527], Journal Article, PUBLISHED  DOI
Shen N, Riedl JA, Carvajal-Berrio DA, Davis Z, Monaghan MG, Layland SL, Hinderer S, Schenke-Layland K. , A flow bioreactor system compatible with real-time two-photon fluorescence lifetime imaging microscopy., Biomedical Materials, 13, 2018, p024101-, Journal Article, PUBLISHED  DOI
Lakner P.H*, Monaghan M. G*, M, Möller Y, Olayioye M.A, Schenke-Layland K. , Applying a phasor approach analysis of multiphoton fluorescence lifetime imaging microscopy measurements to probe the metabolic activity of three-dimensional in vitro cell culture models., Nature Scientific Reports, 7, 2017, p42730-, Notes: [(*Both authors contributed equally)], Journal Article, PUBLISHED  TARA - Full Text  DOI
Lotz C, Schmid F.F, Oechsle E, Monaghan M, Walles H, Groeber-Becker F.K, A crosslinked collagen hydrogel matrix resisting contraction to facilitate full-thickness skin equivalents, ACS Appl. Mater. Interfaces, 9, 2017, p20417 - 20425, Journal Article, PUBLISHED  DOI
Lakner P, Möller Y, Olayioye M, Brucker S.Y, Schenke-Layland K, Monaghan M.G., Multiphoton Microscopy in the Biomedical Sciences XVI, Proc SPIE9712, SPIE BioS Multiphoton Microscopy in the Biomedical Sciences XVI, San Francisco, 14th March 2016, edited by Ammasi Periasamy; Peter T. C. So; Karsten König , 2016, pp97120X , Notes: [ A Phasor approach analysis of multiphoton FLIM measurements of three-dimensional cell culture models.], Conference Paper, PUBLISHED  DOI
Monaghan MG, Kroll S, Brucker SY, Schenke-Layland K, Enabling Multiphoton and Second Harmonic Generation Imaging in Paraffin-Embedded and Histologically Stained Sections., Tissue engineering. Part C, Methods, 22, (6), 2016, p517-23 , Journal Article, PUBLISHED  DOI
Monaghan M.G, Holeiter M, Layland S.L, Schenke-Layland K, Cardiomyocyte generation from somatic sources " current status and future directions , Current Opinion in Biotechnology , 40, 2016, p49 - 55, Journal Article, PUBLISHED  DOI
Brauchle E, Knopf A, Bauer H, Shen N, Linder S, Monaghan MG, Ellwanger K, Layland SL, Brucker SY, Nsair A, Schenke-Layland K, Non-invasive Chamber-Specific Identification of Cardiomyocytes in Differentiating Pluripotent Stem Cells., Stem cell reports, 6, (2), 2016, p188-99 , Journal Article, PUBLISHED  DOI
Monaghan MG, Linneweh M, Liebscher S, Van Handel B, Layland SL, Schenke-Layland K, Endocardial-to-mesenchymal transformation and mesenchymal cell colonization at the onset of human cardiac valve development., Development (Cambridge, England), 143, (3), 2016, p473-82 , Journal Article, PUBLISHED  DOI
Optical reprogramming and opticalcharacterization of cells using femtosecond lasers in, editor(s)König K, Ostendorf A , Biomedical Applications in Optically-Induced Nanostructures for Biomedical and Technical Applications, De Gruyter , 2015, pp159 - 178, [1. Uchugonova A, Augspurger C, Monaghan M, Schenke-Layland K, Konig K], Book Chapter, PUBLISHED  URL

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Award Date
European Doctoral Award, Issued by the European Society of Biomaterials 2015
Deutscher Akademischer Austausch Dienst, Short Term Travel Award to conduct research in University Hospital Tübingen 2012
EMBO Short Term Travel Award to conduct research in Fraunhofer IGB Stuttgart 2011
Roche Best Poster Award, NCBES Research day 2008
NUI Galway College of Engineering and Informatics Research Fellow 2007
University Scholar (Based on end of term results) NUI Galway 2005
Dr. Monaghan's research focus is the generation of cardiac tissue in vitro towards the purpose of disease modelling and therapeutic transplantation. Heart attacks are an increasing healthcare burden and despite many medical advances, once heart muscle dies following a heart attack it does not heal sufficiently, and becomes scarred, leading to reduced function and quality of health. It is possible to generate new heart muscle from stem cells and more recently from adult cells of the body (e.g. skin cells) but such new heart muscle is not fully functional or mature as it is not experiencing the natural environment of the heart. His research is focused on the use of tunable biomaterial scaffolds using both biomechanical and biomolecular stimuli to mimic the cardiac environment and achieve robust cardiomyocyte transdifferentiation. Dr. Monaghan research interests also include non-invasive microscopy. Multiphoton microscopy is a powerful method for the nondestructive evaluation of deep-tissue, cells and extracellular matrix (ECM) structures. By interacting with highly non-centrosymmetric molecular assemblies, the non-linear phenomenon of second harmonic generation (SHG) has also proven to be an important diagnostic tool for the visualization of collagen and myosin. Multiphoton microscopy can be additionally equipped with time correlated single photon counting boards which allow extensive analysis of the photons being emitted from any material due to excitation by a specific wavelength and provides a photon distribution analysis. Notably, this facilitates fluorescence lifetime imaging (FLIM), which produces images based on the differences in the exponential decay rate of the fluorescence from a fluorescent sample, where the lifetime of a fluorophore signal is used to create the image. This method reduces the effect of photon scattering in thick samples and also avoids sample bleaching and photo-induced toxicity. Investigated fluorophores can be naturally present in the cell (e.g. NAD(P)H, which is indicative of cellular metabolism), or fluorophores that we can introduce externally to understand cell pathways and signaling. Link to PubMed: Link to Google Scholar: