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Dr. Mark Ahearne

Assistant Professor (Mechanical, Manuf & Biomedical Eng)
PARSONS BUILDING


Mark received a BEng. in Mechanical Engineering from the University of Limerick in 2001, a MSc. in Cell and Tissue Engineering from Keele University (United Kingdom) in 2003 and a PhD in Biomedical Engineering from Keele University in 2007. His PhD research focused on the development of a novel spherical indentation system to characterise the mechanical behaviour of cell seeded hydrogels. He subsequently worked as a post-doctoral research associate for three years at Keele University where he developed an in vitro corneal wound healing model for pharmaceutical screening, in addition to working on other projects. Mark joined the Trinity Centre for Bioengineering (TCBE) as a post-doctoral research fellow in October 2010 to primarily work on developing a growth factor delivery scaffold for articular cartilage repair. In 2012 he commenced work as a research fellow and principle investigator in TCBE in the field of corneal tissue engineering and cornea repair after obtaining an Starting Investigator Research Grant from Science Foundation Ireland (SFI) and the Marie-Curie COFUND. In 2015 he was award an ERC starting grant to conduct research on developing artificial cornea. In 2016 he was appointed to the position of assistant professor in biomedical engineering.
  Biomaterials   CARTILAGE   EYE   HYDROGELS   NANOFIBERS   Ophthalmology   Stem cells   Tissue Engineering
Details Date
Management committee member and elected vice-chair of "scaffold development" working group in COST action BM1302 2013
Journal reviewer for 27 different academic journals including Acta Biomaterialia, Artificial Organs, Biofabrication, Biomedical Materials, Cellular and Molecular Biology Letters, Computer Methods in Applied Mechanics and Engineering, Cytotherapy, European Cells and Materials, Gels, International Journal of Ophthalmology, Investigative Ophthalmology and Visual Science, Journal of Biomaterial Applications, Journal of Biomedical Materials Research: Part B, Journal of Engineering in Medicine, Journal of Material Sciences: Materials in Medicine, Journal of Neuroscience Methods, Journal of Strain Analysis, Journal of the Mechanical Properties of Biomedical Materials, Journal of the Royal Society Interface, Materials and Design, Micron, Molecular Vision, Plos One, Review of Scientific Instruments, Stem Cells Translational Medicine, Tissue Engineering A and C.
Symposium organiser and session chair at Tissue Engineering and Regenerative Medicine International Society European Chapter (TERMIS-EU) meeting (Davos, Switzerland) 2017
Invited session chair for the Annual Bioengineering in Ireland Conferences from 2012 to 2017
Session organizer and chair for International Society of Eye Research biannual meeting 2018
Session chair at European Vision and Eye Research meeting (Nice, France) 2013
Details Date From Date To
Engineers Ireland 2015
COST action - BM1302 (Management committee member and working group vice-chair) 2013
Tissue Engineering and Regenerative Medicine International Society (TERMIS) 2010
European Vision and Eye Research (EVER) 2013
Association for Research in Vision and Ophthalmology (ARVO) 2016
International Society for Eye Research (ISER) 2017
Royal Academy of Medicine in Ireland (RAMI) 2017
Fernández-Pérez J, Madden PW, Brady RT, Nowlan PF, Ahearne M., The effect of prior long-term recellularization with keratocytes of decellularized porcine corneas implanted in a rabbit anterior lamellar keratoplasty model., PloS one, 16, (6), 2021, pe0245406 , Journal Article, PUBLISHED  TARA - Full Text  DOI
Bhattacharjee P, Ahearne M., Significance of Crosslinking Approaches in the Development of Next Generation Hydrogels for Corneal Tissue Engineering., Pharmaceutics, 13, (3), 2021, p913-, Journal Article, PUBLISHED  TARA - Full Text  DOI
Ahearne, M., Corneal Regeneration Methods and Protocols, Humana Press, 2020, Book, PUBLISHED
Fabrication of corneal extracellular matrix-derived hydrogels in, 2020, pp159-168 , [Ahearne, M. and Fernandez-Perez, J.], Book Chapter, PUBLISHED  DOI
Fernández-Pérez J, Ahearne M., Decellularization and recellularization of cornea: Progress towards a donor alternative., Methods, 171, 2020, p86 - 96, Journal Article, PUBLISHED  TARA - Full Text  DOI
Fernandez-Perez J., Kador K.E., Lynch A.P., Ahearne M., Characterization of extracellular matrix modified poly("-caprolactone) electrospun scaffolds with differing fiber orientations for corneal stroma regeneration, Materials Science and Engineering C, 108, 2020, Journal Article, PUBLISHED  TARA - Full Text  DOI
Bhattacharjee P, Cavanagh BL, Ahearne M., Effect of substrate topography on the regulation of human corneal stromal cells., Colloids and surfaces. B, Biointerfaces, 190, 2020, p110971 , Journal Article, PUBLISHED  TARA - Full Text  DOI
Ahearne M., Fernandez-Perez J., Masterton S., Madden P.W., Bhattacharjee P., Designing Scaffolds for Corneal Regeneration, Advanced Functional Materials, 2020, Journal Article, PUBLISHED  TARA - Full Text  DOI
Bhattacharjee P., Cavanagh B.L., Ahearne M., Influence of micropatterned substrates on keratocyte phenotype, Scientific Reports, 10, (1), 2020, Journal Article, PUBLISHED  TARA - Full Text  DOI
Fernández-Pérez J, Madden PW, Ahearne M., Engineering a Corneal Stromal Equivalent Using a Novel Multilayered Fabrication Assembly Technique., Tissue engineering. Part A, 2020, Journal Article, PUBLISHED  TARA - Full Text  DOI
  

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Award Date
SFI Starting Investigator Research Grant - Principal Investigator July 2012- July 2016
European Researching Council Starting Grant - Principal Investigator 1/7/2015
SFI ERC Support Grant 2016
COST short term scientific award - Applicant supervisor 2017
COST short term scientific award - Host supervisor 2016
COST short term scientific award - Applicant supervisor 2014
1st placed poster award, 20th Nottingham Eye Symposium and Research Meeting, University of Nottingham - Co-author 2015
DePuy Young Researcher Award - Student Supervisor 2013
Travel award for best paper in the category of Corneal and Ocular Surface at the European Vision and Eye Research Conference - Student Supervisor 2013
1st placed poster award, 4th Annual Limbal Stem Cell Meeting, Nottingham, UK - Co-author 2012
Royal Academy of Engineers Travel Award Recipient 2009
Royal Society Conference Travel Award Recipient 2008
3rd placed poster award, TCES annual conference, Sheffield, UK - First Author 2006
1st place at Expertissues Bioreactor Design and Stem Cell Processing Workshop, UK 2006
Royal Academy of Engineers Travel Award Recipient 2005
My primary area of research is in corneal tissue engineering and regeneration. Corneal blindness affect millions of people worldwide and there is a shortage of healthy donor corneas that are suitable for transplantation. This has led to alternative therapies being investigated. Tissue engineering approaches that combine three-dimensional scaffolds and stem cells are currently under investigation by my group. Several parameters that affect the phenotypic behaviour of corneal cells are being investigated in addition to different methods of fabricating biomimetic scaffolds with the ultimate goal of developing functional corneal tissue alternative that is suitable for transplantation.