Biomaterials and Tissue Engineering Research Group

Buckley Lab, Trinity College Dublin, Ireland

About Us

The focus of the Buckley lab is to develop novel biomaterial and cell based strategies to regenerate or repair damaged tissues and restore biomechanical function using minimal invasive strategies.

Conor Buckley is a Principal investigator (PI) in the Trinity Centre for Biomedical Engineering and the Advanced Materials and Bioengineering Research (AMBER) Centre at Trinity College Dublin. His research focuses on novel biomaterials, biofabrication and cell-based strategies for tissue regeneration. Buckley has received funding in the areas of biomaterials, tissue engineering and regenerative medicine as PI (>€3.5million) and as co-investigator (>€10.45million). He has published 70 international peer reviewed journal articles and over 180 conference publications. Prof. Buckley also founded the Med3DP initiative ( to develop medical devices for humanitarian healthcare using 3D printing technology. Buckley is also PI on several commercial projects developing biomaterials for peripheral nerve repair (Integra Life Sciences) and bioprinting for next generation implantable devices and tissues for orthopaedic applications (Johnson & Johnson). He recently received a European Research Council (ERC) Consolidator award to develop personalised medicine approaches to regenerating the intervertebral disc
About Us

Our Research

Research Team

Dr. Shani Samuel

Postdoctoral Research Fellow

Effect of Growth Factors and Acidic Microenvironments on Discogenic Differentiation

Dr. Kevin Behan

Postdoctoral Research Fellow

Injectable Biomaterials for Musculoskeletal Regeneration

Dr. Marcos Barcellona

Postdoctoral Research Fellow

Development and Characterisation of Injectable Gene Activated Biomaterials

Chiara Borrelli

PhD Candidate

Development and Functional Assessment of a Decellularised Injectable Biomaterial Combined with Nasal Chondrocytes for Intervertebral Disc Regeneration

Emily McDonnell

PhD Candidate

In Silico Modelling and Development of Physiologically Relevant Organ Culture Systems for Assessment of Intervertebral Disc Cell-based Therapies

Tugdual Haffner

PhD Candidate

3D Printing of Fibrous Electroconductive Biomaterials with Controlled Architectures for Peripheral Nerve Repair

Niamh Wilson

MAI Candidate

Design, fabrication and modelling of a high-throughput organoid-on-a-chip to assess nutrient microenvironmental effects for intervertebral disc regeneration

Caoimhe Murphy

MSc Candidate

4 Axis Printing for Engineering Intervertebral Disc Replacements


Former Lab Members



PhD studentship- Injectable Gene Activated Biomaterials for Personalised Regeneration of the Intervertebral Disc

Learn MoreOct 22, 2020

PhD studentship- Microenvironmental Profiling, Predictive Screening and In Silico Modelling for Personalised Regeneration of the Intervertebral Disc

Learn MoreOct 22, 2020

Postdoctoral Research Fellow- Tissue-derived Bioinks for 3D Printing Applications- Material Characterisation, Biocompatibility and Immunomodulatory Behaviour

Learn MoreOct 22, 2020

ADMIRE MSCA Postdoctoral Fellowships in Advanced Materials

Learn MoreDec 02, 2020


INTEGRATE- Personalised Medicine for Intervertebral Disc Regeneration- Integrating Profiling, Predictive Modelling and Gene Activated Biomaterials

Project Summary: Lower back pain is a global epidemiological and socioeconomic problem. Biomaterial and cell-based therapies have been pursued for the treatment of degenerated intervertebral disc (IVD), with a number of clinical trials underway. However, the degenerated intervertebral disc has a distinct environment (e.g. altered oxygen, glucose, acidity, inflammatory cytokine levels) that is unique to an individual (i.e. patient-specific) and will ultimately determine the likelihood and rate at which regeneration can occur. A “one size fits all” approach will lead to the failure to demonstrate efficacy of advanced therapies, as they are not being designed or personalised for individual patients. This proposal envisions a future whereby advanced gene activated cell therapies are personalised (targeting regeneration or modulating inflammation) to treat back pain based on knowing the individuals unique disc microenvironment. This will be achieved through profiling of individual patient disc microenvironmental factors, with in vitro screening and in silico modelling to design cell therapies and predict regeneration outcomes (Aim 1) combined with the development of tailored functionalised gene activated biomaterials (Aim 2), to enhance matrix formation and modulate the inflammatory processes (Aim 3). Gene-based therapy offers several advantages over direct delivery of proteins or small molecules, among them the possibility of sustained efficacy and endogenous synthesis of growth factors or suppression of inflammatory factors and pathways. The platform technology (personalised gene activated biomaterials to regulate regeneration and inflammation) and knowledge (tailoring cell therapies to suit patient-specific microenvironments) generated through this research are beyond the current state-of-the-art and will provide a significant transformative scientific and clinical step change opening new horizons in minimally-invasive therapeutic strategies.

Funded by: European Research Council (ERC), Consolidator Award (CoG) (2020-2025)
Grant ID: 864104


  • Trinity Centre for Biomedical Engineering, Trinity Centre for Biomedical Engineering, Trinity Biomedical Sciences Institute