Tom Flanagan

Tom Flanagan

Lecturer/Assistant Professor in Human Anatomy, UCD

Dr. Tom Flanagan is a graduate of Anatomy from NUI, Galway (2000) and was awarded a Ph.D. (Anatomy) in 2005 for his research on heart valve tissue engineering. He subsequently took up a post-doctoral position at the Helmholtz Institute for Biomedical Engineering at RWTH Aachen University in Germany, where he played a leading role in separate studies developing ‘living’ tissue-engineered heart valve prostheses and vascular grafts for surgical implantation. Tom subsequently joined the UCD School of Medicine in 2008 as Lecturer in Human Anatomy and established the Tissue Engineering Research Group at the School. The research interests of the group centre on the development of next-generation implants by combining nanotechnology and tissue engineering methods, with a continued focus on producing living, cardiovascular devices for the treatment of both paediatric and adult populations.

Tom Flanagan

Lecturer/Assistant Professor in Human Anatomy, UCD

Owen Humphreys
Position: PhD student

Owen has an ME in Biomedical Engineering from UCD, and his IRC-funded PhD focuses on the development of a tissue-engineered urethral model as a test system for urinary catheters.

Dr. Michael Murray
Position: MSc student

Michael is a graduate of Medicine (NUI, Galway) and is developing a prototype stented heart valve prosthesis in his MSc research project.

Ana le Chevillier
Position: PhD student

Ana has recently completed her BSc in Physiology (UCD) and commences her PhD on stented heart valve tissue engineering in September 2018.

Dr Douglas Marques
Position: Postdoctoral research fellow

Douglas is a Plastics Engineer with an M.Sc. and Ph.D. in Engineering, Science & Technology of Materials (UFRGS - Brazil). Working with biomedical polymers since 2008, he is currently developing tissue-engineered heart valves aimed at paediatric applications.

MIDAS-TECH – Minimally-invasive devices using advanced scaffold technology for correction of congenital heart valve defects

Current heart valve replacement options for children are limited by their inability to grow and remodel with the growing child, requiring multiple risky open heart surgeries to implant larger valves as their heart outgrows the device. Tom and his team (including co-principal investigators - Dr. Damien Kenny (paediatric cardiologist, OLCHC Crumlin) and Prof. Massimo Caputo (paediatric cardiac surgeon, University of Bristol) are targeting an unmet clinical need for a biodegradable, off-the-shelf stented valve for ‘keyhole’ implantation in children that promotes tissue healing, reduces the risks involved with open heart surgery and grows with the child as their surrounding heart grows.

Autologous, elastogenic tissue-engineered vascular conduits for repair of congenital heart defects

About 1% of children born in Ireland are diagnosed with a structural defect of the heart. Children born with a single pumping chamber, for example, are considered a mortality risk. The surgical treatment for these defects often requires the implantation of a vascular graft to re-direct blood flow. However, currently available grafts can be associated with complications such as blood clotting, while infants may require further surgery to implant larger grafts as they grow. The current project has resulted in the successful development of customised paediatric tissue-engineered vascular grafts with potential for growth using cell-seeded electrospun polymer materials.

The list of publications below is automatically derived from MEDLINE/PubMed. As a result, there may be incorrect or missing publications.

Woods I, Black A, Jockenhoevel S, Flanagan TC, 2019 Apr 30, Harnessing topographical & biochemical cues to enhance elastogenesis by paediatric cells for cardiovascular tissue engineering applications. Biochem Biophys Res Commun, DOI: 10.1016/j.bbrc.2019.03.026
Liu MM, Flanagan TC, Jockenhovel S, Black A, Lu CC, French AT, Argyle DJ, Corcoran BM, 2018 Apr, Development and Evaluation of a Tissue-Engineered Fibrin-based Canine Mitral Valve Three-dimensional Cell Culture System. J Comp Pathol, DOI: 10.1016/j.jcpa.2018.02.001
Brougham CM, Levingstone TJ, Shen N, Cooney GM, Jockenhoevel S, Flanagan TC, O'Brien FJ, 2017 Nov, Freeze-Drying as a Novel Biofabrication Method for Achieving a Controlled Microarchitecture within Large, Complex Natural Biomaterial Scaffolds. Adv Healthc Mater, DOI: 10.1002/adhm.201700598
Brougham CM, Levingstone TJ, Jockenhoevel S, Flanagan TC, O'Brien FJ, 2015 Oct, Incorporation of fibrin into a collagen-glycosaminoglycan matrix results in a scaffold with improved mechanical properties and enhanced capacity to resist cell-mediated contraction. Acta Biomater, DOI: 10.1016/j.actbio.2015.08.022
Liu MM, Flanagan TC, Lu CC, French AT, Argyle DJ, Corcoran BM, 2015 Apr, Culture and characterisation of canine mitral valve interstitial and endothelial cells. Vet J, DOI: 10.1016/j.tvjl.2015.01.011
Woods I, Flanagan TC, 2014 Jul, Electrospinning of biomimetic scaffolds for tissue-engineered vascular grafts: threading the path. Expert Rev Cardiovasc Ther, DOI: 10.1586/14779072.2014.925397
Weinandy S, Babczyk P, Dreier A, Unger RE, Flanagan TC, Kirkpatrick CJ, Zenke M, Klee D, Jockenhoevel S, 2014, Ovine carotid artery-derived cells as an optimized supportive cell layer in 2-D capillary network assays. PLoS One, DOI: 10.1371/journal.pone.0091664
Weinandy S, Laffar S, Unger RE, Flanagan TC, Loesel R, Kirkpatrick CJ, van Zandvoort M, Hermanns-Sachweh B, Dreier A, Klee D, Jockenhoevel S, 2014 Jul, Biofunctionalized microfiber-assisted formation of intrinsic three-dimensional capillary-like structures. Tissue Eng Part A, DOI: 10.1089/ten.TEA.2013.0330
Tuemen M, Nguyen DV, Raffius J, Flanagan TC, Dietrich M, Frese J, Schmitz-Rode T, Jockenhoevel S, 2013 May, Non-destructive analysis of extracellular matrix development in cardiovascular tissue-engineered constructs. Ann Biomed Eng, DOI: 10.1007/s10439-012-0734-x
Koch S, Stappenbeck N, Cornelissen CG, Flanagan TC, Mela P, Sachweh J, Hermanns-Sachweh B, Jockenhoevel S, 2012 Dec, Tissue engineering: selecting the optimal fixative for immunohistochemistry. Tissue Eng Part C Methods, DOI: 10.1089/ten.TEC.2012.0159
Weinandy S, Rongen L, Schreiber F, Cornelissen C, Flanagan TC, Mahnken A, Gries T, Schmitz-Rode T, Jockenhoevel S, 2012 Sep, The BioStent: novel concept for a viable stent structure. Tissue Eng Part A, DOI: 10.1089/ten.TEA.2011.0648
Wirz S, Dietrich M, Flanagan TC, Bokermann G, Wagner W, Schmitz-Rode T, Jockenhoevel S, 2011 Jul, Influence of platelet-derived growth factor-AB on tissue development in autologous platelet-rich plasma gels. Tissue Eng Part A, DOI: 10.1089/ten.TEA.2010.0610
Koch S, Flanagan TC, Sachweh JS, Tanios F, Schnoering H, Deichmann T, Ellä V, Kellomäki M, Gronloh N, Gries T, Tolba R, Schmitz-Rode T, Jockenhoevel S, 2010 Jun, Fibrin-polylactide-based tissue-engineered vascular graft in the arterial circulation. Biomaterials, DOI: 10.1016/j.biomaterials.2010.02.051
Cholewinski E, Dietrich M, Flanagan TC, Schmitz-Rode T, Jockenhoevel S, 2009 Nov, Tranexamic acid--an alternative to aprotinin in fibrin-based cardiovascular tissue engineering. Tissue Eng Part A, DOI: 10.1089/ten.tea.2009.0235
Flanagan TC, Sachweh JS, Frese J, Schnöring H, Gronloh N, Koch S, Tolba RH, Schmitz-Rode T, Jockenhoevel S, 2009 Oct, In vivo remodeling and structural characterization of fibrin-based tissue-engineered heart valves in the adult sheep model. Tissue Eng Part A, DOI: 10.1089/ten.TEA.2009.0018
Flanagan TC, Tschoeke B, Diamantouros S, Schmitz-Rode T, Jockenhoevel S, 2009 Feb, Mechanical properties of tissue-engineered vascular grafts: response to letter to the editor. Artif Organs, DOI: 10.1111/j.1525-1594.2008.00708.x
Tschoeke B, Flanagan TC, Koch S, Harwoko MS, Deichmann T, Ellå V, Sachweh JS, Kellomåki M, Gries T, Schmitz-Rode T, Jockenhoevel S, 2009 Aug, Tissue-engineered small-caliber vascular graft based on a novel biodegradable composite fibrin-polylactide scaffold. Tissue Eng Part A, DOI: 10.1089/ten.tea.2008.0499
Tschoeke B, Flanagan TC, Cornelissen A, Koch S, Roehl A, Sriharwoko M, Sachweh JS, Gries T, Schmitz-Rode T, Jockenhoevel S, 2008 Oct, Development of a composite degradable/nondegradable tissue-engineered vascular graft. Artif Organs, DOI: 10.1111/j.1525-1594.2008.00601.x
Binnebösel M, Rosch R, Junge K, Flanagan TC, Schwab R, Schumpelick V, Klinge U, 2007 Sep, Biomechanical analyses of overlap and mesh dislocation in an incisional hernia model in vitro. Surgery, DOI: 10.1016/j.surg.2007.04.024
Flanagan TC, Cornelissen C, Koch S, Tschoeke B, Sachweh JS, Schmitz-Rode T, Jockenhoevel S, 2007 Aug, The in vitro development of autologous fibrin-based tissue-engineered heart valves through optimised dynamic conditioning. Biomaterials, DOI: 10.1016/j.biomaterials.2007.04.012
Flanagan TC, Black A, O'Brien M, Smith TJ, Pandit AS, 2006, Reference models for mitral valve tissue engineering based on valve cell phenotype and extracellular matrix analysis. Cells Tissues Organs, DOI: 10.1159/000094902
Flanagan TC, Wilkins B, Black A, Jockenhoevel S, Smith TJ, Pandit AS, 2006 Apr, A collagen-glycosaminoglycan co-culture model for heart valve tissue engineering applications. Biomaterials, DOI: 10.1016/j.biomaterials.2005.10.031
Flanagan TC, Pandit A, 2003 Nov 20, Living artificial heart valve alternatives: a review. Eur Cell Mater, DOI: 10.1016/j.biomaterials.2005.10.031

Funding Agency:National Children’s Research Centre
Project Title:MIDAS-TECH – Minimally-invasive devices using advanced scaffold technology for correction of congenital heart valve defects
Start Date/End Date:2018-2021
Funding Agency:National Children’s Research Centre
Project Title:Autologous, elastogenic tissue-engineered vascular conduits for repair of congenital heart defects
Start Date/End Date:2012-2016
Name:Dr. Damien Kenny
DepartmentPaediatric Cardiology
Institution:National Children's Research Centre & Our Lady's Children's Hospital, Crumlin
Name:Prof. Massimo Caputo
Position:Professor of Congenital Heart Surgery
Institution:University of Bristol
Name:Prof. Stefan Jockenhoevel
DepartmentApplied Medical Engineering
Institution:RWTH Aachen University
Name:Dr. Eoin O’Cearbhaill
DepartmentSchool of Mechanical & Materials Engineering
Institution:University College Dublin
Name:Prof. James Jones
DepartmentSchool of Medicine (Anatomy)
Institution:University College Dublin
Name:Alex Black
DepartmentSchool of Medicine (Anatomy)
Institution:National University of Ireland, Galway