1989 …2021

Research output per year

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Personal profile


Professor Laurence Meagher is interested in how material science and engineering can be applied to and help solve medical problems. As the world population ages, new solutions are required to help shape the future of medicine. The approaches Laurence uses are framed by his extensive experience leading commercially focused research and development with commercial clients. For example, Laurence was a key member of the team that developed the Air OPTIX(TM) soft silicone hydrogel contact lens.

Many devices and materials used in the clinic have been selected for their material properties or function. Often however, the surface properties are not optimal. In a number of cases, sub-optimal surface properties can lead to reduced function and even failure of the device. Laurence uses his background in surface and polymer science to engineer the properties of surface coatings for used in medical applications.

In particular there are still strong clinical needs in three main areas: (i) bacterial infections which arise from the implantation of medial devices or use of catheters, (ii) thrombosis or blood clot formation on materials which are placed in the blood stream and (iii) fibrosis or scar tissue formation on or around devices implanted devices or materials which, as most foreign objects do, invoke an immune response. These are three examples of clinical areas where designed surface coatings can really help to provide solutions to these very challenging problems.

For example, Laurence is applying controlled radical polymerisation approaches to the preparation of antibacterial coatings. He has already developed new polymers that work very well against a range of medially relevant and drug resistant bacteria and fungi; and which kill biofilms, whilst having low toxicity to human cells. Of great importance is that these polymers do not result in development of resistance and are very inexpensive to make on a large scale.

Surface coating approaches are also very important in the new area of cell therapies. Where material science and surface engineering can make a difference in this field is in the generation of synthetic coatings and culture systems for cell manufacture that do not use animal products. This reduces the risk of infection and makes the manufacture of these important cells less expensive, which can make the treatments available to more people. These types of concepts (synthetic materials for cell growth) can also be applied in the preparation of synthetic scaffold materials that support the growth of cells for tissue regeneration. This field is often called tissue engineering.

Research area keywords

  • Medical Engineering
  • Materials Science
  • Surface modification
  • surface characterisation
  • biomedical implants
  • drug delivery
  • cell culture surfaces
  • surface initiated polymerisation
  • controlled radical polymerisation
  • antimicrobial materials
  • surface chemistry
  • biomedical materials
  • electrospinning
  • biodegradable polymers
  • polymer brush coatings
  • atomic force microscopy
  • haemopoietic stem cells
  • mesenchymal stem cells
  • pluripotent stem cells
  • cell therapies
  • hydrophobic forces
  • bioactive small molecules
  • bioactive peptides
  • stem cell culture surfaces
  • surface forces
  • interactions between materials
  • DLVO Theory
  • hydration forces

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Research Output

Effect of direct-current magnetic field on the specific absorption rate of metamagnetic CoMnSi: a potential approach to switchable hyperthermia therapy

Ugochukwu, K. C., Sadiq, M. M., Biegel, E. S., Meagher, L., Hill, M. R., Sandeman, K. G., Haydon, A. & Suzuki, K., Jan 2020, In : AIP Advances. 10, 1, 7 p., 015128.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleResearchpeer-review

Open Access

Engineering the biointerface of electrospun 3D scaffolds with functionalized polymer brushes for enhanced cell binding

Duque-Sanchez, L., Brack, N., Postma, A., Meagher, L. & Pigram, P. J., 11 Feb 2019, In : Biomacromolecules. 20, 2, p. 813-825 13 p.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleResearchpeer-review

3 Citations (Scopus)

Interfacial forces at layered surfaces: substrate electrical double-layer forces acting through ultrathin polymer coatings

Wang, H., Evans, D., Voelcker, N. H., Griesser, H. J. & Meagher, L., 10 Sep 2019, In : Langmuir. 35, 36, p. 11679-11689 11 p.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleResearchpeer-review

Long-Term Maintenance of Human Pluripotent Stem Cells on cRGDfK-Presenting Synthetic Surfaces

Lambshead, J. W., Meagher, L., Goodwin, J., Labonne, T., Ng, E., Elefanty, A., Stanley, E., O'Brien, C. M. & Laslett, A. L., 1 Dec 2018, In : Scientific Reports. 8, 1, 16 p., 701.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleResearchpeer-review

Open Access
3 Citations (Scopus)

Optimisation of grafting of low fouling polymers from three-dimensional scaffolds: Via surface-initiated Cu(0) mediated polymerisation

Duque-Sánchez, L., Brack, N., Postma, A., Pigram, P. J. & Meagher, L., 7 Oct 2018, In : Journal of Materials Chemistry B. 6, 37, p. 5896-5909 14 p.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleResearchpeer-review

2 Citations (Scopus)