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Leader in Integrated ICT Hardware & Systems

Eoghan Vaughan


Together with sponsor Meta, Tyndall celebrates the winners and finalists of the 2021 Postgraduate Publication of the Year.

Despite the continuous pandemic challenges, our students once again showed outstanding discoveries and results as part of their PhD projects, some even opening major new possibilities in their field.

Dr Fatima Gunning, Head of Graduate Studies at Tyndall, praised the entries, saying: "Year on year our students really showcase their outstanding contributions to Tyndall’s Research Excellence through the Postgraduate Research Publication of Year competition. This time, we noticed new entries from students who started their research during pandemic and lockdowns, which were quite disruptive, but their perseverance, endurance and team support paid off with excellent results! Once again we saw early stage PhD students submitting their exceptional publications, so special awards as Rising Stars for 2nd and 3rd years were also included! Congratulations to all!"


Eoghan Vaughan

Eoghan Vaughan

Rising Star (Year 3)

“Laser Scribing Fabrication of Graphitic Carbon Biosensors for Label-Free Detection of Interleukin-6”

1. What encouraged you to submit your application to the 2021 Postgraduate Research Publication of the Year? 

Because of the pandemic, it was challenging to complete the work for this paper. My co-authors and I are proud of what we have achieved and would like to showcase our results.
2. What inspired you to choose the subject of your paper? 

Previously, we had published work on developing an electrochemical sensor from laser-scribed graphene (LSG). We had shown it to be a very promising material, but without focusing on an application. We chose to focus on IL-6 detection because IL-6 is an important immuno-modulating protein, which plays a pivotal role in inflammatory processes in disease progression. As IL-6 serves as an important indicator of disease state, it is of paramount importance to develop low-cost, fast and sensitive improved methods of detection. We know that the production of LSG sensors is fast and low-cost so we wanted to investigate their sensitivity towards IL-6 detection.
3. What’s your paper about and how did you prepare for it? What role did research excellence play in your approach?

The paper is about modifying a laser-scribed graphene electrochemical sensor to allow detection of IL-6. Firstly, we characterised the bare material through SEM, XPS, and Raman spectroscopy. The surface modification which captures IL-6 antibodies was then optimised. The main challenge in completing the work for this paper was that it was a collaborative project carried out in 2020 during the first months of the pandemic. Materials were delivered back and forth between Tyndall and IT Tralee, and tutorials were performed on zoom calls. Adapting to the new circumstances was an achievement for all involved.
4. The selection for Research Publication of the Year is extremely competitive. What is your advice for those aspiring for nomination next year?

My advice is to go right ahead and submit your publication. There are no drawbacks, and there is a great opportunity to broadcast your research to a wide audience.
5. What is the single most significant support Tyndall has been able to offer you in achieving your research goals? (Please provide any detail on additional supports that assisted? How has Tyndall enabled you to fulfil your potential in this regard?)

The most significant support Tyndall has to offer is the community of experts who are on hand for help, guidance or collaboration.

Research Publication Link

Eoghan Vaughan; Pei Shee Tan, Jahidul Islam, Niall Burke, Daniela Iacopino and Joanna B. Tierney, “Laser Scribing Fabrication of Graphitic Carbon Biosensors for Label-Free Detection of Interleukin-6”, Nanomaterials (MDPI) 2021, 11 (8), 2110.