Published in the Engineers Journal Article on 8th July 2019.
A novel radiation detection technology, developed at Tyndall National Institute, has been licensed exclusively to Cork-based Varadis.
Ionising radiation such as gamma rays, protons and X-rays
Prof William Scanlon, CEO, Tyndall, and Brad Wrigley, CEO, Varadis, pictured at Tyndall at the announcement that a novel radiation detection technology, developed at Tyndall National Institute, has been licensed exclusively to Cork-based Varadis. Photo: Clare Keogh
Already in use by astronauts in the International Space Station, as well as a number of the largest private and public sector organisations around the world, Tyndall’s Radiation Sensing Field Effect Transistors (RADFETs) accurately measure the absorbed doses of ionising radiation such as gamma rays, protons and X-rays.
This highly innovative RADFET technology has wide applications from radiotherapy and oncology to industrial and military, and is already a much sought-after solution for radiation monitoring on both people and equipment. Varadis has ambitious plans for commercialisation and scaling of the solution globally.
Tyndall CEO William Scanlon said: “Ground-breaking innovations at Tyndall continue to deliver enormous impact with global application.
“The RADFETs technology is built on 30 years of research in Tyndall; it is already very successful in the marketplace with a number of clients adopting this innovative radiation detection technology.
“Through this exclusive licensing to Varadis, we are confident that Varadis and the RADFETs technology will have global impact and applicability.”
The technology was developed by a number Tyndall researchers including Nikola Vasovic, Aleksandar Jaksic and Russell Duane, and is highly innovative and market proven.
Such is the demand for this technology, Varadis now plans to market the RADFET sensors globally across a number of sectors. For example, when integrated into dosimetry devices, or radiation measurement devices, RADFETs can measure the amount of radiation that a tumour has absorbed in radiotherapy sessions, as well as having important implications in industrial power, space and in the Earth’s core.
“The ability to accurately measure absorbed radiation doses is vital in a world where we are surrounded by radiation sources on a day to day basis.
“Our technology has been validated through recurring customer sales within space exploration, physics research organisations and healthcare sectors,” said Brad Wrigley, CEO of Varadis.
“RADFETs is one of the most accurate devices on the market, and provides customers with unique benefits, including the sensor’s micro size, functionality and ability to integrate with IoT devices and other systems.
Enormous opportunities for RADFETs technology
"As the wearable market grows, we see enormous opportunities for the RADFETs technology, and Varadis is already in discussions with significant players in the technology market in the US and Asia.”
The development of RADFETs at Tyndall National Institute has been supported by Enterprise Ireland, European Space Agency and University College Cork’s Technology Transfer Office. Varadis has also been supported by Tyndall’s Deep Dive entrepreneurship programme in partnership with Bank of Ireland.
Through Deep Dive, entrepreneurs have access to funding, state-of-the-art facilities at Tyndall and expertise from the researchers involved in developing the core IP in the spin-out.
UCC director of technology transfer, Rich Ferrie said: “The technology spin out to Varadis is hugely significant to the commercialisation of Tyndall’s RADFET technology, and underscores the commitment of Tyndall and UCC to the commercialisation agenda. I wish Brad and the team every success as they drive this exciting business forward internationally.”