Dr Sean Mcginty

  • Lecturer (Biomedical Engineering)

telephone: 01413308588
email: Sean.Mcginty@glasgow.ac.uk

Research interests

My group are developing mathematical and computational (in-silico) modelling approaches in the broad area of healthcare technologies to

  • provide insight that cannot be obtained from experiments alone
  • reduce the number of costly experiments which often involve animals
  • provide a systematic approach to medical device design
  • help meet the ever more stringent demands of regulatory bodies. 

Our work is currently focussed on transforming the performance of medical implants; refining and improving the costly drug development process; and better understanding heart disease and intervention.  We adopt a highly multi-disciplinary approach and work closely with local and international experimentalists, clinicians and industry.

We are particularly interested in modelling implants which deliver drugs/therapeutics, to assist with device design and to help devise optimisation strategies for controlled release.  We have strong expertise in coronary drug-eluting stents (DES) and our models have recently been used to inform the design of a novel DES.  We are founder members of the European Special Interest Group StentSIG, which is supported by the European Consortium for Mathematics in Industry (ECMI).  Additionally, we recently acted as Guest Editor on the Feb 2016 Annals of Biomedical Engineering Special Issue "Medical Stents: State of the Art and Future Directions"

Drug delivery

We have a strong interest in drug delivery generally, which in addition to stents includes applications such as orthopaedic implants, transdermal patches, therapeutic contact lenses and oral delivery.

Flow and mass transport

We are modelling flows and mass transport in a number of biological applications, including advanced cell culture systems for toxicity testing and cardiovascular disease and intervention. 

Research Impact, Knowledge Exchange and Public Engagement

We have a track record of collaborating with companies and clinicians to ensure that our work remains relevant and is driven by need.  In addition, we engage with the general public to inspire the next generation of scientists and to showcase the value of our work.


PhD Opportunities

I am very keen to hear from excellent students who wish to study for a PhD in my group.  Enquiries are warmly welcomed, although prospective students should investigate potential funding and/or scholarships (if required) before getting in touch.


• EPSRC GCF ISF (2016-2017), Improved modelling for the design of optimized next generation drug-eluting stents

• The Dr Hadwen Trust (2016), In-silico characterisation of the Kirkstall QV900 in-vitro system for advanced cell culture

NHS Greater Glasgow & Clyde Research Endowment Fund (2016-2017), Investigating the potential of mathematical modelling for the analysis of congenital heart disease

• EU COST Action TD1409 MI-NET (2015-2016), Mathematical modelling training week with industry

EPSRC IAA (2016), Understanding the potential benefits of using bispecific versus monospecific antibodies (with Glaxosmithkline)

• EPSRC IAA (2016), Modelling drug penetration in 3D hepatocyte spheroids (with AstraZeneca) 

• EPSRC POEMS Network Funding (2015), Computational modelling in healthcare: Making confident predictions in a world of error and uncertainty

• EPSRC IAA New Company Engagement (2014-2015), Simulating complex flow and absorption in quasi-vivo cell culture systems (with Kirkstall Ltd.)

• Royal Society (2014-2016), Modelling drug release from polymer-free drug-eluting stents




Current Group:

Research Staff

  • Danyang Wang
  • Hongrui Wang
  • Rachel Lucena

PhD Students

  • David King
  • Lauren Hyndman
  • Bryan Scullion


Former Members:

Research Staff

  • James Cowley

MSc Students

  • Beatrice Anderlini


Current Courses

  • ENG4085: Integrated Systems Design Project 4 (ISDP4)
  • ENG1063: Engineering Mathematics 1

Additional information


Mathematics for Industry PhD Modelling Week - Call for Applications

University of Glasgow, UK

12th-16th September 2016


Description. The Centre for Mathematics Applied to the Life Sciences (CMALS), in conjunction with SofTMech, is delighted to announce that the University of Glasgow will be hosting a Mathematics for Industry PhD modelling week from 12th-16th September 2016.  A call for applications is open and full instructions can be found below. This initiative is supported by COST Action TD1409, Mathematics for Industry Network (MI-NET).

Purpose. A key purpose of CMALS and SofTMech is to provide a vibrant community for PhD students to interact, learn and achieve their full potential, whether they pursue a career in research or in Industry. This modelling week is the perfect platform to combine training, collaboration and communication with European students of varied backgrounds, and to facilitate the enhancement of problem solving skills within a student-dominated environment.  Industrialists and clinicians will help the students develop awareness of the real-world applications of their work. 

Format. The week will start on Monday morning with introductory talks from industrialists and clinicians on the problems at hand, followed by short lectures from the academic instructors on the application of mathematics in these areas.  The rest of the week will be devoted to working in small groups on the problems, supported by industrial/clinical/academic instructors.  During the week, we will have guest lectures from Dr Martin Meere (NUI Galway, Ireland) and Dr Giuseppe Pontrelli of the National Research Council (Italian CNR) as well as a conference dinner.  The week will close with lunch on the Friday afternoon.

CMALS and SofTMech. CMALS is a collaboration predominantly between the Universities of  Glasgow and Strathclyde which promotes interdisciplinary research and scholarship in Mathematics applied to the Life Sciences.  The Centre has a wide membership list extending beyond the Scottish universities to researchers across the UK, Europe and the US.  Research across the Centre varies considerably and includes heart modelling, soft tissue mechanics, drug delivery, epidemiology, disease and treatment, marine science and ecology.  SofTMech is the newly formed EPSRC Centre of Maths for Healthcare led by the University Glasgow. 

Problems. A brief description of the three problem areas to be considered is provided below.  Successful applicants will receive further specific details ahead of attending the workshop.

HEART. Heart diseases are the major cause of mortality in the world.  Soft tissue mechanics plays an essential role in all current models of the heart.  One of the key issues is that the material parameters required for modelling cannot be directly obtained and these have to be inferred from medical images.  This “inverse approach” uses combined mechanistic models and statistical parameter inference.   We will gain insights into this problem by developing some of the approaches for relevant and adequately simplified problems.

DRUG DISCOVERY. GlaxoSmithKline (GSK) is currently engaged in substantial drug discovery research programmes.  As well as experimental approaches, GSK adopt mathematical modelling and simulation to try to better understand what they are observing in experiments and to make predictions of the effect of changes.  Key to any progress in this area is an adequate description of the interaction between proteins and molecules.  In this problem we will use mathematics to model binding and diffusion processes in a number of relevant scenarios.

MEDICAL DEVICES. Orthopaedic implants are devices which replace a missing joint/bone or support a damaged bone. Despite great improvements over the years, there remain a number of challenges including the development of infection, inflammation and pain.  It has been suggested that the local delivery of drug from the implant may be an ideal way of tackling some of these issues.  In this problem, we will develop models of some drug-releasing orthopaedic implants.  This will allow us to identify the parameters controlling the release and to make suggestions about how the devices should be designed to control the release.

Application process. The workshop aims to attract both local PhD students associated with CMALS/SofTMech and external students from across Europe.  Registration is free, and students from out-with Glasgow will be entitled to a contribution to the costs associated with attending the week as detailed below:

Accommodation: Approx. £150 (£30 per night for 5 nights)

Evening meals: Approx. EURO 80 (EUR0 20 per night for 4 nights)

The conference dinner and Lunches and refreshments throughout the week are also fully paid for.


Note that students from out-with Glasgow will be expected to cover the costs of their travel to Glasgow from their existing PhD funding/department/university. Any student from an inclusive target country who is unable to cover the costs of travel, should contact the organisers.

To apply, please send to sean.mcginty@glasgow.ac.uk by FRIDAY 10th June a single page of A4 which includes:

  1. Your University level qualifications
  2. A brief description of your PhD project with details of your supervisor, Institution and your year of study. List any prizes or awards you have received and detail any poster/oral presentations you have delivered
  3. Your motivation for wanting to attend the modelling week along with an indication as to whether you intend to pursue a career in academia or in industry
  4. The workshop projects listed in your order of preference
  5. Confirmation that you have secured travel funding (if coming from out-with Glasgow) and the source of this funding.

Any application which exceeds the 1-page limit will be rejected.

Note that students are applying to be admitted to the modelling week, rather than applying to work on a particular project.  The applications will be reviewed by the committee and those successful students will be notified by the end of June.  The committee will consider (amongst other criteria): the excellence of the student, the area of mathematics they are working in and the benefit to the student of attending the modelling week.