The focus is innovative devices for novel methods for clinical application and healthcare. We have a wide range of expertise and interests in engineering solutions for different areas of medicine, as shown in the following examples.
Smart Microsurgical Tool-points for Surgery
This work focuses on the developing field of controlling tool-point interaction with tissues as smart surgical tool-points. It is envisaged that a suite of tools enabling precise control of interaction will offer great benefit in the many surgical procedures that now work on small tissue targets and often through difficult access. The potential to automatically discriminate different working conditions and state of the tool-point and tissues will increase perception by the surgeon at this small scale, and enable precise and consistent results.
Smart Monitoring and Diagnosis Systems in Medicine
Smart sensing systems that integrate the latest signal processing techniques with IT tools to automatically interpret time series data and output information in a form suited to clinical use need to support the busy practice of medicine. Increased throughput of patients will widen access to the processes of screening, diagnostics and therapy. In all cases, a smart sensing system needs to discriminate the possible series of conditions related to the application range. Sensors should be mechanically simple and robust to suit the arduous medical working environment while also being cost-effective through enabling staff to work efficiently.
Microsystems for Medical Diagnosis and Cell Discrimination
Micro-technologies in the form of MEMS have made an impact on solutions for active sensing in healthcare and other application fields. Capitalising on this technology and combining novel sensing and signal processing technologies, the research group aim to produce advanced information sensors capable of outputting information and discriminating measurements on a sub-micron basis. The techniques will combine novel sensing methods, MEMS and Nanotechnology. Working at this scale to discriminate distributive cell behaviour, characteristics and structure will enable greater understanding of cell processes and offer the opportunity to radically improve healthcare.
Design and development of new orthopaedic device
The proximal-inter-phalangeal (PIP) joint (finger joint in the hand) is often the site of major trauma in car accidents and other incidents where the joint is crushed and requires intervention in order to stretch it back out. In collaboration with orthopaedic surgeons from the NHS, we have developed a prototype device which we believe has many advantages over current devices.
The design of orthopaedic fixation screws for osteoporotic bone
Recent developments in Orthopaedic fixation have led to the wide scale adoption of locking plates and screws for the treatment and repair of fractured bones. Currently available screws were designed primarily for healthy bone. Research Aim –To explore new screw designs that may mitigate, or reduce incidence of, problems associated with surgical screws in osteoporotic bone. In collaboration with orthopaedic surgeons from the NHS, we have designed and performed preliminary testing on a new screw design with better holding power.
Breast augmentation using implants is the commonest aesthetic and reconstructive breast procedure. Autologous fat transfer using metallic cannulae (lipofilling) has become a standard adjunctive procedure to refine breast surgery outcomes. There is little evidence on lipofilling safety in the presence of implants and in this project a preliminary study is performed in order to consider this issue in collaboration with plastic surgeons from the NHS.
3-D cell culture and toxicology
This project looks into the use of 3-D cell culture to model the human airways and to consider the effects of traditional and electronic smoking products. The primary aim is to develop a machine which will mimic the volumes and timings of a smoking adult human. It will subsequently be used to test the response of cultured human airway cells to the breathing of normal air, standard cigarettes and the new e-cigarettes.