University of Nottingham
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Cyclops feasibility projects on chronic wounds

1.

Principal investigator: Professor Ipsita Roy, University of Westminster.

 

Project start year: 2018

 

Co-investigators: Dr Damion Corrigan & Professor Patricia Connolly - University of  Strathclyde; Dr Jongrae Kim & Dr Samit Chakrabarty - University of Leeds.

Closed loop infection control using biocompatible wound dressings.

Lay summary

Chronic wound infections can have life changing consequences to patients and represent a significant burden to healthcare providers such as the NHS. Infections delay wound healing and can result in a worsening of the patient’s condition. In this feasibility study, we will explore the use of a special polymer that promotes wound healing, whilst continuously checking the wound for infections.When an infection is detected, silver will be automatically released into the wound in order to kill the bacteria and help the wound to heal. The concentration of silver released into the wound will be carefully controlled in order to ensure that the bacteria are killed,without building to levels of sliver that are toxic to the wound. At this stage, we will explore whether this approach is feasible using a series of laboratory based tests in a study across three separate Universities.

 

2.

Principal investigator: Professor Paul Stewart, University of Derby.

 

Project start year: 2018

 

Co-investigators: Professor Frances Game - Royal Derby Hospital; Professor Jill Stewart - University of Derby.

Smart Active Footbed for Wound Prevention and Management.

Lay summary

This project will establish the feasibility of using an active orthotic device with diabetic patients to manage their risk of developing foot ulcers. Such a device would contain an array of sensors to monitor foot health and possess the ability to alter its shape in response to any changes. These technologies will be enabled by a closed-loop intelligent control system that decides how best to manage an emerging problem. Our approach could potentially reduce both the number of appointments required with healthcare professionals AND advise the patient when referral to a specialist is appropriate. Data collected over time from the footbed would also be available to support diagnosis, prognosis and treatment decisions.

There are three aspects to this work:

  1. We will evaluate the performance of ‘smart’ materials in the form of active footbeds (these being materials whose shape can be changed by temperature or electrical signals).
  2. We will establish what combination of sensors and intelligent data processing are available and appropriate for monitoring foot health.
  3. We will integrate the available data into a closed loop control system that comprises smart sensing, intelligent signal processing, controlled smart materials and decision support.

The outcome of this work will be a novel prototype of an intelligent footbed. We will demonstrate that this device can adapt its shape in response to different footwear, varying patient weight and gait, and the development of minor foot deformations or injuries. We will also specify a roadmap for further research and development.

 

3.

Principal investigator: Professor Dan Bader, University of Southampton.

 

Project start year: 2018

 

Co-investigators: Dr Peter Worsley & Dr Luciana Bostan - University of Southampton.

 

Other partners: Professor Steve Morgan - University of Nottingham; Professor Steve Jeffery - Birmingham City University; Mrs Siobhan McCoulough - OSKA Ltd.

Combining physiological sensing and biomarkers with intelligent support surfaces for closed loop prevention of chronic wounds.

Lay summary

The treatment of chronic wounds, such as diabetic foot, leg and pressure ulcers, represent a major burden to both the NHS and those affected with the condition. Indeed its financial burden has been estimated at approximately £5 billion per annum. Therefore the prevention of these chronic wounds via early detection of at risk individuals, represents a major challenge to healthcare organisations. Several monitoring technologies are available to detect changes in skin response to loading, involving an array of physical and biochemical markers, which can inform the effectiveness of intervention strategies for prevention.

The proposed research aims to provide an early detection system allied to an intelligent prevention strategy for pressure ulcer prevention, which will be evaluated with small cohorts of at-risk individuals. New and existing sensing technologies will provide distinct thresholds of physiological parameters, particularly involving CO2 sensing and biomarker concentrations, which could inform the effectiveness of both preventative measures and therapeutic interventions.

An intelligent active control system used in conjunction with the local support surfaces in contact with the skin will provide the platform for a closed-loop intervention. The surface, with for example periodic turning or alternating air pressure capability, will react to the physiological status of the skin and off-load vulnerable sites until complete physiological recovery has been achieved. Continual physiological monitoring and surface adaptation will provide the means for sustained postures, which are typically adopted in the hospital and community settings.

 

 

Room 811, Tower Building, University Park, Nottingham, NG7 2RD. Tel: 0115 74 86695

Email: email@cyclops-network.ac.uk