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The University of Southampton
Medical Devices and Vulnerable Skin Network

Medical Devices and Vulnerable Skin Network Awarded New Grant from EPSRC-NIHR HTC Partnership Award 'PLUS' - Intelligent sensing to promote self-management

Published: 6 July 2016

Following the success of the current EPSRC-NIHR HTC Partnership Award: Medical Devices and Vulnerable Skin: Optimising safety in design, 'PLUS' funding has been secured starting on the 1st of July 2016 and ending on the 30th June 2019. This funding will overlap with the current MDVS network in 2016-2017 and provide the basis to expand our outreach to academic, industrial and clinical partners.

The global aim of the MDVSNPLUS: Intelligent sensing to promote self-management is to bring disruptive technologies to the medical device market to promote sustainable evolution and long-term healthcare improvements. MDVSNPLUS will work with these partners to produce cost-effective functional medical-device and sensing technologies and novel materials and designs that can minimise the risk of damage to vulnerable tissues to improve patient safety.

The ‘PLUS’ Network will fund a series of feasibility studies aligned with our core aims and target one or more of three EPSRC Grand Challenges; (i) Optimising Treatment (ii) Frontiers of Physical Intervention (iii) Transforming Community Health and Care. Each potential proposal will be reviewed by an independent innovation panel and assessed based on the clinical need and feasibility to translate the research findings to clinical practice.

It benefits from two expert Co-Investigators:

  • Professor Ralph Sinkus from King’s College London, who has extensive experience in developing imaging technologies associated with MR and US elastography. His expertise will offer the potential to establish material properties e.g. compressive modulus of soft tissues. This is critical if we are to design mechanical devices with interface materials for medical devices, which can match the properties of vulnerable skin.
  • Professor Steve Morgan, from the University of Nottingham, who provides expertise in optical fibre sensors, which can be used to provide a range of biomarkers at the device-skin interface. Sensing elements can either be embedded within the device or incorporated into a separate platform, such as the textile or smart bandage. This offers the potential to detect early signs of damage resulting from prolonged use of medical devices.

MDVSNPLUS will continue to draw expertise and collaboration from our Health Technology partners; Devices for Dignity and WoundTech. In addition, a new named industrial partner (Peacocks Medical Group) will provide a basis to explore our research activities into the orthotics healthcare market.



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