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The University of Southampton
Medical Devices and Vulnerable Skin Network

Incontinence devices

Image of penile clamp
Penile clamp

Clamps for males with persistent urinary incontinence

Although a range of devices for men with urinary incontinence exist, and are often preferred to absorbent pads, some cause soft tissue damage, ulceration, pain and discomfort and this limits their use.

Recent research indicates that the penile clamp are preferred by active males due to its ease of use and lack of leakage. But the clamp is not clinically recommended because if applied with excess force, the fragile soft tissues of the penis can be damaged.

There is scope for design and development using improved materials to match the internal pressures in which the soft tissues will remain viable.

Image of penile clamp
Penile clamp

The network will benefit from an established research team (Fader), funded by Prostate Cancer UK, to develop effective and comfortable penile compression devices. They record the experiences of patients and can conduct tests to evaluate the device impact on soft tissues.

The network will add value by providing pre-clinical simulation of penile clamp designs using the FEA approach, with boundary conditions provided by biomechanical and physiological responses from lab testing.

There are a number of published computational models of the penis to examine various physiological functions and disease processes. As an example, the developed model by Gefen and colleagues (2002, 2007) has been used to examine the internal mechanical state of the internal structures, in the form of local Von Mises stresses, at different levels of blood pressures up to 100mmHg (13.3kPa). In collaboration with Prof Gefen from Tel Aviv, we are simulating the external conditions imposed on the model by the application of a number of selected clamp designs used to manage male incontinence.

The use of realistic boundary conditions will enable the examination of the effects of design features on the internal mechanical state of the tissues and vessels within the penis, with particular reference to threshold levels of tissue tolerance. The model will also be used to predict novel designs of clamps, which demonstrate functional competence and minimise trauma to the vulnerable soft tissues.

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Peyronie's Disease
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Tissue Stresses With Blood Flow
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