We are pleased to announce that three early stage research projects have been granted IMPRESSplus funding through our Next Generation Technologies for Incontinence Funding Call.
Each project has been awarded £50,000. The six month studies will complete by September 2017 and will present their findings at the IMECHE Inontinence: The Engineering Challenge in London in November 2017. A similar Funding Call will open in Summer 2017.
Better Bladders: University of York
Better Bladders is a study investigating new treatments for bladder disease. It will build on previous work in which researchers used a tissue engineering approach to investigate changes to the bladder lining that occur in bladder disease in children. The same research also identified a drug that seems promising in terms of being able to reverse these changes. Funding from IMPRESS will allow the work to move from laboratory studies to working directly with clinical samples and enable the researchers to develop the work sufficiently to apply for further funding to translate their work into a commercially-available drug treatment.
Faecal Pellet Sensor: University of Brighton
Currently no technologies exist that can fully understand how faecal matter within the rectum directs relaxation of the internal anal sphincter muscle leading to coordinated defaecation. This study will develop a sensor shaped like a faecal pellet that can simultaneously monitor muscle tone and signalling during the process of defaecation. The novelty of this device is that it can sense chemical signalling in the organ in addition to muscle contraction and therefore goes beyond current diagnostic techniques such as manometry. It is also a less invasive procedure. This device has the potential to enable particular types of incontinence to be sub-classified for more personalised treatment.
Catheter Coating: Queen’s University Belfast
Indwelling urinary catheters become repeatedly blocked in up to 50% of long-term catheterised patients leading to urinary retention, pain and an increased risk of infection and death. Blockages result from crystals forming in the urine which attach to the surface of the catheter. The novelty of this pharmacological study is that by using compounds to prevent encrustation, it has the potential to create the first self-regulating and blockage-resistant coating system for catheters.