Breakthrough In Treatment For Kidney Dialysis Patients
A ground-breaking medical approach which could substantially improve the quality of life for over a million kidney dialysis patients, and bring huge savings to health services around the globe, is one step closer to becoming a reality, thanks to NESTA (the National Endowment of Science, Technology and the Arts) – the organisation that backs UK innovation.
NESTA has invested £95,000 in a university spin-out, Veryan Medical Limited, based at London’s Imperial College, to further develop their ground-breaking approach. The company has been financed to date by NPI Ventures Limited and Imperial College Innovations.
Veryan are dedicated to developing a number of novel medical devices to address urgent, unmet medical needs in the field of vascular disease, the greatest cause of death in the modern world. Their inventions are designed to recreate the natural swirling fluid flow of the body and prevent the development of disease. The first device to be tested in clinical human trials will be the SwirlGraft™ vascular access graft.
Currently, there are over one million people requiring regular connection to a kidney dialysis machine in order to sustain their lives. A majority of these patients have a synthetic vessel, called a vascular access graft, inserted beneath the skin to facilitate regular hypodermic puncturing and to maximize blood-flow to the dialysis machine. However, these grafts typically develop a potentially lethal disease, called ‘intimal hyperplasia’, which can block the downstream junction with the natural vessel in just a few months. This results in most grafts requiring replacement within a year, and many patients require remedial surgery up to three times a year.
SwirlGraft™ has the potential to be the most effective solution to this problem. By ensuring appropriate swirling blood flow through the dialysis graft and into the downstream vein, it stands to greatly reduce the disease by eliminating the stagnant flow regions where intimal hyperplasia proliferates.
The SwirlGraft™ device has been developed by Professor Colin Caro at Imperial College, and comes on the back of research dating back to 1966. Professor Caro is considered to be a world expert on the links between the physics of blood flow and disease. Veryan Medical is headed up by Philip Birch who brings substantial expertise of building and funding early stage healthcare companies.
NESTA’s investment will be used to develop the SwirlGraft™ device from the current experimental proof of concept through to clinical proof of concept. The trials will be based in the Netherlands and will involve 25 dialysis patients fitted with SwirlGraft™ for their vascular access, monitored for a year.
Mark White, NESTA’s Invention and Innovation Director, said: “We are delighted to be investing in a product which meets an urgent need for improved clinical performance, as well as bringing huge benefits to dialysis patients from around the world.”
The most recent press releases about innovation >>>
Die letzten 5 Focus-News des innovations-reports im Überblick:
Plants and algae use the enzyme Rubisco to fix carbon dioxide, removing it from the atmosphere and converting it into biomass. Algae have figured out a way to increase the efficiency of carbon fixation. They gather most of their Rubisco into a ball-shaped microcompartment called the pyrenoid, which they flood with a high local concentration of carbon dioxide. A team of scientists at Princeton University, the Carnegie Institution for Science, Stanford University and the Max Plank Institute of Biochemistry have unravelled the mysteries of how the pyrenoid is assembled. These insights can help to engineer crops that remove more carbon dioxide from the atmosphere while producing more food.
A warming planet
Our brains house extremely complex neuronal circuits, whose detailed structures are still largely unknown. This is especially true for the so-called cerebral cortex of mammals, where among other things vision, thoughts or spatial orientation are being computed. Here the rules by which nerve cells are connected to each other are only partly understood. A team of scientists around Moritz Helmstaedter at the Frankfiurt Max Planck Institute for Brain Research and Helene Schmidt (Humboldt University in Berlin) have now discovered a surprisingly precise nerve cell connectivity pattern in the part of the cerebral cortex that is responsible for orienting the individual animal or human in space.
The researchers report online in Nature (Schmidt et al., 2017. Axonal synapse sorting in medial entorhinal cortex, DOI: 10.1038/nature24005) that synapses in...
New technique promises tunable laser devices
Whispering gallery mode (WGM) resonators are used to make tiny micro-lasers, sensors, switches, routers and other devices. These tiny structures rely on a...
Using ultrafast flashes of laser and x-ray radiation, scientists at the Max Planck Institute of Quantum Optics (Garching, Germany) took snapshots of the briefest electron motion inside a solid material to date. The electron motion lasted only 750 billionths of the billionth of a second before it fainted, setting a new record of human capability to capture ultrafast processes inside solids!
When x-rays shine onto solid materials or large molecules, an electron is pushed away from its original place near the nucleus of the atom, leaving a hole...
For the first time, physicists have successfully imaged spiral magnetic ordering in a multiferroic material. These materials are considered highly promising candidates for future data storage media. The researchers were able to prove their findings using unique quantum sensors that were developed at Basel University and that can analyze electromagnetic fields on the nanometer scale. The results – obtained by scientists from the University of Basel’s Department of Physics, the Swiss Nanoscience Institute, the University of Montpellier and several laboratories from University Paris-Saclay – were recently published in the journal Nature.
Multiferroics are materials that simultaneously react to electric and magnetic fields. These two properties are rarely found together, and their combined...