Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

Highly Endowed Research Project for Developing an Artificial Sphincter

18.04.2013
The lack of control over one’s own bowel movements can severely affect an individual’s quality of life.

Researchers at the University of Basel want to develop an adaptive implant that would be able to contract and relax like a natural muscle. The national research initiative Nano-Tera.ch will provide CHF 2.2 million to support the interdisciplinary research and development of the implant.

Incontinence is a double burden for those afflicted: the psychological strain is high, and many are reticent to speak about it. Although mild cases can be treated with medication, in severe cases doctors must attempt to repair the sphincter or implant an artificial one.

The hydraulic sphincter implants that are currently available have major disadvantages. They exert significant and above all permanent pressure on the tissue, which can lead to damage of the anus. Further, they are often complicated to use, especially for older patients.

Given these problems, researchers led by Professor Bert Müller of the University of Basel’s Biomaterials Science Center, in cooperation with associated partners, would like to develop an implant that would contract and relax like a natural muscle. Müller explains, “An intelligent sphincter would automatically increase the pressure when the patient coughs.”

The researchers rely on ten thousand nanometer-thin plastic films that become warped when exposed to a voltage. The technology already exists in principle, but miniaturization is needed to apply them in battery operated implants that can last for several years.

BROAD CONSORTIUM OF RESEARCH AND INDUSTRY

The components of the implant that convert electric signals into mechanical motion are to be designed and built based on electroactive polymers at the University of Basel. The necessary performance electronics will be developed by the Swiss Federal Laboratories for Materials Science and Technology (EMPA, Eidgenössische Materialprüfungs- und Forschungsanstalt). Clinicians from Bern and Schaffhausen will specify the required standards for the implant, and the University of Bern will conduct the testing.

The project will be led by Professor Müller, who is the Thomas Straumann Professor of Materials Science in Medicine at the University of Basel. Other partners include the Medical Faculty of the University of Bern, Inselspital Bern, EMPA, and the hospitals of Schaffhausen. Together with their own funding of CHF 4.1 million the budget includes CHF 6.3 million for four years. Myopowers SA, which already has experience with artificial sphincters for the treatment of urinary incontinence, has provided support in-kind.

NANO-TERA.CH: HEALTH, HUMAN SECURITY, AND ENVIRONMENT IN FOCUS

The national research initiative Nano-tera.ch would like to expand the frontiers of engineering and information technology while also retaining a focus on health, human security, and the environment. Nano-tera.ch is supported by the Swiss National Funds and the Swiss University Conference. In 2011 and 2012, the initiative awarded over CHF 90 million to eighteen projects, of which CHF 42 million came from Nano-tera.ch and CHF 51 million came from project partners.

FURTHER INFORMATION

Prof. Dr. Bert Müller, Thomas Straumann Professor of Materials Science in Medicine, Biomaterials Science Center of the University of Basel, Tel. +41 61 265 96 60, E-mail: bert.mueller@unibas.ch
Weitere Informationen:
http://ow.ly/kb4OX

Anne Zimmermann | Universität Basel
Further information:
http://www.unibas.ch

More articles from Interdisciplinary Research:

nachricht Decoding the regulation of cell survival - A major step towards preventing neurons from dying
04.10.2018 | DFG-Forschungszentrum für Regenerative Therapien TU Dresden

nachricht New Cluster of Excellence “Centre for Tactile Internet with Human-in-the-Loop” (CeTI)
28.09.2018 | Technische Universität Dresden

All articles from Interdisciplinary Research >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

Die letzten 5 Focus-News des innovations-reports im Überblick:

Im Focus: UNH scientists help provide first-ever views of elusive energy explosion

Researchers at the University of New Hampshire have captured a difficult-to-view singular event involving "magnetic reconnection"--the process by which sparse particles and energy around Earth collide producing a quick but mighty explosion--in the Earth's magnetotail, the magnetic environment that trails behind the planet.

Magnetic reconnection has remained a bit of a mystery to scientists. They know it exists and have documented the effects that the energy explosions can...

Im Focus: A Chip with Blood Vessels

Biochips have been developed at TU Wien (Vienna), on which tissue can be produced and examined. This allows supplying the tissue with different substances in a very controlled way.

Cultivating human cells in the Petri dish is not a big challenge today. Producing artificial tissue, however, permeated by fine blood vessels, is a much more...

Im Focus: A Leap Into Quantum Technology

Faster and secure data communication: This is the goal of a new joint project involving physicists from the University of Würzburg. The German Federal Ministry of Education and Research funds the project with 14.8 million euro.

In our digital world data security and secure communication are becoming more and more important. Quantum communication is a promising approach to achieve...

Im Focus: Research icebreaker Polarstern begins the Antarctic season

What does it look like below the ice shelf of the calved massive iceberg A68?

On Saturday, 10 November 2018, the research icebreaker Polarstern will leave its homeport of Bremerhaven, bound for Cape Town, South Africa.

Im Focus: Penn engineers develop ultrathin, ultralight 'nanocardboard'

When choosing materials to make something, trade-offs need to be made between a host of properties, such as thickness, stiffness and weight. Depending on the application in question, finding just the right balance is the difference between success and failure

Now, a team of Penn Engineers has demonstrated a new material they call "nanocardboard," an ultrathin equivalent of corrugated paper cardboard. A square...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

VideoLinks
Industry & Economy
Event News

“3rd Conference on Laser Polishing – LaP 2018” Attracts International Experts and Users

09.11.2018 | Event News

On the brain’s ability to find the right direction

06.11.2018 | Event News

European Space Talks: Weltraumschrott – eine Gefahr für die Gesellschaft?

23.10.2018 | Event News

 
Latest News

Purdue cancer identity technology makes it easier to find a tumor's 'address'

16.11.2018 | Health and Medicine

Good preparation is half the digestion

16.11.2018 | Life Sciences

Microscope measures muscle weakness

16.11.2018 | Life Sciences

VideoLinks
Science & Research
Overview of more VideoLinks >>>