Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

Students’ product could reduce spread of infections like MRSA

15.05.2007
A product designed by two entrepreneurial medical graduates could soon be helping to reduce the spread of hospital-acquired infections such as MRSA.

The pair have designed a disposable tourniquet which they believe will pose no infection risk and which they hope will provide a cheap, comfortable alternative to the tourniquets currently in use. They estimate that it will cost the same to manufacture as a rubber glove, which is frequently used as a make-shift tourniquet. They developed the product whilst studying at Imperial College London.

Tourniquets are essential in helping medical staff find a vein when they are taking blood samples or inserting a drip. They are wrapped around limbs and tightened, restricting blood flow so that the veins swell and become more visible.

The designers of the new product suggest that most of the tourniquets currently in use pose an infection risk because they are reusable and could therefore carry infective organisms from patient to patient. Disposable alternatives do exist but the pair believes these are largely expensive and lack ease of use. For expediency, many medical professionals currently use a rubber glove, but these are often uncomfortable and can cause problems such as latex allergies or trauma to the skin. Around 40 million procedures using a tourniquet are performed each year in the NHS alone.

The tourniquet invented by the Imperial students, which is named Tournistrip (TM), is a long band made of a form of plasticized paper with similar dimensions to a watch strap. It is fastened using a quick seal, quick release sticking mechanism and its origins are based on wrist bands used for security at large events such as concerts. This means that the team has been able to use existing production techniques for such bands to keep costs low.

Ryan Kerstein, one of the inventors of the device, who qualified as a doctor from Imperial College in 2006 said: "Throughout our training there was always a lot of emphasis on infection control and good clinical technique. Watching some of our colleagues in the hospital environment it struck us that even though their technique was stringent they were limited by the re-usable equipment available.”

Ryan's co-inventor Christian Fellowes, also a recently qualified doctor from Imperial, added: "We came up with the idea when on the wards, as medical students, we saw tourniquets being transferred from patient to patient, which we felt was unacceptable. The only available alternative was a rubber glove, which seemed unprofessional and uncomfortable. Looking into the problem, we realised there were no financially viable alternatives that had the benefits of re-usable tourniquets, without the drawbacks of the available disposable ones. We developed a product that is easy and comfortable for patients, as it does not pinch, is easy to fasten and release, and is cheap and brandable."

The graduates developed their idea after carrying out a small study on the infective organisms present in reusable tourniquets, with the help of Dr Berge Azadian from Imperial’s Division of Investigative Sciences. In an examination of 52 reusable tourniquets, they found that 30 grew methicillin-sensitive Staphylococcus aureus (MSSA) and three grew methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA).

The students were finalists in the Imperial Business Plan Competition in 2005 and won the Imperial College Innovation Competition in 2004.

The team have a patent pending on their design and prototypes of the tourniquet have been successfully tested in various London teaching hospitals. Imperial Innovations, the technology commercialisation company based at Imperial College London, is assisting the team in bringing their product to market. The most likely route for this is by a licence with a manufacturer of hospital supplies.

Laura Gallagher | alfa
Further information:
http://www.imperial.ac.uk
http://www.imperialinnovations.co.uk

More articles from Health and Medicine:

nachricht Study tracks inner workings of the brain with new biosensor
16.08.2018 | Rheinische Friedrich-Wilhelms-Universität Bonn

nachricht Foods of the future
15.08.2018 | Georg-August-Universität Göttingen

All articles from Health and Medicine >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

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

Im Focus: Color effects from transparent 3D-printed nanostructures

New design tool automatically creates nanostructure 3D-print templates for user-given colors
Scientists present work at prestigious SIGGRAPH conference

Most of the objects we see are colored by pigments, but using pigments has disadvantages: such colors can fade, industrial pigments are often toxic, and...

Im Focus: Unraveling the nature of 'whistlers' from space in the lab

A new study sheds light on how ultralow frequency radio waves and plasmas interact

Scientists at the University of California, Los Angeles present new research on a curious cosmic phenomenon known as "whistlers" -- very low frequency packets...

Im Focus: New interactive machine learning tool makes car designs more aerodynamic

Scientists develop first tool to use machine learning methods to compute flow around interactively designable 3D objects. Tool will be presented at this year’s prestigious SIGGRAPH conference.

When engineers or designers want to test the aerodynamic properties of the newly designed shape of a car, airplane, or other object, they would normally model...

Im Focus: Robots as 'pump attendants': TU Graz develops robot-controlled rapid charging system for e-vehicles

Researchers from TU Graz and their industry partners have unveiled a world first: the prototype of a robot-controlled, high-speed combined charging system (CCS) for electric vehicles that enables series charging of cars in various parking positions.

Global demand for electric vehicles is forecast to rise sharply: by 2025, the number of new vehicle registrations is expected to reach 25 million per year....

Im Focus: The “TRiC” to folding actin

Proteins must be folded correctly to fulfill their molecular functions in cells. Molecular assistants called chaperones help proteins exploit their inbuilt folding potential and reach the correct three-dimensional structure. Researchers at the Max Planck Institute of Biochemistry (MPIB) have demonstrated that actin, the most abundant protein in higher developed cells, does not have the inbuilt potential to fold and instead requires special assistance to fold into its active state. The chaperone TRiC uses a previously undescribed mechanism to perform actin folding. The study was recently published in the journal Cell.

Actin is the most abundant protein in highly developed cells and has diverse functions in processes like cell stabilization, cell division and muscle...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

VideoLinks
Industry & Economy
Event News

LaserForum 2018 deals with 3D production of components

17.08.2018 | Event News

Within reach of the Universe

08.08.2018 | Event News

A journey through the history of microscopy – new exhibition opens at the MDC

27.07.2018 | Event News

 
Latest News

Smallest transistor worldwide switches current with a single atom in solid electrolyte

17.08.2018 | Physics and Astronomy

Robots as Tools and Partners in Rehabilitation

17.08.2018 | Information Technology

Climate Impact Research in Hannover: Small Plants against Large Waves

17.08.2018 | Life Sciences

VideoLinks
Science & Research
Overview of more VideoLinks >>>