The project will be focused on the development of an electronic test system that can rapidly detect peritonitis in vulnerable patients with kidney or liver failure and identify the effective antibiotic for its treatment.
Patients with advanced kidney disease, who are reliant on peritoneal dialysis (PD), as well as advanced liver disease patients, with liver cirrhosis, are both at risk of life-threatening infection in the abdomen, referred to as ‘peritonitis’. This develops quickly, and typically requires hospital admission.
The choice of antibiotic therapy has to be made by doctors ‘blind’, based on an educated guess. After around 4 days, antibiotic susceptibility information arrives from the hospital’s centralised microbiology laboratories. Frequently the choice of antibiotics needs to be modified, however by then the infection may have progressed appreciably, in many cases fatally, and most patients are extremely ill. Managing these patients is very expensive for health-care providers, with this exacerbated as PD patients must permanently switch to more expensive haemodialysis.
There is an urgent need for doctors managing these critically-ill patients to rapidly and reliably obtain antibiotic sensitivity information. The consortium has a significant track record in the area and has been awarded the Smart Grant by Innovate UK to develop the system.
MicroBioSensor, the lead partner, is a company developing products miniaturising and speeding up conventional high-quality hospital microbiology tests. These are made available in a simple, and inexpensive form for use at the bedside with vulnerable patient groups. They have previously developed a device (QuickCheck) to screen for peritonitis in the homes of PD patients, where the therapy is normally carried out.
Datalink Electronics is an award-winning, ISO13485 accredited, contract electronic product design and manufacturing company, with an extensive track record in a variety of industries in particular medical devices, rail, oil & gas, and scientific instrumentation. They work closely with the leading-edge companies, universities and start-ups in order to turn state-of-the-art technology and research into commercial products. They provide a flexible and comprehensive service offering, including feasibility study, design, development, prototyping, certification support and full-scale production.
Smallfry is a high-end strategy led, Industrial Design and Engineering consultancy. They have a Human Centred design philosophy which delivers incredible results, especially when focused on medical devices. Their scope of work covers the complete concept–to–commercialisation process. Operating globally, they offer research, innovation strategy, marketing, industrial design, engineering, prototyping, production ramp-up and 50 years of experience to deliver market-leading products and services across the consumer, industrial, FMCG and medical sectors.
Datalink Electronics have been a member of Medilink for 13 years and one of the select group of companies to become a Medilink EM Patron. Smallfry Industrial Design have also been a member of Medilink EM for 18 months. Medilink EM is the life science industry association for the East Midlands, which helps life science companies in its area to develop and grow.
With a network of 4,000 contacts comprising universities, life science businesses and the NHS, Medilink EM can offer its members exclusive benefits.
Image Courtesy of Microbiosensor.