Cardiff Metropolitan University secures grant to design sterilising device for venous access ports

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Taslima Begum
Taslima Begum

Cardiff Metropolitan University has successfully secured funding to support an interdisciplinary collaboration arising from the Welsh Crucible programme that looks at the design and development of an innovative sterilising device for venous access ports (VAPs).

The interdisciplinary research is a collaboration between Cardiff and Vale University Health Boards All Wales Adult Cystic Fibrosis Centre, Cardiff Metropolitan University’s PDR (the Cardiff Met-based International Centre for Design & Research), University of South Wales’ Faculties of Business and Society and Computing, Engineering and Science, Cardiff University’s School of Dentistry, and Public Health Wales’ Department of Microbiology.

The project team’s aim is to develop a sterilising device to reduce infections in VAPs for patients who require long-term and repeated intravenous treatment.

One major issue with the existing device is the build-up of bacteria and fungus within the port, which can lead to infections, patient morbidity and require surgical removal of the device which can cause pain and discomfort for the patient. Antibiotic treatment is not an effective solution and around 5% of all VAPs fail due to infection.

To overcome this issue, the project team aim to develop an innovative prototype device to prevent and clear infections in VAPs. The success of this project could mean better care for patients who use venous access ports and could potentially save the health care system significant sums of money.

Speaking about the project and grant award, Taslima Begum, in her roles as senior lecturer in Computing at Cardiff Met and Researcher in User-centred Design at PDR, said, “Our aim is to utilise user-centred and co-design methods to develop a novel solution that will help cut down infections in individuals who use venous access ports and as a result, improve the patient’s quality-of-life through better treatment outcomes. It is a fantastic project and I am looking forward to collaborating with some exceptional individuals, organisations and institutions on it.”

Jamie Duckers, principal investigator for the project and consultant in CF and General Medicine at the Cystic Fibrosis Centre, said: “We are pleased to have been awarded funding for the venous access port project. The project considers an issue that many people do not know about but can affect many lives. The outcome of the project could be extremely beneficial to both VAPs users and to the medical industry.”

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