Research Project Shortlisted for the MediLink Yorkshire Business Awards 2016

One of our industry-linked Surgical Technologies research projects, aiming to help surgeons enhance laparoscopic (keyhole) surgery, has been shortlisted for the Medilink Award 2016.

The competition celebrates "excellence in the medical technology and healthcare sectors" and our research team from Leeds have worked closely with our industry partners Pd-m (medical product design specialists) and Sheffield Precision Medical (medical device manufacturers) over a number of years on the project. Our aim is to develop a clinically and commercially viable system, the IAP (Intra-Abdominal Platform) to enhance laparoscopic surgery through improved soft-tissue retraction. This has spanned the research process, from early proof-of-concept work, through to design for manufacture, optimisation and evaluation.

The project started through collaboration with surgeons where we identified a need to increase the availability and safety of laparoscopic surgery for the benefit of NHS patients. In particular, current laparoscopic surgery techniques are hindered by the lack of devices to help the laparoscopic surgeon, and in particular a system to aid retraction of tissues within the abdominal cavity to ensure clear and safe exposure of the operative field. The need to accelerate the uptake of laparoscopic surgery is crucial – penetration levels had only reached 40% in 2013 despite well-documented clinical and patient benefits, and endorsement by UK National Bodies, such as NICE.

The IAP system aims to address this clinical need by providing the surgeon with a stable platform for retraction of soft-tissues. A patented system has been developed to introduce a collasible instrument into the abdominal cavity, then expand and lock it into place, providing a platform for tissue retraction using a simple tissue clipping system. The system is initially targeted at complex procedures including surgery for colorectal cancer. The project has been made possible through extensive use of cutting-edge rapid-prototyping techniques (at the EPSRC Robotics Facility) to produce and refine functional prototypes and evaluate them in clinical contexts.

For further information, contact Dr Pete Culmer who leads the project

Additional links
Sheffield Precision Medical 
Medilink UK

We would like to invite you to join us at the Medilink Healthcare Business Awards 2016, held in association with Insider.