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Thursday
Mar142019

Dr Hanna Burton at STEM for Britain

Dr Hanna Burton, Design Research Engineer in Surgical & Prosthetic Design, was shortlisted from hundreds of applicants to present her work as part of STEM for Britain. This annual competition encourages, supports and promotes Britain's early-stage and early-career research scientists, engineers, technologists and mathematicians who are an essential part of continuing progress in and development of UK research.

Hanna’s poster presentation showed how complex design can be used to shorten surgery time, improve surgical accuracy and simplify the treatment of complex cases. Surgical intervention has associated complications, which increase with procedure complexity. For nearly two decades, 3D physical models of patient anatomy produced from medical scan data have been used to assist in the crude process of shaping metal by hand to create an implant to fill a defect. However, the process of bending metal to create an implant is restrictive, and complex cases are often left untreated.

The solution lays in advanced design engineering technologies, such as metal additive manufacture (commonly known as 3d printing), which offer greater precision and design freedom. When used as part of an optimised and controlled process, intricate computer-aided plans can be translated into patient specific implants and guides. These physically guide the surgeon, ensuring maximum precision and reduced risk.

The relative infancy of these techniques and vast range of new design possibilities mean that there is still significant amounts of research required. Hanna is using her mechanical engineering knowledge to develop design controls that further increase safety whilst harnessing the creative potential of these new technologies. This is essential to meet rigorous quality management and regulatory standards.

The Surgical & Prosthetic Design team are based in PDR at Cardiff Metropolitan University in Wales. The team works closely with NHS Wales and with leading precision engineering partners to deliver services to the UK NHS and beyond. Through rigorous research and development, the team are committed to improving patient outcomes and healthcare efficiency.

 

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For further details on STEM for Britain, visit http://www.setforbritain.org.uk/index.asp

For further details on the Surgical & Prosthetic Design team, visit http://pdronline.co.uk/surgical-and-prosthetic-design

Wednesday
Mar132019

UK-India Collaboration

A 2018-2020 project, developed by Dr Dominic Eggbeer and Prof. Divya Mehrotra in collaboration with Peter Evans, Dr Katie Beverley and other colleagues, will address the need for better community resilience, and local supply chains in healthcare. This will be illustrated by collaboratively developing new design methods for devices used to correct facial deformity.

The project is funded by the UK India Education Research Initiative. It will bring together expertise in PDR, Morriston Hospital and King George's Medical University. It builds on existing relationships and will develop research necessary for long-term collaborations between researchers, industry partners and community actors in the UK and India.

The objectives are to:

  • Collaboratively-develop regionally-appropriate methods that will enable the provision of custom made devices used to correct facial deformity to a greater number of people in India, and to test the feasibility of the new approach.

  • Identify and prioritise new collaborative research projects to overcome the challenges identified.

  • Develop community, training and industry partnerships that will help to implement the research.

We will achieve these objectives through a series of exchange visits, outreach programmes and project challenges during 2018 and 2019. 

Further details on the project and the first two visits can be found at www.comeddi.com

Monday
Jan212019

Designing for User & Technical Needs

 

Dr Dominic Eggbeer will be talking at the 2019 FortisNet meeting at Southampton University on the 24th Jan. The presentation will focus on the importance of incorporating user and technical needs into the design of patient specific implants.

Collaboration between design engineers and medical specialists is crucial to create safe and effective implant designs. CARTIS have been at the forefront of innovations. Since 2006, the collaboration has pioneered the application of innovative design technologies in surgery and produced an extensive portfolio of research outputs. CARTIS is also committed to improving wider uptake of state-of-the-art methods, and are proud to work internationally on the development of workshops and conferences.  

Dominic will present to a broad audience from the research sector, industry, medicine and wider public.

Find out more about FortisNet here.

Monday
Dec102018

Enabling equitable access to health – South Africa Workshop Report

A group of esteemed researchers, early career researchers and practitioners joined forces for a four day workshop, ENABLING EQUITABLE ACCESS TO HEALTH: EMBRACING NEW DESIGN TECHNOLOGIES, at the Central University of Technology, Bloemfontein. Focus was on patient specific devices such as surgical implants, assistive technology, prosthetics and orthotics.

The workshop provided cross-disciplinary networking and development opportunities for early career researchers in the rapidly evolving field of patient specific healthcare devices. Experts from South Africa were joined with peers from the UK, all of whom had an interest in using advanced design engineering methods to increase the number of people who can be treated efficiently.

Groups of specialist expertise were formed mixing the UK and South African participants. Structured sessions, assisted by South African and UK Mentors, helped the participants to identify the overarching challenges and sub-challenges that currently prevent technologies from being used more routinely and efficiently. These structured sessions were complemented with visits to local clinics and a tour of the Centre for Rapid Prototyping and Manufacture (CRPM), which is based on the Central University of Technology campus. The Mentors, Prof. Du Plessis (Stellenbosch University), Prof. Holt (Cardiff University in the UK) and Mr Booysen (CRPM) also inspired the participants, providing an insight into career development opportunities, their fields of work and how they collaborate widely to produce high impact work.

Later days of the workshop were used to develop research proposals, inspired by the previous work. Specific themes around teaching/education, the use of over-the-internet software to facilitate international best-practice collaborating, metallurgy/engineering, rehabilitation engineering, shape optimisation and more were formed. The bones of projects were developed by first thinking about how the they would address the need for improved access to healthcare. The groups identified that issues such as cost, access to technology, the need for high quality standards that meet local needs, and technical engineering limitations could all be addressed through expertise within the collaborators.

An elevator pitch aimed to grab the attention of potential funders provided the final wrap up for the workshop. These were recorded to act as a stimulus to maintain momentum and as a reference to improve upon as the projects are detailed. We look forwards to taking these projects on and identifying additional partners with a shared interest.

This work was supported by a Newton Fund Researcher Links grant, ID 2017-RLWK8-10536, under the UK-South Africa Newton Fund. The grant is funded by the UK Department of Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy (BEIS) and delivered by the British Council. For further information, please visit www.newtonfund.ac.uk. The National Research Foundation in South Africa have also supported this workshop.

The workshop was developed between Dr Dominic Eggbeer, Head of Surgical & Prosthetic Design at PDR, Cardiff Metropolitan University, and Dr JG van der Walt, Senior Researcher, Department of Mechanical and Mechatronics Engineering, Faculty of Engineering and Information Technology, CUT. The South African host researcher for the initiative was Prof Igor Yadroitsev, CUT.

Further details about the workshop and the funders can be found here https://www.pdr-crpm-workshop.com/

Monday
Nov262018

WORKSHOP: ENABLING EQUITABLE ACCESS TO HEALTH

In countries where people have to travel long distances to receive medical care, where resources are stretched and where the most efficient solutions are sought, advanced design and fabrication technologies have an important role to play. However, numerous barriers reduce wider uptake of the latest accuracy and efficiency improving methods. 

Dr Dominic Eggbeer has teamed up with Prof. Yadroitsau and colleagues from the Central University of Technology (CUT) in Free State, South Africa on a mission to develop research projects that provide equitable access to state-of-the-art healthcare.

Through a four-day workshop with around forty participants, we will explore how 3d design and digital technologies can be used to improve access to state-of-the-art healthcare services in South Africa. Focus is on patient specific devices such as surgical implants, assistive technology, prosthetics and orthotics. We will:​

  • Provide cross-disciplinary networking and development opportunities for early career researchers in the field of patient specific devices.
  • Define research questions that aim to improve outcomes for those requiring patient specific medical devices.
  • Stimulate the development of research projects between participants in the UK and SA.
  • Share best practice in the production of patient specific devices between researchers and clinicians in the UK and SA.

Dominic will be joined by thirteen early career researchers from the UK, a further sixteen from South Africa and industry representatives. This group will be complemented by four mentors, two from the UK and two from South Africa, who will provide career guidance and inspiration.

The workshop will be held from the 3rd-9th Dec. 2018. 

It is supported by the Newton Fund Researcher Links grant, ID 2017-RLWK8-10536, under the UK-South Africa Newton Fund.

The grant is funded by the UK Department of Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy (BEIS) and delivered by the British Council. For further information, please visit www.newtonfund.ac.uk.

The National Research Foundation in S Africa have also supported this workshop.

Visit the project website here to keep up to date.