A multi-disciplinary team of doctors, biomedical engineers and medical device experts has been awarded a six-figure grant from the Medical Research Council’s Confidence in Concept (CiC) scheme to develop a product addressing high failure rates of the world’s most widely used invasive medical device – the intravenous cannula.

IV cannulas are the mainstay of clinical medicine enabling the rapid administration of drugs, fluid or blood products to patients. Cannula failure rates, which can exceed 50%, are primarily caused by inadequate securement. Failures result in delays to potentially lifesaving treatment while consuming clinical time and resources on unnecessary recannulation.

International impact

The joint venture between the University of Edinburgh, NHS Lothian and Heriot-Watt University will seek to address what is a common problem for both UK and international health systems. The project is supported by Edinburgh Innovations and Scottish Health Innovations, which supports innovation across NHS Scotland.

Dr Ashton Barnett-Vanes MBBS PhD, Honorary Clinical Fellow at the University of Edinburgh, NHS Lothian doctor and Principal Investigator on the project, said: “By drawing on the clinical, engineering and commercial strengths of the participating institutions this funding will enable the team to rapidly develop and test a series of prototype devices that could yield significant impact on patient care while reducing hospital spend.”

From science to product

Dr Andrew McBride PhD, Translator in Residence and CiC Manager at the University of Edinburgh, said: “I am delighted that this highly innovative project has secured CiC funding. The interdisciplinary team are proposing a science-based solution which has the potential to positively impact on future patient care and this fits squarely with the MRC CiC mission to drive the translation of scientific research into impactful healthcare products and services.”

Research post

The project is recruiting a research associate in product design and testing to start in autumn 2019.


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