unique project involving Swansea University, the
Swansea National Health Service (NHS) Trust and Swansea-based
Haemair Ltd is pioneering the development of an artificial
lung, which has the potential to transform the lives
of millions of people around the world.
The device, a blood/air mass exchanger, integrates
with the body's respiratory system and is designed
to breathe for conscious, mobile patients whose lungs
are damaged or diseased.
As a portable device, it will allow patients to
recover outside Intensive Care Units and offers them
a better quality of life. It will also lead to substantial
cost savings; it is estimated that the device could
save the NHS hundreds of millions of pounds each
The project is led by Swansea University's Professor
Rhodri Williams, through the acclaimed Engineering
and Physical Sciences Research Council (EPSRC) funded
Complex Fluids and Complex Flows Portfolio Partnership.
In turn, the Partnership is exploiting growing expertise
in NanoMedicine at the University's Multidisciplinary
Lungs work by exchanging oxygen into, and carbon
dioxide out of, the blood stream. As blood has a
tendency to clot on contact with artificial surfaces,
the project team includes expertise in clinical research
in blood clotting, based at the NHS Haemorheology
Laboratory in Morriston Hospital.
Haemair Ltd, based at the Technium Digital at the
University, is working with the team to provide innovative
solutions to ensure that production of the new device
is feasible, cost-effective and commercially practicable.
Professor Rhodri Williams and Dr Adrian Evans, of
the Swansea NHS Haemorheology Laboratory, have presented
the research to MPs at a House of Commons event highlighting
the application of new Science and Technology.
Although a finished product is still some years
away, the results of the research to date have been