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Nano Research...
2006 Nano Onderzoek



Swansea partnership pioneers life-saving artificial lung


Blood clotting measurements involving custom-designed biomimetic surfaces for Haemair devices in the EPSRC/NHS Haemorheology Laboratory at Swansea University.


A 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 year.

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 Nanotechnology Centre.

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 encouraging.

Diagram of the next-generation Haemair device.

Professor Williams said: "Worldwide, approximately four million people die every year of Acute Respiratory Infection (ARI). If respiration could be supported without lungs for a few weeks, many infections would recover."

"In the medium term, the device being developed at Swansea offers a bridge to transplant, meaning that people face the operation fitter and with a greatly increased chance of survival. In the longer term, the device offers an alternative to transplantation, giving hope to sufferers from emphysema and cystic fibrosis."

Professor Bill Johns, Managing Director of Haemair Ltd, began the initiative to develop an artificial lung following the progressive lung disease, Cystic Fibrosis, suffered by his eldest son Graham, which eventually caused his early death at the age of 32.

Professor Johns said: "We believe that we have put together a team that will lead the world in this exciting technology. Money is important for any viable business, but for us, it is a means, not an end.  We are all motivated by the desire to save lives."

"If we can save the life of just one person, such as my son Graham, the whole enterprise will be worthwhile.  If we make a million pounds, it will merely be a bonus."

This story has been adapted from a news release -
Diese Meldung basiert auf einer Pressemitteilung -
Deze tekst is gebaseerd op een nieuwsbericht -

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