Preserving Dignity in Catheterized Patients
Supervisor: Dr Alberto Marzo

Urinary catheters are an essential part of modern medical care. They are used to relieve anatomic or physiologic obstructions, to provide a dry environment to incontinent patients, and to measure urinary output in severely ill patients. The most commonly used design, the Foley catheter, was developed over 80 years ago, and has changed little since then. 

Current designs focus on clinical efficiency rather than patient needs, resulting in bigger-than-necessary catheter tubing to connect the indwelling part of the catheter to the urinary bag where urine is collected. This results in visible connections that often have a deep impact on patients' dignity and self-esteem.

Focusing on tube geometry, and making use of analytical and computational techniques (including CFD and FEA techniques), this project will aim to indentify a more efficient emptying solution for improved invisibility of the design, while satisfying the standards required by industry.

The project will offer the unique opportunity to use state-of-the-art engineering tools to work on a real unmet need in healthcare. Previous knowledge of the clinical subject area is not required, although candidates should demonstrate an interest in learning those clinical aspects that are relevant to the development of the models.

This project will use the methodologies and tools developed within the Virtual Physiological Human initiative, and will be supported by the expertise available within the INSIGNEO institute.

Collaboration: Medical Device Industry, Consultant Urologists at Sheffield Teaching Hospitals NHS Trust and Devices for Dignity (NHS).
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