Cranfield University to develop drug delivery monitor for critical care

23 September 2008

Cranfield University and Sphere Medical Holding PLC are to receive an investment of £322,000 from the UK Technology Strategy Board to develop a novel drug sensor which will improve the care of critically ill patients by ‘personalising’ their medication.

Each patient’s unique combination of characteristics such as weight, age and gender will affect how drugs perform therapeutically in the body. Therefore it is important that clinicians have the appropriate tools to customise a patient’s medication and achieve optimum uptake.

To meet this need, the industrial-academic team will spend the next few years developing a disposable sensor that can measure drug concentration, detect changes as they happen and provide early detection of any faults in the drug-delivery system.

A prototype of Sphere’s Proxima system integrated into an
A prototype of Sphere’s Proxima system integrated into an
arterial line. The Proxima system will form the platform
onto which the new drug sensor will be integrated.

Dr Kal Karim, Lecturer in Organic and Computational Chemistry, Cranfield Health, said: “We hope that the device will result in new treatment regimes in intensive care medicine, improve therapy, save lives and significantly reduce the cost of care.

“We will be looking to employ a dedicated researcher on this project, who will use Cranfield’s Molecular Imprinting Polymer (MIP) technology to detect small drug molecules. This will then be combined with Sphere Medical’s sensors into a fully functional prototype.

“We already have a long-standing relationship with Sphere and are pleased to be working with them to develop this idea. The Technology Strategy Board have also given us fantastic support to pursue this goal, and I am looking forward to developing a product that has the potential to both improve the economics of critical care and benefit millions of people worldwide.”

The project has been made possible through the Technology Strategy Board’s Technologies for Health competition and is due to be completed in May 2011.

See also: UK technology board invests £15m in medical device and telecare R&D

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