for the bio-sciences sector
Science and technology are the main drivers of industrial, economic and social development. To remain competitive in the global economy, we understand the importance of constantly striving to accelerate our innovation process. Oxford Optronix’ success stems from the diverse applications of its high quality instrumentation, which is underpinned by a programme of continuous research and development. We are particularly proud of our close and long-established academic links with a number of Universities and Research Institutes across the globe with whom we continue to collaborate on a range of exciting R&D projects.
Oxford Optronix has been awarded a substantial grant from The Health Innovation Challenge Fund (a parallel funding partnership between the Wellcome Trust and the Department of Health) to fund clinical trials for a unique tissue oxygen monitoring device for detecting impending shock states and guiding therapy in the critically ill patient and those at high-risk.
Complications frequently occur following trauma, infection and major surgery. This can lead to failure of organs (e.g. lung, kidney, gut) necessitating admission to intensive care for organ support. Mortality rates are high and long-term disability common in survivors. Studies already show how early resuscitation of the circulation in these patients can considerably improve outcomes. Although it is possible to gauge how much blood the heart is pumping to the tissues (cardiac output) better bedside monitors are needed to assess if the cardiac output is actually adequate for perfusing the organs. Patients who are unwell or undergoing major surgery routinely have a bladder catheter placed to drain urine. Dr Andy Obeid CEO of Oxford Optronix Ltd, together with Professor Mervyn Singer at University College London, plan to use this catheter to co-insert a small, flexible fibre-optic based sensor to continuously monitor oxygen levels within the bladder wall. This device will indicate whether or not the local blood supply transporting oxygen to the bladder is indeed adequate and whether oxygen measurements from the bladder reflect the situation in other parts of the body. Their aim is to assess whether this new technology provides an easy and readily applicable solution to monitoring tissue health during acute injury. This will pave the way for a further clinical investigation in which the circulation is optimised using the device to see if a reduction in post-trauma complications can be achieved.
Working with researchers at Oxford University led by Dr Andrew Farmery, Professor Clive Hahn and Dr Rongsheng Chen, Oxford Optronix Ltd is co-developing a novel rapid response intravascular fibre optic oxygen tension sensor to detect Cyclical Atelectasis and direct ventilator therapy in Acute Respiratory Distress Syndrome (ARDS). This work is funded by a Wellcome Trust Translation Award and support from the EPSRC.
In the ‘sick lung’ which afflicts many critically ill patients on the ICU, air sacs (alveoli) can begin to collapse in expiration and snap open again in inspiration. This cycle repeats itself with every breath and is known as cyclical atelectasis. Mechanical ventilation of the lungs exacerbates this process and can cause further mechanical lung damage, and this can induce an inflammatory reaction which affects and damages other body organs. The mortality from ARDS is 30-50%. It is well established that prevention of cyclical atelectasis, by manipulation of the way in which ventilation is delivered, is beneficial to patients. The problem is that clinicians have no reliable and direct means of knowing when the process is occurring or if it is responding to therapy. Researchers in Oxford believe that the presence of ‘oxygen oscillations’ (breath by breath variations in the pressure of oxygen) in arterial blood can be used to detect the occurrence of cyclical atelactasis in the lung. Clinicians may therefore potentially use such a signal to adjust the ventilator settings guided by the amplitude of the oscillations thus minimising the atelactasis and mitigating the cascade of deleterious effects. The team will develop a rapid-response oxygen sensor that will measure these oxygen oscillations in real time.