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Details of Grant 

EPSRC Reference: EP/C538196/1
Title: Design and Development of Novel Compression Therapy Regimes for the Treatment of Venous Leg Ulcers
Principal Investigator: Rajendran, Professor S
Other Investigators:
Anand, Professor S
Researcher Co-Investigators:
Project Partners:
Rossendale Combining Company Ltd Vernon-Carus (Investments) Ltd
Department: Centre for Materials Res and Innovation
Organisation: University of Bolton
Scheme: Standard Research (Pre-FEC)
Starts: 24 October 2005 Ends: 23 April 2009 Value (£): 152,142
EPSRC Research Topic Classifications:
Tissue Engineering
EPSRC Industrial Sector Classifications:
Related Grants:
Panel History:  
Summary on Grant Application Form
Venous leg ulcers are the most common type of ulcers and their prevalence increases with age. In the UK alone about 1 % of the adult population suffers from active ulceration during their life time. The total cost to the National Health Service in the UK for venous leg ulcers treatment is about 650 million per annum, which is 1-2% of the total healthcare expenditure. Costs per patient have recently been estimated to be between 1200 and 1400.Venous leg ulcers are chronic and there is no medication or surgery to cure the disease other than the compression therapy. A sustained graduated compression mainly enhances the flow of blood back to the heart, improves the functioning of valves and calf muscle pumps, reduces oedema and prevents the swelling of veins. In the UK four layer bandaging system is widely used whilst in Europe and Australia the non-elastic two layer short stretch bandage regime is the standard treatment. Both the two layer and four layer systems require padding bandage that is applied next to the skin and underneath the short stretch or compression bandages.It is generally agreed by the clinicians that four layer bandages are too bulky for patients and the cost involved is high. A wide range of compression bandages is available in the Drug Tariff but each of them has different structure and properties and this influences the variation in performance and properties of bandages. The research carried out at Bolton Institute showed that there are significant variations in properties of commercial padding bandages, more importantly the commercial bandages did not distribute the pressure evenly at the ankle as well as the calf region. When pressure is applied using compression bandages, the structure of the nonwoven padding bandages collapsed and the bandages could not impart cushioning effect to the limb. In view of the above mentioned limitations and problems, it is vital that research and development work should be carried out to design, develop and characterise novel single layer bandages that would effectively fulfil the requirements of both padding and compression bandages.It is recognised that spacer is the right technology to produce novel compression bandages that meet the prerequisites of both ideal padding and compression bandages. In three-dimensional (3D) spacer fabrics, two separate fabric layers are combined with an inner spacer yarn or yarns using either warp knitting or weft knitting route. It is possible to produce low modulus spacer fabrics by making use of elastic yarns. Elastic compression could be achieved by altering the structures. It should be mentioned that 3D structure allows greater control over elasticity and these structures can be engineered to be uni-directional, bi-directional and multi-directional. Uni-directional elasticity is one of the desired properties for compression bandages. The three-dimensional nature of spacer fabrics makes an ideal application next to the skin because they have desirable properties that are ideal for the human body. 3D fabrics are soft, have good resilience that provides cushioning effect to the body, breathable, ability to control heat and moisture transfer. For venous leg ulcer applications, such attributes together with improved elasticity and recovery promote faster healing.
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Project URL: http://gow.epsrc.ac.uk/NGBOViewGrant.aspx?GrantRef=EP/C538196/1
Further Information:  
Organisation Website: http://www.bolton.ac.uk