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Details of Grant 

EPSRC Reference: EP/R003750/1
Title: Multi-parametric optical sensing for monitoring haemodynamic shock
Principal Investigator: Kyriacou, Professor P
Other Investigators:
Vadgama, Professor P
Researcher Co-Investigators:
Project Partners:
Department: Sch of Engineering and Mathematical Sci
Organisation: City, University of London
Scheme: Standard Research
Starts: 15 December 2017 Ends: 09 January 2021 Value (£): 656,799
EPSRC Research Topic Classifications:
Med.Instrument.Device& Equip.
EPSRC Industrial Sector Classifications:
Related Grants:
Panel History:
Panel DatePanel NameOutcome
31 May 2017 HT Investigator-led Panel Meeting - May 2017 Announced
Summary on Grant Application Form
The primary function of blood circulation is to provide oxygen and substrates to the tissues. Failure to do this results in a clinical condition known as shock. Up to one-third of patients admitted to intensive care units (ICUs) are in circulatory shock, and early recognition of the condition is vital in order to avoid subsequent tissue injuries.

The level of lactate in blood is an important indicator when assessing response to therapy and guiding treatment in patients with life-threatening shock. For this reason, lactate measurements are routinely carried out in critically ill patients. Patients with elevated lactate concentration have a higher mortality rate and are at greater risk of developing multiple organ failure.

At present, lactate measurements are performed using invasive techniques where blood sample are needed in order to perform each measurement. These invasive procedures are time consuming and inhibit continuous monitoring of lactate. There is demand for a rapid use non-invasive medical device that allows continuous measurements of blood lactate levels in real time. Such a device is currently unavailable.

In addition, many experimental studies have confirmed the relationship between inadequate tissue oxygenation and blood lactate. Increased blood lactate levels have also been linked to metabolic processes not related to tissue oxygenation. This complexity makes it difficult to interpret lactate readings directly. A better understanding of the link between tissue oxygenation and blood lactate levels is necessary to improve the use of important lactate data and enable better interpretation and diagnosis.

The aim of this project is to address this demand by developing a novel non-invasive sensor that can continuously monitor blood lactate levels in real time. The device will be based on light sensing technology, consisting of a light source and a processing system that contains smart data analysis software to process light reflected from the skin. In principal, this is possible because the lactate chemical is sensitive to near infrared light, and together with the appropriate analysis, this property can be used to measure lactate levels from light reflected from the body.

It is also the aim of this project to conduct rigorous research and acquire new understanding of the relationship between tissue oxygenation and blood lactate levels in extreme conditions involving short term episodes of hyperlactamia (elevated lactate levels)

The project will address these aspects through a combined experimental and mathematical modelling approach using state of the art facilities. The successful development of the sensor will allow effective use of lactate as a basis for treatment of patients in critical care units, emergency departments and pre-hospital environments, where the availability of simple, rapid use monitoring technology is a key limitation to life saving treatments.

Key Findings
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Potential use in non-academic contexts
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Date Materialised
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Further Information:  
Organisation Website: http://www.city.ac.uk