BLADDERSENS: Detecting bladder volume and pressure from sacral nerve signals
An EPSRC-funded research project detecting bladder volume and pressure to aid the management of the urinary bladder following spinal cord trauma.
Managing the urinary bladder after trauma to the spinal cord is a top priority for clinicians and patients. In the past, kidney damage due to high bladder pressures and/or infection was a common cause of death following such an injury. Infections still raise mortality and morbidity, made worse by the increasing risk of antibiotic resistance.
GS Brindley developed a neuroprosthesis for controlling the bladder after spinal cord injury (SCI). This provided a cheaper alternative of achieving complete voluntary micturition (CVM) than intermittent sterile catheterisation. The Brindley method employs sacral anterior root stimulation (SARS) but it is not a popular method. Instead, a new neuroprosthesis that doesn't require rhizotomy is needed. But, a key component of such a new neuroprosthesis hasn't been developed or tested yet.
Our project is developing the remaining systems to enable the specification and design of a future complete closed loop bladder prosthesis.