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Trials are ramped up for breakthrough medical device from MicroBioSensor

9 April 2020

Trials are ramped up for breakthrough medical device from MicroBioSensor

rials of a breakthrough medical device developed in Manchester, which could improve the diagnosis and treatment of life-threatening peritonitis for patients undergoing peritoneal dialysis, have been accelerated.

The device could mean that more renal patients could be managed from home and reduce hospital visits, which is a particular priority during the COVID-19 outbreak.

The trial of the new QuickCheck device is running in 10 major hospitals across the UK.

The QuickCheck device has been developed by Manchester-based MicroBioSensor over the past five years in collaboration with the Peritoneal Dialysis Unit at Manchester Royal Infirmary to not only act as an early-warning system for peritonitis, but also to provide guidance on the correct choice of antibiotic to treat the infection.

Once approved it is hoped that QuickCheck can help to keep vulnerable renal patients out of hospital, and reduce their likelihood of contracting infections, including the COVID-19 virus.

The trial is being led by Prof Martin Wilkie, Consultant Nephrologist at Sheffield Teaching Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust, and will assess the efficacy of the device in peritoneal dialysis patients who both have, and have not, been infected with peritonitis.

Prof Wilkie said: “The team here at Sheffield are really pleased to be involved in this clinical study. Trying to move testing nearer to the patient is key to improving patient care.”

Peritonitis is a life-threatening infection and is one of the most common complications for patients undergoing peritoneal dialysis.

Prevention of peritonitis and prompt and appropriate management is essential for the long-term success of peritoneal dialysis in all patients.

One-in-20 peritonitis episodes results in the death of the patient, and patients have up to a 50% chance of contracting peritonitis for every year that they undergo peritoneal dialysis.

Peritonitis in peritoneal dialysis patients is currently diagnosed using the ‘cloudy effluent test’.

Unfortunately, this lengthy process means that the peritonitis infection has often already taken hold by the time of diagnosis, which can make effective treatment more difficult.

Anand Vardhan, consultant nephrologist, Manchester, said: “Currently results arrive about 48-hours too late to have a meaningful impact on patient treatment.”

The breakthrough QuickCheck device alerts healthcare staff via a simple colour change. These results are available immediately at the end of an overnight dialysis session.

On successful completion of the study, MicroBioSensor hopes to submit a CE mark application for QuickCheck, which will allow them to launch the product in the UK and Europe.