Case Studies

Rapid detection of metastatic breast cancer in lymph nodes for intraoperative testing. Cardiff University, Cardiff & Vale UHB. 

This project is aiming to develop current technology into a rapid, accurate test for metastatic breast cancer in lymph nodes. Currently when tumours are removed from the breast, lymph nodes are biopsied, with a second surgery required if malignancies are detected. This test would allow intraoperative testing meaning only one surgery would be required and there would be no unnecessary removal of non-metastatic lymph nodes. Early tests on clinical samples are looking promising and the data produced will support further development of a routine diagnostic test.


Liposomal antimicrobial delivery system for PMMA bone cement, Cardiff University and Cardiff &Vale UHB

This project aims to address the challenge of infection following joint replacement surgery. One of the first tranche of Health Technology Challenge projects funded in 2014, the project uses antibiotics encapsulated in liposomes and introduced into the bone cement used to fabricate replacement joints. The liposomes allow controlled release of antibiotics as well as improving the properties of the PMMA (polymethyl methacrylate) cement. The technology was protected by a patent filed by Cardiff University in 2014. Further work has focussed on optimising the antibiotics and making the system scalable.


Show Me Where communication tool

Show me where? is a communication tool which enables adults and children who have verbal disability or who are unable to speak English, to convey the location of pain or discomfort to other people.

Useful for those with

  • Stroke
  • Autism (ASD)
  • Early stage Dementia
  • Disabilities affecting speech. E.g. Cerebral Palsy, Multiple Sclerosis
  • Deafness and hearing problems
  • Intubated or tracheostomy patients
  • People suffering from trauma or anxiety.
  • Non English speaking people

Affected people can indicate pain or discomfort by choosing from a list of pictorial body images and written symptoms.

Carers can use the app to explain and gain consent for examination, reducing anxiety.

Multi-lingual with audio, includes the following languages Arabic, Urdu, Bengali, Polish, Welsh and Somali.

Endorsed by The national Autism Society and Cardif and Vale University Health Board

Currently used by

Cardiff and Vale University Health Board – Llandough and University Hospital of Wales.

28 Special Schools in Wales

Ty Hafren Hospice, Cardiff

Welsh Ambulance Service Trust (WAST)

South Manchester University Hospital

Australian Nursing and Midwifery Federation

App has sold in the UK and worldwide

Development of a mobile App for those with Neuromuscular conditions

Cardiff and Vale UHB, SymlConnect Ltd

“My care”, is focussed on the crucial patient-professional partnership to improve communication and information sharing and consists of personal notes covering medical history and treatment, clinical, social and emergency contact information and details of their neuromuscular team. A paper version has been well tested but changing to digital version will be more convenient and will allow the information to be instantly shared and updated and will be readily available when needed to treat an individual at a time of deterioration. With rare neuromuscular conditions the patient is often the best source of information about their condition – access to this vital information is critical and empowers patients and their families to be in control of their own care – a critical feature of ‘patient-centred care’.

The use of rapid prototyping jigs in the planning of knee osteotomies.

Cardiff and Vale UHB and PDR (Cardiff Met)

Knee osteotomies are a realignment process to treat knee pain by offloading damaged cartilage. It involves a precise break and insertion of a plate to fix the bone in place. This project will use a CT scan image to design and make a custom made jig using 3D printing, to guide the process and ensure optimal correction in the angle of the bone is achieved. In a recent audit only around 50% of corrections were shown to be optimal with current methods – this should significantly increase this. This project will demonstrate the principle, test in models and then use in surgery with 5 patients.

Monitoring Eye Health at Home.

Cardiff University, Aneurin Bevan UHB, and Vision Game Labs.

Current methods screening for eye disease have high margins of error, particularly for young children, which delays early diagnosis and treatment, and causes avoidable blindness. This project uses an interactive gaming app to measure vision on tablet devices. This gives accurate measures of visual performance and can be used at home. The technology is primarily for children; however it will also allow convenient and cost-effective monitoring of vision in the elderly. In the future, this will flag up early vision loss and allow those with established eye disease the ability to conveniently monitor their vision at home (rather than in clinic), so that precious out-patient appointments can used for patients whose vision is identified as deteriorating.

Development of a “TripAdvisor” feedback website for Care Homes

“Think About Me”: Good Care Guide

Aneurin Bevan UHB, Care Forum Wales, 1000 Lives Improvement Service, Local Authorities, RVS, My Home Life Cymru, NHS Retirement Fellowship, and The Good Care Guide

Patients and Carers highlighted a lack of transparent feedback and user views to assist those needing to choose a Care Home. This is a decision that sometimes has to be made quickly and often in stressful and difficult circumstances. Easily accessible information based on current and candid views from current residents and carers will help in making an informed decision and reassure people that they are choosing the home that is right for them. In collaboration with the Care Homes and My Family Care, the providers of the feedback website, we are developing a useful resource to guide those choosing their future care home.