Researchers at SRMRC, the UK’s largest trauma research centre, have won a circa £200k grant from the SME Technology Council of Great Britain to pursue the development of an optical pupillometer that could significantly impact the way that traumatic brain injury (TBI) is identified, assessed and treated in civilian and military patients.
A pupillometer is used to measure the diameter of the pupil and is capable of recording the most subtle and complex pupil reactions. Early examination of the pupils is an essential part of assessing an individual who has sustained a possible traumatic brain injury as any change in pupil reactivity may indicate that there is pressure building on the brain.
The neuro research project is being led by Mr Tony Belli, supported by Mr David Davies and Dr Zhangjie Su.
David Davies, said: “Traumatic brain injury is a significant cause of morbidity and a long-ignored but major cause of disability. By being able to almost immediately accurately assess even the most minute change in pupil reactivity in patients will certainly help prevent long term brain damage or even death.
“We are currently running pupillometer trials on patients with brain injury and have achieved some positive preliminary results. This SME Technology funding will enable us to continue our research and develop the ability of this device to help prevent long term brain damage or death.”
Based at the University Hospital Birmingham, Queen Elizabeth, the SRMRC is the exclusive hospital/treatment centre for the UK armed forces/Ministry of defence. These close links with the ministry of defence open up the possibility of this device also being beneficial to the care of military personnel in the management of ballistic and blast injuries.