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Smallfry teams up with Imperial College London to develop innovative surgical clip applicator

19 February 2018

Industrial design innovator, Smallfry, has recently partnered with a team led by Dr Mikael Sodergern of Imperial College London to conceptualise a brand new medical tool that promises to make operations less invasive and drastically reduce recovery time.  During micro-surgery, metal, staple-like ‘ligation clips’ are often used to hold tissue together in order to prevent bleeding and allow the healing process to begin. In certain situations longer incisions may have to be made, which puts pressure on these clips so they have to be applied at more regular intervals to successfully hold the tissue together.

Sodergern’s team considered this and identified the opportunity for a clip with a wider jaw that would allow fewer clips to be used, making the surgery less invasive with a faster recovery time. Their expertise and knowledge, combined with Smallfry’s excellent reputation for innovation and design in the medical field, resulted in this new surgical clip applicator.

According to Managing Director of Smallfry, Steve May-Russell, the work is a perfect example of the kind of collaboration that is necessary between universities and manufacturing experts to bring new product development projects like this to life. He said of the project:

“Universities are incredibly inventive and creative spaces. All that’s needed to take these ideas and make them investment-ready is a sound understanding of the market and manufacturing industry. That’s where Smallfry comes in, and we hope to partner with even more universities in the future to help nurture these potentially life-changing ideas to fruition.”

One of the things that really sets this clip apart from existing clips is its ability to rotate with the abdomen, allowing for a more precise and secure application. This improved clip retention means that even under duress the clip will remain parallel and in place, lending reassurance to both doctor and patient during and after the procedure. Designed for use across the globe, it will be particularly effective in less developed areas when it comes to combating the risk of infection during surgery and post-care, allowing surgeons to work swiftly with less risk of harm to the patient.

This new clip and applicator is a real innovation in the medical world, and both Smallfry and Imperial College London are hopeful and confident that it will drastically improve micro-surgery across the board, leading to more successful procedures with a lot less risk.

In a recent talk at the Nucleus Expo in Cardiff, Professor Simon Gibson OBE of Newbridge Networks, said that only 3% of university research impacted the economy. Could this partnership between ICL and Smallfry be the start of something special?