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Co-design of medical technology to manage lipoedema symptoms

  • Full or part time
  • Application Deadline
    Tuesday, April 21, 2020
  • Funded PhD Project (European/UK Students Only)
    Funded PhD Project (European/UK Students Only)

Project Description

This project is one of 16 four year PhD Studentships funded by Medical Research Scotland (https://www.medicalresearchscotland.org.uk) to be delivered jointly by the named University and External Partner Organisation (EPO). The Studentship will provide the first-class academic and additional training provided by the EPO needed to equip the successful candidate for a science career in an increasingly competitive market.

"Medical technology to manage syptoms of lipoedema" to be delivered by Heriot-Watt University [Supervisors: Dr Lisa Macintyre (School of Textiles and Design) and Professor Marc Desmulliez (School of Engineering and Physical Sciences)] and Talk Lipoedema (https://www.talklipoedema.org/) [EPO supervisor: Dr Anne Williams].

Lipoedema is a debilitating progressive medical condition leading to abnormally shaped limbs, painful tissues, excessive bruising, reduced mobility, frequently depression and low quality of life. A common conservative treatment involves wearing compression garments designed for other conditions as condition specific compression for lipoedema does not exist. In 2018 we surveyed 279 lipoedema patients, which showed that lipoedema had a dramatic negative impact on people’s mobility and concluded that existing compression is not yet a reliable medical device, but can be helpful in managing some symptoms when appropriate compression is found. However, ‘appropriate compression’ for lipoedema has not yet been identified or quantified. Thus, without proper evidence, finding ‘appropriate compression’ is currently a random event leading to unsustainable levels of waste, patients being given inappropriate/dangerous treatment or lack of compliance leading to no treatment, progression of negative symptoms and ultimately increased cost to the NHS. Thus there is an unmet clinical need for an evidence-based compression therapy to manage lipoedema. This funded research scholarship will have 3 main outcomes, it will: establish the most effective pressures for managing lipoedema symptoms; engage with lipoedema patients, practitioners and industry to design, manufacture and evaluate specialist compression devices and evaluate how they can improve quality of life and mobility of lipoedema patients.

The project itself will involve: interacting with patients, measuring patients, measuring existing compression products, liaising with medical staff, supervisors, technicians, charity and company representatives, laboratory testing of textiles, developing designs and garment patterns based on test results and analysis of patient responses, measuring the impact of compression on patient mobility and quality of life. The project will also involve report writing, data analysis and presentation of findings.

ENQUIRIES:
Enquiries should be sent by email to Dr Lisa Macintyre:


APPLICATIONS:
Applicants must have obtained, or expect to obtain, a first or 2.1 UK honours degree, or equivalent for degrees obtained outside the UK, in Fashion Technology or Textile Technology.

Applicants should send a CV (detailing your qualifications, expertise and relevant skills to date), the contact details of 2 referees (including email addresses) who can comment on your research abilities and suitability as a candidate for this PhD, and a covering letter, explaining why you feel that your experience and skills would make you suitable for this post, by email to Dr Lisa Macintyre:


Please note, your application may be shared with the funders of this PhD Studentship, Medical Research Scotland and Talk Lipoedema.

Interviews are expected to take place 2-3 weeks after the closing date for applications. In light of the current coronavirus situation, interviews may be conducted by video conference.

It is anticipated that the PhD Studentship will start in September 2020.

Funding Notes

PhD Studentship provides: an annual tax-free stipend of £17,500, increasing to £18,000 over the four years; tuition fees at UK/EU rates only; consumables; and generous travel allowance. International fees are not covered.

References

https://www.tex.hw.ac.uk/team/dr-lisa-macintyre/

Related Subjects

How good is research at Heriot-Watt University in Art and Design: History, Practice and Theory?

FTE Category A staff submitted: 7.35

Research output data provided by the Research Excellence Framework (REF)

Click here to see the results for all UK universities

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