Prestigious award combines University innovations with design know-how

Posted by fi17 at Oct 18, 2011 12:20 PM |
Design Council Award will help transform four academic projects into viable commercial products
Prestigious award combines University innovations with design know-how

PhD student Ann Beresford and Professor Rob Hillman demonstrate the new fingerprinting technique

As part of the Innovate for Universities mentoring service, University of Leicester academics will work with experts to develop innovative ideas into marketable products. The University has succeeded in getting the go-ahead on four separate projects in a range of areas.

A project to improve the visualisation of fingerprints on metal surfaces, led by Professor Rob Hillman of our Department of Chemistry, could have important applications for forensic investigators. The new technique means the film used to visualise fingerprints can be adjusted to be as clear as possible, and Professor Hillman hopes it will further enhance the University's collaboration with local police forces.

Dr Mike Mulheran of our Department of Medical and Social Care will lead a project looking at ways to relieve tinnitus (ringing in the ears) using LEDs. At certain wavelengths, light from the LEDs can affect sensory perception, and Dr Mulheran believes the new idea could eventually be used for home treatment of tinnitus.

An interdisciplinary project aimed at combining space technology with ophthalmology is led by Dr Nigel Bannister of our Space Research Centre. The researchers have already built a prototype instrument that uses the colour of the eye to diagnose certain eye conditions, and the design is being tested at the Leicester Royal Infirmary. Perfecting the device could mean earlier diagnosis for sight-threatening conditions, potentially benefitting thousands of patients.

Dr Andre Ng of our Department of Cardiovascular Sciences heads the LifeMap project, which has already won a Medical Futures Best Innovation Award. The project uses data from ECGs to assess patients' risk of sudden cardiac death, by using new technology to create an electrical map of the heart.