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Encouraging Home Dialysis through Safer Injections

Unit(s) of assessment: Allied Health Professions, Dentistry, Nursing and Pharmacy

Research theme: Health and Wellbeing

School: School of Science and Technology


Preventing infections and improving patient's confidence

Patients receiving haemodialysis (the process of purifying the blood of a person whose kidneys are not working normally) often have regular needle punctures, which carry the risk of complications. Reducing these complications enhances patient confidence, minimising their anxiety and promoting home dialysis.

This has significant economic and social impacts, helping to prevent infections at source and reducing the need for systematic antibiotics, which in turn helps with the battle against antibiotic resistance.

Addressing the Challenge

Testing against hospital-acquired infections

Nottingham Trent University researchers tested the next-generation antimicrobial ESPRIT vascular access graft in the pathogen research laboratory. The team pitted it against a range of bacteria from our library of pathogens associated with hospital acquired infections (HAIs). Subsequent measurements show that the graft has very high antimicrobial efficacy against HAIs.

The work was carried out under the Innovations in Surfaces, Materials and Related Technologies (iSMART) programme, paid for by the European Regional Development Fund (ERDF). Follow-on funding was obtained with support from NTU’s Materials Research Fund. The research output supported a successful grant application to Innovate UK. This will be used to translate biomaterials to enhance medical devices. Our external partner, ESP Technology Ltd, has received funds from Innovate UK and equity investors.


The research was led by Professor Bob Stevens and Dr Naqash Masood, with support from Dr Chris Underwood from ESP Technology Ltd.

Making a Difference

Protecting patients, saving money and creating jobs

Key opinion leaders have expressed a preference for the ESPRIT over existing grafts. Its adoption leads to enhanced patient wellbeing, and helps fight the increasing risk of antimicrobial resistance. It also saves money for the NHS, and reduces the number of working days lost in recovery.

A Nottinghamshire-based manufacturer of medical devices has been subcontracted to produce the ESPRIT on behalf of ESP Technology, and a multinational manufacturer of vascular prostheses has already expressed an interest in distributing it. Production of the ESPRIT will increase exports, create highly paid new jobs, and increase tax revenues in the process.