Soft Robotic Total Larynx Replacement (360G-Wellcome-106574_Z_14_Z)
The technology to be developed combines novel soft robotics with proven biocompatible materials and electromyography to produce a synthetic total larynx replacement. T radWonal robotic approaches that utilise rigid material are not sufted for long term integration in the larynx due to insufficient replication of the natural musculature and physiology and the requirement for multi-component designs that increase infection risks. By exploiting advances in soft robotics, which utilises flexible and elastic intelligent materials to morph compliant structures into complex shapes, we bypass the difficultiesencountered with traditional, hard, robotics. This enables the manufacture of a monolithic synthetic larynx, made biocompatible through combination with a clinically proven airway implantable synthetic polymer. The device is controlled by electromyography of the strap muscles and muscles of the floor of the mouth, which can be preserved in laryngectomy, to infer when the patient is speaking or swallowing. The implanted device will robustly replicate the core functionality of the larynx (aspiration prevention, respiration and phonation) with a failsafe modality.
£1,395,353 27 Jan 2015