The urine produced by the kidneys is stored in the bladder prior to being voided from the body at behaviourally appropriate times (micturition). However, a number of conditions including spinal cord injury or damage during prostectomy or colorectal resection surgery can lead to urinary incontinence or retention.

Controlling urination with a bionic device implanted onto nerves that innervate the bladder is a novel technique for the treatment of bladder incontinence/retention. The Bionics Institute have developed a novel method of monitoring activity in the pelvic nerve. Combining this technology with stimulation to activate or inhibit neural signals in order to trigger or prevent urination could form the basis of a closed-loop bioelectric bladder control device. This project will use the rodent urogenital system to further develop neural recording and stimulation technology to be able to selectively record and active different neural fibre types so that this technology can be utilized to develop closed-loop control over bladder function.

Suitable background of students: Neuroscience; endocrinology; bioengineering; physiology; biomedical science

Supervisors: A/Professor James Fallon and Dr Sophie Payne

For all student enquiries email: [email protected]