Our World’s First Non-invasive Solution for Urinary Retention (Innosuisse grant 41236-1 with Bern University Hospital & EPFL)
The UGE group is developing the world’s first non-invasive solution for urinary retention. Patients suffering from urinary retention are unable to empty their bladder because of either a weak bladder muscle or/and a bladder outlet obstruction (e.g. enlarged prostate in men). The main complaints from these patients are: pain, urinary tract infections, continuous sleep disruption, the necessity to plan ahead for awareness of the location of toilets, impairment of social life, embarrassment and reduced self-esteem. To date, catheters are the most commonly used therapy for bladder emptying. However, catheters are invasive and they cause very often urinary tract infections. Hence, a non-invasive solution for bladder emptying that does not lead to urinary tract infections is highly desirable. Our patent-pending technology is based on an innovative pumping principle (impedance pump), which generates urine flow by applying an external intermittent compression on the urethra (the outlet tube of the bladder) such that direct contact with urine is avoided. This solution can drastically reduce urinary tract infections. Proof-of-concept studies with porcine bladders have confirmed that this principle leads to complete bladder emptying (see figure). URODEA is a spin-off of the ARTORG Centre and is focusing on bringing this technology to the patients.