Shape of Things to Come

Shape of Things to Come

shape of things to come

Research Centre
Art and Design Research Centre


The role of haptics in the identification of non-interchangeable medical connection system

In this project Paul Chamberlain took a central role in introducing entirely new approaches to medical drug delivery connectors, using a haptic/cognitive approach to reduce problems of mismatching that have led to fatal accidents.

The objective of this project was to ensure that the five generic delivery routes (intravenous, intrathecal, respiratory, cardio vascular and enteral) cannot be erroneously cross-connected and are easily distinguishable. The 'luer' connection system has been in place for over one hundred years and this project is making a contribution towards implementing change in procedure and providing a safer solution.

With funding (£100k) from the DoH Health Technology Device Agency Chamberlain has led a multidisciplinary team, which brings together expertise in industrial design (ADRC, SHU), human factors (University of Leeds), anaesthesia (Bradford Royal Infirmary), and a manufacturer, B.Braun Medical.

The project adopted a human factors design approach. This user-centred iterative approach provides the cultural basis for this work and is not widely adopted in the design of medical devices. Chamberlain has presented the work to the Committee for European Normalisation in Brussels and as an invited speaker at the inaugural HTD conference.

His design concept has a patent filed and a subsequent claim for three innovative design features was filed in 2007. The project report was reviewed by the sponsors, HTD, and awarded the exceptional grade of 9/10.

This work led to Chamberlain being invited to join the NPSA external reference group, and has been awarded further funding with the University of Leeds from the NPSA to conduct a non-luer pre-implementation study.

The project has been cited by the Crafts Council UK in ‘Making Value’ in response to a speech by Vince Cable (2010) – Secretary of State for Business, Innovation and Skills - about the future funding of Science, Research and Innovation, as an exemplar of the value of craft 'making' and its impact on industry

The work has been widely published including

Chamberlain (2007) 'Shape of things to come', 'Design Research Now', Essays and selected projects. p. 99-119. Board of International research in design. Edited by Ralf Michel. Birkhauser ISBN 978-3-7643-8471-5

'Making Value' (2010), Craft and the economic and social contribution of makers of makes, pages 12,40,53, 54 Mary Scwartz & Dr Karen Yair, Crafts Council ISBN 10 1903713226 & ISBN 13 9781903713204

Researchers involved

Professor Paul Chamberlain - Co-Director C3RI, Head of Art and Design Research Centre, Director of Lab4Living and Director of Design Futures

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