Project Details


Affecting 1 in 5 adults, one of the most common causes of urinary incontinence is a disease called overactive bladder (OAB). OAB is the focus of the proposed study because current methods for diagnosing this disease are inaccurate, highly-invasive and expensive (£1500 per test); leaving the vast majority of OAB patients incontinent for decades.

Accurate and early diagnosis will improve treatment outcomes, eliminating the need for patients to have invasive and high-risk surgery-led treatments as is necessary in advanced-stage disease.

Our research has focussed on developing an effective diagnosis for OAB. We have recently discovered five chemicals, contained within urine, that together provide a novel biomarker ‘fingerprint’ of OAB. Not only is our OAB biomarker ‘fingerprint’ much more accurate in diagnosing OAB than the current invasive method, but being urine-based, sample collection is simple and noninvasive. As a result this discovery has a very high potential to be developed into a simple-to-use diagnostic tool used for (1) regular screening for OAB in adults, at a GP surgery, pharmacy or nursing/care home, and (2) to monitor and tailor a patient’s treatment.

Developing our OAB fingerprint into a simple-to-use diagnostic tool requires the simultaneous detection of five chemicals. We will use an established, inexpensive and simple-to-use detection technology - capable of simultaneous detection of a broad range of chemicals - in order to translate our OAB fingerprint into a diagnostic tool. This cheap device, to be used on urine samples, will allow early detection and therefore effective treatment of OAB; a highly prevalent cause of urinary incontinence.

Layperson's description

This projects seeks to develop a simple, easy-to-use test, by which healthcare professionals can diagnosis a common and debilitating bladder disease.
Effective start/end date1/12/1731/05/18


  • Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council: £31,855.00


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