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Design and development of hydrogel coatings for CPAP prongs

A 2020/2021 Summer Studentship research project

Student: TBC
Supervisors: Dr Khoon Lim, Dr Cesar Alcala-Orozco
Sponsor: Fisher and Paykel Healthcare


Continuous positive airway pressure (CPAP) is a well-established treatment to provide non-invasive respiratory support to preterm infants with respiratory distress syndrome. CPAP therapy delivers a mixture of heated and humidified air and oxygen and generates a continuous distending pressure throughout the respiratory cycle by means of a sealed interface. The prolong use of CPAP masks may however cause irritation of the skin on the face, or pressure necrosis around the nostrils and distortion of the nasal septum due to incorrect strapping and positioning.


This project seeks to design hydrogel coatings for CPAP prongs currently manufactured by Fisher and Paykel Healthcare, to mitigate the above mentioned complications. This project will also allow the student to gain experience of an industry-driven project, and better understand the bench-side to bed-side transition of medical devices.


The student will be working on hydrogels that are already developed in the Christchurch Regenerative Medicine and Tissue Engineering (CReaTE) Group, specifically testing the adhesion between the hydrogels and the CPAP prongs.

Student researcher’s component of the study

This project will ideally fit a student with background in either chemical or mechanical engineering.

Student prerequisites

Engineering student.

How to apply