Device for Modulating Lymphatic Pumping

Lymphoedema in the arm of a breast cancer patient

The current standard of care for lymphoedema is complex decongestive therapy (CDT), which is a combination of compression therapy, manual lymphatic drainage (MLD), exercise, and skin care.  Using our validated computational models of lymphatic pumping, we discovered that an external pressure below the pressure inside of the lymph vessel (or a positive transmural pressure) maximises pumping.  External compression, on the other hand, restricts re-filling of the vessel after contraction, which practically shuts down pumping. This finding led to the development of a new device that uses a cyclic negative pressure to maximize lymph drainage.  It is currently under trials with human volunteers.

Image: Lymphoedema in the arm of a breast cancer patient.  Image downloaded 26 April 2019 from