Current research


  1. Prof. Marios Papadopoulos , Neurosurgeon.
  2. Dr. Samira Saadoun, Senior Lecturer in Neuroscience.

There are several research fellows and graduate students in the neurosurgery department.

Current research projects include:

Novel monitoring to optimize the early management of patients with severe spinal cord injury

In collaboration with Dr. Argyro Zoumprouli (intensive care) and Prof. Marek Czosnyka’s group in Cambridge, Dr. Saadoun and Prof. Papadopoulos have developed techniques to monitor intraspinal pressure and spinal cord perfusion pressure after spinal cord injury. This is analogous to monitoring intracranial pressure and cerebral perfusion pressure after brain injury.

For further details see Monitoring of Spinal Cord Perfusion Pressure in Acute Spinal Cord Injury Initial Findings of the Injured Spinal Cord Pressure Evaluation Study

Blood flow in injured human spinal cord

Blood flow in injured human spinal cord. Indocyanine Green fluorescence at 5, 10, 15 and 20 seconds. Spinal cord blood flow was assessed at spinal cord perfusion pressure (SCPP) 71 and 60 mmHg.

Developing novel surgical techniques to improve outcome after spinal cord injury

Prof. Papadopoulos and Dr. Saadoun have developed a novel surgical technique termed expansion duroplasty, which reduces the pressure on the injured spinal cord after injury.

Duroplasty technique

Duroplasty technique. A. (left) Exposed dura after laminectomy. (middle) Durotomy held open with forceps showing injured spinal cord and pressure probe. (right) Sutured dural patch. B. Pre-operative MRI showing injured cord. C. Post-operative (left) CT showing pressure probe and (right) MRI showing duroplasty.

Basic science

Dr. Samira Saadoun’s laboratory investigates the roles of aquaporin water channels in the brain and spinal cord. She has characterized the role of aquaporins in brain oedema and cell migration.  A major goal of her laboratory is to understand the role of aquaporin-4 in neuromelitis optical and develop novel treatments.

The sequence of aquaporin-4

The sequence of aquaporin-4, the main water channel found in the brain and spinal cord

Dr. Saadoun has established in patients microdialysis monitoring and spinal cord blood flow monitoring in spinal cord injury, characterised the effect of fever on the injured spinal cord and the effect of hypothermia on spinal cord physiology.

Clinical neurosurgical trials

Dr. Saadoun and Prof. Papadopoulos are co-Chief Investigators in the DISCUS trial funded by NIHR EME. DISCUS aims to determine whether expansion duroplasty improves neurological outcome after acute, severe traumatic spinal cord injury. DISCUS also allows centres to monitor from the injury site intraspinal pressure and microdialysis.

The neurosurgery unit has contributed patients in multiple national and international clinical neurosurgical trials including STICH, STICH2, STITCH, RESCUEicp, STASH, GOSH , SCIL, RESCUE-ASDH, DEX-CSDH and others.