Clinical unit and sleep labs

Watch a video about the sleep labs at the Centre

Our clinical research unit (CRU) is a purpose-built environment for patients and volunteers taking part in medical research and clinical trials. This includes both clinical- and research-focused sleep labs.

The CRU enables research that aims to speed up the translation of scientific advances into real benefits for patients.

Built to hospital standards

The Centre incorporates a clinical research unit (CRU) built to hospital standards in partnership with the Cardiff and Vale University Health Board (CVUHB).

The CRU is integrated with the clinical research magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) laboratory (Siemens 3T Prisma system), the magnetoencephalography (MEG) laboratory and the sleep laboratory. Find out more about our sleep research.

The co-location of advanced imaging and the CRU enables patient and pharmacological studies to be performed, promoting translational and clinical research studies in collaboration with the NHS, Health and Care Research Wales and the pharmaceutical industry.

Woman lying on a consultation table as a man touches her forearm with gloves.
Our clinical research unit houses an observation suite, a nurses' station and two sleep labs.

Links to NHS IT networks

Three consultation rooms are available – organised around a waiting room – for clinical visits and examination. These incorporate dedicated links to CVUHB NHS IT networks, allowing patient notes to be recalled.

Built for sleep studies and observations

The clinical sleep lab comprises a two-bedroom observation suite with en-suite bathrooms and showers, furnished to a comfortable standard to encourage relaxation. The suite includes a nurses' station to enable close monitoring of participants. This is complemented by an overnight on-call room for a physician. A further clinical treatment room supports pharmacological studies being performed in MRI and MEG. Facilities and procedures are in place for pharmacological studies and clinical trials of IMPs (interventional medicinal products).

The research sleep lab comprises a four-bedroom suite with double beds and wash facilities. Each bedroom also functions as a cognitive testing lab so that participants can comfortably engage in tasks before sleep and immediately after waking. The sleep labs are equipped with the latest in EEG technology from Brain Products, and our current set-up can measure up to 64 channels at one time. This includes 3 x Brain Amp Mr Plus, 1 x Brain Amp ExG MR, and 1 x Brain Amp ExG. A control room is located next to the four bedrooms, which is arranged for EEG application and overnight researcher observation. We promote a multi-modal approach to understanding research problems, therefore EEG can also be used simultaneously with other techniques such as fMRI.

Nearby facilities support clinical studies

Further laboratories located near to the CRU support clinical studies, including a physiology lab incorporating functional near infrared spectroscopy, wet lab facilities for sample processing, and cognitive testing laboratories.