Med-tech in the spotlight

A new design for more effective protective face masks, and a device for improved placement of heart pacemakers, are among the projects keeping Flinders University cardiology researcher Darius Chapman busy.

He was part of the Medical Device Partnering Program (MDPP) annual Showcase event last week at Stone and Chalk, Lot Fourteen in Adelaide’s CBD.

The event, opened by Deputy Premier Dr Susan Close, attracted more than 80 people to view an array of early-stage med-tech products under development in South Australia.

MDPP Director Flinders University Professor Karen Reynolds shared her vision for the future of medtech in SA and joined device entrepreneurs Darius Chapman and Gibran Maher from Additive Surgical, who gave insights into their experiences in this industry.

Keynote speakers at the MDPP Showcase were Darius Chapman, left, Professor Karen Reynolds, the Hon Dr Susan Close MP, Jo Close, Gibran Maher and Dr Alex Barker.

MDPP Innovations Officer Dr Alex Barker outlined how the BridgeTech Program can help academics to become more commercially-minded. Jo Close from the MTPConnect Adelaide Intermediary Program was MC for the event.

The MDPP is a major initiative of the Medical Device Research Institute (MDRI) based at Flinders University at Tonsley and is Australia’s longest running medical device program.

Further trials of the customised PPE face mask are commencing under a $973,114 grant from the Australian Government Medical Research Future Fund’s Clinical Trials Activity Initiative.

Led by Associate Professor Anand Ganesan, the project aims to develop bespoke face masks to improve safety for health care workers who rely on existing P2/N95 respirator designs.

The main reason for face mask leak is the individual variability in the shape of the human face.

The clinical trial will test the effectiveness and feasibility of customised 3D-printed face guards used in conjunction with P2/N95 respirators as a way of reducing face mask leak.

This is a rapidly scalable, customised technology that researchers say could quickly and feasibly be utilised around the world.

Australia’s Chief Scientist Dr Cathy Foley also heard about South Australia’s med-tech sector successes last week as part of her visit to Flinders at Tonsley.

Professor Reynolds and MDPP Innovations Manager Stephen Blakeney showed Dr Foley some of the SA devices and talked to her about the MedTech Manufacturing Accelerator concept.

Australia’s Chief Scientist Dr Cathy Foley with Professor Reynolds and Stephen Blakeney at Flinders, Tonsley last week.
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