Innovative partnership leads to blood vessel manufacture

A partnership between the University of Sydney and medical manufacturer Codex Research has secured $851,000 of Commonwealth funding through the Innovative Manufacturing Collaborative Research Centre (IMCRC).

The project hopes to improve the treatment of heart disease through creating a physiologically-relevant blood vessel implant, that would be used in bypass surgery.

Currently, similar products are created from plastic materials, however this project, led by Dr Steven Wise, will utilise a combination of synthetic and natural materials.

Dr Wise and the team hope to create new synthetic graft materials.

Due to the partnership with the IMCRC, the project’s commercialisation potential has been increased through support and guidance to ascertain the business and manufacturing requirements of the product for a future successful commercial launch.

The project sits in the emerging field of biotechnology, which combines methods and talents from fields such as advanced manufacturing and medicine. According to David Chuter, IMCRC CEO and managing director, this field has the potential impact people in new ways.

“Digital and advanced manufacturing technologies are creating new opportunities for Australia’s biotechnology sector, collecting, analysing and providing information that speeds up the discovery and engineering process of new products that have real-life impact,” said Chuter.

The role of manufacturing in opening up new world for medicine is part of what this project hopes to realise, taking the science from the laboratory to the wider public.

“Investing in a project that lays the manufacturing foundation to develop highly tailored products that mimic the human vascular system to then be able to create life-changing products such as new vascular implants is very rewarding,” said Chuter.

The innovative combination of the University of Sydney’s medical facilities, through the Charles Perkins Centre, industry partner Codex and the IMCRC’s expertise, hopes to open new manufacturing potentials.

“For a small start-up like Codex Research to gain access to government funding and the resources of a G8 university is extraordinary. We have been able to develop our project in directions and at a pace that would never have been possible otherwise,” said a Codex Research spokesperson.