New partner joins forces in development of in vitro blood vessel


A project working on building blood vessels outside of the body has attracted further industry attention, with the IMCRC joining Dr Steven Wise and Codex Research in the research collaboration.

Dr Steven Wise from the Faculty of Medicine and Health and his team have partnered with the Innovative Manufacturing Cooperative Research Centre (IMCRC), after securing backing from Codex Research earlier this year.

IMCRC has committed $851,000 of Commonwealth funding to the research, which is projected to be underway until 2022. The collaboration will be the second research partnership between the University of Sydney and Codex.

His work aims to improve the treatment of heart disease by engineering a physiologically-relevant blood vessel implant used in bypass surgery. To reduce the failure rate of their traditional plastic counterparts, Dr Wise and his team employ a range of synthetic and natural materials with the aim of developing new synthetic graft materials which combine tailored mechanical properties with improved biocompatibility. Current lab-based methods to assess these new materials have significant limitations, and better mimicry of human systems in a laboratory environment would greatly benefit this research area.

As well as funding, IMCRC has provided substantial support and guidance in helping to focus on business and manufacturing requirements and have helped to crystalise a sophisticated business model for the project.

IMCRC CEO and Managing Director, David Chuter, said the project personifies the exciting times for organisations working in emerging fields such as biotechnology, like Codex Research.

“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,” Mr Chuter said.

“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.“