CSIRO helped Australian medical device company Admedus to investigate further opportunities for their CardioCel product.

The challenge

Exploring stem cells for cardiovascular treatment

Admedus is an Australian small to medium-sized enterprise that invests in next generation technologies for the healthcare sector. They look to research and development to continue to improve their product and service offerings.

Admedus' CardioCel patches are used to treat congenital heart disease.

Admedus has developed a revolutionary, life-saving heart patch for the repair and reconstruction of cardiovascular defects. They saw an opportunity to grow their product, CardioCel (a type of cardiovascular scaffold), into other emerging applications.

Our response

A superior platform for stem cell growth

Our researchers joined Admedus to explore the suitability of CardioCel for use in stem cell therapy in heart failure patients by comparing it with another commonly-used product. They found that CardioCel was well suited to cardiovascular cell therapy and might have applications in other areas of stem cell delivery too.

The research specifically focused on using stem cells. It found that the heart patch has the potential to deliver stem cells and help tissue heal better than other existing products, when used for cardiac repair.

The results

A new pulse for heart health

On the basis of these promising results, Admedus is continuing to explore stem cells and the possibility of using the product in reconstruction, to speed-up recovery and for patients with different defects.

The research identified a new set of potential business opportunities for Admedus’ existing product CardioCel and that their novel engineering process used to prepare CardioCel provides a superior tissue platform for growing stem cells.

Chief Scientific Officer, David Rhodes, said, “Through combining [our] expertise with that of CSIRO, we see the potential for additional projects with CSIRO down the track. There are other techniques we would like to explore."

The results have shown that CardioCel enhances the ability for tissues to repair and that it is well-suited for cardiovascular cell therapy.

“There is the potential to use our material in other areas of stem cell delivery as well, for example it might help speed the recovery when used in the repair of knee joints or in the rebuilding of vessels,” said Dr Rhodes. “While this still needs further research, these results are promising and we have the grounds for exploring it further.”

This SME has since opened a new $8 million manufacturing facility in Western Australia and begun exporting CardioCel to the global market.

This project was supported by the Enterprise Connect Researchers in Business program, which was an Australian Government initiative which provided funding to support the placement of researchers directly into businesses to help them develop and implement new commercial ideas.

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