New alliance for orthopaedic technology

UK based medical device company AorTech and CSIRO have announced the formation of a strategic alliance for the research and development of the Elast-Eon for orthopaedic use.

UK based medical device company AorTech (Aim, AOR.L) and Australia’s Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organisation (CSIRO) have formed a strategic alliance for the research and development of Elast-Eon for orthopaedic use.

According to CSIRO, the development of spinal disc implants made from Elast-Eon will be one of the first priorities.

Elast-Eon is already under licence and being utilised in the development of cardiovascular, interventional cardiology and cardiac rhythm management devices, including drug-eluting coronary stents.

‘The technology developed by the CSIRO team will have substantial economic and community benefit as it allows for the design of new medical devices. AorTech Biomaterials Pty Ltd is well placed to capitalise on the technology in the global medical device markets,’ CSIRO Chief of Molecular Science, Dr Annabelle Duncan said.

‘We are looking forward to working closely with AorTech to develop the potential applications of this incredible substance and also to scale up production,’ added Duncan.

Frank Maguire, CEO of Aortech, said ‘it is anticipated that this initial project work with CSIRO will shortly be followed by other projects involving more than just the remarkable polymer expertise resident at CSIRO.’

Dr Duncan said that CSIRO researchers developed Elast-Eon several years ago.

‘The creation of this material was a major scientific break-though at the time. The team had to overcome significant technical difficulties to achieve it.

‘What they were looking for was a material that is durable, tear resistant, sufficiently flexible, blood compatible and able to withstand being in the human body.

‘They were able to combine silicone with polyurethane, a challenge because the two materials do not normally combine well. This led to the development of Elast-Eon a material that combines outstanding mechanical performance with biological stability.’

The material now comes in a number of grades, ranging from very flexible to rigid.

Elast-Eon was commercialised by Australian high-tech company Elastomedic, which was in turn bought by AorTech International Pty Ltd in 2000.

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