Aug 15, 2018 | By Thomas

The creators of BioPen, known as the iFix, which uses special ink to ‘colour in’ and treat eye wounds, has been given A$ 1.1 million funding from NSW Medical Devices Fund to progress commercialisation of the iFix pen.

Professor Gerard Sutton and his team of researchers from the University of Sydney and University of Wollongong have developed the iFix, which seals eye wounds to treat corneal ulceration, promote active healing of the wound site and reduce scarring.

Corneal ulceration is a major cause of blindness in developing countries and around 55,000 people are hospitalised each year in Australia with corneal injuries.

The iFix system distributes a 3D-printed structure directly onto the eye, utilising the iFix Pen, in order to help the corneal cells regenerate and create a biological barrier to ongoing damage, including infection. The iFix Pen is a handheld 3D-printing device that delivers a specialised bioink formulation to the eye defect with high accuracy.

The technology is based on intellectual property that is jointly owned between the University of Sydney and the South Eastern Sydney Local Health District. Professor Sutton's research has shown that the pen can accelerate feeling, minimise patient pain and reduce their recovery time, through deployment of antibiotics. The funding will help move this great concept from the lab to the clinic.

The grant follows the team's success last year in winning the inaugural Sydney Research innovation challenge – The Big Idea. That victory earned them $45,000 in pre-seed funding to further develop the iFix concept.

“The iFix pen is one part of an overall corneal bioengineering project and, with the support from The Big Idea and the Medical Devices Fund, we are also hoping that within the next five to 10 years, we will be able to develop a 3D bioengineered cornea,” Professor Sutton says.

Animal testing of the iFix 3D printing biopen is already underway and the team anticipates human trials commencing in 2019.



Posted in 3D Printing Application

Source: University of Sydney


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