The Cardiovascular Medical Devices Group conducted life-saving research at the Heart Research Institute until May 2023.
Our mission is to develop new medical devices for cardiovascular research and medicine to improve patient outcomes.
We focus on creating new medical devices for two major goals; 1) to design new biomimetic model systems that replicate clinically relevant environments to improve research and development of new therapies and devices, and 2) to develop new materials to make medical devices to reduce their complications.
The team uses cutting-edge bioengineering tools to develop new models and materials. We use the models to evaluate materials and understand the interplay of events in disease progression and at the biomaterial interface. Using this strategy, we aim to improve medical device function as well as create novel devices, diagnostics and drug and non-drug-based avenues for therapies.
Cardiovascular disease remains the leading cause of death worldwide despite tremendous success in new therapeutics and technologies in recent decades.
One reason for this is because we do not fully understand disease progression and side effects of interventions. Many drugs and medical devices that look promising during development, however, do not show efficacy in the clinic. Drugs fail to reduce disease burden. Medical devices cause complications such as blood clotting (thrombosis) and require patients to receive blood thinning drugs as mitigation. This failure is largely to do with the fact that many model systems we use to evaluate drugs and devices in the laboratory do not adequately replicate clinical conditions.
We use engineering principles to replicate clinical conditions, such as blood flow, in the laboratory on a small scale. We also take inspiration from nature to design new materials to be used in medical devices to reduce their side effects.