Driving Australia's Medtech Manufacturing for Patients Recovering from Brain Surgery

Pictured: The Anatomics team at the launch of their 3D printing polymer laboratory at the MAKE Incubator in Melbourne in 2019.

In 2019, Anatomics saw an opportunity to turn an abandoned car manufacturing facility in Melbourne into an expansive 3D bioprinting warehouse. 

This facility would allow the research team to advance its state-of-the-art craniofacial implant manufacturing, leveraging 3D printing to drive innovation, whilst reducing process complexity, turnaround time and costs.

Anatomics is supported by funding through Round 1 of our BioMedTech Horizons (BMTH) program to commercialise its Cranio-maxillofacial (CMF) Implants for reconstructive brain surgery.

According to Anatomics, StarPore® is now the world's most advanced polymer tissue scaffold. Anatomics' researchers used their skills in advanced manufacturing, software technologies and medical device design to accelerate the project.

Neurosurgeon and founder of Anatomics Professor Paul D'Urso, credits the impact of the BMTH funding on the export opportunities it has presented his team.

"The BMTH funding via MTPConnect has allowed Anatomics to develop an advanced polymer tissue scaffold manufacturing capability in Melbourne," Prof D'Urso explained.

"We have achieved FDA approvals and have begun exporting Anatomics StarPore® reconstructive implants internationally.

“We should all be very proud of the way that BMTH funding and MTPConnect are supporting world leading medical device manufacturing in Australia.”

The research team were able to find other innovative uses for the material, such as in chest wall surgery and minimally invasive surgery including a world first polymer rib cage implant.

The project has opened the door for Anatomics to further collaborate with industry and academic partners around enhancing StarPore® and expanding its indications for use.  StarPore® is now a platform technology that can be leveraged to build new solutions to a wide range of surgical problems.

In 2020, Anatomics was awarded BMTH Round 3 funding with industry partner CSIRO, to develop a ‘Smart Helmet’ -SkullPro® - to monitor brain activity in stroke and trauma patients. 

Anatomics and the CSIRO will manufacture the SkullPro® smart technology by including sensors that can relay data via 4G and WiFi to enable machine learning and artificial intelligence to assist the neurosurgeon to remotely determine the right time for reconstructive brain surgery.

"[This] will allow Anatomics and CSIRO to lay the foundations for advanced diagnostics and therapies for decades to come that will greatly benefit brain injured patients through-out the world,” Prof D’Urso added.

So, what is the next step for Anatomics’ StarPore® technology?

Anatomics is currently enlisting more distribution partners in Europe, Asia and the Middle East to accelerate export opportunities and is engaging in further research and development work to broaden the scope of use for the advanced polymer tissue scaffold.

For more information, visit Anatomics.