R1 Nirtek


Project title: NIRAF Guidewire for Detection of Unstable Coronary Plaques to Prevent Heart Attack and Death

Heart attack caused by rupture of unstable atherosclerotic plaque in the coronary arteries is the number one cause of death worldwide. Having diabetes further increases your chance of developing cardiovascular disease and the subsequent risk of heart attack.

People often suffer major adverse cardiovascular events such as heart attack and death despite having the presence of coronary artery disease diagnosed by coronary angiography. Atherosclerotic plaques of less than 70% stenosis are typically left untreated because there is no way to identify which of those plaques are unstable and therefore vulnerable to rupture and coronary occlusion.

Nirtek was formed to save lives by detecting Near InfraRed AutoFluorescence (NIRAF) in unstable plaques to allow the identification of dangerous, rupture-prone lesions so they can be treated before they lead to heart attacks.

Nirtek and our partners, with support from MTPConnect and the TTRA Program, is developing the first intracoronary guidewire device for the detection of unstable plaque using NIRAF technology. The device is used during a coronary angiography procedure, with vulnerable plaques being easily and quickly identified during the angiogram so a stent or other treatment can be deployed to prevent a heart attack caused by plaque rupture.


TTRA Project Round: #1 

State: VIC

Major Project Partners:  

  • Baker Heart and Diabetes Institute
  • Swinburne University
  • Planet Innovation

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