New funding focuses on commercialising MedTech research

The University’s MedTech researchers will be involved in several new projects that have attracted more the $5.5 million of funding since July 2020.

Professor David Grayden, who leads the MedTech Platform, says the grants highlight increasing support and industry engagement for the translation of research outcomes into commercial applications. The projects also reflect the close collaboration between the health sector and researchers to improve outcomes for patients and health workers.

Projects funded

Restoring vision

Professor Greg Qiao will lead a $1 million project to develop an ultra-thin hydrogel biofilm to improve the success of corneal transplants and the recovery of vision for patients with corneal endothelial disease.

The team from the University and project partners, the Centre for Eye Research Australia and Eversight, a US eye bank, have been awarded $500,000 in funding from the Victorian Medical Research Acceleration Fund of the Department of Health and Human Services. The University and project partners are contributing matching funds.

This project is part of MedTech’s Biomaterials Engineering and Regenerative Medicine research program.

Stentrode epilepsy treatment

Professor Grayden will lead a three-year project to extend the capabilities of the Stentrode brain recording and stimulator, which has been developed over the past decade. The Stentrode is already in clinical trials as a brain-computer interface to help people suffering with paralysis to communicate.

The new $934,000 Development Grant from the National Health and Medical Research Council (NHMRC) will develop a version of the Stentrode to stimulate the brain in a way that will help manage epilepsy.

Personal treatment

The University will partner in a $1 million, two-year project with Seer Medical Pty Ltd to develop wearable devices and mobile monitoring for treatment of epilepsy. Dr Philippa Karoly, Professor Mark Cook and Professor Grayden will lead the University’s research contribution, using machine learning approaches for continuous monitoring of epilepsy using personal devices, incorporating a seizure forecasting capacity to help users manage their condition.

This work has been funded through BioMedTech Horizons 3.0 program that is part of the Medical Research Future Fund.

Neonatal care

The NHMRC has provided a $879,000 Development Grant to refine the Neonav ECG Tip Location System, which aims to improve the accuracy of catheters inserted into newborns to deliver fluids and medicine. The first prototype is in clinical trials.

The three-year grant will help to hone the technology and bring it into clinical practice. Neonatal specialist Associate Professor Christiane Theda, at the Royal Women’s Hospital, is leading this project with Professor Grayden providing biomedical engineering expertise.

The technology is being developed by a start-up company, Navi Medical Technologies Pty Ltd, that was established as a spin-off from a student project in the BioDesign Innovation program, which is part of the University’s Master of Biomedical Engineering and Master of Business Administration courses.

COVID-19 safety

Professor Jason Monty heads the team developing Medihood, a transparent ventilated hood created to improve the care of COVID-19 patients in isolation while also protecting hospital staff from infection.

The national Biomedical Translation Bridge (BTB) program will provide $600,000 WITH additional contributions from industry partners to commercialise the device over the coming year. The BTB program is part of the Medical Research Future Fund, which helps new technologies to move through the proof-of-concept stage to market.


Associate Professor David Ackland has received a $920,000 Australian Research Council Future Fellowship to fund a four-year project that will evaluate human movement and movement disorders, which affect one-third of all Australians.

His work will combine advanced biomechanical modelling with new machine learning algorithms to generate accurate, user-friendly human motion measurement using low-cost, wearable sensors.