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A new research hub is aiming to transform Australia’s medical technology sector by developing cost-effective technologies for the production of medical devices.

Researchers from the University of Queensland’s Faculty of Engineering, Architecture and Information Technology joined experts from industry, government and academia to establish the Australian Research Council (ARC) Research Hub for Advanced Manufacturing of Medical Devices (AMMD Hub).

The AMMD Hub will focus on developing advanced materials and improving manufacturing technologies and flexible processing capabilities.

UQ Vice-Chancellor and President Professor Peter Høj said creating better health outcomes for patients in Australia and globally was a key goal of the hub.

“One of the intended outcomes is to reduce the time it takes to design, manufacture and supply custom-made medical devices such as endovascular stent grafts for patients with aortic aneurysm – an increasingly common condition that currently has post-rupture survival rates of only 10 to 20%,” Professor Høj said.

Researchers, based at Cook Medical Australia, have already begun work in the area of lean manufacturing to improve the production times of custom-made devices to surgeons.

Projects looking at adaptive automation systems, metallic biomaterials and collaborative robotics are also underway.

Cook Medical Australia general manager Dr Samih Nabulsi said the AMMD Hub would drive growth in the sector and increase the global market share of manufactured medical device technologies developed in Australia.

“Our primary goal is to improve patient health outcomes, but we are also growing workforce capability in the medical device industry and increasing the translation of new technology, which will also have a broad impact.”