The Cardiovascular Medical Devices Group works to understand the interactions of medical devices with patients’ blood, proteins and cells to develop more sophisticated and compatible materials for medical devices for the diagnosis and treatment of cardiovascular disease.
Despite the widespread use of medical devices in cardiovascular medicine, including artificial hearts, vascular stents, vascular grafts, heart valves, pacemakers, catheters and cardiopulmonary bypass circuits, many side effects occur due to the materials used to make these devices, such as blood clots (thrombosis) and microbe adhesion (biofouling). Thrombosis of medical devices is currently managed with medication that causes additional complications, such as bleeding from antiplatelet or anticoagulant drugs. Biofouling is treated with antibiotics, however, antibiotics can’t always penetrate the biofilm and the overuse of antibiotics is leading to antibiotic resistant pathogens. Increased understanding of biointerface interactions and methodology to assess materials could lead to the development of new more compatible materials and devices to reduce the use of drugs and risks for patients.
Our team applies cutting edge bioengineering tools to develop new methodologies to assess and understand the interplay of events at the biointerface, where the devices interact with the patient, and manipulate this interplay to improve medical device function, create novel medical devices and diagnostics and both drug and non-drug based avenues for therapies.
Deciding to take your heart health into your own hands by making some healthier behaviour changes is the first step. But how long do you need to keep up with these changes before they become habit?
Dr Anna Waterhouse invited to speak at Joint Annual Scientific Meeting in Hobart.