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Airway Medical completes first working prototype

Airway Medical completes first working prototype

SETsquared Bristol member, Airway Medical, in collaboration with the University of Portsmouth and Versarien PLC, has announced the conclusion of its project to further the development of The AMSU™.

The AMSU™ is a novel, portable airway suction device that will soon be helping to save the lives of patients with blocked airways and improving the well-being of people with a multitude of chronic conditions.

The project was part-funded by a grant from Innovate UK, in its Sustainability category, recognising breakthrough new technologies. The grant supported the employment of George Bulac, a Ms research graduate at the University of Portsmouth, to study and optimise the design of the medical device. The University team used computational fluid dynamics modelling to guide the 3D printing prototyping of the venturi and this additional experimental testing closed the loop of the design process.

The second aspect of the research project was conducted by Airway Medical to explore the possibility of designing a Class IIa medical device that utilised plant-based biopolymers to ensure that the fundamental product components were sourced from renewable materials. In depth research has been carried out to establish which materials can produce a medical grade device and several design ideas were considered before creating a working prototype from injection mould tooling that utilised plant-based polymers – a world-first for a Class II medical device.

Simon Hall, Founder and CTO comments: “Our intent is to produce medical devices in conjunction with people who will actually use them and to ensure we do so with maximum social and minimal environmental impact as our driving forces. I am proud of the team for delivering on our promise to Innovate UK. We believe this will be the world’s first net zero Class IIa medical device made from plants and a demonstration to all medical device manufacturers that there are no longer any barriers to adopting medical grade biopolymers.”

Glenn Kenworthy, Airway Medical CEO, stated: “This is a significant milestone in our journey. Completing our project with Innovate UK sets our company and the technology we are working to create, on a clear path to clinical adoption. It demonstrates that we have moved forward from proof of concept, with an idea that we believe can be easily utilised and brought into clinical practice. Our working prototypes will now be evaluated in the field, with clinicians and potential users to inform our next steps and contribute to the development of our MVP. We are very pleased to have been associated with the University of Portsmouth and Versarien PLC to carry out this project and thankful for the support from Innovate UK.”

Airway Medical is one of 16 finalists, selected from over 40 applications, to pitch at SETsquared Invest 2021. This is an unmissable event for investors looking for high quality, high technology prospects, bringing together cross-sector ventures seeking growth investments of between £250k to £5m and corporate partnerships. Find out more about Invest 2021 here.

Airway Medical also participated in SETsquared’s IKEEP programme, hosting a team of three intrapreneurially trained students to assist with market research for a new product it was developing. Discover what Sarah Whelan, Human Resources Director at Airway Medical, thought about IKEEP in our blog.

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