University of Malta

Cardio Thoracic
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New technology in the Biomedical area is constantly being developed at the University of Malta. The technologies listed here focus on the Cardio Thoracic Field. The Knowledge Transfer Office is looking for licensees and development partners to take these technologies to market.

Surgical Suction Device

Surgical equipment currently available on the market does not allow for direct contact with metastases.  This invention can facilitate the surgeon’s ability to achieve desired cutting angles, thereby removing as little healthy tissue as possible. By using this instrument the surgeon would save time and reduce the risk of breakage of metastases.

We are looking for potential licencees and collaborators to develop a final product for commercialisation.  For more information, click here


RibBridge - Chest Wall Correction Kit

The RibBridge offers a natural chest physiology to the patients by giving full range of motion, unlike other products on the market for chest reconstruction. Moreover, it addresses the following issues associated with artificial implants:

  • Lack of fixation strength between the device and the native rib
  • Difficulty to manufacture
  • Inability to accommodate different defect sizes
  • Hindering patients’ appearance and comfort

We are looking for licencees, ideally orthopaedic product manufacturers, to manufacture and sell the product. For more information, click here.



Valves and Stents

An increasingly common form of treatment for cardiovascular disease involves implanting a stent in an artery where a blockage is present. The stents which are currently being used are not always as flexible as required and may not behave in the same manner as a blood vessel would, causing stress within the blood vessel walls.  Once stents are deployed, they also tend to shorten which may cause difficulties in placing the stent in the correct position within the vessel.

Our research team has developed auxetic stent designs to match the specific geometry of the blood vessel where they will be applied. When the stent is expanded to widen the vessel its length remains unchanged and its cross-section adapts to the shape of the vessel. This minimises the negative effects of current stent designs, making it easier for the stent to be correctly positioned. Such interventions would be more efficient, reducing operating times and costs, while sparing the patients from undue stress.

We are looking for potential licencees and collaborators to develop a product for commercialisation.  For more information, kindly contact the Knowledge Transfer Office.



Auxetic Materials

One might wrongly assume that when a volume of material is stretched it will always become thinner. Due to their peculiar internal geometry, auxetic materials grow wider when stretched. This unlocks a plethora of applications such as implants and dressings to adapt to contours of the body and dressings with slow release drugs. 

To find out more, kindly  contact the Knowledge Transfer Office.


Distal End of an Endoscope

Endoscopes are used to observe areas in the body that are otherwise unobservable due to inaccessibility. Medical applications include gastro endoscopy, which allows a doctor to view the inside lining of the throat, the stomach and parts of the intestine, whereas industrial applications include inspection in aerospace engineering. An endoscope typically has a transparent lens at its distal end to allow the image in view to be transmitted to the user. Currently this lens and its housing are produced in separate injection moulding processes and must then be attached to using costly micro-assembly techniques.  

A team of University researchers  have designed and manufactured a mould tool that uses micro two-shot injection moulding, so that the transparent endoscopy lens is moulded as the first step and an opaque housing is moulded around it as the second step.

We are looking for commercial partners interested specifically in licensing the design for the endoscope lens assembly. In addition we are interested in development work with companies which could benefit from multi-material injection moulding to improve product quality and/or manufacturing processes.   

For more information, click here.


Diagnosis and Classification of Breast Cancer

HER-2 is a gene involved in how breast cells grow, divide and repeat themselves. When the HER-2 gene is abnormal, breast cancers tend to grow faster, are more likely to spread and tend to recur (very aggressive). HER-2 positive breast cancers can be treated with specific medicines so detecting them accurately ensures the best treatment for the patient.

The test has the following advantages when compared to the state of the art: 

  • Elimination of ambiguous results - 100% certainty of detecting the biomarkers 
  • Minimal biopsy material needed (50ng)
  • Ability to analyse degraded material 
  • Faster processing time
  • Final test can be priced at same or lower price as current tests

Triple negative breast cancer (TNBC) patients have a poor prognosis. To date there are no markers that identify potential therapeutic groups within this subtype. With the use of our novel biomarkers we can classify patients into luminal and basal types and in addition, predict sensitivity to particular treatments.

The test has the following advantages when compared to the state of the art: 

  • Identifies a patient group which could be treated by a specific drug, particularly important for this group that currently has no targeted therapy 
  • Reduces costs related to testing kit as 4 biomarkers are required, when compared to the 10 currently in use for detection only
  • Can be used on archival material

A spin-out company has been set up to commercialise these technologies - Biotech Innovations Ltd. (C76539). Biotech Innovations intends to carry out research to develop more kits and to offer testing services around its technologies. We are looking for a manufacturing partner who would be interested in producing and distributing test kits to be used on the Luminex xmap platform. We are also looking for pharmaceutical companies who are interested in developing companion diagnostic tools for particular drugs.

For more information, click here



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Last Updated: 30 September 2016

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