UWA’s award winning invention, a miniaturised optical imaging probe known as the microscope-in-a-needle, has been licensed to Miniprobes Pty Ltd. so it can be developed and commercialised for use by surgeons.
The invention, which most notably won the 2015 Australian Innovation Challenge-Overall prize, comprises a tiny fibre-optic imaging probe, small enough to be encased within a hypodermic needle, with the potential to allow surgeons to see deep inside the body during surgery.
Developed by a team of UWA researchers led by Professor David Sampson and Professor Robert McLaughlin (formerly at UWA) and the WA Department of Health, the device has been licensed to Australian medical device company, Miniprobes, which was established by several of the original inventors.
Dr Samantha South from UWA’s Research Development and Innovation office said UWA was pleased to have partnered with Miniprobes.
"The technology can be used for a range of applications and provide significant imaging opportunities that do not currently exist," Dr South said.
"One application is in brain biopsy guidance, where the tool can help surgeons avoid blood vessels during surgery."
"This new device we are commercialising with Professor McLaughlin will not only help patients get faster and more effective treatment, it will also help surgeons deliver better treatment and minimise surgery costs."
"A world-class team was involved in this invention, and this agreement gives them a strong intellectual property position to commercialise the device.”
Miniprobes’ Managing Director Robert McLaughlin said the team was excited to bring the work out of UWA and into the hospital.
"There has been an amazing team of researchers that have created this technology, and we are now turning that into real commercial opportunities. There is a lot of interest from both doctors and other companies."
Under the terms of the agreement, Miniprobes is granted worldwide development and commercialisation rights for three patent applications associated with the technology. The achievement comes as the University celebrates 60 years of the UWA Medical School.
Sam South (UWA’s Research Development and Innovation office) 04211 17 241
Robert McLaughlin (Managing Director, Miniprobes) +61 400 186 544, www.miniprobes.com
David Stacey (UWA Media and Public Relations Manager) (+61 8) 6488 3229/ (+61 4) 32 637 716