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Genesys joins Chronic Wound CRC-P for diabetes medical device

Updated: Mar 18

Whiteley CEO Greg Whiteley announcing partnership with Genesys Electronics design to design diabetes medical device
Whiteley executive chairman Greg Whiteley

Genesys is joining a $5.6 million Cooperative Research Centres Project (CRC-P) led by Newcastle-based Whiteley Corporation to develop an approach that will reduce the impact of bacterial biofilms in chronic open wounds. The CRC-P is supported by the University of Newcastle and Western Sydney University.

Chronic wounds start with a minor skin injury that does not heal and progresses to a problem costing $3.5 billion annually in Australia. Patients often have overlapping complications, including the loss of blood flow around the wound, which allows bacteria to proliferate and create biofilms within the wound, which diminishes natural immune responses.

The impact of biofilms is felt most acutely in those with co-morbidities. For example, approximately 20% of people with diabetes will develop a difficult-to-heal chronic foot ulcers in their lifetime. If proper treatment is not provided, these ulcers can lead to amputation and even cause death.

Effective management of chronic wounds requires a combination of treatments that include wound debridement, an anti-biofilm treatment, wound mapping, and a deeper tissue perception of bacterial engagement beyond the wound surface, which cannot typically be seen.  

However, current tools and approaches do not work together to precisely identify the best treatment to enable recovery. This collaboration aims to tackle the above elements not as individual, stand-alone issues but through a holistic approach to chronic wound care.

The scope of multi-disciplinary effort includes novel anti-biofilm treatments and novel wound monitoring, including vascular identification, and dyes which target bacterial biofilms. Genesys will be developing systems to support these core objectives.

Professor Slade Jensen, from the Western Sydney University’s School of Medicine and the Ingham Institute for Applied Medical Research (IIAMR), said “Once established, mature biofilms become recalcitrant to standard therapeutics. However, bacteria within biofilms are not visible to the naked eye. This project provides a rationale for the use of novel strategies to directly and indirectly affect microbial biofilms and wound healing.”

Newcastle researchers will be led by Professor Sarah Johnson from its School of Engineering who is an expert in digital information / signals processing and its application in biomedical sciences.

Whitely Corporation is a leading global innovator in medical device reprocessing and infection prevention solutions. The company is expert in biofilm removal from a wide range of surgical instrument and other medical equipment such as ultrasound probes and endoscopy equipment.

Executive chairman of Whiteley Corporation A/Prof Greg Whiteley said: “This CRC-P continues our decades strong research into biofilms in the hospital setting and encompasses our goal to bring this research directly to patients through treatments that target biofilms. We are excited to have Genesys Design join the wider project team that also includes University of Newcastle and Western Sydney University”.

Genesys Co-CEO George Bou-Rizk

George Bou-Rizk, Co-CEO of Genesys Electronics Design, on joining the CRC-P said: “Genesys is extremely excited regarding this CRC-P with Whiteley, University of Newcastle and Western Sydney University. CRC-Ps are the perfect embodiment of bridging the gap between research and industry to make real-world, life changing innovations a reality".

The CRC-P is supported by a $2 million grant from the Australian Government.

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