Skip to main content Deutsch

MedUni Vienna project receives FFG spin-off fellowship

Funding for possible spin-off of the Safe Vascular Access Needle (SVAN)
All News

(Vienna, 23 February 2024) With the SVAN (Safe Vascular Access Needle) project, a MedUni Vienna invention is receiving funding from the FFG Spin-off Fellowship. Intraosseous access for the administration of life-saving medication in emergency situations is being further developed at the Center for Medical Physics. The funding will be used to prepare the spin-off company.

Intraosseous (IO) access, which has long been the access of choice to administer life-saving drugs in case of lethal emergencies in adults and children, is now increasingly being used in newborns. International guidelines for neonatal resuscitation also recommend IO access (in which a thin needle is inserted into the highly vascularized bone and drugs can be administered quickly) as an alternative when other venous access approaches are not possible. The flat anteromedial proximal tibial surface is one of the most preferred sites of adult IO access due to lower risk of compromising critical structures. However, neonates significantly differ from adult population in terms of bone anatomy, vasculature, size, mineralization, cortical thickness and marrow diameter. Therefore, when establishing an IO access with contemporary drilling systems in the newborn or small animals, there is a concern about the risk of accidentally drilling through the soft bone causing complications. These range from harmless extravasations to severe necrosis of the surrounding tissue and limb amputation. In order to enable safe IO access in this age group, the new SVAN system was developed with its unique selling point of a self-stop mechanism of the drill (stops as soon as the medullary cavity is reached).

FFG Fellowship Project SVAN: Gunpreet Oberoi (Fellow) und Ewald Unger (Mentor) from the Center for Medical Physics and Biomedical Engineering

Potentiated by the growing demand for safe implementation of IO access not only in newborns but also the need in the veterinary field (e.g., for small animals), the idea of a fully automatic IO system was born. The first functional prototype, adapted to a realistic 3D-printed tibial trainer for newborns, has already been established as part of a preliminary project. With the follow-up project SVAN (Safe Vascular Access Needle), the prototype of SVAN drill and JIO (Juvenile IntraOsseus) training system are now to be further developed into a production-ready device. This will significantly improve patient safety and survival on the one hand and train the doctor's skills on the other hand, relieving them of the anxiety of destroying the small bones or injecting drugs wrongly.

The advancement of a rapid and reliable technology like SVAN is foreseen to contribute immensely to the value of healthcare sector. An increase in the prevalence of emergency resuscitation and pre-term births, catalysed by its innovative auto-stop technology are the primary drivers of the SVAN market. It can be predicted that SVAN shall revolutionise the quality of treatment for the neonates and small animals, and opens new horizons for other devices such as bone marrow aspiration necessitating an auto-stop drill function.

About the "Spin-off Fellowship" program
The FFG's Spin-off Fellowship program is intended to support the exploitation of intellectual property at universities and research institutions at a very early stage in order to enable the founding of a company after the fellowship has been completed. During the term of the spin-off fellowship, the fellows must concentrate 100% on this task and may not pursue any teaching activities or other research tasks. In order to be taught entrepreneurial thinking and action, the fellows receive accompanying further training measures, coaching and mentoring via the FFG network.