A foldable splint, manufactured in South Australia, is the latest product to benefit from Flinders University’s Medical Device Partnering Program (MDPP), thanks to funding from the state government’s Medical Technologies Program (MTP).

Manufacturing and Innovation Minister Kyam Maher says the ‘CAS Splint’, made by South Australian company Fluoro Medical Pty Ltd, will be manufactured in large quantities in South Australia, and will be launched this year.

“The splint features an innovative design to stabilise and support injured limbs, is waterproof, and compact enough to fit into an everyday First Aid Kit,” Mr Maher says.

“The company has advised that the project is forecast to create up to 25 jobs over the next three to five years.

“The MTP funding will provide 250 hours of research and development assistance from Flinders’ MDPP together with 30 hours of market intelligence which can be utilised by Fluoro Medical to craft a business case and commercialisation strategy at a later stage.

“The MTP grants allow us to focus on innovative medical technologies developed in South Australia, to create jobs and to diversify our economy.”

MDPP Director, Professor Karen Reynolds, said that Flinders University’s MDPP experts will run trials of the splint, helping Fluoro Medical through the final development phase.

Australian data from 2006 indicated that 65 per cent of falls result in the fracture of limbs (Australian Institute for Health and Welfare 2010) – and currently, the most common way to secure a limb is by using sling bandages with cardboard splints not found in most first-aid kits.

Because of the nature of the materials used in that process, the resulting support can easily succumb to moisture damage and, if applied incorrectly, even exacerbate the injury.

“The MDPP will undertake an end-user trial and survey to validate the current design of the splint and make recommendations for design modifications as required,” said Professor Reynolds.

Fluoro Medical were also recently awarded a grant from Department of Industry, Innovation and Science through the Accelerating Commercialisation programme for their splint, and will use this funding to establish manufacturing options, develop training materials, operational costs and initial production runs – keeping much needed work in South Australia where possible.