Applecross couple take out the top prize at the Curtinnovation Awards

 Curtin University biomedical engineer Matthew Oldakowski and Intan Oldakowska were part of the team that claimed the overall award at Curtin University's Curtinnovation Awards.
Curtin University biomedical engineer Matthew Oldakowski and Intan Oldakowska were part of the team that claimed the overall award at Curtin University's Curtinnovation Awards.

AN Applecross husband and wife are a part of the team that claimed the overall award at Curtin University’s Curtinnovation Awards with a piece of medical technology.

Curtin University biomedical engineers Matthew Oldakowski and Intan Oldakowska joined researchers and surgeons from the university and St John of God Hospital to develop the REX orthopaedic screw.

The medical technology is a removable, expandable titanium screw will assist in complex surgeries to treat hip fractures and other bone injuries, as well as spinal conditions.

Dr Oldakowski said the team had been working on the project for a number of years, looking at various body parts until deciding on the hips.

“We started work in 2012 so it’s been a long-time coming although we started looking at the hip in early 2017,” he said.

“The idea is that it’s easy for surgeons to use.”

“We are still in the testing phase, there are animal tests that need to occur as well as trials on cadavers, we are probably looking at three to four years before it’s used day to day in hospitals.”

Dr Oldakowski said the team was very pleased with the award.

“We’ve received $15,000 and that will go towards the research budget and will help us with additional prototypes,” he said.