Media Release 09/09/2020
Hydrix, a leader in medical device and life sciences product design, engineering and distribution, in collaboration with Memphasys, a bio-separations and reproductive biology company developing and commercialising innovative separation techniques based on the company’s proprietary membrane technology, are thrilled to announce that they have been jointly named recipients of two 2020 Good Design Awards.
These awards recognise the design and engineering of the Memphasys Felix, an automated, electrophoretic laboratory instrument for sperm separation for use in Assisted Reproductive Technology (IVF) procedures. This novel technology aims to improve the chances in achieving a successful pregnancy for infertile couples.
The Felix was awarded a Gold Good Design Award for the Engineering Design category and a Good Design Award for Product Design, Medical and Scientific category.
Developed in collaboration with globally renowned reproductive medicine expert, Prof John Aitken, the Felix technology aims to improve the likelihood of pregnancies, full-term pregnancies, and healthy progeny.
Currently, there is no standard method for preparing sperm for IVF, and techniques, costs, and times vary in existing methods. Live birth success rates are only approximately 22% and the current labour-intensive sperm processing techniques can inadvertently select DNA-damaged cells, thereby reducing the effectiveness of treatments or passing on genetic damage. The Felix aims to extract the highest quality sperm from a semen sample, including poor quality samples, through a quick, consistent and controlled process. It intends to increase the likelihood of couples successfully conceiving and giving birth.
“As a system designed specifically for use in IVF laboratories and andrology centres, the Felix is positioned to improve IVF outcomes through automating the sperm separation and selection process,” said Alison Coutts, Executive Chairman at Memphasys. “To win these awards is due recognition of significant effort on behalf of designers, engineers, scientists, IVF lab workers, researchers and more, all of whom have collaborated to help bring this world-first technology to life”.
The Felix device consists of a console and single-use cartridges which contain the cell-separation technology. The cartridges combine an electrophoresis technology with size exclusion-based membranes, patented hydrogels, and other polymer membranes to separate specific types of cells from fluids. Hydrix’s role in the project was to translate Memphasys’s core technology into a usable, commercial product, applying our User eXperience (UX), industrial design and engineering skills. Usability of the device was a significant focus with the Hydrix development team collaborating with select IVF labs to test and mature the workflow of Felix, in addition to developing packaging, labelling and Instructions for Use (IFU).
“These Good Design awards demonstrate the powerful product innovation capability that Hydrix uses to help clients transform disruptive medical ideas into commercial products,” said Michael Trieu Hydrix Services General Manager. “We are thrilled to apply our innovation, creativity, and product engineering excellence to help Memphasys become a great Australian technology company success story.”
In assessing the product, The Good Design Awards Jury praised the Memphasys Felix, commenting: “This is a beautifully simple device that performs complex biological manipulation, all within a neatly designed cartridge. It addresses an important problem, namely improving the likelihood of conception through IVF. The intended impact to improved rates of fertility is commended. The compact nature of the design and its miniaturization is also commended.”
Australia’s annual Good Design Awards program is one of the oldest and most prestigious international design awards in the world, promoting excellence in design and innovation since 1958. It is recognised by the World Design Organization (WDO) as Australia’s peak international design endorsement program.
About Hydrix Limited
Hydrix Limited (ASX: HYD) is a powerful product innovation company. Hydrix’s purpose is to enhance the health, safety, and wellbeing of 1 billion lives. The company leverages its powerful product innovation capability across Hydrix Services design and engineering to create products which transform markets; Hydrix Ventures to pick winning investments in high potential innovative products; and Hydrix Medical to create new product revenue streams bringing cardiovascular technologies to market.
Memphasys Limited (ASX: MEM) specialises in biological separations for high value commercial applications. The Company’s patented membrane processes in combination with electrophoresis, the application of an electrical potential difference across a fluid, enable the separation of high value substances or contaminants from the fluid in which they are contained. The main application of the technology is the separation of the most viable sperm cells for artificial reproduction, most particularly for human IVF.