Every second counts when a patient’s heart stops and critical to this is restarting the heart and maximising blood flow to the brain. Without adequate blood flow to the brain, eventual survivors can be left with a devastating brain injury and be forced to live for their remaining years with severely reduced quality of life. The rapid delivery of adrenaline to restore cardiac function and deliver blood to the brain is critical to improving survival. Current techniques for delivering adrenaline focus on cannulating a vein. This can take many of those crucial seconds and more frequently several minutes, as the collapsed veins post cardiac arrest are extremely difficult to find and access. If the cannula is successfully inserted, the lack of blood flow within them prevents rapid delivery of adrenaline back to the heart.
This research team is developing a device with the potential for safe, rapid adrenaline delivery directly to the lungs with each breath without the need for venous cannulation. This rapid delivery of adrenaline to the lungs, and subsequent absorption to the blood and then the heart, may change the outcome from a brain injury rendering a previously fit person unable to walk, to 100% recovery.
In an animal model, the research team reported to EMF that they were able to demonstrate that is possible for a dry powder adrenaline formulation to be delivered systemically via the lungs. They also reported development of adrenaline administration in a pre-clinical setting. The team made headway in developing guidelines for the development of prototype delivery devices.
This research has been rolled into the start-up company, De Motu Cordis (DMC), which was awarded a $100,000 Queensland Government grant to commercialise an adrenaline 'puffer" (the drug-device combination product, which is under development) for use in cardiac or anaphylaxis. The company was founded by Professor John Fraser.
- Queensland Government, Advance Queensland, Ignite Ideas grant (2018): $100,000
- Queensland Government, Biomedical Assistance Fund (2017): $250,000
Dr Andrew Staib
Prof John Fraser
Prof Kim Chan
Dr Shaun Gregory
Dr Dylan Flaws
Dr Dave Seaton