Innovations from UCT’s Medical Device Design course

3 Jul 2017 - 11:45

Innovations from UCT’s Medical Device Design course

The Medical Device Design course in the Biomedical Engineering (Health Sciences) was launched in 2015 and the course convener is our serial inventor, Dr Sudesh Sivarasu.  An important aspect of the course is the assessment of the patentability of the devices that the students elect to design.   The RC&I team gives annual presentations to the Medical Device Design course students, covering a range of topics, including: an overview of IP, patents, copyright; the patent filing process; prior art searches using the database TotalPatent, various case studies from previous years, funding opportunities within UCT and strategies for product commercialization.  The students present their devices and patentability findings to RC&I later in the year – getting the opportunity to put what they have learnt into practice.


The Ptosis Crutch was amongst the invention disclosures made to RC&I in 2015 and it is one of UCT’s success stories in that, although the technology was not patentent, it was released into the public domain for societal benefit and the crutch has been provided to a number of patients at Groote Schuur Hospital.  In 2016, five intellectual property disclosures were submitted to RC&I for assessment and this year we have received 12 - the number is growing every year.

It is really beneficial for graduates to be IP savvy and have product commercialisation aptitude when entering the Medical Device sector.  It is great for RC&I’s awareness raising and support to be integrated into this course in this way and we would welcome other opportunities to work with postgraduate students in this way.

Ptosis Crutch

Patellofixator Rig

Paediatric Metered Dosage Inhaler (pMDI)