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Emilie Wells Emilie Wells
01/06/2017
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Innovative sports bra leads to major award

Medical device innovation for women with large breasts. 

A personal dissatisfaction with the performance of sports bras for women has led to a major award for UOW PhD student Celeste Coltman.

Currently in the final year of her PhD at UOW’s Biomechanics Research Laboratory, Celeste was earlier this year selected as one of two UOW researchers to participate in the 2017 NSW Medical Devices Commercialisation Training Program (MDCTP), a 12-week intensive course that increases the commercialisation capability of medical device researchers.

Celeste was awarded a $10,000 international engagement scholarship and given an offer to be a portfolio company at Cicada Innovations to build her technology into a global, scalable company. The award was presented by NSW Minister for Health, The Hon Brad Hazzard, during a medical device showcase held at Cicada Innovations on Wednesday 31 May.

Supported by Breast Research Australia (BRA) UOW researchers Professor Julie Steele and Dr Deirdre McGhee, Celeste is using her unique data and biomechanical understanding of breast motion to develop an improved solution for women with large breasts.

“Insufficient breast support is a barrier to exercise for many women in Australia and there is a gap in the market whereby women with large breasts are not being catered for by current sports bra designs,” Celeste said.

“I believe that all women, irrespective of breast size should be able to enjoy the health benefits associated with an active lifestyle and not be deterred because they can’t find a sports bra to fit or support sufficiently.”

Commissioned by NSW Health and delivered by Cicada Innovations, Australia’s leading start-up incubator, the MDCTP is a unique career development opportunity, with the program specifically designed to address the gap between the skill base in the development of a medical research device and the skills required to commercialise emerging innovative technologies.

Celeste aims to continue to work in the medical device start-up space, and would like to use her grant to explore overseas markets and potential manufacturing partners for her device.

Previous successful UOW participants of the MDCTP include Dr Robert Gorkin III, of Project Geldom, as well as Biomechanics Research Laboratory graduate Dr Sheridan Gho and Dr Michael Weaver, of Cenofex Innovations.

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