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As a child, Nandoun Abeysekera loved working out how things worked. That curiosity has stayed with him – through university, a plastic surgery residency and now at the interesting intersection of device design and technology.

“I completed my degree in biomedical engineering and then went into medicine so that I could appreciate the deeper context around the development of devices,” says Abeysekera.

Time as a plastic surgery resident inspired him. “It’s an incredible field. I loved the creativity, the art of the surgery, the restoring of form and function to people. Being of service. Minimising suffering. It was a field I was definitely enjoyed.”

Working with plastic and reconstructive surgeon Dr Jon Mathy proved to be a turning point. Abeysekera describes Mathy as an incredible surgeon and one of the most inspiring people he’s ever met.

“Plastic surgeons train over a thousand hours to develop microsurgical precision. They are reconnecting micro-vascular arteries, each two to four millimetres in diameter. The surgeon manually hand sews each artery on at a time. Each reconnection takes 30 – 45 minutes. It’s painstaking, difficult, time-consuming. Technical error is the biggest reason those reconnections fail. The process isn’t standardised.”

It was this unmet need that piqued Abeysekera’s curiosity. “I have a special interest in medical device design and developing novel technologies that address those unmet clinical needs to streamline care and improve clinical outcomes.”

He came up with a coupling device, rather like the connector that couples your hose to your garden tap.

“This implantable device enables surgeons to reconnect microvascular arteries precisely, safely, and swiftly. What once took 30-45 minutes per artery now takes five minutes and it’s standardised, reducing technical errors and failure. Patients spend less time under anaesthesia and are more likely to have better outcomes. That standardisation means simpler and safer for both surgeons and patients. Everyone benefits.”

The Avasa Coupler was born, delivering transformative technology enabling safe arterial and venous reconnection with unparalleled speed and precision.

In 2021, the team tested a prototype and re-established blood flow in a 3mm artery. From here, they refined the concept and are now heading towards the FDA regulatory approvals – gaining that critical certification will enable them to go to the global market. Abeysekera expects this to take around 18 months and during that time, they’ll work on their first-in-human trials, their regulatory strategy, and sales and marketing.

AVASA brings together a unique multi-disciplinary team of clinicians, engineers, designers and commercialisation experts. “This means we can address unique healthcare challenges and innovate novel solutions to reduce morbidity, mortality, and cost,’ says Abeysekera.


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