About us

Our mission

Nirtek was formed to prevent heart attacks and save lives by detecting unstable coronary plaques using a patented technology known as near infrared autofluorescence (NIRAF) so they can be treated before they lead to major adverse cardiovascular events, the leading cause of death worldwide.

Our story

Leading interventional cardiologist and Deputy Director of the Baker Heart and Diabetes Institute, Professor Karlheinz Peter saw that too many people were suffering major adverse cardiovascular events such as heart attack and death despite having the presence of coronary artery disease diagnosed by coronary angiography. He and his colleagues knew that atherosclerotic plaques of less than 70% stenosis were being left untreated because there was no way to identify which of those plaques were unstable and vulnerable to rupture and coronary occlusion. Professor Peter conducted research at the Baker Institute to develop a way to detect compounds within coronary plaques that had been proven to be strongly correlated with plaque instability and vulnerability to rupture.

Our progress

A successful research program funded by the Baker Institute and an NHMRC grant has allowed us to develop and patent the science behind our NIRAF technology. A collaboration with biomedical engineers and optical physicists at Swinburne University has resulted in a prototype product design which Nirtek are now refining and will fully develop for translation into clinical use.