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The Sepal Infant Feeding Teat – Design by Collaboration

Gavin Doherty | May 17th, 2016


Local design and development company APS Innovations (APS) are further proof that world-class design and innovation is alive and well in this country.

For those of us who have ever had to prepare formula and bottles for our children, the act of disassembling the various parts of the bottle, sterilising those parts and reassembling them for use is fraught with danger, especially when sleep deprived and with the little ones exercising their lungs between feeds.  Then there is the leakage through insufficient tightening of the various parts of the bottle and the lack of flow due to the over-tightening of those parts. It makes you wonder how the child ever survives!

In 2010, The Royal Children’s Hospital (RCH) in Melbourne, one of Australia’s leading specialist paediatric hospitals with a staff of nearly 4000, put out a call for assistance in solving a number of issues they were experiencing in providing infant feeds and enteral nutrition to around 90 patients daily.  In preparing feeds for infants with varying nutritional needs, the RCH use roughly 400 teats daily, which are collected after use and returned to the formula room for sanitizing between uses.


APS answered the call and listened to the requirements of the RCH, including dieticians, speech pathologists and specialist paediatric nursing staff. Over the next four years, in close collaboration with the RCH and with the use of CT-scan data provided by the RCH, APS developed the Sepal infant feeding teat.

The teat is specifically designed to be anatomically suitable to the changing baby’s mouth and to ensure good attachment and sufficient vacuum for accurate and consistent flow rates. Also, through APS’s specialisation in plastics, the teat was designed as a one piece unit, significantly reducing the disassembly and assembly issues that plague most existing systems.


With the trials of the device proving a success and the flow rates carefully selected by the RCH being accurately and consistently met, APS established Sepal Pty Ltd (Sepal) to manufacture and supply the Sepal infant feeding teat to their development partner and first customer (the RCH) and the many new and emerging markets that have taken an interest in this new technology.

mdp Patent and Trade Mark Attorneys are very pleased to be associated with clients such as APS and Sepal who can collaborate with the world leaders in their field to deliver products that address real needs within our society.

Gavin Doherty

Gavin is regarded as one of Australia’s foremost Patent Attorneys, having developed and managed world-renowned intellectual property (IP) portfolios for some of Australia’s most innovative international companies and has almost twenty years’ experience in international patent applications from both a regulatory and commercial perspective.