Category 1: Small and Medium-Sized Companies
Hospitals and other health providers use a lot of polymeric materials (plastics, fibres, adhesives, etc.), applied in products ranging from catheters to drug-delivery and tissue-regeneration systems. But they cannot buy these materials from just any supplier—products must perform exactly as intended, without causing adverse health reactions.
The need for reliable and innovative polymeric materials led to a partnership involving Paul Santerre from the University of Toronto’s Institute of Biomaterials and Biomedical Engineering as well as the university’s Faculty of Dentistry and Interface Biologics Inc. (IBI). They are producing transformative biomedical polymers to make medical devices safer and more effective.
Their proprietary materials have led to the development of products that range from high-volume devices, such as catheter lines, to highly specialized polymer-coated stents for opening up blocked arteries. Dr. Santerre, winner of an NSERC Synergy Award for Innovation, has worked with IBI to develop new technologies to program biocompatibility directly into the raw plastic resins—before device production—making device manufacturing more cost-effective.
The collaboration has produced three significant technologies:
Further research is looking at developing drug–polymer compounds to treat infections and cancer. This research is creating commercial opportunity for Canada’s growing medical device industry—while also saving lives and saving costs for universal health care.