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Past Winner
2012 NSERC Synergy Awards for Innovation

J. Paul Santerre

University of Toronto and Interface Biologics Inc.

Category 1: Small and Medium-Sized Companies

J. Paul Santerre
J. Paul Santerre

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:

  • EndexoTM is a unique fluorine-containing surface-modifying molecule that is used during plastic production to yield special medicinal additives that migrate to the surface of the plastic, making it less likely to react with blood.

  • KinesyxTM allows for a combination of drugs to be incorporated right at the surface of the polymer, where they help heal diseased tissue.

  • EpidelTM is a method of drug delivery that is responsive to the body’s inherent immune activity and can pro-actively protect against infections.

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.

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