Business innovation award for breakthrough nano material

16 November 2009

Professor Alexander Seifalian, (UCL Centre for Stem Cells and Regenerative Medicine) and his research team have received a Business Innovation Award.

The award, which was won within the Life Sciences and Healthcare category, was in recognition of the development of a revolutionary polymer material, a platform technology which has the potential to be used in a wide spectrum of biomedical application including heart valve substitutes and coronary artery bypass grafts.

A stent, a small mesh tube used to treat narrowed or weakened arteries.

The Business Innovation Awards showcase the best of British innovation and are hosted by the Nanotechnology Knowledge Transfer Network (NanoKTN) and UK Trade & Investment (UKTI).

The award follows a recent £100,000 grant from National Institute for Health Research (NIHR) to carry out a feasibility study to develop a revolutionary polymer coated stent for the treatment of coronary heart disease. A coated stent is a tiny cage coated with a drug to prop open an artery and prevent it from closing again.

The UCL team has developed a novel nanocomposite polymer coating for the stent, which has the unique property of attracting and attaching circulating endothelial cells.  These provide a natural lining which actively promotes vessel wall healing and will, in this way reduce the risk of thrombosis and restenosis.

Professor Seifalian said: “I’m extremely pleased at this recognition for UCL and our team. I hope this will help push our medical implant forward by commercialization. We believe the use of the polymer to coat stents will address the problems associated with current stents and may lead to a reduction in stent failure rates."


UCL context

The UCL Centre for Stem Cells and Regenerative Medicine, officially launched in April 2009, brings together over 150 research groups from several faculties, specialised hospitals and institutes across UCL including the MRC National Institute for Medical Research (NIMR), with a common interest in all aspects of stem cells, tissue engineering, repair and regeneration and the development of their therapeutic and biotechnological potential

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