Coming generations of implanted medical devices will interact with the human body at the molecular level, using sophisticated nano-coatings to not only thwart microbial growth but to perform biological operations.
That’s the prediction of Nano Surfaces founder, president and CEO Joe Gatto. The Boston-based firm is developing technology it’s licensed from Cornell University to create self-assembling, anti-microbial coatings on a nanotech scale — and Gatto says that’s just the beginning. To prove it, he’s hitting to road to raise a Series A round from institutional investors.
“With respect to the medical environment and polymers, we’re at a stage now where — because we can control the nano-environment, and that’s where all the biological operations at the molecular level happen — people, whether it’s us or somebody else, are going to be able to develop some very beneficial coatings to make medical devices actually do something on their surface, whereas now they can’t," he told us. "We can look forward to some significant developments in the next couple of years.”
Gatto founded the company in September 2007 after watching an acquaintance try — and fail — to commercialize an anti-fouling product for marine applications.
"I looked at it and I thought I could develop something, which then became much more involved. We ended up licensing the technology from Cornell," he explained, adding that the company was initially funded with angel money from private European investors.
The key to the Nano Surfaces polymer is its ability to present different properties at the surface level than at the mechanical level, according to a company presentation. Incompatibility between surface properties and mechanical properties typically causes coatings to separate from whatever they’re meant to cover. The Nano Surfaces technology "mimics self-assembling, modular fabrication strategy" found in Nature, according to the presentation. The company has developed several "permanent, antimicrobial coating formulations" for medical devices that are non-toxic and don’t release particles over time, according to the document.
Gatto told us more about how his technology works, explaining why he thinks it’s got a good chance of cracking a market worth $4.7 million in 2009 and projected grow 66 percent by 2014.
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