Wednesday May 15, 2013 0 commentsFORT COLLINS - A Colorado State University chemist's game-changing quest for a Holy Grail long sought by medical professionals has earned a coveted spot at a global showcase of top emerging technologies in Washington, D.C.
Melissa Reynolds and her startup company, Diazamed, received a 2013 TechConnect National Innovation Award for research on agents to speed wound healing and the body's acceptance of biologically implanted materials such as catheters, stents and surgical meshes.
"Wounds that do not heal and medical implants that are rejected by the body create huge risks for patients beyond the initial wound and surgical procedure, including infections, cell death, limb loss, cardiovascular conditions, secondary injuries, diseases and more," Reynolds said.
"It's imperative to find innovative solutions."
Reynolds' research group is making materials embedded with nitric oxide, a powerful, naturally occurring substance in the body that acts to block infections, prevent clotting and boost healthy cell growth.
"We focus on synthesizing materials and artificial surfaces that replicate the natural function of cells through the release of nitric oxide," said Reynolds, an assistant professor of chemistry in CSU's College of Natural Sciences.
"These materials can effectively reduce or completely inhibit the complications associated with biologically implanted materials."
Reynolds said her work is infused with her own experience when her body rejected a shunt. She said she hopes her biodegradable coatings will be available to hospitals in the next three years.
For more information, visit www.csuventures.org.