November 5, 2013
Science fiction is becoming reality. Nanofiber Solutions, a medical tech startup, has developed a broad technology platform to create and align nanofibers to form almost any kind of human tissue.
The idea came out of Dr. Jed Johnson’s OSU postgraduate research on cancer and greater consistency in real-world discoveries. To date, Johnson and fellow team members Ross Kayuha and Timm Peddie, have been able to bring the idea into reality and create a host of tissue that is easily and readily assimilated into a body.
These tissues can replace or enhance existing tissues that may have been damaged or removed due to diseases, accidents, or genetic ailments. And Timm Peddie agreed to give us with a glimpse into the fascinating way Nanofiber Solutions is doing it.
Tech Cocktail: Could you talk about your core technology and how it compares to other available technologies?
Timm Peddie: Our core technology is to create fibers that are 1/100th the size of a human hair in diameter and form them into 3D scaffolds that mimic the human body. These scaffolds can be multi-layer tissue, tubular organs, trachea, veins, and arteries.
Other technologies are trying to do something similar, like 3D printing, metal mesh, and molds, but nobody compares with what we’re doing. We have a head start on them, and while people might create similar platforms, they will still have to go through years of development before gaining a cohesive understanding of extracellular matrices.
Tech Cocktail: Have you had any success with your 3D scaffolds yet?
Peddie: We’ve had tremendous success using our nanofiber scaffold technologies to create the first nanofiber tracheas in the world and have them implanted into human patients.
There was a young girl who was born without a trachea and had never been able to breathe or eat on her own before; for the first two years of her life, she was hooked up to machines and IVs. After a successful surgery, she learned how to talk and eat for the first time in her life.
We’re also planning a launch of three different lines of veterinary products for the end of the year. We successfully made a tendon replacement for a horse that had a tendon gap and helped it walk properly again.
Tech Cocktail: How do you see this impacting the future of the medical industry and other tech startups in the field?
Peddie: Our technology is the future and it’s completely transformative. In the future people will simply order new menisci, heart valves, and organs when they wear out. It is a huge turn in the science and truly revolutionary in its impact.
This technology, over time, could be used to fabricate valves, lung, hearts, and more complex organs. When you look at the body and you work your way through meniscus, muscles, and tendons, you begin to realize there are literally thousands of products we could develop.
And I also think it’s an encouragement to other tech startups. There are so many technologies out there and everybody is vying for their own solution. The fact that we’ve found something puts pressure on others and we’ll see a lot of changes stemming from this.
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