It's better than standard gauze and even more effective than more costly variants. It's Osmotec, an environmentally-friendly dressing option.

Medtric Biotech

Osmotec is an novel wound-healing concept coming from a team at Purdue University on display at the Open Minds exhibition. The concept seems to bridge the gap between standard gauze and the more effective but also more costly variants (such as impregnated antibiotics, silver, etc.). Utilizing polysaccharides and oils, the dressing disrupts the cell membrane of pathogens and subsequently dehydrates and neutralizes the microbes. We had a chance to talk with Jianming Li from Medtric about the product.

What gave you the idea to come up with this concept?

The genesis of the concept actually came from using a cotton candy machine located in our lab. Inspired by the sweet delectable, our initial goal was to develop a medical device/machine that was capable of spinning out fibers for point-of-care bandage manufacturing. While that idea eventually got scrapped, the concept evolved into the current wound-care technology that we are attempting to commercialize.

What's the make-up of your team?

Our team is composed of Sean Connell (Ph.D. student, co-inventor, and co-founder), Jianming Li (Purdue faculty, co-inventor and co-founder), and Will Schryver (MBA student). Along the way, we've had other MBA and undergraduate students help us with research and business development. Our team also consists of collaborating veterinarians at Purdue and advisory board members from the wound care and medical device industry.

What was the biggest obstacle you have faced so far trying to make this concept a reality?

Commercialization entails numerous obstacles, both foreseen and unforeseen. We believe the most difficult challenges thus far are the technical aspects (getting the science right), the costs associated with building a business and securing the intellectual property (i.e. licensing and legal fees), and overcoming the regulatory hurdles (FDA). We still have a long road ahead, but with our core personnel and support advisors we are in a prime position for success and growth.

Can you give us a little more insight into the proposed mechanism of how your technology prevents infection?

To combat the problem of wound infections, Medtric has developed Osmotec. Osmotec does not rely on antibiotics, metal ions, or harsh biocides. Instead, our technology uses biomechanical principles at the cell level to inactivate virulent bacteria. The Osmotec platform utilizes engineered "nanobubbles" (similar to oil droplets) to attack pathogens (bacteria, fungi, etc.) by disturbing their protective cell surfaces. These nanobubbles work in concert with proprietary polysaccharides to dehydrate and fatally injure the microbes of interest.

What is the cost difference between your technology, standard gauze dressing, and the currently popular silver impregnated dressings?

Our dressing technology is priced between the cost of a standard gauze application and common silver-based treatments. Several pricing strategies are in place for veterinary, clinical, and over-the-counter use, but our main goal is to provide economical solutions for all target customers. Indeed, the raw materials required to compound a typical 2-4oz tube costs just a few cents and the manufacturing process is relatively simple. Additionally, we're introducing user-friendly forms (sprays, gels, pads, etc.) that would facilitate end-user application. Therefore, customers can expect both a cost and convenience benefit from the technology.

You mention that your technology has been shown to promote wound healing? Is it known how this takes place?

Pre-clinical trials demonstrate Osmotec reduces healing times by 25 to 50 percent in comparison to market leading silver/antibiotic-based wound dressings. The mechanism of action for improved wound healing is two-fold reduction in bacterial bioburden active wound cleansing and debridement. In other words, the technology fights infection and through the generation of tissue level osmotic gradients, cleanses the damaged tissue, and enhances wound-bed microcirculation. The low-toxic profile or our agents also reduces bystander damage for improved tissue repair and regeneration. We currently have an ongoing canine veterinary trial to further look into the safety and efficacy of the Osmotec platform.

This post also appears on medGadget, an Atlantic partner site.

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