A new family of biomaterials for use in medical devices has been created thanks to a collaboration between the University of Reading and BioInteractions Ltd.

The materials include a new agent to prevent a condition in which blood vessels narrow, leading to restricted blood flow.

BioInteractions wanted to develop a material which was biocompatible – not rejected or reacted to by the body’s immune system– and which could be applied to coatings of medical devices used internally. These devices include drug-eluting stents (scaffolds inserted into diseased blood vessels, which slowly release drugs to stop the vessel narrowing).

Working with Reading’s Dr John McKendrick, Lecturer in Organic Chemistry, the company and University recruited a recent graduate as part of the Knowledge Transfer Partnership (KTP) programme. The graduate used their knowledge of polymer chemistry, experimenting with biocompatible materials and polymers to develop different blends that resulted in the new biomaterials.

The terms of the KTP allow BioInteractions to keep Intellectual Property created during the partnership. Three patents have been filed and registered in the US and Europe, leading to licensing opportunities for the company. Besides generating income, this allows the company to expand its operations in the area of biomaterials.

The project has also bolstered BioInteractions’ knowledge and expertise in organic chemistry and its application in biomaterials for medical devices.