SBIR Phase I: A Nitric Oxide-Releasing Polymer Platform for Wound Biofilm Management
This Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) Phase I project aims to develop a topical formulation incorporating a polymeric platform that releases therapeutic levels of nitric oxide gas, and assess its efficacy in dispersing wound-relevant bacterial biofilms. The intellectual merit of the proposed project is built around the remarkable characteristics of the polymeric system, where under appropriate conditions this polymer can provide sustained release of nitric oxide over long periods of time and at low concentrations that are biocompatible. The benefit of this characteristic is substantial. Firstly, it avoids the toxicity problems associated with high levels of reactive species formed in response to concentrated nitric oxide release. Secondly, the low levels of nitric oxide release from the polymer will result in increased bioavailability of nitric oxide for promotion of wound healing. Taken together, the characteristics of the proposed nitric oxide releasing polymer prodrug may offer a significant improvement over current approaches to chronic wound treatment. The broader impact/commercial potential of this project will be determined by market needs that the technology addresses. Colonization of surfaces by biofilms is a significant problem not only in the clinical field, but also across industry and environmental biotechnology sectors. As such, there is a growing requirement for technologies that can either prevent biofilm growth or disperse an existing biofilm, and that can be manufactured in a cost effective manner. The technology that is put forward for development in this Phase I proposal has characteristics that are in line with these requirements. By demonstrating successful development of a product for treatment of wound-related biofilms, a solid foundation will be put in place for exploring similar biofilm prevention or eradication needs across other market sectors.
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