Worcester, Mass. – June 13, 2012 – A new life sciences company founded by two biomedical engineering professors at Worcester Polytechnic Institute (WPI) will commercialize biopolymer microthread technology developed in the laboratory to produce new treatments for common sports injuries and heart attacks and new ways to deliver stem cells to regenerate damaged tissues in people and animals. Called VitaThreads LLC, the company will build on the pioneering research of founders George Pins and Glenn Gaudette.
Made of collagen, fibrin, and other biologic materials, biopolymer microthreads, which are about the width of a human hair, can be braided into cable-like structures that mimic natural connective tissues. First developed in Pins’s lab as a potential tool for repairing torn anterior cruciate ligaments in the knee, the microthreads were adapted by Pins and Gaudette for use as biological sutures to deliver bone marrow––derived stem cells to regenerate cardiac muscle damaged during a heart attack.
In May, the VitaThreads team took first prize at the Massachusetts Life Sciences Innovation Day 2012, sponsored by the Massachusetts Technology Transfer Center (MTTC).