TORONTO, ON — A small instrument resembling a mini-chocolate grater. An ordinary-looking catheter tube with extraordinary properties. They may not look like much to the untrained eye, but people in the know think objects like these represent the future of medicine.
On October 10th, as part of its 50th Anniversary Symposium, the Institute of Biomaterials and Biomedical Engineering (IBBME) is holding a unique “World’s Fair” of biomedical engineering devices, the “Tomorrow’s Technology Showcase,” at which the public will be given a rare glimpse at the frontier of medicine and its roots in technological innovation.
The Showcase is part of a free, one-day international Symposium, “Defining Tomorrow: Advancing the Integration of Engineering and Medicine.” With an emphasis on neurobiology and neuroengineering, the Symposium brings to Toronto speakers such as James Fawcett (Cambridge University), a world-leading researcher on nervous system and spinal cord repair, and Miguel Nicolelis (Duke University) a pioneer in neural interfaces for overcoming paralysis. International thinkers will present alongside the incredible talent the University of Toronto has to offer: Milos Popovic, Molly Schoichet, Derek van der Kooy and Geoffrey Hinton, to name just a few.
But not everything about the day will be academic.
Sponsored by the Ontario Brain Institute (OBI), the Tomorrow’s Technology Showcase is about exploring the biomedical devices that will be defining our future. Companies such as GE Healthcare, STEM CELL, and Octane Biotech, as well as IBBME’s commercialization partners, not-for-profit organizations CCRM and (UHN’s) Techna, will display the devices and uses of this technology.
The Aggrewell, something looking like a cross between a penny holder and a grater, is one such device. Developed by a former IBBME Research Associate as a tool to grow stem cells in uniform colonies, the Aggrewell is currently produced by STEM CELL, a company that primarily sells products to scientists conducting stem cell research in areas such as cancer, heart disease, and more.
Another of the day’s presenters will be Interface Biologics Inc. (IBI), whose biomaterial product, Endexo™, has recently been cleared by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) for use in AngioDynamics’ catheter, the BioFlo PICC, in the United States. The catheter is manufactured using a biomaterial developed by IBBME’s Director, Professor Paul Santerre. The biomaterial reacts to the catheter in such a way that it prevents blood coagulation, virtually eliminating the risks of blood clots—a serious danger for kidney dialysis patients, as an example—without drug additives.
The event will be held at U of T’s Chestnut Conference Centre (89 Chestnut St.) on October 10th, 2012. Space is limited for this free event, so register early and before October 1st. Registration and further information can be found on IBBME’s website: http://ibbme.utoronto.ca/50th_Anniversary.htm.
For more information, contact:
Erin Vollick, Communications Officer,
Institute of Biomaterials and Biomedical Engineering
University of Toronto
Tel: (416) 946-8019