The technology could be used in particular for reconstructions.
The funding has been secured from Isis Innovation, the technology transfer office of the University of Oxford, and a number of business angels including Nicholas Edwards of MedInnovate and Dr Jan Hruska, co-founder of Sophos.
Oxtexs is developing intelligent hydrogel material that can be used in reconstructive surgeries, the treatment of congenital disorders, and restorative dentistry.
According to a company statement, for the first time, surgeons will be able to accurately control the direction, timing and rate of the material’s expansion in the body, significantly reducing the risk of soft tissue damage and associated complications. The level of control makes them ideal for use in delicate anatomical locations, particularly in the treatment of children.
Scientists Jan Czernuszka, lecturer in materials at the University of Oxford, and David Bucknall, currently professor of materials science at the Georgia Institute of Technology, US, and two plastic and reconstructive surgeons Marc Swan and Tim Goodacre, have developed the product. Last year, David Jackson was appointed as chief executive officer of the company.
The market for the product is broad and includes scar reconstruction following trauma, burns or cancer surgery. It also includes the treatment of congenital craniofacial conditions and limb deformities. However, the largest market may prove to be in restorative dentistry. Trials in this area are scheduled to begin at the Harvard School of Dental Medicine in the US.
Isis Innovation technology transfer manager Angela Calvert comments, ‘This technology is exciting as it provides an elegant solution to a range of important clinical needs and has great potential to make an important impact both economically and socially. It demonstrates the success of bringing together experts from different disciplines to address a market need.’