SCHENECTADY — The Capital District is consistently on the front line of technological innovation. Recently, SUNY Polytechnic Institute and StemCultures were recognized by FuzeHub’s Jeff Lawrence Innovation Fund for their partnered development of micro string technology in stitches.
Their advancements seek to help heal the wound and prevent infection with the use of control release sutures and time-release growth factors.
The research collaboration was brought to SUNY Poly’s Dr. Yubing Xie by StemCultures’ William Price who came up with the idea alongside Dr. Elizabeth Blaber, StemCultures’ lead scientific advisor.
Xie explained that the project will ideally have “wide application for cell culture,” ultimately reaching far beyond the scope of their current work.
“I think this will certainly be a major achievement that the Capital Region will be able to share in…” said Price. He emphasized that the project is going to have major societal benefits that will be linked to the area by “using local resources” and “using local people.”
This outlook is precisely the motive behind FuzeHub’s grant program. The funding for this manufacturing grant comes from the Empire State Development Division of Science, Technology, Innovation and totals about $1 million per year.
“Over the last five years, we’ve funded about 15 projects in the Capital Region. So we’ve spent almost $1 million in just the Capital Region alone,” said FuzeHub’s Co-Founder and Executive Director, Elena Garuc.
This year, FuzeHub awarded close to $700,000 in grants to not-for-profit manufacturers in NYS, $50,000 of which was awarded to SUNY Poly / StemCultures.
This $50,000 is primarily being put toward developing a prototype and commercial package but is also being used to hire student researchers. SUNY Poly has already hired two interns, one undergraduate and one graduate, to work on the project.
The sutures have been successful in testing, and Xie hopes a prototype will be developed by the end of August so the commercial package can be shown by September.
“It’s kind of like I’m providing a solution to a real-world problem,” said Xie.
Other grant awardees are SUNY Poly / Lux Semiconductors Inc ($49,967), ITAC / New York Embroidery Studio ($48,900), Hudson Valley Textile Project Inc / Battenkill Valley Fibers Inc ($50,000), Stony Brook University / College of Engineering / SuperClean Glass Inc ($50,000), Arc of Monroe / ArcWorks ($50,000), Cornell University Institute of Biotechnology / Inso Biosciences Inc ($50,000), Clarkson University Shipley Center for Innovation / Reset Water, LLC & Square One Coating Systems, LLC ($50,000), Brooklyn Navy Yard Development Corporation / Clip.Bike ($50,000), RIT College of Science, Center for Imaging Science / Aktiwave LLC ($49,898), RIT Department of Packaging Science / Cinterest LLC ($49,585), Seneca Cayuga Yates Counties Chapter NYSARC, Inc / Natural Beauty Breast Prothesis, LLC ($50,000), Long Island High Technology Incubator, Inc / Unique Electric Solutions ($50,000), and Binghamton University Center for Advanced Microelectronics Manufacturing / Aincobio LLC ($50,000).