NSF gives 'teeth' to biomaterials research

CLEMSON -- Clemson University has received a $600,000 grant from the National Science Foundation Partnerships for Innovation program. The program creates prospects for economic growth and new jobs by supporting the research-business-government relationships that transfer advances in labs to advances in lives. Dentistry is one business that has evolved through such relationships.

"Even though most people have dental implants, veneers and crowns, they remain largely unaware of the sophistication that goes into making them and getting them to consumers," said Sarit Bhaduri, the George Bishop III Chair holder and professor of material science at Clemson. Bhaduri, principal investigator of the grant, says that while tooth fillings have come a long way, researchers continue to design stronger, more biocompatible materials, which will further advance dentistry.

But, it takes more than innovation to generate new products and jobs.

"The purpose of this grant is to put in place the relationships and infrastructure that lead to economic development," said Caron St. John, director of the university's Arthur M. Spiro Center for Entrepreneurial Leadership and co-principal investigator of the grant. With a mission to support educational, research and outreach programs that promote entrepreneurial activity, the Spiro Center is integrally involved in the grant.

One business already looks forward to a closer relationship with Clemson.

"Relationships with researchers foster technology transfer," said Shalaby Shalaby, president and director of research and development at Poly-Med, Inc. "By being engaged with Clemson faculty, we'll know about research that is ready to be developed into a product."

Poly-Med, an R&D company based in Anderson, develops new materials into products with pharmaceutical and bioengineering applications. They license the new product to other companies, which could potentially attract new businesses or support

Contact: Emily Keller
Clemson University

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