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Cambridge Polymer Group Awarded $225,000 SBIR Grant from the National Institutes of Health

CPG research team to develop injectable hydrogel technology for eye tamponade

Cambridge Polymer Group Inc., an analytical testing and contract research lab located in Boston, MA, has been awarded a $225,000 Phase 1 Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) grant by the National Institutes of Health Foundation (NIH) to develop an injectable hydrogel for use as an eye tamponade.

Retinal detachment is a common eye injury that often causes vision loss in patients. The surgical procedure requires the temporary removal of the vitreous humor, the clear gel in the eye, prior to reattachment of the retina to the back of the eye. Following the operation, the retina needs to remain in contact with the back of the eye during the healing process, or it may become detached again. Surgeons currently achieve this process by either using a silicone oil, which distorts vision and requires a second surgery to remove, or with a gas bubble, which requires inconvenient head placement for the patient.

As an alternative, Cambridge Polymer Group’s team of hydrogel scientists are developing a hydrogel that can be injected in as liquid through a fine needle or cannula, and then gels in the eye. This hydrogel will assist in keeping the retina attached to the back wall of the eye, and will then degrade over time, obviating the need for a second surgery. The hydrogel should also allow vision through the eye while it is in place, resulting in greater patient mobility and compliance.

We are pleased with the opportunity the NIH SBIR program has given us to move our patent-pending technology from the laboratory bench into pre-clinical studies.

Dr. Braithwaite.

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