Dendritic NanoTechnologies Inc. is rolling out less-expensive nanomaterials for industrial, diagnostic and medical industry use, based on its trademarked Priostar dendrimers.
Dendrimers are molecules formed with a nanoscale fabrication process, using monomers to build a treelike structure. Dendrimer comes from the Greek word dendra, meaning tree.
Dendritic NanoTechnologies' dendritic polymers currently are used in biotechnology and pharmaceutical industries; however, the company is looking to tackle new markets.
``We've been selling to the research and development community, but over the last year and half, the cost has been a major hangup or barrier for a variety of industries to get in and use. We're attacking that,'' said Ryan Hayes, director of business development, in a June 19 interview at NPE 2006 in Chicago.
He said that through a new manufacturing process, the company has been able to reduce the time it takes to make a dendrimer.
The process that used to take months now can be done in minutes or days. Also, Hayes said the cost of dendrimers is coming down. What might have cost $10,000-$100,000 a pound is now sinking into the hundreds of dollars for some.
``We are working with some companies and we think we can drive down the price as they start working more with them,'' he said.
The dendrimers add new properties such as viscosity modification, improved adhesion, encapsulation, high-performance additive for curing, cross-linking, reduced shrinkage, improved strength and durability.
Hayes said certain dendrimers can be used to modify viscosity so that medical devices are easier to extrude. Another example would be for a dendrimer to modify surface properties so they resist something like a protein.
Dendritic NanoTechnologies of Mount Pleasant, Mich., employs 16 and develops dendrimer structures that assist companies in producing commercial products. It is located on the campus of Central Michigan University.
The company, formed in 2003, is led by Donald Tomalia, who is known as the inventor of dendrimers. He has led numerous commercial developments during a 25-year career in management and as a senior scientist with Dow Chemical Co.
It does have equity investments from Dow Chemical Co. and Sharpharma Holdings Ltd.