Almost all medical devices which come into direct contact with the patient share a common drawback; although initially sterile, they can harbour microbes.
This can lead to serious infection of the person the devices intended to help.
Dr Curtis Dobson at The University of Manchester has invented a technology based on a novel anti-infective protein he discovered. This has provided a potential solution to this highly significant problem.
In 2005, Dr Dobson founded the company Ai2 Ltd to commercialise this invention.
Ai2's first commercial target was the contact lens sector. Every year, around 6,000 of the world's 100 million contact lens wearers suffer a permanent decrease in their vision quality following eye infections from their lenses.
The Ai2 anti-infective technology can be used directly on the lenses and as a disinfectant within the solution used to clean them.
Ai2 has signed a major commercial deal for its technology with Sauflon Pharmaceuticals, a market-leading UK-based contact lens company.
Ai2 is also pursuing other development projects, demonstrating the applicability of their technology in a range of fields.
These include coatings for wound dressings, catheters, orthopaedic devices and as agents for use in oral care products, highlighting the technology's potential to prevent infections in a wide range of common medical devices.
"Ai2's peptide technology is based on discoveries developed by Dr Dobson at The University of Manchester. Our focus is to exploit these highly potent, biocompatible, anti-microbials in partnership with a number of global companies. The advanced technical support accessible to us in the University is invaluable in helping us toward this aim."Dr Duncan Henderson / Research and Development Manager, Ai2