Soft nanoparticles, hard science & the path from discovery to commercialization
John R. Dutcher
Canada Research Chair in Soft Matter & Biological Physics
Department of Physics
University of Guelph
Tuesday, September 10, 2019
Phytoglycogen nanoparticles are highly-branched polymers of glucose that are produced as soft, compact nanoparticles by sweet corn. Properties such as softness, porosity and mechanical integrity, combined with nontoxicity and biodegradability, make phytoglycogen nanoparticles ideal for applications involving the human body, ranging from skin moisturizing and rejuvenation agents in personal care formulations to functional therapeutics in biomedicine. I will describe our path from the initial serendipitous discovery of the particles, to the characterization of their structure, hydration, mechanical and binding properties, to the commercialization of this emerging, sustainable nanotechnology by our spin-off company Mirexus Biotechnologies.
John Dutcher is a Professor, senior Canada Research Chair, and Director of the Nanoscience program at the University of Guelph. He studies soft matter and biological physics including novel biological nanoparticles, protein filaments and bacteria (www.physics.uoguelph.ca/dutcherlab). He is a Fellow of the American Physical Society and received the Presidential Distinguished Professor Award and the Innovation of the Year Award from the University of Guelph. Dutcher is co-founder of the Guelph-based company Mirexus Biotechnologies Inc. that commercializes phytoglycogen nanoparticles derived from sweet corn.
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