SCAMT ITMO Researchers’ Project Named Top Innovative Product by St. Petersburg Committee for Science and Higher Education
A project by ITMO University’s SCAMT Industrial Lab has been named the winner of the 2019 St. Petersburg Competition of Best Innovative Projects in Science and Higher Education. The awards ceremony took place as part of the 12th St. Petersburg International Innovation Forum. The winning project, First Aid, is an innovative treatment for post-surgery scarring, stretch marks, cuts, and burns for patients of all ages. The project is being developed by the Master’s and PhD students of ITMO’s ChemBio Cluster. Olga Sokolovskaya, the head of the project, told about this invention, results of the team’s research, and their future plans.
The Competition of Best Innovative Projects in Science and Higher Education has been held in St. Petersburg since 2015. Its goal is to highlight and support individuals and teams who create innovative projects in St. Petersburg, as well as to stimulate the city’s innovative industry. The competition includes several nominations:
Best Innovative Idea;
Best Innovative Business Proposal;
Best Innovative Product.
Within each nomination are several tracks, including: nanosystems industry, ICT, life sciences, sustainable natural resources management, transportation and space systems, energy saving, and nuclear energy.
A project by ITMO University researchers was chosen as a winner of the Best Innovative Product nomination. The project, First Aid, was developed by the SCAMT Industrial Lab, which creates innovative products and improves on existing commercial products for medical, fire safety, and household use.
Research to market
According to Olga Sokolovskaya, a Master’s student at the ChemBio Cluster who heads of the project team, the idea for First Aid was born five years ago. Its creation was preceded by a lengthy period of research, during which an international team made up of chemists, biologists, and medical experts began a study of boehmite, an aluminum hydroxide and an inorganic polymer, which later became the primary component of First Aid.
Their research found that boehmite is conducive to the active growth and reproduction of fibroblast cells, which eventually form blood vessels, helping to reduce the area of scar tissue. It also turned out that boehmite serves as the perfect matrix for other components of the product: each component is released at the right time, resulting in accelerated regeneration of tissue.
All this provided a reason to continue the research and create a new product intended to restore skin tissue after a wide range of injuries. The project was supported by the National Program for Development of Pharmaceutical and Medical Industry and a grant by the Russian Foundation for Basic Research.
Today, the project team is comprised of Master’s and PhD students of ITMO University. The project is supervised by Alexander Vinogradov, the head of the ChemBio Cluster.