Science Market Update

Madison Bioscience Startup Wins SBIR Award for Biomaterials Research

Posted by Jaimee Saliba on Mon, May 07, 2012

The University of Wisconsin at Madison is doing very well launching bioscience startups and attracting young entrepreneurs to set up shop near the sprawling campus on Lake Mendota. The University Research Park is so popular there's a huge Phase II addition several years in the planning and due to break ground any day. Funding for university spinoffs, like the NIH's Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) grants, are helping to fuel Madison's bioscience economy too, as a team from the Dept. of Chemical and Biological Engineering just proved in securing $362,489 towards developing its novel advanced biomaterials for wound healing and surgical applications.

madison biosciences

The company is Imbed Biosciences, and its President and CEO is Ankit Agarwal, PhD, who came to UW-M on a postdoc in 2007. Continuing his doctoral work in biomaterials with UW faculty, Agarwal applied for and won another postdoc fellowship in 2010 from the Kaufmann Foundation specifically to learn how to commercialize his research. That led to co-founding Imbed Bio with several of his colleagues with complementary backgrounds and research interests (below). In early 2011, the nascent company won the IBio PROPEL Business Plan Competition and was the runner-up in another business plan competition in London.


bioscience research awardIn addition to Dr. Agarwal (photo right) these researchers make up Imbed's founding team and core investigators:

  • Nicholas L Abbott, PhD, professor and chairman, Chemical Engineering department, UW-M
  • Michael J Schurr, MD, PhD, Section Chief, Trauma and Burn Surgery, School of Medicine and Public Health, UW-M
  • Christopher J Murphy, DVM, PhD, professor in the Surgical and Radiological Sciences department in the  School of Veterinary Medicine, UC-Davis (formerlyof UW-M)
  • Jonathan F McAnulty, DVM, PhD, professor and chairman of the Surgical Sciences department in the School of Veterinary Medicine, UW-M
  • Charles J Czuprynski, DVM, PhD, professor in the department of Pathobiology in the School of Veterinary Medicine, UW-M

[Photo courtesy of UW-M College of Engineering News]

What Imbed is bringing to market are wound dressings with imbedded bioactive molecules (specifically  antibacterial silver nanofilms) to prevent wound infections and expedite wound closure. The revolutionary advance in the company's product platform is its ability to surface engineer biologic dressings and surgical implants with antibacterial silver without exposing the dressings to chemical processing, which has been the hindrance to using silver nanofilm in biomaterials up until now.  The veterinary members of the Imbed team will be testing the new materials on small animal wounds, which should heal faster and with fewer infections and dressing changes than anything currently available.


Biotechnology Calendar, Inc. will be on the U-W Campus on September 5, 2012 to hold our 13th Annual Madison BioResearch Product Faire event for UW life science researchers. We are a full-service event marketing and planning company producing on-campus, life science research trade shows nationwide for the past 20 years. We plan and promote each event to bring the best products and services to campuses across the country, ensuring that scientists have access to the latest tools and technologies available for their research labs. For information on exhibiting at the Madison show, click the button below:

wisconsin research

We also hold a more streamlined show at the University Research Park in Madison, which will be taking place September 6 in 2012. For info on that event:

university research wisconsin


Tags: Midwest, Wisconsin, University of Wisconsin, University Research, university research park, University of Wisconsin Madison, BioResearch Product Faire Event, Funding, NIH, chemistry researchers, Biomedical Research Funding

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