Biological membranes for better surfaces

Intelligent Surfaces is one of three start-ups participating in Heraeus' 2020/2021 Accelerator Program. The start-up convinced the jury with its clever product: biocompatible coatings for medical surfaces. In the interview, the management team explains their aspirations and what working with Heraeus means for them.

Heraeus Accelerator 2021: Intelligent Surfaces Team

Heraeus has been running an annual Accelerator program for start-ups since 2019. The Accelerator offers start-ups the opportunity to further develop and market their ideas and products together with experts from Heraeus. This year, the focus is on the areas of medical technology and sensors. A total of three start-ups were able to convince the Heraeus jury - one of them: Intelligent Surfaces. The start-up was founded at the University of Tokyo in Japan and is working on biocompatible polymer coatings for medical applications.

Developing biocompatible polymer coatings for medical surfaces

Particularly promising: MPC polymers that mimic biological membranes. They are well tolerated, antithrombotic and protein-resistant. Their unique structure is ideally suited for application to various materials - including metal, ceramic, glass, plastic or silicone. In this way, the start-up seeks - as the name suggests - to optimize medical surfaces for their use. A particular focus is on catheters, guide wires, artificial blood vessels and intraocular lenses.

The Heraeus Accelerator gives the start-up access to research laboratories, test equipment and the extensive customer and partner network. In an interview, CEO Yoshihiro Kiritoshi, CFO Yoshikazu Furukawa and advisor Masao Ishijima reveal what else Intelligent Surfaces will benefit from and what they hope to gain from the collaboration.

Why are you participating in the Accelerator program?

We want to seek further growth opportunities both in technical and business aspects, through Heraeus collaborations.

How did you personally experience the program, from which offer did you benefit the most?

We are confident that the technical project with the Heraeus Medical Components team will enable us to overcome a wide range of business challenges. The program, we hope, will also lead to further concrete business opportunities and new business relationships.

How has the Heraeus Accelerator helped you to further develop your product?

With the support of Heraeus, we validate our products and technologies that are applicable in practical medical fields. We believe this is how the Heraeus team helps us find ways to further improve and expand our products.

How has the Accelerator changed your view of Heraeus?

We are impressed by Heraeus' sincere attitude toward useful technologies and social issues. For us, Heraeus is now even more clearly a technology-oriented company that wants to contribute to human life.

Would you recommend the Heraeus Accelerator to other start-ups? If yes, why?

Yes, we would recommend our start-up colleagues to apply for the Heraeus Accelerator Program if they have the opportunity. The program offers them the unique opportunity to question and improve their own technologies and products from the perspective of practical application at Heraeus.