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Collaborative Success Stories: How Rejuvenating!


Collagen research at MU results in a better product for wound care and youthful skin.

Collagen is responsible for skin’s strength, texture and elasticity. When used in a medical setting, added collagen can aid in youthful looking skin, the healing of soft tissue and the restoration of lost volume.

Over time, collagen breaks down. Doctors had addressed this degradation, but the process used to alter the collagen yielded a product that was problematic for the body. In 2009 MU researchers Rebecca Rone and Dr. Sheila Grant discovered a new way to inhibit collagen degradation using nanotechnology. The collagen treated by their method is more stable and remains biocompatible—a promising factor for wound/burn care, osteoarthritis treatment and even a potential innovation for soldiers to minimize blood loss.

Using their technology, Rone and Grant along with Jonathan Thompson, Anthony Harris and David Grant founded a biotechnology firm called EternoGen. The firm was the first startup company to receive competitive funding from the university’s Enterprise Investment Program. Since its inception, it has been housed in MU’s Life Science Business Incubator and opened offices in St. Louis, Mo. and Stockholm, Sweden. Eternogen has attracted more than $2 million in investments and is now in the commercialization phase.

Dr. Sheila Grant is a professor of bioengineering at MU. She also serves as chief technology officer for EternoGen. Rebecca Rone, formerly director of MU’s Coulter Translational Partnership Program, now serves exclusively as EternoGen’s director of clinical and regulatory affairs.

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Related Initiative(s):
One Health/One Medicine