100 days of science: His patio tinkering led to medical device
July 24, 2012
9 HOURS AGO • TOM BEAL TOM BEAL ARIZONA DAILY STAR ARIZONA DAILY STAR
The Arizona Daily Star’s Centennial salute to science in Arizona runs all summer. Each day, for 100 days, we’ll record a milestone in the state’s scientific history.
Mark Banister didn’t have a garage to tinker in, so he started to invent his “mini-infuser” medication pump on his back patio in Tucson.
Banister, with a high-school degree and a keen interest in science, eventually developed and patented the polymer that makes his pump work.
He formed his company, Medipacs, with an assist from the Arizona Center for Innovation, a business incubator at the University of Arizona’s Science and Technology Park.
Banister’s polymer expands and contracts in reaction to an electrical charge – from the size of a golf ball to the size of a softball.
The medical device in development uses those properties to deliver a measured dose of medication.
The product is still in development and years away from FDA approval, but it could one day be worn unobtrusively by patients and even replace infusers used in hospitals.
It has attracted funding from the National Science Foundation and $6 million from private investors.
The Medipacs pump was named one of the top inventions of the year by Popular Science magazine in 2010.
Banister has been issued 5 patents and has 16 pending.
Not bad for a guy with a smattering of community college courses.
On StarNet: Covering topics from the cosmos to the invisible world of nanotechnology: the Scientific Bent blog at azstarnet.com/ scientificbent
Sources: Arizona Daily Star website; Medipacs
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