Canadian Nanotech Wound Dressing Saves Lives

    Alberta Scientist Wins Top Innovation Award

    CALGARY, Sept. 10 /CNW/ - Dr. Robert Burrell, inventor of Acticoat(TM)
antimicrobial wound dressings, will receive this year's $100,000 EnCana
Principal Award from the Ernest C. Manning Awards Foundation. The
nanocrystalline silver coated dressings are used in clinical practice in over
40 countries around the world to prevent life threatening infections and
promote wound healing.
    Acticoat(TM) is the world's first commercial therapeutic application of
nanotechnology. Since 1997, the nanotech dressings have become the treatment
of choice in settings such as burn units, diabetic foot clinics, chronic wound
clinics and nursing homes. Dr. Mayer Tenenhaus, who treats about 300 burn
patients a year at the University of California at San Diego Medical Center,
says that Acticoat(TM) is "the biggest breakthrough in wound care in the last
40 years."
    The sustained release of silver from Acticoat(TM) dressings mean that
they can be left in place for days, thus saving the patient the pain and
trauma of frequent dressing changes. The unique coatings also have potent
anti-inflammatory activity. The dressings have saved limbs and lives, allowed
paediatric burn patients to safely recover at home, and healed decades-old
debilitating wounds in weeks.
    Burrell is the lead inventor on over 290 patents and patents pending
related to Acticoat(TM) technology. He began developing the innovation in the
1990s in his role as a research director with Westaim Biomedical Corp. A
microbiologist by training, he also grew to become a renowned expert in burn
and chronic wound healing. Today Burrell is the Canada Research Chair in
Nanostructured Biomaterials and a professor with both the Faculty of
Engineering and Faculty of Medicine and Dentistry at the University of
    Acticoat(TM) dressings and related products are manufactured by NUCRYST
Pharmaceuticals Corp. in Fort Saskatchewan, Alberta and marketed
internationally by UK-based Smith and Nephew Plc. NUCRYST, a spinoff of the
Westaim Corp., supports the local economy with over 100 high tech
manufacturing jobs.

    The Ernest C. Manning Awards Foundation

    This year the Foundation will award $145,000 to leading Canadian
innovators plus $20,000 to Young Canadians chosen at the 2009 Canada-Wide
Science Fair.
    The Foundation was established in 1980 to promote and support Canadian
innovators. This is the 6th year that the Principal Award has been sponsored
by EnCana Corporation, one of Canada's leading oil and gas companies. Since
1982, the Foundation has presented over $4 million in prize money. The 2009
awards will be presented at an awards gala on Friday, September 18 in
Vancouver, BC.

    A Media Backgrounder about the innovator and his work is now available on
the Foundation's website, with video available after September 18, 2009:

For further information:

For further information: on the Foundation, contact Bruce Fenwick,
Executive Director: (403) 645-8288 or; For more
information about Acticoat(TM), visit or or contact Dr.
Robert Burrell: (780) 492-4972 (office), (780) 717-0088 (cell) or

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