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School of Graduate Studies

Trent Alumni Invent Sticky Solution for Broken Bones

Cohesys co-founders Michael Tessier ‘14 and Michael Floros ‘15 hope new BoneTape will replace outdated medical adhesives

Breaking a bone anywhere on your body is a painful experience, but treating facial fractures can be especially difficult. Metal plates and screws used to hold the bones in place can be time-consuming for surgeons to install, not to mention create a host of complications for the patient involved.

Recognizing the demand for a better, more flexible solution, Trent alumni and entrepreneurs Michael Tessier ‘14 and Michael Floros ‘15 are using their combined backgrounds in applied science to provide surgeons with a more ‘bio-friendly’ option.

Along with a team of experts and support from multiple institutions and campus linked accelerators, the pair launched the Toronto-based medical adhesives company Cohesys last July. Now Mr. Tessier and Dr. Floros, both of whom completed their postgraduate materials science education at Trent, are using their expertise to bring Cohesys’ first product — aptly named BoneTape — to market.

“It’s like duct tape for bones,” explained Mr. Tessier, Cohesys’ chief operating officer. “Rigid plates and screws are not ideal for treating craniomaxillofacial bone fractures. With BoneTape, we hope to reduce the time and complications typically associated with these procedures, while improving patient outcomes.”

Lessons Learned at Trent Applied
The original idea for the technology was conceived by surgeons and developed through a collaboration between the University of Toronto and Sunnybrook Research Institute. Two years ago, Dr. Floros was brought onboard to develop a more viable adhesive solution. Inspired by the adhesive proteins of marine organisms, the Trent alumnus created an adhesive that’s more strong, biodegradable and easier to manipulate. Importantly, it works in wet and dry environments without the complex steps and drying that’s required for dental adhesives and other solutions currently on the market.

“I redesigned many components of the tape to make it easier to use and eliminate potential regulatory barriers,” explains Dr. Floros, CEO of Cohesys. “We’re currently applying for FDA approval to bring BoneTape to the market, so it was important for our team to design a product that would meet the regulatory considerations from the start.”

The two alumni hadn’t worked together in over four years, but remained close friends since their time at Trent. When the opportunity came along to work on BoneTape, they jumped at the chance to combine their expertise to co-found Cohesys. The pair attributes part of their success to their time at Trent.

“Most of my fundamental knowledge, as well as my materials synthesis and characterization skills, were developed at Trent,” said Dr. Floros. For Mr. Tessier, the university experience provided invaluable networking opportunities: “Trent introduced me to people who taught me lessons about growing a business. You never know when a former colleague will ask you to join a startup.”

Interested in learning more about Cohesys? Email mfloros@cohesys.ca.

Posted on January 31, 2019