Creating novel biomaterials from sustainable sources is an important innovation strength in New Zealand’s bioeconomy. At just over five years old, a small Auckland-based company operates truly at the global nanotechnology cutting edge.
Revolution Fibres Ltd uses fish waste streams to produce electrospun collagen nanofibres for a diverse range of applications. The nanofibres – 500 times thinner than hair – are impregnated with functional bioactives and spun into mats. For example, when impregnated with Manuka extract, the fibres create an antibacterial web that is used in home air filtration systems. For cosmetic applications, the collagen fibres are combined with bioactive plant extracts to create novel skin care products with skin rejuvenation properties. The company has developed a process that can produce very high yields of nanofibres using a range of polymers to suit various industries.
Revolution Fibre’s business model is built on partnerships and collaboration. Each application has its own requirements. To achieve best results, the company works closely with industry partners to develop novel nanofibres that meet the needs of their specific application.
The global nanofibre industry is rapidly growing and is expected to exceed USD 2 billion by 2020. The concept of creating functional nanofibres is world-leading. Additives can include plant extracts, drug compounds, enzymes – there are no limits to new ideas. Because electrospinning is carried out at normal temperature and pressure, the functionality of the added actives is not affected.
Revolution Fibres is an excellent case example demonstrating how New Zealand’s natural resources and innovation culture can be combined to develop truly groundbreaking new products for the global market.
By Joerg Kistler, BioPacific Partners Venture Partner and Director of BIO INC