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UPM Creates Biomedical Innovation Unit for Cellulose Nanofibril Technology

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UPM Biochemicals (Finland) announced yesterday (March 23) that it is establishing an innovation unit at the Biomedicum research and educational center in Meilahti, Helsinki. The unit will focus on biomedical applications for the cellulose nanofibril technology developed by UPM. At Biomedicum Helsinki, the UPM team will be working more closely with medical researchers and other operators in the field.

GrowDex®, UPM’s first commercial product developed for biomedical purposes, is a cellulose nanofibril hydrogel for 3D microscopic cell culture applications, such as pharmaceutical research and development. GrowDex is highly biocompatible with human cells and tissues.

"Our Biofore strategy is based on the varied use of renewable wood biomass, combined with innovation, resource efficiency, and responsibility. GrowDex is a good example of the new wood-based materials that are being developed by UPM. Biomedical applications  is a new and exciting field for us. Our product is currently being used for cell culture in research and there are more than 100 researchers outside of UPM working on it globally. GrowDex has a number of potential uses in biomedical applications," said Juuso Konttinen, VP, UPM Biochemicals.

By engaging in various bioeconomy projects, UPM seeks to drive business development and innovation in collaboration with its partners, which include other industrial companies, start-ups, research institutes, and other entities. "Our partners are important to us for the commercialization of new technologies and the development of new innovations. Working in collaboration with our partners allows us to be faster, more agile, and more efficient," Juuso Konttinen continued.

Biomedicum Helsinki is a leading environment that promotes medical research and training in Finland and supports cooperation between academia and industry. The center provides working facilities for around 2,300 researchers, graduate students, and support staff. It offers biomedical businesses modern facilities close to research organizations along with the special facilities and research services in the area. Successful cooperation has created a high-quality, international medical campus at Meilahti with an excellent basis for further development of operations and commercialization of research results.

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