WASHINGTON -- Advanced Surface Technology Inc. has beenawarded a $500,000 small business innovation research PhaseII grant from the National Institutes of Neurological Disordersand Stroke, part of the National Institutes of Health, todevelop an implantable controlled drug-release device.

The grant will fund development of an implantablebioelectrode composed of a drug-binding polymer that canrelease varying amounts of a drug or biological material inresponse to electrical stimulation, according to Ih-Houng Loh,AST president.

AST is forming a new company to develop the technology.Animal studies are to begin immediately at Yale University inconjunction with research currently under way at RensselarPolytechnic Institute.

AST, based in North Billerica, Mass., specializes in the surfacetreatment of pharmaceutical and bioactive compounds. Surfacetreatment alters the chemical structure of a substance'ssurface without altering its properties. The company providessurface modification services and manufactures and sellscustom-designed equipment for surface treatment. -- SteveUsdin

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