NovioSense glucose sensor and Google

Last Thursday (January 16, 2014) Google unveiled a contact lens that monitors glucose levels in tear fluid. According to Google it will take at least five years to reach consumers.

NovioSense develops a sensor based on the same substrate as Google’s (tear fluid) and NovioTech thinks that Google has a very interesting technology. However, NovioTech believes that the technology of its spin-off company NovioSense has advantages. NovioSense has, together with the Fraunhofer IMS institute in Duisburg, Germany, developed a first working prototype of its glucose sensor for measuring glucose concentrations in tear fluid.

See the NovioSense website here for more information on the NovioSense technology.

NovioPonics BV

NovioTech BV is working on applications of the thermo-reversible hydrogel NovioHelix®  in horticulture. In January 2014 NovioTech has founded a new company, NovioPonics BV, which entirely focuses on the development of products and intellectual property on this domain.

After proof of principle research by NovioTech, which resulted in positive outcome, NovioTech has raised initial funding from the StartLife program in Wageningen, the Netherlands, to perform further proof of concept experiments, develop intellectual property and products. NovioPonics collaborates with the Wageningen University and is a 100% subsidiary of NovioTech BV.

You can find more information on the NovioHelix® gel: see the NovioHelix button, above.

NovioTech is partner in the Marie Curie project iTERM

From the iTERM website:



Welcome to the iTERM website

iTERM is a Marie Curie Initial Training Network (ITN) on
Training scientists to develop and Image materials for Tissue Engineering and Regenerative Medicine.

It is a four year project funded by the European Commission and bringing together 6 renowned research institutes and 2 SME, each specialized in different aspects of tissue engineering. The overall objective of this project is to provide a training network for scientists who will develop new materials and implants for the bio-engineering of soft tissue (skin, urogenital) and hard (bone) tissue as well as state-of-the-art novel multimodality visualization procedures to monitor the behaviour of implants.

iTERM will recruit 12 PhD students (Early-Stage-Researchers, ESR) and 1 postdoc (Experienced Researcher, ER) at 8 partner organisations in 6 European countries. The hosts organizations are:

  1. Radboud University Nijmegen Medical Centre, The Netherlands
  2. University of  Zürich, Switzerland
  3. University of Hull, United Kingdom
  4. Uppsala University, Sweden
  5. Warsaw University of Technology, Poland
  6. Nano4Imaging GmbH, Aachen, Germany
  7. NovioTech BV, Nijmegen, The Netherlands
  8. University Hospital Basel, Switzerland

The iTERM programme will start on October 1, 2013. Through this website, we will keep you informed about the progress of our research and training network.

Dr. Egbert Oosterwijk
Coordinator iTERM
Associate Professor of Experimental Urology


Opening lecture ‘Super gel’ at the MicroNano 4FutureProfit event

Wednesday, June 19th 2013, 13:00 – 17:30h, FHI, Leusden

13.00 – 13.30h Opening lecture ‘Super gel’
Alan Rowan - Professor Molecular Materials at Radboud University Nijmegen Medical Centrealanrowan1Turning a bucket full of water into gel with one gram of powder?
Professor molecular materials Alan Rowan depicts a fascinating development. Along with favourable comments, the scientific journal Nature spent several pages on his study. It not only gained scientific attention, read the article in the NRC here.

‘Nature’ publication on super thermogel

Source: Radboud University Nijmegen

January 24, 2013

Chemists at Radboud University Nijmegen have created a gel made from helical polymers.  The molecules twist together to form a ‘nano rope’, from which strong, stiff networks are produced. What is unusual is that a solution of the material is liquid when cold and turns into a gel when warmed – exactly the opposite of what happens to gelatine, for example. The leading scientific journal Nature published a paper showing how the ‘super gel’ works and its properties on 24 January. Together with the business community, the researchers are also developing various biomedical applications for this extraordinary gel.

Inspired by nature
The Nijmegen chemists Prof. Alan Rowan and Dr Paul Kouwer were inspired by the proteins that provide the cells in our bodies with their strength. Each cell contains thousands of these very thin but strong threads. They were able to mimic the winding structure of these proteins using a synthetic polymer – polyisocyanide (PIC). Kouwer: ‘We’ve made a copy that is almost exactly the same as the natural original, which is unprecedented. Not only is the structure of our material strikingly similar to the cell proteins, but the strength and sensitivity of the two materials are practically identical, even if you suddenly pull them hard.’ The structure provides the polymer with its unusual gel response – less than one gram of the solid substance needs to be added to a bucket of water to produce a strong gel. It therefore has a gel response one hundred times better than the commonly-used super gels (in nappies for example).

Stiffens when heated, melts in the refrigerator
What is also unusual about this substance is that it stiffens when the solution is warmed. The researchers show in Nature that the transition temperature of the solution can be varied between room temperature and body temperature, and the ability to adjust this temperature is very important in biomedical applications. The gel melts again when it is cooled.

Applications and patents
The structure of the gel implies huge opportunities for biomedical applications. Various options are being explored in partnership with Noviotech, a commercial partner of the Radboud University Nijmegen and Radboud University Nijmegen Medical Centre. Rowan: ‘One application is as a medium for the growth and manipulation of cells. Another potential application is in wound treatment. Once applied, the gel protects the wound: the microscopic structure allows fluid to pass through but keeps bacteria out. Once the wound has healed, the ‘plaster’ can be easily removed by cooling the gel.’ More and more possible applications for the super gel are emerging, with filters for nanomaterials and even cosmetic applications currently being investigated.

Fundamental and applied research
The paper published in Nature describes the fundamental properties of this unusual material. ‘When we first produced the material in the laboratory two years ago we knew that it was a very special substance, but did not yet understand why. The follow-up research has produced some fantastic results. And then I don’t mean just the publication of this paper, but also and especially the fact that the fundamental research has made the various applications much more feasible.’

See the Nature publication: