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Jessica Chesher

Managing Editor

Innovation eReview
Company Profile: SiMPore

SiMPore, Inc., based in Rochester, is a nanotechnology company that designs and produces membranes and membrane-enabled products. For those unfamiliar with the term, nanotechnology is the understanding and control of matter at the nanoscale, dimensions between approximately 1 and 100 nanometers (for reference a sheet of paper is about 100,000 nanometers (nm) thick). The base of SiMPore’s revolutionary products is its unique patented platform technology - the NanoBarrier™ ultrathin nanoporous silicon membrane, which SiMPore licensed from the University of Rochester. This membrane is the world's first to offer both tunable nanometer-scale thickness and pore size. The NanoBarrier™ silicon membrane can be used in products for a wide variety of functions from filters for separating and concentrating biological molecules and nanoparticles to cell culture substrates for growing cells and electron microscopy grids for preparing and imaging samples at the nanoscale.

SiMPore has worked extensively with the University of Rochester (UR) and Rochester Institute of Technology (RIT). The membrane technology was first developed by Chris Striemer during his Ph.D. studies in UR’s Electrical and Computer Engineering Department. Striemer and Professor Philippe Fauchet, with whom he was studying, teamed up with Professor James McGrath and his graduate student, Tom Gaborski, in UR’s Biomedical Engineering Department to develop applications for the technology. The team was able to file patent applications for their discoveries through help from UR’s Office of Technology Transfer. In 2007 Striemer, Gaborski, McGrath, Fauchet, and James Roussie formed SiMPore to develop products based on the new membrane technology. Rick Richmond, an entrepreneur with prior experience in the polymer membrane field, initially joined the team to coach the company while it prepared its business plan and continued on to become CEO. At RIT, SiMPore works with faculty and staff at the Semiconductor and Microsystems Laboratory. SiMPore employs graduates and students from both RIT and UR.

SiMPore is continuing to expand. They created a new division, TEMwindows.com, an online source of advanced sample preparation solutions for imaging and analysis of nanoscale materials. They also recently announced their collaboration with the German company KonTEM GmbH to develop phase contrast solutions for transmission electron microscopy.

For more information:

SiMPore, Inc. www.simpore.com

Previous Profile http://nysstlc.syr.edu/Newsletter/companyspotlight/SiMPore/default.aspx

Nanotechnology  www.nano.gov

University of Rochester, Hajim School of Engineering and Applied Sciences www.hajim.rochester.edu

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