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RT-MRSEC Graduate Fellow Launches Award-Winning Startup Company

A team of Duke graduate students has been named one of five companies receiving a total of $250,000 through the NC IDEA Foundation - an organization committed to supporting entrepreneurial business innovation and economic advancement in North Carolina. Their startup company, called encapSiO, produces revolutionary encapsulation and delivery systems to protect and control the release of active ingredients in product formulations. The technology was developed by former RT-MRSEC graduate fellow, Wyatt Shields, as an extension of his work to complete his PhD in biomedical engineering at Duke.

EncapSiO has developed a massively scalable method to synthesize silicone gel particles with precise control over their size and crosslinking density, while maintaining narrow size distributions, which is critical for standardization and integration into formulated products. If validated, this particle technology could transform current manufacturing practices for dermatological formulations by virtue of its ability to scale and readily encapsulate hydrophobic drugs.