RegenBlu MIRTA accelerator team receives new funding from MTI

University of Maine professor of clinical nutrition Dorothy Klimis-Zacas has been awarded $25,000 from the Maine Technology Institute (MTI) to further develop wound-healing treatments from Maine wild blueberries for the commercial marketplace. The funding will help move the RegenBlu project team closer to a biomedical product prototype with embedded bioactive compounds.

Klimis-Zacas has been researching the favorable effects of wild blueberries on human health for more than 20 years and has recently begun exploring the wound-healing properties of two classes of compounds extracted from wild blueberries — anthocyanins and phenolic acids — that have documented benefits in the treatment of chronic diseases.

This award follows a previous MTI grant to support Klimis-Zacas’ commercialization efforts, which served as partial match to a UMaine Medicine Seed Grant. The Wild Blueberry Association of North America and the USDA’s National Institute of Food and Agriculture also have supported the research.

Klimis-Zacas and collaborators have participated in several research commercialization programs at UMaine, including I-Corps, which guides participants to identify market opportunities for their STEM-based research, and the MIRTA accelerator, an intensive program designed specifically to develop research innovations into marketable new products and services that may lead to new job creation and grow Maine’s economy.