Berkeley, California - Biomaterials business Polymer Technology Group, which specialises in polyurethane-based products, announced recently that it has tripled its R&D and manufacturing capacity. PTG has expanded its existing operations in the Temescal Business Park at Berkeley to 53 000 sq.ft (5000 sq.m). The operation now claims to be "one of the largest biomaterials companies in the medical device industry." "Our new R&D facility includes a state-of-the-art laboratory and pilot plant for new polymer materials development. This expansion also increases the efficiency of our production scale polymer synthesis and medical device components manufacturing," said Robert Ward, founder, president and ceo of PTG, in a 4 Sept statement from the group. PTG's commercial offerings include BioSpan segmented polyurethane and Bionate polycarbonate urethane, which it describes as, "two of the world's most extensively tested biomaterials in clinical use today." "Growth of our biomaterials and medical device component business has resulted in the need for significant expansion of our operations," Ward added. PTG, co-founded in 1989 by Ward, specialises in research, development, design, scale-up, and manufacture of new polymers, medical devices, and components. A recent nanomaterial, aimed at imitating spider silk -- developed by a team under Prof Gareth McKinley at Massachusetts Institute of Technology - used PTG's Elasthane 80A, a well characterised biomedical polyether-urethane. PTG can also custom-fabricate components from its patented PurSil silicone polyether urethane and CarboSil silicone polycarbonate urethane. PTG said its expansion includes equipment and expertise "to support production-scale polymer synthesis through contract medical device manufacturing." "PTG has truly pioneered the analysis of biomaterial surfaces and interfaces," commented Dr Gabor Somorjai, a professor of chemistry at the University of California at Berkeley, who also is director of the Surface Science and Catalysis Program at Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory, in the PTG statementPointing out that, "Bob Ward and PTG have driven the development of novel biomedical products that are significantly benefiting mankind," Somorjai added that PTG has "developed a whole new generation of biomaterials."