Gecko Biomedical's Maria Pereira named as MIT Technology Review Innovator

19 August 2014

Gecko Biomedical has announced that Maria Pereira, its Head of Adhesive
Technologies, has been named as one of MIT Technology Review's “35 Innovators Under 35” for 2014 for the development of a wound healing glue.

The Innovators Under 35 is an annual list published by MIT Technology Review, naming the world's top young innovators. The list acknowledges accomplishments that are poised to have a dramatic impact on the world.

Maria Pereira created a biocompatible glue that can seal the holes in the hearts of infants with congenital heart defects. It can be applied and activated during a minimally invasive procedure and the adhesive is strong and flexible enough to work inside a beating heart. The glue doesn’t harm the tissue when it’s applied to the heart and it doesn’t need to be replaced as the child grows. 

Pereira developed the glue as a graduate student in the MIT-Portugal program, and working with a team of surgeons at Brigham and Women’s Hospital in Boston demonstrated the adhesive inside a beating pig heart.

“I am honoured to be a part of the Innovators Under 35 list together with distinguished peers,” said Maria Pereira. “This honour recognizes the innovative character of our adhesive materials. These were specifically engineered to address the challenges of tissue defect closure in minimally invasive settings. We have been able to demonstrate its potential in pre-clinical models and we are now on track to bring the technology to patients.”

Christophe Bancel, Chief Executive Officer of Gecko Biomedica said, “This honour speaks to Maria’s outstanding contribution, to innovation and changing the way we treat patients. We are highly honoured and fortunate to have Maria among our team of highly talented people, helping advance Gecko Biomedical’ technology to the benefit of patients.”

The honourees will be recognized at the annual EmTech MIT conference on emerging technologies, held at MIT from September 23–25, 2014. See


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