How SweetBio is Using Honey for Oral Pain Relief
Many of us consider honey as a sweet, sticky substance that we use in cooking and baking – but to SweetBio, a Memphis-based biotechnical company, it is much, much more. The organization is on a mission to create a membrane that could potentially be used during oral surgeries to help regenerate bone and tissue. SweetBio’s membrane uses Manuka honey, which they believe has antibacterial and wound-healing properties that would be useful during these surgeries.
While SweetBio was just founded in March of this year, the idea for their Manuka honey based product has been in the works for quite a few years. The membrane’s birth can be dated back to when SweetBio’s co-founder and CEO Isaac Rodriguez was studying at Virginia Commonwealth University where he would later earn his doctor of philosophy in 2013. In an article featured on MemphisDailyNews.com, Rodriguez explained how the Manuka honey membrane came to be.
“I had an oral surgeon who wanted a very specific product come to the lab,” Rodriguez explained. “He sought out our lab. It went through several years of development, and when I moved to the University of Memphis he wanted to keep going. We came up with the idea of how to combine ideas out there for wound healing.” Rodriguez’s dissertation was scheduled to be on bones and he felt as though this honey project would be a great application to create his proposed membrane.
Earlier this year, Rodriguez moved his idea past the lab with the ultimate goal of creating something that could become an actual project. Even though Rodriguez is the brains behind this idea, he needed someone with business expertise to help him out. Rodriguez’s sister, Kayla, offered to help and moved to the San Francisco Bay area to help Rodriguez open SweetBio. Rodriguez also brought Marsalas Whitaker into the fold, a recent biomedical engineer from the University of Memphis.
“I met with Isaac about what he was doing and fell in love with the product,” said Whitaker. “It made sense since I was doing research on a similar project.” Development of the proposed technology began in 2014 when a provisional patent was filed which was then converted to a non-provisional patent this year. “Our vision as a company is we want to revolutionize healing,” Kayla Rodriguez said. “The world deserves to smile. We feel this can help save lives.”