Appeared in MD+DI on August 19, 2020.
Antimicrobial fullerenes developed to attract pathogens could be used to infuse personal protective equipment (PPE) and medical garments.
Appeared in MD+DI on August 19, 2020.
Antimicrobial fullerenes developed to attract pathogens could be used to infuse personal protective equipment (PPE) and medical garments.
Kepley BioSystems filed the second of two recent patents describing novel approaches to protective applications addressing the Coronavirus pandemic, as well as increasing antimicrobial resistance threats.
Kepley researchers have invented a method to permanently infuse a substrate with antimicrobial functional fullerenes (modified buckyballs). Applications include synthetic or natural Personal Equipment (PPE), non-disposable medical garments and upholstery. When treated, reusable materials would remain microbiocidal after repeated laundering with respect to an ever-evolving array of viruses, fungi, and bacteria, such as SARS-CoV-2, the zoonotic novel coronavirus that causes COVID-19.
In fact, standard, disposable PPE embodies hydrophobic barriers that repel circulating pathogens like viral particles and bacteria, which can remain viable in circulation throughout the environment. This phenomenon is reflected in the overall incidence of hospital-acquired infections that has continued to increase since the introduction of hydrophobic PPE. In contrast, this invention would provide a hydrophilic surface of microbiocidal fullerenes that would bind and inactivate such pathogens.
Therapeutic applications of this invention may also be proven beyond bioactive PPE, as topical and aqueous antimicrobial nano-solutions for clinical use in the sinuses, gastrointestinal, bladder, peritoneum, pulmonary or other tissues with discrete vascular barriers. Whereas, the invention could be used in extracorporeal hemofiltration to eliminate bloodborne pathogens without direct arterial, venous, or capillary administration.
The lead inventor, Terry Brady, remarked, “Innovation is vital today, as microorganisms are increasingly out-smarting medicine and science. Safely destroying pathogens is easier at the atomic level without environmental or systemic release of untraceable particles.”
Anthony Dellinger, president of Kepley BioSystems, noted additionally, “Our group has a unique blend of medical and fullerene development depth, and this invention crosses the regulatory Rubicon by maximizing the therapeutic potential of fullerenes without systemic, clearance, half-life or residual toxicity risks.”
This patent is entitled, “Synthetic, multifaceted halogenated, functionalized fullerenes engineered for microbiocidal effects employing controlled contact for safe therapeutic and environmental utility.” (USPTO Assigned Serial Number: 16/946,892).
The first patent filed for accelerated review on June 10, 2020, described a self-contained, mobile breathing device to provide sterile air to the wearer or a treated space using rechargeable filtration media (USPTO Assigned Serial Number: 16/897,655). (See https://www.prnewswire.com/news-releases/nc-biotech-files-accelerated-patent-for-novel-personal-protection-air-sterilization-device-301081698.html)
Kepley is seeking to form a consortium of public health officials and commercial partners to develop the innovation for widespread practical application.
Kepley BioSystems scientists have integrated a novel microbiocidal carbon-based nanomaterial, the fullerene, as a bioactive inclusion for numerous applications.
Another recent Kepley patent described a self-contained sterile breathing apparatus that could be combined with functionalized fullerene-treated garments to help protect front-line workers and patients in clinical settings.
Kepley BioSystems has completed patent work surrounding the technology for a novel air sterilization mask, as well as for controlled spaces to directly eliminate airborne viral, bacterial and fungal pathogens. The pro se patent has been submitted with the United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) under a COVID-19 Prioritized Examination Pilot Program established to expedite the review process and accelerate development of solutions to address the global pandemic.
The individual embodiment of this patent-pending invention is a full-face mask connected to a series of multifaceted, antipathogenic pathways. The portable device allows for safe and relaxed air flow to sterilize inhaled and exhaled air as needed with maximum mobility, whether traveling in confined cabins, cars or other conveyances - or in chronic and acute medical settings, manufacturing, shipping, and food preparation/packaging spaces. Additional embodiments could also be applied to shared, enclosed spaces, such as aircraft, operating rooms, and auditoriums.
The lead inventor, Terry Brady explained, “Front-line workers need protection from airborne microbes, especially in this dangerous period that demands innovation.”
Dr. Anthony Dellinger, president of Kepley BioSystems, stated further, “We’re committed to assembling a diverse team of executives, scientists and engineers through collaboration with government and independent enterprise to commercialize this technology.”
The patent is entitled, “Self-Contained, Mobile Breathing Apparatus or Appliance that Supplies Pathogen and Endotoxin Free, Rhythmically Breathable Air to the Wearer or Treated Space through Active, Continuous Bio-Deactivation of Bacteria, Fungi, Viral and Allergenic/antigenic Matter Safely When Using Benign, Household, Rechargeable Filtration Media” (U.S. Patent No. 16/897,655)
Kepley is seeking to form a consortium of public health officials and commercial partners to develop the innovation for widespread practical application.
The Kepley self-contained mobile breathing apparatus allows for personally sterilized air to minimize risk of pathogenic exposure in public spaces.
The Kepley mobile breathing device can help protect front-line workers and patients in clinical settings.
Additional embodiments under development include an integrated safety helmet and face mask with built-in device and a modular version as solutions for an array of work environments.
The US Pharmacopoeia has cited the use of horseshoe crab-derived test reagents for ensuring the sterility of injectable drugs and implanted medical devices as the standard in lieu of more recently developed recombinant alternatives. This was first reported in Reuters by John Miller in Zurich and then in The New York Times on May 30, 2020. (“Drugs Standards Group Nixes Plan to Kick Pharma’s Crab Blood Habit ”; edited by Matthew Lewis, Christina Fincher and Sandra Maler).
An additional article was published in New York Times Science entitled " "Tests for Coronavirus Vaccine Need This Ingredient: Horseshoe Crabs" by James Gorman in which the importance of this resource is further discussed.
“The endotoxin sciences have progressed substantially with respect to horseshoe crab aquaculture, testing reliability and new applications. These advances can help the biomedical industry avoid the cost and complexities of migration to alternative testing methods while reinforcing their confidence in established protocols. In fact, the horseshoe crab-derived substrate, Limulus Amebocyte Lysate (commonly known as LAL) is substantially more important, sustainable and valuable today than ever before,” stated Anthony Dellinger, president of Kepley BioSystems, on behalf of his research team in response to this development. He went on to highlight the company’s National Science Foundation funded findings in their recent publications.
“We report the development of a new LAL-based assay that can detect gram-negative bacteria and endotoxins in human blood without interference using aquaculture-derived LAL. Based on this research, sustainable LAL production from aquaculture could satisfy industry needs with a fraction of one year’s current capture via year-round harvesting from a finite cohort of [horseshoe crabs] and expand raw materials supplies for potential future clinical applications.” (Horseshoe Crab Aquaculture as a Sustainable Endotoxin Testing Source, Front. Mar. Sci., 01 April 2020, https://doi.org/10.3389/fmars.2020.00153)
And in earlier work, “This review examines [the horseshoe crab] role and recent trends in the biomedical industry that are impacting these ancient creatures and the derivative effect on shorebirds, while considering emerging alternatives where feasible, as well as ways to ensure sustainable and pragmatic harvesting strategies. Ultimately, healthy populations of horseshoe crabs are vital to restoring and maintaining ecosystems while balancing the need for medical and research applications...” (The Role of Horseshoe Crabs in the Biomedical Industry and Recent Trends Impacting Species Sustainability, Front. Mar. Sci., 05 June 2018 https://doi.org/10.3389/fmars.2018.00185)
The initial Kepley research objective was to apply the unmatched sensitivity of LAL to the rapid diagnosis of blood borne infections. As such, it could offer an alternative to blood culture that can require 24-48 hours for results and help save lives by informing immediate treatment for septicemia. The Kepley team focused on solving a longstanding cross-reactivity problem, as well as establishing sustainable husbandry, optimum feeding and low-impact, restorative harvesting to ensure the well-being of a finite cohort with zero mortality. Effectively “ranching” horseshoe crabs could thus avert up to 90% of the one year’s wild capture, leaving hundreds of thousands of them to replenish this keystone species every year thereafter.
Kepley is seeking partners in the pharmaceutical and medical devices industry to develop a sustainable aquaculture network to address sterility testing demands while continuing its research toward a rapid septicemia clinical assay.
Two additional reports have been submitted for publication: “Effects of Diet on the Biochemical Properties of Amoebocyte Lysate from Limulus Polypohemus in an Aquaculture Setting” and “Evaluation of Indoor and Outdoor Aquaculture Systems as Alternatives to Harvesting Hemolymph from Random Wild Capture of Horseshoe Crabs" and will be available on the Kepley BioSystems Horseshoe Crab Research page upon publication.
An additional paper, “Answering a Global Call to Arms,” chronicles the impact of lethal microorganisms and antibiotic resistance. Written before the COVID-19 pandemic, it sought to raise awareness of the ongoing threats of morbidity and mortality from infectious disease.
While many aspects remain unknown, scientists are discovering more about the novel coronavirus SARS-CoV-2 that causes COVID-19 every day. Although still considered rare, they are learning it can be transmitted from humans to their pets. Recently, Duke University verified such a case with an infected pug in North Carolina (WRAL, 2020). In turn, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has announced additional social distancing guidelines for pet owners.
Beyond the consensus that the virus is primarily spread from human to human, these rules follow social distancing guidelines with adjustments for companion animals, including:
To date, there have been no confirmed cases of COVID-19 spreading from feces to another organism, but active virus has been detected in such specimens from infected patients (CDC, 2020). Studies of previous strains have shown that high relative humidity can extend coronavirus viability (Casanova, et al, 2010). These findings suggest the need for enhanced awareness to practice proper and consistent use of collection bags when walking one’s dog – and added vigilance for pets to avoid prior droppings from others when not similarly removed.
This virulent strain of coronavirus initiates infection and replication at the cellular level by engaging a specific protein called angiotensin-converting enzyme 2 (ACE2; Hoffman, et al. 2020). Prevalent throughout the body, ACE2 receptors are particularly abundant in nasal and respiratory tissues (Hamming, et al. 2004). Given the vast nasal epithelial surface area in dogs that enables their acute sense of smell, “catching” COVID-19 from infected owners may likewise pose a compounded risk if exposed to other dogs’ excrement – as well as the evolving list of possibilities from virus remaining active on various surfaces over time.
It is also important to consider that dogs experience the world through their sense of smell and characteristically “sniff search” prior to defecation. Every owner needs to be aware of their surroundings and exercise caution to avoid proximity to other pedestrians, as well as canine waste in that process. If a dog fails to immediately locate the botanical amines needed to stimulate their gastroenterological response (Brady, et al. 2019), the potential for coronavirus exposure can increase. That is, spending precious time slowly searching, and sometimes complicating social distancing, can hinder efforts to get the exercise both dogs and homebound owners need most.
In addition to compliance with municipal and public health guidelines while outdoors, owners can easily provide the natural scents most dogs seek when starting their walks. In fact, a single drop of a safe, organic solution on the dog’s paw can provide the naturally occurring scent cues that were shown to stimulate more timely and predictable canine defecation in 3 out of 4 indoor dogs and in all of the rescues in a shelter setting (Brady, et al, Williams, et al. 2019). Less time “sniff searching” can thus provide more control in public spaces, help minimize contact with potentially infectious individuals and surfaces, and allow more time actually walking on walks.
Such botanicals may also help provide peace of mind for essential workers managing extended shifts, leaving less time at home with their pets. This solution can help “inspire” dogs to relieve themselves before staying indoors for long hours, as well as reduce exposure to other people and their pets.
Kepley BioSystems, the company that developed this product, is addressing coronavirus challenges by significantly reducing the price to help every dog owner make the most of that time outdoors while following new guidelines. Building on prior work sponsored by the National Science Foundation, their research identified naturally occurring molecules that stimulate canine defecation during characteristic “sniff searching” behavior (Brady, et al. 2019.). A 3-month supply of Kepley K9® Strategic Scent Stimulant is now $11.99, and the company has committed to continue this special offer until a solution to the global pandemic is available.
UPDATE: Since publishing this story, WRAL has reported that Winston the pug, the dog originally thought to be the first to prove positive in March, was not infected with COVID-19. Federal officials state that his test resulted in a "weak positive", but later saw no antibody response in his blood, indicating that he may not have had the disease (Source: WRAL). Later, another dog, a German Shepard Dog named Buddy, was confirmed to be the first canine in April. Buddy was later diagnosed with lymphoma, complicated by COVID-19 symptoms, and has unfortunately since passed away at the age of seven. For more, please see the National Geographic article online by clicking here (for NatGeo subscribers), or further reporting at MSN by clicking here.
WRAL News, Raleigh, North Carolina. (2020, April 27). Chapel Hill pug tests positive for coronavirus; first known dog case in the US. Retrieved from https://www.wral.com/coronavirus/pug-with-coronavirus-first-dog/19074499/
Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. (2020, April 30). Daily Life and Coping: If You Have Animals. Retrieved from https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/daily-life-coping/animals.html
World Organisation for Animal Health. (2020, April 27). Questions and Answers on the 2019 Coronavirus Disease (COVID-19). Retrieved from https://www.oie.int/en/scientific-expertise/specific-information-and-recommendations/questions-and-answers-on-2019novel-coronavirus/
Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. (2020, April 23). Health Departments: Water and COVID-19 FAQS: Information about Drinking Water, Treated Recreational Water, and Wastewater. Retrieved from https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/php/water.html
Casanova, L., Jeon, S, Rutala, WA, Weber, DJ, & Sobsey, MD. (2010). Effects of air temperature and relative humidity on coronavirus survival on surfaces. Applied Environmental Microbiology., 76(9), 2712-2717.
Hoffmann, M, Kleine-Weber, H, Schroeder, S, Krüger, N, Herrler, T, Erichsen, S,Müller, MA et al. (2020). SARS-CoV-2 cell entry depends on ACE2 and TMPRSS2 and is blocked by a clinically proven protease inhibitor. Cell.
Hamming, I, Timens, W, Bulthuis, MLC, Lely, A., Navis, G., & van Goor, H. (2004). Tissue distribution of ACE2 protein, the functional receptor for SARS coronavirus. A first step in understanding SARS pathogenesis. The Journal of Pathology: A Journal of the Pathological Society of Great Britain and Ireland, 203(2), 631-637.
Williams, AA, Cunningham, I, Brady, TE, Abood, SK, Tinker-Kulberg, R, Dellinger, K, (2019). Use of a Canine Gastrointestinal Olfactory Stimulant in a Shelter Setting. Journal of Animal Health Behavoural Sciences, 3: 117. of, 6, 2.
Brady, T, Abood, SK, Tinker-Kulberg, R, Dellinger, K, Goddard, MKM, Robertson, L, & Dellinger, A. (2019). Olfactory mediation of canine gastrointestinal neurobiology. Journal of Animal Health and Behavoural Sciences, 3 (116), 448.
Kepley BioSystems Inc, a North Carolina biotech has just published the results of their endotoxin testing research in the Marine Conservation and Sustainability section of Frontiers in Marine Science. With grant funding from the National Science Foundation, the team validated novel methods of Atlantic horseshoe crab aquaculture for sustainable production of a resource used to ensure the safety of human medicine, worldwide.
The article is entitled “Horseshoe Crab Aquaculture as a Sustainable Endotoxin Testing Source.” The work presents key findings with disruptive potential to supply materials for established pharmaceutical and biomedical device sterility testing while eliminating the annual capture of hundreds of thousands of animals from the wild. The research has also laid the groundwork for applying the unparalleled sensitivity of this resource to the detection of blood-borne bacterial infections in clinical medicine. Notably, many such cases share early symptoms and can occur in the course of treating Covid-19. Kepley BioSystems is continuing its efforts toward a rapid test to help distinguish between such causes.
“Modern medicine depends on a unique cell in horseshoe crab blood to test and ensure the safety of vaccines, medical devices, and implants for millions of patients every year,” stated senior scientist and lead author, Rachel Tinker-Kulberg. “We owe a huge debt to these creatures and their amazing immune system. Our new methods can not only safeguard the well-being of the horseshoe crabs in aquaculture, but industry scale-up and adoption would spare upwards of 90% of those captured to meet current demand in year one – and annually leave some 600,000 of them in the wild for many years thereafter.”
“Encouraged by meeting crucial milestones, we’re seeking further grants and eventually a commercial partner to develop a rapid gram-negative blood test to detect pathogens that can lead to sepsis, while carefully targeting antibiotics in an era of antimicrobial resistance,” said Anthony Dellinger, president of Kepley BioSystems. “With overlapping patient symptoms, detecting bacterial infections could help ensure timely treatment, especially given Covid-19 testing challenges in this pandemic wreaking havoc on society and investors.”
Sepsis was well established as the leading cause of untimely death before the current pandemic. These dynamics can exponentially increase the potential impact of sepsis wherever co-infections follow Covid-19 trends going forward. Given nearly 50 million cases and 11 million sepsis-related deaths per year before the novel coronavirus outbreak, early detection of the onset of sepsis is more important than ever; wherein, appropriate administration of antimicrobial treatment can reduce mortality rates by 7.6% per hour.
“Horseshoe Crab Aquaculture as a Sustainable Endotoxin Testing Source" is an open-access publication and can be read online at the Frontiers for Marine Science site, frontiersin.org.
Senior Kepley Scientist and lead author, Dr. Rachel Tinker-Kulberg, with recent publication.
Horseshoe crab hemolymph (“Blue Blood”) antimicrobial hemacyanin fraction (left); Limulus Amebocyte Lysate (LAL) fraction reacting with bacterially contaminated human blood (right).
About Frontiers in Marine Science:
Frontiers in Marine Science publishes rigorously peer-reviewed research that advances understanding of all aspects of the environment, biology, ecosystem functioning and human interactions with the oceans. Field Chief Editor Carlos M. Duarte at King Abdullah University of Science and Technology Thuwal is supported by an outstanding Editorial Board of international researchers. This multidisciplinary open-access journal is at the forefront of disseminating and communicating scientific knowledge and impactful discoveries to researchers, academics, policy makers and the public worldwide.
Additional Press and Articles:
Greensboro, NC and Meteghan, NS - On March 3, 2020, Kepley BioSystems shipped several hundred synthetic crustacean baits for evaluation by a major lobster fishery in Canada under the leadership of industry experts, Clare Machine Works and Synergy Seafoods Limited. The effectiveness and palatability of the bait will also be studied in collaboration with the Université Sainte-Anne’s Marine Research Centre. Successful performance could provide the $1.4 billion Canadian lobster industry with a breakthrough that could eliminate the need to catch wild fish for use as lobster bait.
This ecologically advanced approach would be made possible by a new formulation of OrganoBait™, an environmentally neutral blend of naturally occurring biochemicals found in wild fish baits and plant proteins that can attract lobsters and other crustaceans. This product eliminates the waste and biological complexities of harvesting one species to catch another.
“As wholesalers and consumers around the world are more aware of food safety and sustainability than ever, our synthetic crustacean bait can offer an exceptional level of confidence, along with an array of advantages, from elimination of costly frozen storage, to no longer handling barrels of fish required to bait the traps,” said Kepley president, Anthony Dellinger, who continued, “As a start-up, we’re seeking new investors, and we believe this product can offer an unparalleled opportunity to any new partners we might engage.”
Worldwide, some 40 billion pounds of wild fish are caught every year to use as bait for catching crustaceans – leading to regional baitfish collapses, endangering a key component of the food chain, and resulting in millions of unintended incidents of by-catch and environmental damage from net fishing methods. With crabs, crayfish, and lobster fisheries combined, the global bait market is currently estimated at some $20 billion per annum.
“It has been inspiring to help prepare these synthetic baits for this major evaluation in Nova Scotia,” Lee Robertson, Kepley director of operations and scientific communications remarked and added, “We anticipate a transition phase for any fishery to replace wild fish baits with a pure form of their key components. That said, knowing what has attracted and nourished the catch while in the traps can offer both consumer and environmental confidence for any fishery that adopts this product – while helping to restore global fish stocks.”
“With our industry experience and the resources of the Université Sainte-Anne’s Marine Research Centre, we are in a unique position to evaluate innovative and effective solutions to benefit the lobster fisheries,” said Vince Stuart, president of Clare Machine Works. “Exploring and ensuring safe alternative baits, as well as finding ways of releasing and stretching bait further, can offer both consumer and environmental confidence leading to fishery success.”
Results of this product study are expected at the end of the next season. For more product or investor information, click here.
Anthony Dellinger, president of Kepley BioSystems, with an early prototype of the OrganoBait alternative bait technology.
Vince Stuart, president and owner of Clare Machine Works Ltd, is awarded first prize for the 2019 Ignite Labs Lobster Bait Challenge, a competition designed to spur innovation in alternative bait technologies.
About Vince Stuart:
Vince Stuart is the second-generation president and owner of Clare Machine Works Limited (CMW). Founded in 1972 by his father, Arthur Stuart, CMW has been operating in the manufacturing industry for over 47 years. Initially focused on products and services for the fishing industry, the company has grown and diversified its offerings to other sectors. This pursuit of innovation led Mr. Stuart to create various product developments with Matt d’Entremont, P.Eng. and Gary LeBlanc.
Mr. Stuart is dedicated to efficiently delivering and using the lobster bait that is available and designing custom-built trap handling devices for lobster fishing vessels. Through ongoing research and development focus, Mr. Stuart with his partners has won multiple awards from Innovacorp I3 and Spark competitions, Ignite Labs Lobster Bait Challenge 2019, and received an “Invention of the Year” award from Popular Science Magazine.
About Synergy Seafoods Limited:
In 2015 Synergy Seafoods Limited was formed by Julian German and Joel German by acquiring the only fishing bait company in the area to secure a fresh bait source for lobster fishers in the I. Deveau Fisheries lobster buying/exporting business. By providing fishers with fresher bait, the company improved efficiency and increased the ease of doing business.
Synergy Seafoods Ltd has re-invested its earnings year after year, ultimately tripling the size of the business by 2019. Starting with 30 employees, the company now employs up to 110 personnel during peak season; increasing sales and expanding exports.
About Université Sainte-Anne’s Marine Research Centre:
Université Sainte-Anne’s Marine Research Centre is dedicated to ensuring the sustainability and competitiveness of the fisheries and aquaculture industries through innovation, research, and education. Situated at the University’s satellite campus in Petit de Grat, Nova Scotia, Canada, the Marine Research Centre conducts applied research specifically designed to help the marine and aquaculture industries in rural communities face new challenges.
The Marine Research Center is recognized as a Centre of Excellence in industry applied research in lobster culture, live lobster storage and transport and training for the commercial lobster industry. The Centre also specializes in recirculation technology for live storage of various marine species including American lobster, Atlantic snow crab, Atlantic deep-sea scallop and blue mussel.
The TEDx GREENSBORO event has been postponed due to the global pandemic. New dates to be determined.
Kepley BioSystems president, Anthony Dellinger, has been invited to participate in a regional TEDx event on March 26, 2020, at the Greensboro Cultural Center. Following this year’s theme of “Risk,” Dellinger will join Greensboro’s most curious and innovative minds, as they share their stories of uncertainties and triumphs in pursuit of audacious goals.
“Dellinger's story of translating research into enterprise solutions – and addressing pressing environmental issues – resonates with our 2020 theme of ‘RISK’,” said planning committee head and TEDx Greensboro founder Richard Moore.
“It's also an interesting story of how federal organizations, such as the National Science Foundation, can seed and nurture research to produce real-world results,” Moore added.
TEDx Greensboro 2020: Risk
March 26, 2020 from 8:00AM to 5:00PM
Van Dyke Performance Space
Greensboro Cultural Center
200 N. Davie Street
Greensboro, NC 27401
TED is a platform for ideas worth spreading. Started in 1984 as a conference where technology, entertainment and design converged, TED today shares ideas from a broad spectrum — from science to business to global issues — in more than 100 languages. Meanwhile, independent TEDx events help share ideas in communities around the world.
TED is a global community, welcoming people from every discipline and culture who seek a deeper understanding of the world. TED believes passionately in the power of ideas to change attitudes, lives and, ultimately, the world. On TED.com, there is a clearinghouse of free knowledge from the world’s most inspired thinkers — and a community of curious souls to engage with ideas and each other, both online and at TED and TEDx events around the world, all year long.
TED is owned by a nonprofit, nonpartisan foundation with an agenda to make great ideas accessible and spark conversation.
About TEDx Greensboro:
While TEDx Greensboro is licensed to Skip Moore, it consists of a group of broad thinkers familiar with TED that came together to develop the event designed to focus on Greensboro and its future. TEDx Greensboro events feature a diversity of local and regional speakers from across several disciplines that address a variety of topics with unique stories and ideas.
While TEDx Greensboro is licensed to Skip Moore, a think tank of broad thinkers familiar with TED came together to develop the event designed to focus on Greensboro and its future. TEDx Greensboro events feature a diversity of local and regional speakers from across several disciplines that address a variety of topics with unique stories and ideas.
Last summer, the NC biotech team at Kepley BioSystems launched Kepley K9® Strategic Scent Stimulant for busy pet owners wanting more quality time with their “dawdling dogs” (and less time wasted while “sniffing” on walks). Soon thereafter, the team embarked on a study to see if the product could benefit shelter dogs (and the staff) while at the kennel – and help orient them to ensure forever homes after adoption.
“It’s great if people can enjoy more exercise and play time with their dogs, instead of endless cajoling to complete the purpose of a walk before running out of time every day,” said Kepley communications director, Lee Robertson, “but if the product can help shelters socialize rescues while saving time and then enhance adoption success, Kepley K9 can ultimately save them from being relinquished and losing all hope thereafter.”
According to the ASPCA, more than 3.3 million additional dogs enter an already overburdened US kennel system with limited resources every year. Regrettably, one in five adopted rescues are returned to the shelter, too often due to house soiling. For those relinquished dogs, their odds of placement are then cut in half.
The Kepley team partnered with the dedicated staff of the SPCA of the Triad in Greensboro to evaluate Kepley K9 use in a shelter setting. The product reduced the kennel staff morning routine time by 50% and allowed for more play and socialization.
Continued use gradually shortened the dogs’ defecation times, and all responded as expected. Given that the product was used upon daily release from cages and enclosures in this study, such trends suggested improved canine awareness of “indoors” versus “outdoors” that could be reinforced after adoption with at-home use.
The study results have been published in a recent article, entitled, “Use of a Canine Gastrointestinal Olfactory Stimulant in a Shelter Setting” in the Journal of Animal Health and Behavioural Science.
“It was an amazingly rewarding experience working alongside the SPCA of the Triad,” said Abby Anne Williams, lead author and Kepley intern research coordinator. “A dramatic decrease in the time it takes to perform the daily routines allowed us to spend more individual time with each dog. My hope is that each of the pups will find the homes they deserve.”
"STEM internships provide unique opportunities for students and reflect a Kepley core value centered on scholarship,” stated Kepley BioSystems president, Anthony Dellinger. “These experiences are critical for the future quality of the regional workforce and enhance development of research, communications and entrepreneurial skills."
The original research behind this NC biotech innovation was previously published in the same journal in the work entitled, “Olfactory Mediation of Canine Gastrointestinal Neurobiology.” Kepley K9 Strategic Scent Stimulant is available at Amazon, and the company matches purchases with donations to shelters to fulfill their commitment to help orient shelter dogs for successful adoption into forever homes.