A fresh perspective often helps to advance a field by presenting nontraditional solutions to existing problems. Starting with a strong materials science bias, researchers at Solgene Therapeutics LLC believe they have advanced protein delivery and cell therapy through the use of inorganic materials. The company encapsulates living cells in silica-based gels for implantation.

Edward Pope, chairman and CEO, said his idea for the company began with his background in engineering and materials science, specifically with his knowledge of the field of solution gelation. "Sol-gel" processing, he said, has been successfully commercialized as coatings to tint sheet glass, in the production of abrasive materials and in fine ceramic powders for use in electrical