The University of Michigan has partnered with Allied Minds of Quincy, Mass., an investment company specializing in early-stage university business ventures, to develop a startup company, Biotectix LLC. The company will specialize in novel soft bioactive electrodes and coatings designed to enhance a wide variety of medical devices. Traditional metal biomedical device electrodes -- such as pacemakers, cochlear implants, glucose sensors and deep-brain stimulators -- are hard, energy inefficient, non-biocompatible, can cause tissue damage and scarring, and have limited-MRI compatibility. They also don't function for as long or as well as intended, leading to more frequent battery replacement. To address this, Biotextix developed soft, bioactive conductive polymer electrodes and coatings for microelectrodes and neural prosthetic devices that work better and need less frequent battery changes. Drug release from the polymer coating can also be controlled. Biotectix has exclusively licensed the technology, developed at the university's Organic Electronics and Electroactive Biomaterials Laboratory by David Martin and Sarah Richardson-Burns with Jeff Hendrix.