SCI Polymer International-IUPAC Award winner developing smartphone technologies to boost rural healthcare in North America

30 August 2022


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Inventor of nanoparticle technologies for remote diagnostics recognised as a disrupter in his field

Dr Zachary Hudson of The University of British Columbia, Canada, has won the SCI (Society of Chemical Industry) 8th Polymer International-IUPAC award. Organised by SCI, the Editorial Board of Polymer International and the IUPAC (International Union of Pure and Applied Chemistry), the accolade rewards Creativity in Applied Polymer Science.

The judges admired Dr Hudson’s work in the opto-electronics field and the way in which he has worked with industry to develop polymer technologies to address global plastic waste. Dr Hudson’s research has helped develop light emitting materials for the electronics, healthcare and pharmaceutical industries. His luminescent polymer nanoparticles, or ‘Pdots’ for bio-imaging and analysis – are sufficiently bright to be detected by smartphone.

Sharon Todd, SCI CEO said,

“We recognised the outstanding way in which Dr Hudson is disrupting industries and has a growing international reputation. SCI helps accelerate scientific discoveries from the lab into the commercial world for societal benefit. Dr Hudson is doing exactly this - improving access to healthcare in some very remote, deprived communities. In these places, laboratories are few but smartphones are everywhere”.

In 1919 SCI was involved in the foundation of IUPAC, the organisation responsible for standardisation of nomenclature in chemistry – most notably the Periodic Table of Elements.

Dr Hudson is an Associate Professor whose work has been featured in some of the world’s top peer reviewed journals. He has also developed technology for photopatterning thin films for polymer electronics at very low cost – developing multilayer device structures in a beaker on the benchtop.

“North American rural populations are sparsely populated and experience multiple health challenges – from limited resources and a lack of physicians to lack of proximity to hospitals or laboratories,” said Dr. Hudson “This has to change,’ he continued, so I am pleased to be collaborating with other scientists to develop technologies for low-cost diagnostic devices.”

He was previously Chief Scientific Officer of NEXE Innovations. In this role, he helped develop single-serve coffee pods which are fully compostable for the coffee brewery market. He also previously worked with Korea-based CTK Cosmetics to design biodegradable materials for cosmetics packaging.

Dr. Hudson received the award and gave a lecture at the World Polymer Congress in Winnipeg, Canada in July. The Award included prize money of $5,000 in addition to expenses enabling him to attend MACRO 2022.


For further information please contact Maxine Boersma on 07771 563373 or

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