Pitt | Swanson Engineering
Pitt’s Center for Medical Innovation awards four novel biomedical devices with $77,500 total Round-2 2016 Pilot Funding
This round's winners include faculty from bioengineering, chemical and petroleum engineering, industrial engineering, medicine, and CMU

PITTSBURGH (January 10, 2017) … The University of Pittsburgh’s Center for Medical Innovation (CMI) awarded grants totaling $77,500 to four research groups through its 2016 Round-2 Pilot Funding Program for Early Stage Medical Technology Research and Development. The latest funding proposals include a new technology for treatment of diabetes, a medical device for emergency intubation, an innovative method for bone regeneration, and a novel approach for implementing vascular bypass grafts.

CMI, a University Center housed in Pitt’s Swanson School of Engineering (SSOE), supports applied technology projects in the early stages of development with “kickstart” funding toward the goal of transitioning the research to clinical adoption. CMI leadership evaluates proposals based on scientific merit, technical and clinical relevance, potential health care impact and significance, experience of the investigators, and potential in obtaining further financial investment to translate the particular solution to healthcare.

“This is our fifth year of pilot funding, and our leadership team could not be more excited with the breadth and depth of this round’s awardees,” said Alan D. Hirschman, PhD, CMI Executive Director. “This early-stage interdisciplinary research helps to develop highly specific biomedical technologies through a proven strategy of linking UPMC’s clinicians and surgeons with the Swanson School’s engineering faculty.”

AWARD 1: Intrapancreatic Lipid Nanoparticles to Treat Diabetes
Award for further development and testing of use of lipid nanoparticle technology for the induction of α-to-β-cell transdifferentiation to treat diabetes.

George Gittes, MD
Department of Surgery
University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine

Kathryn Whitehead, PhD
Department of Chemical Engineering
Carnegie Mellon University (Secondary appointment at the McGowan Institute for Regenerative Medicine)


AWARD 2: The Esophocclude - Medical Device for temporary occlusion of the esophagus in patients requiring emergent intubation
Continuation award for further refinement of the Esophocclude Medical Device using human cadaver testing to simulate emergency intubation.

Philip Carullo, MD
Resident, PGY-1
Department of Anesthesiology
University of Pittsburgh Medical Center (UPMC)

Youngjae Chun, PhD
Assistant Professor
Department of Industrial Engineering
Department of Bioengineering (Secondary)
University of Pittsburgh


AWARD 3: RegenMatrix - Collagen-mimetic Bioactive Hydrogels for Bone Regeneration
Continuation award for fully automating the hydrogel fabrication process, for animal studies and for fine-tuning related innovations.

Shilpa Sant, PhD
Assistant Professor
Department of Pharmaceutical Sciences
Department of Bioengineering
University of Pittsburgh

Akhil Patel, MS

Graduate Student
Department of Pharmaceutical Sciences
University of Pittsburgh

Yadong Wang, PhD
Professor
Department of Bioengineering
University of Pittsburgh

Sachin Velankar, PhD
Associate Professor
Department of Chemical Engineering
University of Pittsburgh

Charles Sfeir, DDS, PhD

Associate Professor
Department of Oral Biology
University of Pittsburgh


AWARD 4: TopoGraft 2.0 - Anti-platelet surfaces for bypass grafts and artificial hearts using topo-graphic surface actuation
Continuation award for in-vivo validating of results and developing a new approach for topographic actuation of the inner lumen of synthetic bypass grafts.

Sachin Velankar, PhD
Department of Chemical Engineering
University of Pittsburgh

Luka Pocivavsak, MD, PhD
Department of Surgery
University of Pittsburgh Medical Center

Edith Tzeng, MD
Department of Surgery
University of Pittsburgh Medical Center

Robert Kormos, MD
Department of Cardiothoracic Surgery
University of Pittsburgh Medical Center


About the Center for Medical Innovation
The Center for Medical Innovation at the Swanson School of Engineering is a collaboration among the University of Pittsburgh’s Clinical and Translational Science Institute (CTSI), the Innovation Institute, and the Coulter Translational Research Partnership II (CTRP). CMI was established in 2011 to promote the application and development of innovative biomedical technologies to clinical problems; to educate the next generation of innovators in cooperation with the schools of Engineering, Health Sciences, Business, and Law; and to facilitate the translation of innovative biomedical technologies into marketable products and services. Over 50 early-stage projects have been supported by CMI with a total investment of over $900,000 since inception.

###  

Author: Yash P. Mokashi, Fellow, Center for Medical Innovation, 1/10/2017

Contact: Paul Kovach