Pitt | Swanson Engineering
Pitt’s Center for Medical Innovation awards six novel biomedical devices with $140,000 in Round-1 2016 Pilot Funding
Projects range from a novel vascular access system, a shunt for treatment of fetal hydrocephalus in utero, a system for stroke rehabilitation, a cell therapy for treatment of aortic aneurysm, a method for treatment of sickle cell anemia, and a novel mechanical device for use in general surgery

PITTSBURGH (July 14, 2016) … The University of Pittsburgh’s Center for Medical Innovation (CMI) awarded grants totaling $140,000 to six research groups through its 2016 Round-1 Pilot Funding Program for Early Stage Medical Technology Research and Development. The latest funding proposals include developing a novel vascular access system, a shunt for treatment of fetal hydrocephalus in-utero, a system for stroke rehabilitation, a cell therapy for treatment of aortic aneurysm, a method for treatment of sickle cell anemia, and a novel mechanical device for use in general surgery.

CMI, a University Center housed in Pitt’s Swanson School of Engineering, supports applied technology projects in the early stages of development with “kickstart” funding toward the goal of transitioning the research to clinical adoption. Proposals are evaluated on the basis of 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 providing 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: Electro-targeted Vascular Access: A novel way to quickly and accurately place peripheral and central venous catheters
Award to design, build and test an advanced vascular catheter and guidance system for rapid, accurate placement in critical care.

Cameron Dezfulian, MD
Assistant Professor of Critical Care and Clinical and Translation Medicine Scientist, Vascular Medicine Institute
University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine

William Clark, PhD
Professor of Mechanical Engineering & Materials Science
Swanson School of Engineering
 

AWARD 2: VASFAS (Ventriculo-Amniotic Shunt for Fetal Aqueductal Stenosis)
Continuation award for pre-clinical testing of a newly developed shunt to treat fetal hydrocephalus in-utero.

Stephen P. Emery, MD
Associate Professor of Obstetrics, Gynecology and Reproductive Sciences
University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine

Youngjae Chun, PhD
Assistant Professor of Industrial Engineering, Bioengineering (Secondary)
Swanson School of Engineering

Stephanie Greene, MD
Assistant Professor of Neurosurgery
University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine


AWARD 3: I-HITS: Individualized hand improvement and tracking system after stroke
Continuation award for development and clinical evaluation of a system to track therapeutic progress in stroke patients with impaired upper extremity function.

Amit Sethi PhD, OTR/L
Assistant Professor of Occupational Therapy
University of Pittsburgh School of Health and Rehabilitation Sciences

Ervin Sejdić, PhD
Assistant Professor of Electrical and Computer Engineering
Swanson School of Engineering


AWARD 4: Minimally invasive delivery of therapeutic cells to abdominal aortic aneurysm
Award to develop and perform preclinical testing of a new biological therapy for prevention and treatment of abdominal aortic aneurysm.

Kory Blose
PhD candidate, Department of Bioengineering
Swanson School of Engineering

Justin Weinbaum, PhD
Assistant Professor Bioengineering
Swanson School of Engineering

Ryan McEnaney, MD
Division of Vascular Surgery, UPMC

John Curci, MD
Division of Vascular Surgery, UPMC


AWARD 5: Reducing alloimmunization and sickle crisis in SCD patients using a novel method of replacing HbS with donor Hb in patient’s RBCs
Continuation award to develop and test a new method for reconditioning the blood of sickle cell patients.

Marina V. Kameneva, PhD
Department of Surgery and Bioengineering
McGowan Institute for Regenerative Medicine

Jonathan H. Waters, MD
Department of Anesthesiology & Bioengineering
Magee Womens Hospital

Mark Gartner, PhD
Department of Bioengineering
Swanson School of Engineering


AWARD 6: A motorized flexible arm retractor for open abdominal surgery
Continuation award for development and testing of a novel mechanical device which improves and simplifies the management of surgical devices in the OR.

Peter Allen, MD
UPMC Mercy Department of General Surgery

Garth Elias, MD
UPMC Mercy Department of General Surgery
UPMC Mercy Trauma and Burn Center

Jeffrey S. Vipperman, PhD
Department of Mechanical Engineering and Materials Science
Swanson School of Engineering

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 Office of Technology Management (OTM), 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 in cooperation with OTM and in partnership with CTRP.

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7/14/2016

Contact: Paul Kovach