Pitt’s Center for Medical Innovation awards four novel biomedical devices with $77,500 total Round-2 2016 Pilot Funding

By Yash Mokashi, CMI Fellow


PITTSBURGH (January 6, 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 treating patients requiring emergent intubation, an innovative method for bone regeneration and a novel approach for topographic actuation,

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. 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 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

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)

FOR: 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.

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AWARD 2

Philip Carullo, MD 

Resident, PGY-1 

Department of Anesthesiology

University of Pittsburgh Medical Center (UPMC)

Youngjae Chun, PhD 

Assistant Professor

Industrial Engineering Department 

Bioengineering Department (Secondary)

University of Pittsburgh

FOR: 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

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AWARD 3

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

FOR: RegenMatrix: Collagen-mimetic Bioactive Hydrogels for Bone Regeneration

Continuation award for fully automizing the fabrication process, animal studies and for fine-tuning the translational ability innovation. 

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AWARD 4

Sachin Velankar, PhD

Department of Chemical Engineering

University of Pittsburgh

Luka Pocivavsek MD PhD

Department of Surgery

University of Pittsburgh Medical Center

Edith Tzeng, MD

Department of Surgery

University of Pittsburgh Medical Center

Robert Kormos, MD

Depatment of Cardiothoracic Surgery

University of Pittsburgh Medical Center

FOR: 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. 

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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1/6/2017