November 25, 2013
Successful Entrepreneur in Biomedical Devices Offers Advice
Ted Ruppel, '88
The biomedical devices domain is one of the toughest for an entrepreneur to break into. It is highly regulated, not only by the FDA in the United States, but by FDA-comparable regulatory agencies in just about every other developed country, which means a company may have to repeat, at great expense, the same clinical trials that were conducted to gain approval elsewhere. Venture capital is scarce, and many of the remaining VCs are more interested in funding projects that are at or near commercialization rather than start-ups.
So why even venture into medical devices?
Ted Ruppel '88, Executive Vice President of Vascular Dynamics, offered a compelling reason during his presentation,
My Medical Device Journey: Failures, Startup Challenges and Lessons Learned,as part of the Center for Entrepreneurship's observance of Global Entrepreneurship Week.
To read more about Ted's recent talk please read the complete article on the Center for Medical Technology Innovation (CMTI) site.
November 21, 2013
Professor Laurel Carney Receives NIH-NIDCD Grant Renewal
Professor Laurel Carney received a renewal for another five years for her NIH-NIDCD grant entitled
Auditory Processing of Complex Sounds.The new emphasis for the next five years is to investigate neural coding of speech sounds, starting with vowels. This new direction is possible thanks to the collaboration with Professor Joyce McDonough from the Linguistics Department. This grant will support graduate students and a post-doc in BME, Linguistics, or related fields who are interested in speech coding in the brain.
November 1, 2013
Amy Van Hove, Brandon Wilson and Danielle Benoit, Ph.D. have published an article entitled, Microwave-assisted Functionalization of Poly(ethylene glycol) and On-resin Peptides for Use in Chain Polymerizations and Hydrogel Formation, in the Journal of Visualized Experiments (Jove). The paper discussed one of the main benefits to using poly(ethylene glycol) (PEG) macromers in hydrogel formation is synthetic versatility. The ability to draw from a large variety of PEG molecular weights and configurations (arm number, arm length, and branching pattern) affords researchers tight control over resulting hydrogel structures and properties, including Young's modulus and mesh size. To view the video which illustrates a rapid, efficient, solvent-free, microwave-assisted method to methacrylate PEG precursors into poly(ethylene glycol) dimethacrylate (PEGDM) click here.
October 28, 2013
A microfluidic bioreactor consists of two chambers separated by a nanoporous silicon membrane. It allows for flow-based assays using minimal amounts of reagent. The ultra-thin silicon membrane provides an excellent mimic of biological barrier properties.
The ability to shrink laboratory-scale processes to automated chip-sized systems would revolutionize biotechnology and medicine. For example, inexpensive and highly portable devices that process blood samples to detect biological agents such as anthrax are needed by the U.S. military and for homeland security efforts. One of the challenges of
lab-on-a-chiptechnology is the need for miniaturized pumps to move solutions through micro-channels. Electroosmotic pumps (EOPs), devices in which fluids appear to magically move through porous media in the presence of an electric field, are ideal because they can be readily miniaturized. EOPs, however, require bulky, external power sources, which defeats the concept of portability. But a super-thin silicon membrane developed at the University of Rochester could now make it possible to drastically shrink the power source, paving the way for diagnostic devices the size of a credit card.
Up until now, electroosmotic pumps have had to operate at a very high voltage - about 10 kilovolts,said James McGrath, associate professor of biomedical engineering.
Our device works in the range of one-quarter of a volt, which means it can be integrated into devices and powered with small batteries.
McGrath's research paper is being published this week by the journal Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.
October 10, 2013
BMES 2013 Highlights: Coulter College, BME-IDEA, and the Distinguished Service Award
A University of Rochester student team won third place at Coulter College, a workshop that ran in conjunction with the Biomedical Engineering Society annual meeting that took place in Seattle, WA. Coulter College, which was comprised of fourteen schools from across the nation, was a two-day long workshop that involved student teams working with physicians to identify clinical needs. Once the needs were addressed, the teams then considered each idea as potential commercialization opportunities. The process involved brainstorming the ideas and coming up with possible solutions, while ultimately choosing the best idea to cultivate as a business venture. The idea is then pitched to a panel of judges and event participants. The University of Rochester team, comprised of CMTI students Spencer Klubben, Laura Hobbs, Erin Keegan, and BME undergrads Amanda Chen, Tiffany Kobee, and Matthew Levasseur, focused on opportunities in cardiovascular and rehabilitative health and their pitch focused on rehabilitative systems for the physical therapy market. Dr. Chandra and Dr. Gdowski led the student team. Congratulations!
Richard Waugh, BME Department Chair, received the 2013 BMES Distinguished Service Award. This award is presented periodically to recognize members who have made extraordinary contributions to the Biomedical Engineering Society. Dr. Waugh served as the BMES President-elect during the 2009 - 2010 term, and was the BMES President from 2010 - 2012. Congratulations, Dr. Waugh!
Amy Lerner, Associate Professor of Biomedical Engineering and CMTI Academic Director, participated in this year's Biomedical Engineering Innovation, Design and Entrepreneurship Alliance meeting (BME-IDEA). BME-IDEA includes nearly one hundred university programs focused on innovation and entrepreneurship mentoring in biomedical engineering, and Dr. Lerner has served on the organizing committee of the meeting since 2005. The meeting is an opportunity to share ideas with other faculty who lead programs and courses in medical technology design. Dr. Lerner's moderated several snapshot sessions on interdisciplinary design programs and was an
un-panelistfor a discussion titled
Creating successful student project experiencesfocused on strategies for success and considering the appropriateness of the
fail fast, fail early, and fail oftentrope within the context of the senior design experience.