Funded Projects 2013 – 2014

Specialized Breast Biopsy Introducer to Facilitate Biopsy of Breast Calcifications
Jeffrey Brooks, M.D. / James G. McDaniel, Ph.D.
Business: Medical Device

This project involves the development of a prototype and testing proof of concept of a specialized biopsy introducer, which would make the biopsy of calcifications in the breast faster, technically easier for the physician, more comfortable for the patient and with less radiation. This device would also save costs by decreasing the need for surgeries in the operating room, and by lowering capital expenditures for machine purchase, maintenance, and space.

Optical spectroscopy guidance in thyroid surgery: identifying the parathyroid and neighboring tissues
Irving J. Bigio, Ph.D. / Jennifer Rosen, M.D.
Business: Medical Device

In surgical procedures to excise the thyroid it is critically important to protect the adjacent parathyroid glands, but discrimination of the parathyroid is complicated by the inherent heterogeneity of the local tissues, the location of the parathyroids on the posterior side of the thyroid, and the small size of the parathyroid (about the size of a grain of rice). This project will demonstrate a surgical guidance tool, using light spectroscopy through a fiberoptic probe, to assist the surgeon in distinguishing the parathyroid from neighboring tissues.

PiezoImplant: A non-cylindrical dental implant system for narrow jawbone
Robert Gyurko, M.D., Ph.D. / Serge Dibart, M.D. / Alexis Sauer-Budge, Ph.D.
Business: Medical Device

Dr. Gyurko, Dr. Dibart and Dr. Sauer-Budge are developing a novel dental implant system that allows implant placement in severely degraded jawbone without the need for bone grafting. Piezotomy allows for precise, non-cylindrical bone cuts, thus the shape of the implant can be matched to that of the available jawbone. Avoiding bone grafting saves time, money and potential surgical complications for the patient, and it makes implant placement for narrow jawbone accessible for the general dentist. Moreover, piezotomy increases bone density, thus providing stronger support for the implant.

PharmaCheck: Substandard Medicines Screening for the Developing World (Renewed)
Muhammad Hamid Zaman, Ph.D. / Christopher Gill, M.D.
Business: Medical Device

Providing results that are over 95% accurate, PharmaCheck offers an easy-to-use, robust, field-ready, and customizable platform for improving access to quality medicines by verifying drug content and timed release, thereby assuring access to quality medicines in resource-limited countries. The technology is of significant value in the developing world as an affordable, effective tool for local health authorities to better safeguard the efficacy of their pharmacopeia.

Reversible, hydrogel-based aerosolized sealant dressing for the treatment of superficial to deep-second degree burns
Mark W. Grinstaff, Ph.D. / G. Felix Broelsch, M.D.
Business: Medical Device

Development of a reversible, hydrogel-based aerosolized sealant dressing, as a portable system, for the treatment of superficial to deep-second degree burns. The hydrogel will allow complete adhesion to the skin to prevent infection, high absorption of exudates and high moist environment for fast healing, and complete dissolution when the dressing needs to be changed, which will significantly reduce the pain often felt with conventional dressings.

Nasal biomarker for pre-clinical lung cancer detection
Avrum Spira, M.D. / Marc Lenburg, Ph.D.
Business: Diagnostic

The overall goal of this project is to develop a test that measures gene expression patterns in nasal epithelium obtained via a quick and painless nasal scraping sample as a biomarker to improve lung cancer screening in current and former smokers. There is an urgent need for this type of test as there are approximately 9 million screening-eligible individuals in the U.S., and screening by chest CT detects a large number of abnormalities that are ultimately proven to be benign. Our biomarker may help determine 1) which CT-detected abnormalities are benign and can be followed less aggressively; and 2) which individuals are at highest risk of having lung cancer and should be prioritized for lung cancer screening by chest CT.

Point-of-care diagnostic chip for rapid antibiotic susceptibility testing (Renewed)
Ahmad S. Khalil, Ph.D. / James J. Collins, Ph.D. / Mark S. Klempner, Ph.D.
Business: Diagnostic

Dr. Khalil, Dr. Collins, and Dr. Klempner are developing a point-of-care diagnostic to rapidly identify antibiotic susceptibility that will allow for faster, more targeted therapies to combat bacterial infections, thus reducing reliance on empiric therapy and minimizing healthcare burden associated with delayed therapy, antibiotic overuse, and medication adverse events.