Boston University faculty are constantly innovating to solve problems beyond their laboratory walls. To help researchers further develop their projects and move them toward the marketplace, BU Technology Development funds promising new efforts with up to $75,000 through the Ignition Award program. Below are just a few of this year’s recipients.

Chen Yang, associate professor of chemistry, electrical and computer engineering, and materials science and engineering, is developing a drug-free way to stop intense pain using microwave radiation, thereby mitigating risk of addiction to prescription opioids.

Mark Grinstaff, William Fairfield Warren Distinguished Professor and professor of biomedical engineering, materials science and engineering, chemistry, and medicine, discovered a new method of targeting a receptor on the surface of lung squamous cells, which underlies an aggressive form of lung cancer. He is developing specially made antibodies that can latch onto receptors while carrying a payload of chemotherapy drugs—creating molecular homing missiles that hunt down the cancer cells and destroy them.

Douglas Holmes, associate professor of mechanical engineering and materials science and engineering, has created a simple yet pliable robotic hand that can handle such delicate objects as eggshells and tomatoes without damaging them.

Valerie Gouon-Evans, associate professor of medicine, and Arturo Vegas, an assistant professor of chemistry, biomedical engineering, and materials science and engineering, are speeding up the rehabilitation process for damaged livers using a new type of nanoparticle carrying messenger RNA and instructions to repair.