Innovation has a new home at Sears think[box]

Cleveland researchers developing GPS for rectal cancer surgery

MRI machineResearchers estimate that, in the United States annually, up to 10,000 rectal cancer patients undergo unnecessary surgery, and more than 25,000 suffer from pelvic sepsis, wound infection and permanent impairments from aggressive surgery.
That’s because it’s difficult to reliably tell which patients treated with chemotherapy and radiation still need surgery. Another challenge is surgeons lack strong guidance on just how much tissue beyond the cancerous tumor they should remove.
A researcher at Case Western Reserve University aims to provide answers to both uncertainties by analyzing features found in magnetic resonance images regularly taken before surgery and pathological specimens removed during surgery.

Student’s startup wins first place in local pitch competition

Xyla FoxlinXyla Foxlin’s Parihug was selected for first place in the tech startup category at the Sidewalk to Stage Pitch Competition at Jumpstart’s Startup Scaleup event.

Foxlin, a rising junior studying mechanical and aerospace engineering, received $5,000 for her finish in the competition.

StartUp Scaleup was an all day entrepreneurial summit, drawing approximately 1,500 people to Cleveland’s Gordon Square area. More than 70 ventures entered the pitch competition.

Students get hands-on with HoloLens app development

When Microsoft gave Case Western Reserve University and Cleveland Clinic an early look at the technology company’s new HoloLens device in 2014, leaders of both institutions immediately saw enormous potential for teaching anatomy at their new joint Health Education Campus.
But as select faculty and students learned more about the mixed-reality visor, they realized its possibilities stretched well beyond medicine.

Creating a holographic anatomy curriculum for medical students remains the top priority for Case Western Reserve and Cleveland Clinic, but a handful of undergraduates have had the opportunity to explore other applications. Among the first are projects in music, psychology, and sustainability—but those are clearly just a beginning.

CWRU researcher scaling up knotty polymer research

Rigoberto AdvinculaTurning the art of a trefoil knot into polymer science is no easy process, but researchers at Case Western Reserve University developed a technique that produces a long chain molecule with the desired pretzel-like shape.
Knotted polymers, sometimes found in nature, produce different properties than a relatively straight polymer chain, and scientists and manufacturers hope to take advantage.
“There are indications knotted polymers could be used to make more stable protein structures in drugs or imaging biomarkers—making both more effective,” said Rigoberto Advincula, Case Western Reserve professor of macromolecular science and engineering and leader of the research. “Or they may be used to make high value polymers with lower viscosity and lower melting points, which would make them less expensive to produce.”

Watch MythBusters’ Adam Savage celebrate making at Sears think[box]

MythBusters’ Adam Savage visited Case Western Reserve University’s Larry Sears and Sally Zlotnick Sears think[box] in April as the first stop on a tour of Cleveland’s maker ecosystem.
Watch the full program, which includes Savage’s remarks and the presentation of a special think[box] ability badge: