Biomedical engineering technologies secure translational state funding awards

Working in collaboration with the university’s Technology Transfer Office, two biomedical engineering faculty members recently secured funding awards to help them move their research from campus to the marketplace.
The awards involve software that can distinguish between brain tumors and benign effects of radiation treatment and technology that tests babies for cystic fibrosis more quickly and easily than existing methods.

The state funding comes from two separate programs: the Ohio Third Frontier Technology Validation and Start-Up Fund (TVSF) and the state Department of Education’s I-Corps@Ohio program.
The TVSF award provides funding to move technology toward commercialization through testing and prototyping. Its goal is to help researchers be able to license the technology to start-up and early-stage companies.
I-Corps@Ohio, meanwhile, provides hands-on training to faculty and graduate students to help them understand more about the technology commercialization process and the market potential of their technologies.


Pallavi Tiwari, assistant professor of biomedical engineering and an associate member of the Case Comprehensive Cancer Center, is leading the development of NeuroRadVision, imaging software that distinguishes between a recurrent brain tumor and benign effects of radiation, which can appear similar on a routine MRI scan, resulting in unnecessary surgeries.
The researchers estimate that 30,000 unnecessary brain surgeries are performed annually in the United States and more than 100,000 worldwide because of this issue.

Hand-held device to diagnose cystic fibrosis

Biomedical Engineering Associate Professor Miklos Gratzl is developing a low-cost, hand-held device to diagnose cystic fibrosis (CF), an inherited disease characterized by the buildup of thick, sticky mucus that can damage many of the body’s organs. CF’s most common symptoms include gradual damage to the respiratory system and chronic digestive system problems. Treatment must be started immediately in newborns to avoid irreversible damage.
Current testing methods use an infant’s sweat. However, about 20 percent of infants younger than 3 months old can’t produce enough sweat to test accurately. This means a delay of weeks and sometimes months until they can produce enough sweat to test. These methods also produce a high rate of inaccurate results.
Gratzl’s design uses much smaller samples of sweat—about 85 percent less than current methods—which can be obtained even from two-week-old babies. So far, the test has shown to be very accurate.
James D. Reynolds, associate professor of anesthesiology and a member of the Institute for Transformative Molecular Medicine, and James R. Rowbottom, chair of the anesthesiology department at Case Western Reserve and University Hospitals Case Medical Center, also received funding to develop a port sterilizer to reduce the number of catheter-related bloodstream infections. 

From The Daily (6/8/16)